Avocado is gaining popularity as one of the most healthy foods humans can eat, even earning it the official title of ‘superfood.’ It’s understandable that we would want to share these health benefits with our furry ferret friends, but can ferrets eat avocados?
Despite the numerous benefits avocados have on human health, avocados are actually extremely poisonous to ferrets and should not be administered to them under any circumstance. If you want to hear more about why ferrets can’t eat avocados, what they should eat instead, and some answers to other questions about ferrets and avocados, stay tuned!
Can Ferrets Eat Avocados? Or Are They Poisonous?
If you’re wondering “are avocados poisonous to ferrets,” it can help to think of it this way- avocados are to ferrets as chocolate is to dogs. Eating it can make them very sick, and in high quantities, can even kill them.
Avocados contain a fungicidal toxin called “persin.” While humans are capable of digesting this compound, it causes intestinal poisoning symptoms in animals that are sensitive to it, like diarrhea and vomiting. Rodents, in particular, are the most sensitive to this compound, and ferrets are close cousins to the rodent.
It’s even more important to keep avocados away from ferrets due to their small size. A dog might be able to get away with an accidental piece of chocolate here and there without crazy health effects, but ferrets are so small that even a little bit can be detrimental to their health. That’s why it’s best to keep avocados far away from this particular furry friend.
Can Ferrets Play with Avocado Pits?
Ferrets are intelligent little creatures, and owners often give their furry friends a variety of fun toys to play with to keep them happy and stimulated. You may be wondering if an avocado pit is a natural toy you could give your buddy- but sadly, this too is not safe for your pet ferret.
The most poisonous parts of the avocado are actually the areas closest to the pit and the skin. The pit may seem like a fun toy for your ferret, but if they were to accidentally ingest any of the pits, they’d be taking in the most poisonous part of the avocado (which can make them extremely sick.) Therefore, never let your ferret play with avocado pits as toys.
If you’re looking to give your ferret a free or natural playtoy, try giving them a box or some golf balls to play with instead.
Tip: Avocados are not the only thing, that ferrets should avoid eating. They should also stay away from nuts like almonds.
What Should I Do if my Ferret Accidentally Ate Avocado?
One of the most terrifying things a pet owner can experience is realizing that their precious friend accidentally got their jaws on something harmful to them. Sadly, there’s no set rule for determining what to do if your ferret ate avocado accidentally, but there are a few things you should know.
If Your Ferret Only Had a Little Avocado…
The best course of action is to watch your ferret’s behavior over the course of a couple of days. If you notice any of the following symptoms, it’s time to take him to the vet:
- Refusing to eat
If you don’t see any of these symptoms, however, there’s a solid chance your ferret is okay. In the meantime, make sure your ferret has plenty of water and avoid feeding him foods they aren’t used to or foods that are high in sugar while they recover.
There have been reported cases of ferrets being completely fine after consuming small amounts of avocado on accident, so if you don’t notice any of the above symptoms, simply monitor his progress and let them take it easy for a while.
If Your Ferret Had a Lot of Avocado…
If your ferret ate a whole avocado, a lot of an avocado, or any of the pit or skin, it’s time to immediately call your vet or take him to the vet. Do NOT wait to see if any of these symptoms develop. Let your veterinarian be aware of the full situation so they can take care into their own hands.
Ferrets are small animals. Any of these substances in great quantities will to be frank, hit your ferret like a truck. Don’t wait to see if he starts to vomit or feel uncomfortable- you don’t want to risk it being too late at that point.
If you can, take the remainder of the avocado with you so that your vet knows exactly how much they’ve eaten so they can take the proper precautionary measures.
It can be tempting to wish to share the benefits of healthy human foods with your beloved pet, but in the case of avocados and ferrets, these two should never mix. The presence of a toxin called “persin” in avocados and avocado pits can make your ferret very sick. Instead, feed them a diet of dry ferret food, bones, and water to keep your furry friend healthy. Good luck!