While most human foods can cause a bit of discomfort and some digesting problems, nothing is as harmful to ferrets as chocolate. It’s very well-known that dogs and cats should never eat chocolate and this stands true for ferrets as well. What’s not meant for their bodies should never be fed to them.
Ferrets are obligate carnivores and they simply don’t have the needed digestive equipment to deal with fiber and chocolate. While chocolate is very delicious and can even be very healthy for us in small doses, for animals it can create severe health problems, even death.
Can ferrets eat chocolate?
Chocolate is one of the biggest enemies of animals, including ferrets. They might love it and even beg you for even the tiniest piece but that doesn’t mean that it’s healthy for them. Their dietary needs are very different compared to humans. And they only need lots of meat that is high in protein and fat.
Giving your ferret chocolate is like giving it poison. You might not notice any difference at first if they only eat a tiny piece, but if they keep eating, they might need a vet pretty soon. Keep your beloved furry friend from toxic food, this includes corn, onions, raisins, and licorice as well.
If you’re looking for treats, there are countless healthy options available. But chocolate is never a good choice. You can use salmon oil, tiny pieces of raw or cooked chicken, etc. This will help make the ferret stay in place for longer than a minute to help you clip its nails or brush its coat.
Fruits and vegetables are also not recommended for ferrets. If you absolutely want to give your ferret some fruit, you can give a very small piece of banana, melon, or apple. Just make sure the fruit is peeled and that is cut into small pieces or thin slices. Ferrets can’t digest fruits and vegetables like us, and eating them in small pieces will help with digestion.
What happens if a ferret eats chocolate?
The reaction to chocolate can be very different from ferret to ferret. This depends on how old the ferret is, how much chocolate it ate, and how dark the chocolate was, or if it was cocoa. It can easily end up with a small tummy pain or with lots of pain while on your way to the vet.
After your ferret eats chocolate you need to keep a very close eye on it. If it ate too much, it will start having diarrhea, vomit, depression, seizures, excessive thirst, muscle tremors, and start urinating more frequently. More than that, if it’s way too much chocolate, your furry friend could die from cardiac arrest.
This is why it’s extremely important to keep the snacks and other unhealthy food away from the ferrets. It might take a bit difficult than what you’re expecting as ferrets are very smart and even more mischievous than you’d expect. They are known to steal snacks and stash them in their cage. And this can cause lots of health issues on its own as ferrets tend to eat that food later, and sometimes it goes bad.
If you have a ferret with health problems, even a small piece of chocolate can be a cause of concern. The weaker its immunity system is, the quicker you need to get to the vet. The same goes for kits (baby ferrets). But if the ferret is very healthy and an adult, a bit of chocolate won’t create a lot of mess.
While all chocolate and cocoa-based foods are bad for ferrets, make sure there’s absolutely no chance for your pet to get its paws on dark chocolate or simple cocoa. These are even more dangerous and require a very quick visit to the vet.
What to do in case of chocolate poisoning
If your ferret gets chocolate poisoning, you need to rush it to the vet. If it’s nothing serious, then all you have to do is keep an eye on it and give it lots and lots of water to drink. This will help flush out the toxic food. But never think twice about calling the vet if you notice that the ferret’s health degrades more than usual.
Even without causing problems to the stomach, chocolate can create serious damage to a ferret’s teeth. They love sugary foods but their teeth are very sensitive. This is why they should only be fed healthy food, such as meat and maybe some food pallets made specifically for ferrets.
In case your little mischievous creature managed to steal a bit of chocolate, look for all of its hiding places and clean that area very well.