Can Ferrets Eat Ice Cream

Can Ferrets Eat Ice Cream? [Diet Info & Risks]

Ferrets cannot eat ice cream. This is because their body system is not designed to digest lactose. They lack lactase, the enzyme they need to digest the sugar found in dairy products. Therefore, they cannot consume ice cream or any other dairy product. Besides, ice cream contains sugar which is unhealthy for your pet. Although some people give small quantities of ice cream to their pets, don’t!

Further Reading: “Can Ferrets Eat Hot Dogs? What Are The Risks?

Is Ice Cream Safe For Ferrets?

Perhaps, you are wondering whether it is safe to feed your ferret’s ice cream. Well, ice creams are high in protein and fats.  Your pet needs these nutrients in its diet. But you can’t give them ice cream because it is unsafe for your pet to ingest them.

Firstly, ferrets lack lactase, the enzyme needed to digest lactose in animal systems. Ice cream contains lactose, and when your pet ingests it, she will be unable to digest it properly. Consequently, this can lead to stomach upset. Besides, ice cream contains large amounts of sugar and excess sugar is unhealthy for your pet! 

Further Reading: “Can Ferrets Eat Raw Eggs?

Why Ferrets Shouldn’t Eat sugar?

Sugar is also another food not appropriate for your pets because ferrets can’t process carbs and sugar like they process meat. Their digestive system is designed to process proteinous foods. Moreover, feeding your pet sugar, especially for a prolonged period can cause health problems such as diabetes, yeast infection, etc.

Also, artificial sweeteners such as xylitol are very harmful to the ferrets’ body system as a whole. And if your pet ingests xylitol, she might experience symptoms such as liver failure, seizures, and tremors. Xylitol is present in many gums and other edibles that may be termed sugar-free. Always check the label of foods and ensure to give your ferret sugar-free products. Additionally, also avoid feeding your pet foods with natural sugar like honey.

Can I Give Ice Cream As A Treat To My Ferret?

Ferrets deserve treats but giving your pet ice cream is a bad idea. This is because they cannot digest the lactose in ice cream. Also, ice cream can cause diarrhea, which can degenerate into dehydration for your pet. According to the American Ferret Association, ice cream can cause cancer to happen in a few situations. Instead of ice cream, you can give eggs or chicken parts to your pets. 

Further Reading: “Can Ferrets Eat Mice?

What Foods Are Poisonous To Ferrets?

As carnivores, the digestive system of ferrets is built to digest meat only.  Some foods considered safe for other animals are toxic to your pet, and it is necessary to know them. Some of the foods that are toxic to ferrets;

  • Onions and Garlic

Giving your ferret a diet that contains onions and garlic is very harmful to its body system. They can cause poisoning that manifests as sickness. In severe cases, garlic poisoning can lead to kidney cessation or even death. Likewise, onions can cause hemolytic anemia in ferrets. 

  • Chocolates and grains

Foods like chocolates and grains are poisonous to your ferrets. Grains, for example, disrupt the digestive system of the pet. Therefore, it is advisable to check the food labels to detect their presence or absence. Also, chocolates contain theobromine which is toxic for ferrets. Theobromine poisoning can cause some very unpleasant situations like depression, frequent urination, extreme thirst, and seizures. In severe cases, feeding chocolate to your pet may lead to cardiac arrest, which causes death. In addition, some chocolates contain xylitol which is also unsafe for your pets to ingest.

  • Fruits and Vegetables

Providing your ferret with a carbohydrate source of food such as fruits and vegetables is dangerous. This is because their digestive systems can only digest meat and not complex carbohydrates substances. Fruits such as carrots, bananas, e.t.c, with vegetables cause intestinal blockages for your pets. If proper precautions are not taken, your pets could die from such a situation. Therefore, you must prevent your ferrets from consuming anything containing fruits and vegetables.

Further Reading: “Can Ferrets Eat Bread?

What Can I Give My Ferret As A Treat?

Some foods are very suitable for your ferret, and a very good example is raw meat. You can feed them with meat and organs of animals such as pigeons, beef, rabbits, chicken, turkey, and lamb. 

It is best to feed your pet a diet high in meat protein because they are obligate carnivores. Also, you can give them whole animals such as rats and mice. Besides, foods like cat food and food pellets that are high in protein are also great for them. Besides, you can feed them with raw bones because raw bones provide calcium for them and clean their teeth. And lastly, feed them with eggs once in a while.

Final Thoughts

The truth is your ferret can consume some foods and cannot. Sometimes, you might feel that your ferret can eat a particular food that is not harmful to humans. But you might be wrong! So be careful with the kind of foods you give them. Foods like dairy products, grains, sugar, or foods generally low in protein and fat can be injurious to their systems. 

It is undesirable to see your ferrets in bad condition due to the food you give them. So, always ensure that you check every label of feed that you try to get for your pet. When you are also feeding it, make sure you provide the correct diet. Always buy their food from a reputable place to avoid food poisoning. Finally, ensure you are monitoring them constantly so that they can live a balanced and happy life.

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