Bananas are some of the healthiest foods for humans and we can benefit a lot from eating one or two a day. But when it comes to ferrets, a single banana can create some serious health problems and lots of internal pain. While some people still insist on using bananas as a very rare treat, it’s not recommended at all.
Ferrets are made without the ability to digest any food that’s rich in high fiber, such as a banana. They may definitely like it as they often love food that’s bad for them. But as the owner and as someone that knows a lot better, you should only feed the ferret what it needs and not what it wants.
Can ferrets eat bananas?
Ferrets have small digestive tracks, which means that there’s only so much food they can eat at once. This is why they’re extremely good self-regulators and you won’t have problems with them being overweight. You might deal with some that are underweight. But since they can’t eat much and they’re extremely active, they’re always fit.
Besides the fact that a ferret is simply not capable of digesting the banana, and it simply doesn’t have a single advantage for its body, giving a ferret inappropriate food is bad in general. They need to use the amount of food they are capable of eating to its full potential, and if you keep feeding it useless food, it doesn’t get enough of the food that it actually needs.
Ferrets also need to absorb the nutrients they need as quickly as possible, which is only possible by eating meat-based protein and fats. A banana can take a very long time to digest even in people. And while attempting to digest big pieces of banana, ferrets can go through a lot of pain.
Before you get a ferret, you need to understand its dietary needs more than anything. They’re incredibly adorable but they’re also quite demanding, of both time and high-end quality food.
How about other fruits?
Foods that contain complex carbohydrates, lots of sugar, dairy protein, and plant-based protein should be excluded from the diet. In general, all the food that the ferret has no need for should be avoided. This also includes most fish, fruits, vegetables, milk, cheese, etc. A balanced raw diet is the best option for ferrets and salmon oil as a treat while grooming.
If there’s no way in stopping you from giving in to your ferret’s expert persuading abilities, let’s also talk about some of the fruits that are somewhat OK for ferrets in very small amounts. This includes bananas, apples, and melons. Anything with acids, like lemon, orange, grapefruit, grape, etc, should be 100% avoided.
You should peel the fruit and cut a small piece into even smaller pieces and thin slices. This will make it easier to digest. Another way is to make some fruit juice at home and give your ferret a teaspoon. But don’t use any commercial “natural” juice as it can contain lots of dangerous additives meant to preserve the juice for longer.
It’s also extremely important to remember not to give your ferret more than a teaspoon of fruit or fruit juice a week. You can use it to calm your ferret down while you’re grooming it.
What to do if a ferret eats bananas?
The type of reaction you should have if your ferret eats banana depends on how much it ate and how healthy the pet is. If the ferret ate a very big piece or even half a banana or more, you need to run to the vet, especially if it’s the first time. And if the ferret has a bad immunity system and eats even a tiny piece of banana you should also run to the vet.
A small piece of banana can put a lot of strain on the weak body of a sick ferret. Digesting it can be painful and the bigger the piece, the more dangerous the situation is, especially if the ferret has other digestive problems.
But if your ferret is perfectly healthy and manages to steal a piece of banana from you then it’s nothing to worry about. You should still keep an eye on the mischievous little creature but the banana should pass through its system without creating internal havoc.
Avoid keeping fruits in bowls for display in rooms that the ferrets might escape into. They might steal a banana, eat a lot, then get sick and go back to its cage while you have no idea. Ferrets are as mischievous ad they are adorable and you’ll often see them getting themselves into the funniest situations.