Ferrets are remarkable creatures but can be rather finicky pets. Any ferret owner knows the truth of this: sometimes it seems as though anything they eat can set off a chain reaction of indigestion. If a ferret just caught and ate a fly or a beetle, questions can arise: can ferrets eat bugs?
Ferrets can eat bugs, and often do. They are natural hunters and can stalk a fly or beetle around the house. Bugs and insects are part of a ferret’s natural diet and are not something to worry about.
Are Bugs Safe for Ferrets?
Bugs are safe for ferrets to catch and eat. The biggest danger in wild bugs is that they’ve been sprayed with pesticides or another kind of poison. However, an occasional wild beetle won’t affect a ferret too much.
Ferrets are natural carnivores with very short digestive tracts. In the wild, they hunt anything smaller than themselves, and this can include bugs and insects. Live crickets are a great way to mentally stimulate a ferret and offer them a safe treat. They can be found at bait shops or online at Amazon.
Bugs don’t provide a lot of nutritional value on their own but can be used by a resourceful owner to keep a pet ferret healthy. If a ferret needs a specific supplement, an owner can pick up some crickets or beetles from a good supplier and dust them in the vitamin powder. The animal will enjoy catching it, and it is easier than forcing a ferret to take medicine.
Eating bugs is only bad for ferrets if it’s all they’re eating. Ferrets need more than the tiny amount of protein that bugs provide. While bugs are a great way to provide a hunt, sneak supplements in, or give a ferret a treat, they also need a steady supply of actual ferret food. As long as they have regular food available, bugs aren’t bad for ferrets.
Ferrets are natural carnivores and natural hunters. Taken out of a wild setting, insects might be the only prey still available to them. Most ferrets are mentally stimulated by hunting a fly more than they enjoy the taste of it, but that doesn’t mean they don’t like to eat it once they’ve caught it.
How Do You Introduce Bugs in the Ferret’s Diet?
The ferret owner can introduce bugs into a pet ferret’s diet as a regular treat, but this should be done carefully. First of all, one must make sure that it’s only a treat and never their full meal. Bugs and insects should come from a steady supplier–bait stores are an excellent place to find live crickets and other bugs.
The owner has to start with a few bugs and watch the pet carefully for any adverse reactions. After a few days, they give the ferret a few more crickets. If there are no health or digestive issues, it is safe to incorporate bugs into the ferret’s diet as a semi-regular treat.
It is not necessary to do anything to prepare bugs for a ferret unless they need dusting with a supplement to make the pet healthier. The bugs are simply released where the ferret will see them and catch them, and watch the hunting process begin.
It is also possible to keep the ferret and the insects in an enclosed area. This helps keep the rest of the house clean. Insects don’t have to be live when feeding them to a ferret, but the animal is more likely to pounce and eat them if they are living.
The number of bugs a ferret can have depends directly on the type of bug. The most important thing is that a ferret doesn’t have so many bugs that they are not able to eat their regular food. If that happens, they will miss out on some of their essential nutrients and proteins. Two or three bugs at a time are probably more than enough.
While bugs are fine for ferrets, they shouldn’t have them every day. An occasional bug treat is much better than a regular snack. Keeping insects to a few times a week will vary the ferret’s diet more and keep them from leaning too heavily on one kind of food.
While bugs are good for ferrets, there are some exceptions. For more concerns about feeding ferrets bugs or letting them hunt for the ones already in the house, here are some commonly asked questions.
Ferrets can eat bugs alive and often do. This is how they hunt for smaller animals in the wild, and it’s mentally stimulating to a house ferret who doesn’t have to hunt for its food. Living bugs are a great way to keep a pet ferret active and provide treats as they get older.
Ferrets can eat dried bugs but are more likely to show interest in living bugs. They enjoy the hunt more than just eating the bugs, and there is a chance that the pet will ignore any dried bugs left out for them.
Baby ferrets are still growing into their digestive system, and owners should watch their diet carefully. If your baby ferret got a hold of a fly or beetle around the house, don’t be too worried. However, it is vital to try and keep the new pet away from anything that’s not the primary diet food.
As with any animal, there are types of poisonous insects. However, ferrets have an instinct to avoid these types of bugs, and they often have warning signs (such as colorful wings or loud cries). A ferret isn’t likely to find one of these on its own, and the owner can provide insects that are sure to be safe. The same concept applies to ferrets and spiders.
Ferrets can have bugs and often really enjoy the act of hunting and eating a live cricket or beetle. If a ferret keeps a balanced diet and doesn’t eat too many bugs as treats, insects make excellent rewards and ways to mentally stimulate a domesticated ferret.