You should be very careful about what you’re feeding your ferret when you’re out of ferret food or ferret treats. We’re often inclined to search the kitchen for something yummy for our beloved pet, and we often forget how bad can human food be for ferrets.
There are various peanut butter-flavored treats on the market, which means it’s easy to get confused and assume they can eat peanut butter as well. When in fact, peanut butter can be quite dangerous for their health. But luckily is not fatal most of the time, especially if they don’t eat a lot.
Can Ferrets Eat Peanut Butter?
Ferrets should never be fed anything but the diet a carnivore should have simply because they’re only capable of absorbing the nutrients from meat. When it comes to plants, fruits, and vegetables, your lovely ferret doesn’t have the metabolism to digest them.
If a ferret can’t digest something, it remains behind and settles in the stomach. And with time, this build-up can lead to cancer and other stomach problems. You may not even notice that a big part of treats is slightly harmful to your ferret. Usually, you’ll only notice when the pet is old and all these unnecessary foods start catching up with him. The good news is that your vet can help the ferret before it’s too late.
Typically, some animals seem to know what’s good for them and what’s not. Cats are very picky eaters and many dogs won’t eat the same thing twice if the first time it got extremely sick. However, ferrets don’t seem to understand what they can eat and what to avoid at all.
Ferrets will eat pretty much anything you’re giving them. The only reason why they get picky as they get older is that they got used to the food they’ve been fed for the first 8 months of their life. But just because they’re so eagerly eating something and are even begging for more doesn’t mean that it’s anywhere near healthy for them.
More than that, ferrets almost never turn down a sweet snack. Sugar can be quite harmful to a ferret and not just to its digestive system. Ferrets have sensitive teeth and the sugar can immediately start to attack them.
Why is Peanut Butter Not Recommended For Ferrets?
Peanut butter contains lots and lots of nutrients that are excellent for both humans and lots of animals. It’s very often used in training dogs. But despite being continuously compared to cats and dogs, their digestive system is completely different.
As ferrets are only capable of taking their nutrients from meat, any other type of food becomes useless. This includes plant-based foods such as peanut butter. They simply don’t work the same as us. Instead of getting nutrients from the peanut butter, the ferret will have their digestive process interrupted and will develop lots and lots of problems over time.
As mentioned before, sugar is not healthy for ferrets. However, in small doses, it won’t cause any major problems. But Xylitol is a thousand times more dangerous for them. And this is mainly because many people don’t even know about its existence.
Xylitol is a naturally-occurring alcohol that can be used instead of sugar while you’re processing foods, chewing gum, baked goods, etc. It’s very safe for humans and the reason why many peanut butter manufacturers use it is as it allows people with Diabetes to enjoy peanut butter as well.
Types of foods recommended for ferrets. Treat Ideas
The most recommended type of diet for ferrets is the raw diet. It only contains raw meat and nothing else. This is what a ferret would eat in the wild and this is what its body is built to digest. It also includes whole prey, such as mice, rats, birds, etc.
Chicken is the best meat for ferrets as it contains taurine, which is extremely important for ferrets. Duck and turkey are also good choices. And while beef, lamb, and pork are not bad, they’re a bit too dense for ferrets as they have to absorb all the nutrients they need within a short period of time.
When it comes to treats, you don’t have to switch to human food to make your ferret happy. Any ferret owner needs to have a bottle of salmon oil in their home. This can be placed on your finger or their belly and it keeps the ferret busy while you’re grooming it.
Other treats include small chunks of raw or cooked chicken meat and eggs. The eggs can be fed raw, boiled, scrambled, and even fried. Kitten food supplements with fatty acids and food pallets are also acceptable.