Ferrets contain tiny teeth they use to consume food, grasp items to move them, and communicate with others. Because they are carnivores, the teeth come in two pairs of sharp canine teeth on the top and bottom jaw. With such a menacing mouth, potential pet owners may wonder, can ferrets break bones with their teeth?
Can Ferrets Break Bones?
Yes, ferrets can bite bones. However, only the small, thin bones of their natural prey. There is no risk of broken bones for humans.
A ferret’s skin is quite tough, and these bites do not sting like they do when a human receives a ferret bite. Therefore, what may look like aggression to a human can be regular ferret behavioral activities.
How Ferrets Use Their Teeth
An animal’s teeth will mainly depend on its diet requirements. These teeth are tools to use for successfully breaking up food. They start their life with 30 teeth and end with 34 permanent ones. When you look at a ferret’s teeth, you may wonder, can ferrets bite through bone if they bite your finger?
A ferret does not possess claws as a cat does, relying on its teeth for many tasks. From eating to playing, defending themselves, and communicating, their teeth are essential in everyday life.
If you watch little kits playing together, you may notice them bite each other on the neck, ears, or other parts of the body. A mother ferret will bite her little ones to correct them, pick them up and move them, or to get their attention.
How Strong Is a Ferret’s Bite?
If you have a pet ferret or are considering one in the future, you may be curious how strong their bite is if you are a victim of one of these bites. When determining how much damage your pet can do with their teeth and jaws, there is a distinction between the types of bites that will help you understand their reasons.
Nips and Nibbles
Ferrets can use nips and nibbles to signal many things to their owner. Their instinct is to nip when playing with toys or littermates, so it is pretty common to nip at your fingers during playtime.
If you are distracted and your pet is coming up to you and nibbling your fingers, hand, or toes, it may be a signal for attention. These types of bites are not typically hard and are there to communicate with you for a reason.
If your pet is frustrated with being cooped up in their habitat for long hours, they may nip at you when you free them. Having stored energy and no way to expel it can result in nipping. And you should pay attention to this clue. Because ferrets can develop depression (check these ferret depression symptoms) if they are not properly taken care of.
They may also nip at someone who has strong cologne or perfume. These animals can be sensitive to smells, and if they do not like a scent, they will try to make the person go away by nipping. Also, some odors are dangerous for ferrets and harm the respiratory tract. These include scented candles and incense.
Another reason for nipping or nibbling from your pet is because they are hungry. Whether your hands smell like food or they associate your hands with food, this could be one way to let you know they want a meal.
However, nips and nibbles will typically not hurt you and are your pet’s way of telling you something important. Even though they can feel sharp, they will not break the skin.
If they are starting to exhibit this behavior often or each day at the same time, take notice and try to determine their reasons.
Consequently, ferrets can bite quite hard and break the skin, causing you to bleed. In addition, their sharp teeth can do some damage when they want. Although hard bites are also there to communicate something, their reasons are typically more severe.
Your pet ferret may bite hard or show biting aggression if they are in pain. Whether their teeth hurt or have an underlying health problem, hard bites can happen. If it bites you hard after handling a leg, you may consider they are dealing with a painful injury.
Other outside factors such as stress or threats can spark hard bites from your beloved pet. You may want to examine their habitat or any outside elements that could be causing them stress or being fearful.
Are Ferrets’ Teeth Dangerous?
Even so, a ferret’s jaw and teeth, as hard as they can be, will not break bones. So if you are concerned about your pet clamping down on your hand and breaking the bones, you have no worries.
However, they can tear the skin significantly if they are feeling threatened or scared. If your pet is biting, you should explore why and help correct the behavior as soon as possible.