You’ve likely seen bags of cat and dog food touting non-carnivore ingredients. So, if you just bought a delicious bag of grapes and want to share them with your ferret, you might be wondering—can ferrets eat grapes?
Between a toxic chemical that grapes have and a ferret’s short digestive tract that does a poor job of breaking down nutrients, you should never feed grapes to your ferret.
We’ll help you understand why grapes are so dangerous to ferrets and what to do if your ferret ingests them.
Can Ferrets Eat Grapes?
Ferrets cannot eat grapes because grapes are toxic to them. One of the reasons that grapes are so dangerous to ferrets is because they contain sugar and fiber, neither of which ferrets can digest.
If ferrets ingest grapes, they may experience diarrhea, abdominal pain, and unconsciousness, which may lead to death.
Are Grapes Safe for Ferrets?
Grapes are not safe for ferrets because they can cause kidney failure. If your ferret consumes a grape, they’ll likely display several symptoms within a few hours, such as vomiting and diarrhea.
Other symptoms that can occur when ferrets eat grapes are lethargy, decreased appetite, and dehydration. They’ll also likely appear uncomfortable as a result of abdominal pain.
Should your ferret consume grapes, you should immediately take them to the veterinarian. Otherwise, they could develop even more severe symptoms such as seizures or difficulty urinating, which could lead to death.
If your ferret only took a nibble of a grape, they may be able to recover on their own within a few days. However, it’s always best to stay on the safe side and bring them to the vet.
Are All Types of Grapes Bad for Ferrets?
All types of grapes are bad for ferrets. In fact, according to the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (ASPCA), grapes are toxic to many animals.
Although researchers haven’t been able to identify the toxin in grapes that makes them so lethal to ferrets, the evidence is clear—you should never feed your ferret grapes of any kind.
If your ferret ends up needing veterinary treatment for grape consumption, your veterinarian will likely start by running blood work and a stomach x-ray.
From there, they may try to physically remove the grapes, which may involve induced vomiting or, in severe cases, surgery.
If your ferret’s body has already begun digesting the grapes, your vet may end up performing a blood transfusion or dialysis.
Why Are Grapes Bad for Ferrets? (6 Reasons)
Grapes are bad for ferrets for several reasons. They include:
- Grapes contain a toxin that can kill ferrets.
- A ferret’s body can’t break down the sugar and fiber in grapes.
- Insulinoma, resulting from too much undigested sugar in the body.
- Grapes can lead to kidney failure.
- Intestinal blockage from grape peels.
- Dental issues from sugar.
It doesn’t take much consumption for a grape to have devastating consequences on a ferret’s wellbeing. For this reason, it’s crucial to not only keep grapes out of your ferret’s food bowl but not to leave grapes lying around areas of your house that your ferret can access.
Ferrets are playful creatures. So, even if they don’t intend to consume a grape, it could end up happening during playtime.
Can Grapes be Toxic to Ferrets?
Yes, grapes are toxic to ferrets. Unfortunately, there aren’t any studies identifying the toxin that causes such a severe reaction to this fruit in ferrets. However, the important thing is to know that you should never feed grapes to your ferret under any circumstance.
Most ferrets won’t naturally gravitate towards grapes for food. However, they might do so if they’re hungry.
Ferrets have a short digestive tract, meaning they need to eat frequently to stay full.
So, it’s crucial to provide your ferret with a constant source of high-quality food like Wysong. Their starch-free formula contains 62% protein, meaning it’ll help keep your ferret fuller for longer.
My Ferret Ate Grapes, What Should I Do?
Whether you watched your ferret eat a grape or your ferret acts strangely after you notice nibbles of grapes in the bowl on your kitchen counter, you should bring them to the vet immediately.
Furthermore, you should avoid giving your ferret food to counteract the grapes in their system. Otherwise, the excess food could get in the way of whatever treatment the veterinarian has in mind.
If your ferret defecates during the trip (which is likely, given that diarrhea is a symptom of grape eating in ferrets), give it a good look. Do you see any pieces of grapes? Is the color different from usual?
Take note of those items and share them with the vet when you arrive.
In the best-case scenario, your ferret will be able to pass the grapes through their feces. However, more likely than not, your veterinarian will likely try to induce vomiting to help your ferret get rid of the grapes.
As a worst-case scenario, your vet may have to surgically remove the grapes.
Can Ferrets Eat Raisins?
No, ferrets cannot eat raisins. Like grapes, raisins are toxic to ferrets.
Scientists know little about why grapes and raisins are toxic to many animals, including ferrets. However, it likely has to do, in part, with ferrets being unable to digest the fruit’s sugar and fiber.
It’s a known fact that raisins have a higher concentration of sugar and nutrients than grapes. Therefore, although there isn’t research to prove it yet, it seems likely that raisins could cause an even more severe reaction in ferrets than grapes.
For this reason, if your ferret consumes raisins, you should take them to the vet right away.
Your veterinarian will likely follow a similar protocol for treating your ferret as if they had consumed grapes. That may include x-rays, blood tests, induced vomiting blood transfusions, and even surgery.
Is It Okay for My Ferret to Eat Grapes?
So, can ferrets eat grapes? No, you should never feed grapes to your ferret under any circumstances.
Since grapes contain a chemical that’s toxic to ferrets and a ferret’s body can’t process a grape’s sugar and fiber, you’re better off keeping your ferret on a strictly carnivorous diet.