Ferrets are wonderful, feisty little furry friends, and what you should feed them is often of tantamount concern to ferret owners. As well as having very distinctive personalities, these fun little critters are nearly entirely carnivorous!
This means that due to their biological buildup, these little animals require high protein, non-vegetable-based diets. As such, it might leave ferret owners wondering “Can Ferrets Eat Beef?”.
Ferrets are obligate carnivores, meaning that a protein like beef is not actually the worse type of food to feed to your ferret. There are, however, other factors you should consider, such as the specific type of beef product you are feeding to them.
In this article, we will break down six of the most popular beef food products out there and comprehensively outline for you if you should feed them to your ferret.
So, if you have ever wondered about whether your ferret should be having beef, then read on below as we find out!
Is Beef Poisonous to Ferrets?
First things first, beef itself is not poisonous to ferrets. In fact, due to its high protein content, properly prepared beef can be an excellent food base for your ferret!
The reason that some meats like beef are slightly maligned as ferret foods is that lower quality cuts of beef can often contain viruses or bacteria that can be bad, sometimes deadly, for your little rodent rascal.
Can Ferrets Have Beef Broth?
Beef broth is a great little treat for your ferret, as it gives them a tasty, high protein drink to tuck into (especially in the cold months!). However, make sure any beef broth that you give them is one you have made yourself rather than made from a stock or broth cube.
These premade options, while fine for humans, do not always draw their protein from strictly meat sources, and so can have unintended consequences for your little furry friend.
Also, make sure when you make your beef broth for your ferret, you do so by boiling beef bones and not by using too many vegetables. While a beef broth not flavored with onions, carrots, and leeks would be unthinkable for people to eat, these vegetables can be bad for your ferret in large quantities.
Can Ferrets Eat Beef Liver?
This is another beef product that is probably best fed to your ferret cooked, rather than raw. While nice cuts of raw beef or a beef tartare can be a nice treat, the liver often deals with a lot of the more toxic things an animal consumes.
So, a wonderful treat for your ferret would be a nicely seared bit of beef liver. Make sure to use a neutral oil in the cooking, and not butter, as ferrets should not consume too much dairy content. For a fancy breakfast treat, serve with a hard-boiled egg.
Can Ferrets Have Beef Jerky?
There is plenty of ferret-safe jerky style products available for your pet, but regular human jerky might not be the best bet. These animals are hardy, but their stomachs can be upset by quite a lot of different things.
As such, be sure to check the ingredients of any jerky you plan on giving your ferret. Some of the preservatives used in human jerky can be toxic for ferrets, so make sure to triple check what you are feeding your pet is safe. This can be done online with the specific brand through a veterinarian consultation.
Can Ferrets Have Roast Beef?
A fantastic treat for your ferrets can be a bit of your Sunday Roast beef. The little critter will certainly not complain at having some scraps of a beautifully roasted side of beef.
It should be noted, however, that excessively salted foods should not be fed to your ferret. Food with higher salt content can be trickier on digestion, so should be avoided if possible.
If you tend to generously salt your roast beef, perhaps consider giving your ferret an area of the beef that has less direct contact with the seasoning.
Can Ferrets Have Beef Mince?
Beef mince, if properly prepared and source can even be served raw to your ferret! It is typically recommended to feed your ferret a leaner blend of raw ground beef mince, like an 80% lean and 20% fat blend. These leaner blends are not only good for humans who are on diets, but it meets the nutritional needs of ferrets and their reliance on protein.
Therefore, it is not recommended to feed your ferret cheap shop-bought mince or shop-bought hamburger patties. These hamburger patties are often made from the less savory parts of a cow and are more likely to have harmful bacteria.
These patties are also often a higher fat content than a leaner blend. To get a gorgeous sear on a hamburger, the higher fat content is needed to render and caramelize.
However, by making your own beef mince, or by sourcing it from a reliable butcher, you can be sure exactly what is going to be in your mince mix, and that it will be good for your ferret.