Ferrets shouldn’t eat bread. Bread is not ideal for ferrets because their digestive system is narrow and unsuitable for breaking down complex carbohydrates. Meats should constitute the diet of ferrets because of their carnivorous nature. However, ordinarily, it shouldn’t cause any harm if it happens by mistake, except it becomes frequent.
Further Reading: “Can Ferrets Eat Apples?“
Can I Give my Ferrets Bread?
As a carnivore creature, ferrets require a balanced diet, with meat making a significant part of the food composition. For ferrets to maintain a healthy living and prevent health challenges, it would be helpful if you avoid bread. Unlike humans, ferrets’ body systems cannot deal with vegetables and fruit properly and the same goes for, yes, bread.
Also, fiber and grain should never be in large quantities because the ferret’s digestive system will find it difficult to process these kinds of foods. Bread contains complex carbohydrates, so you shouldn’t include it in your ferret’s diet. Other food items you should avoid include cereals and cookies.
Due to their delicate and fragile intestinal tract, ferrets require a stringent diet. Their intestines absorb food between 3 to 5 hours, which makes it compulsory to feed them often. So we suggested that highly digestible foods that are proteins in nature should be fed to ferrets. Proteins and fat-rich foods allow for quick digestion.
The consistency in feeding ferret foods rich in animal protein helps to keep its immune system healthy. Some ferrets’ owners are reported to have included bread and milk in their pet diet. The outcome of the situation affected their ferrets badly. Their pets exhibited symptoms such as diarrhea, bad teeth, and obesity due to bread consumption.
Further Reading: “Can Ferrets Eat Bacon?“
What Happens When you Feed Bread to Ferrets?
Feeding your ferret bread deteriorates its health, causing several diseases, including pancreas disease. Many human foods are gotten from wheat grains, including bread. However, the fact that these products are beneficial to us doesn’t mean it is the same for ferrets.
Although wheat products contribute to the healthy living of humans, they cause problems for ferrets, including those that are detrimental to their existence. It is a grave mistake to consider feeding your bread because you don’t have the right food to feed it.
When a meat-eater eats something that its digestive system cannot handle, it will cause stomach upset, especially when it is in excess. You will be dealing with poor nutrition, smelly poos, and intestinal problems. Any food that produces sugar and is rich in carbohydrates can be very disastrous. Therefore, bread is not recommended; it can only be a treat given to ferrets occasionally.
Further Reading: “Can Ferrets Eat Cheese?“
What Human Food Can Ferrets Eat?
Carnivores deserve to eat protein and fat in high quantity in the same way they will feed if they don’t have an owner. Humans prefer to eat fresh food, so you must endeavor to feed ferrets freshly killed animals regularly. The following are the human food your ferret can eat.
You can feed them with the basic and known protein sources such as boiled egg, chicken, turkey, and others; just be sure to skip adding salt and seasonings to these meats. The meat should always be fresh and must be less than five days old. Bones can also be ground and fed to ferrets, as long as they are finely processed and no splinters are present, as these can harm the ferret’s esophagus or throat.
Fruits that are high in sugar content are big contraindications to your furry pet as they can cause malnutrition, again because they cannot be processed well by ferret’s digestive systems, and eventually these sugary foods, in the long run, can cause tooth decay, hypoglycemia and a plethora of complications. Vegetables and onions should also be avoided.
It is important to note that additives should be avoided when preparing their meals as these ingredients can cause intestinal problems to your ferret. Feeding them milk is a big no too.
Sufficient to say, any meat-based human food is safe for ferrets, as long as it isn’t seasoned and is cooked well. It is never right to assume that what’s good for humans is also good for pets such as ferrets. We should have at least a significant amount of knowledge when it comes to a certain pet that we have. Ferrets raising comes with huge responsibility, such in a way that their digestive systems are very sensitive and can react to the slightest foodstuffs.
A diet that’s good for your ferret isn’t one that makes them feel full and joyous, an excellent diet is one that meets their dietary needs without compromising their health and safety. Safety should never be in lieu of comfort. Your pet’s safety is always your priority.
Further Reading: “Can Ferrets Eat Lettuce?“
As a general rule:
A ferret’s diet should consist of 32-38% protein and 15-20% fat.
Include In Your Ferret Diet
- Raw meat is the best
- Dried ferret food that’s high in meat protein.
- Chicken wings and stripped carcasses.
- Raw animal bones
- Game birds
They can also eat prey like mice, rats, and chicks.
Further Reading: “How To Tell How Old A Ferret Is?“
Avoid In Your Ferret Diet
- Fruits, Vegetables & Grains – Your furry friends will have issues while digesting these foods.
- Dairy products – They lack the enzymes needed for the digestion of lactose.
- Chocolate – This is poisonous to our ferret and may end up very bad.
Your ferret has very short intestinal tracks. While their metabolism rate is high, the food they take is digested and ingested very fast and that’s why we see our ferret hungry all the time.
Further Reading: “Can You Bath A Ferret?”
What Food Can Kill a Ferret?
Eating contaminated food can put the life of your ferrets on the line. Apart from the toxicity, there are certain foods your lovely pet should not eat, no matter the circumstances.
- Ferrets and Ants
Ants kill ferrets faster than anything you can think of, especially the poisonous ones. Eating ants may feel like something normal for ferrets. However, it is unhealthy for your pet to eat ants. It is your responsibility as an owner to be the watch person for your adorable pet and keep ants away from its vicinity.
See here a detailed article about Ferrets & Ants
- Ferrets and Peanut Butter
If you are doing this or did in the past, you are not helping your ferret to live for long. The amount of sugar and salt in it is not quantifiable, making it a dangerous food to feed your ferrets. It may be ideal for humans, but it isn’t for ferrets because of their digestive system and intestine sensitivity.
See here my detailed article about Ferrets & Peanut butter
- Ferrets and Sugar
There is ambiguity surrounding sugar intake for ferrets. Maybe little is acceptable, but sugar-rich foods, in general, pose a threat to the health of your pet. Ferrets system does well with animal protein, not sugar and carbohydrates.
Further Reading: “Can Ferrets Eat Canned Tuna?“
Ferrets are one of the best pets any family can have. It’s good to provide treats for your pet. But you need to be mindful of what you feed them. Your ferret should not overeat carbohydrates and sugar to avoid health problems.
Your ferret can eat bread only as a treat once in a while. Ferrets’ cute look may be tempting to push you to feed them a large quantity of bread. Don’t succumb to the temptation if you really want it to stay healthy.