Ferrets are delightful little pets who thrive on a high-protein diet and lots of variety. However, ferrets also have delicate digestive systems and can only have certain types of food. If you feed your ferret the wrong type, you could end up with a sick pet. Ferrets eat mostly meat, but can ferrets eat sausages in particular?
Sausages are not safe for ferrets to eat. While they are mostly made of meat, the additives, spices, and salt can harm a ferret’s immune system and digestive tract. The processing and added ingredients in the sausages make them dangerous for ferrets.
Why Are Sausages Bad for Ferrets?
Ferrets are naturally carnivores. In the wild, they only eat raw and unprocessed meat. A ferret’s digestive tract is extremely short and can’t process anything other than lean meat, protein, and a minuscule amount of fats and organs.
The meat in a sausage is mostly fatty and is bolstered by additives, preservatives, and lots of spices and salt. All of these things are detrimental to a ferret’s health and can result in long-term health issues if the pet eats sausage regularly. Here are a few of the health issues that can occur if ferrets eat sausage:
- Constipation or diarrhea
- Heart disease
- High sodium
- High cholesterol
- Long-term health issues
These are only a few health issues caused by the added spices, salt, and fat in sausages. The first couple on this list are temporary issues and will happen if a ferret gets sausage once or twice. Long-term health issues, such as heart disease, high sodium, and diabetes, will occur if a ferret consumes sausage regularly.
If your ferret found some sausage and ate them, your first responsibility is to take care of your pet. Call your veterinarian and explain the situation. It’s always best to have a medical opinion from a professional.
In small amounts, sausages won’t be super harmful to your ferret. They should be avoided Whenever possible. However, you can’t always prevent your pet from foraging for food or finding some in the house. If your ferret has only had a small amount of sausage, it should digest the food in a few days.
However, a considerable amount of sausage or a big chunk might require immediate medical attention. If your ferret is a senior pet, a baby, or has a previous health condition, contact your veterinarian immediately. It’s always better to be safe and talk to your vet first—they know your pet’s lifestyle and history and can help you make decisions.
Sausages are not toxic to ferrets. However, any amount of sausage can cause indigestion and stomach pain, in addition to an unhealthy amount of sodium and fat. If you want to keep your ferret healthy, avoid any fatty meats or prepared sausages.
A regular diet of sausage or food high in salt and fat could kill a pet ferret. This isn’t because the sausage itself is poisonous to a ferret, but because a sustained diet of higher fat will cause heart disease, diabetes, and other deadly health issues. A ferret’s body can only handle lean protein regularly.
Unfortunately, all types of sausages are a combination of meat, spices, salt, and fat. The only part of sausage that is good for a ferret to eat is the meat, and even then, the type of meat used to create sausage is too high in fat to have regularly. When in doubt, it’s best to avoid all sausages with your ferret and stick to their regular ferret food.
Vienna sausages have many similar problems that regular sausages, cooked or raw, possess. The combination of different ingredients, salt, and spices makes a Vienna sausage just as dangerous for a ferret as a regular sausage. There is no type of sausage that a ferret can eat.
Some pet owners maintain that the casings make sausage risky for ferrets. Once you take that off, the meat is okay to feed your ferret. This belief is incorrect and can be dangerous to your pet! The casings are not healthy for the ferret to eat, but the meat itself is too fatty, salty, and full of preservatives for your ferret to digest.
Even though ferrets generally should have raw meat instead of cooked, they shouldn’t have raw sausage. The spices, salt, and fat content are still there when it is raw, and it will still give the ferret a stomach ache or worse health issues.
Ferrets cannot eat cooked sausage either. Cooked sausage is more dangerous than raw sausage because it is often cooked in oils or grease, which increases fat levels. A ferret might enjoy this fatty snack but will be sick for several days after eating it.
A ferret’s diet should be lean meats such as poultry, with extremely limited fatty foods. In the wild, ferrets eat whole prey without fat; their domesticated diet should reflect this. Ferret kibble from brands like Higgins Intune and veterinarian-approved ferret treats are great, but anything outside of this, including pork sausage, should be avoided.
Hot dogs are especially bad for ferrets. Instead of being made of one kind of lean meat, hot dogs are a product of “meat emulsion,” when multiple different varieties of meat are ground together to create a composite substance. While ferrets enjoy hot dogs (after all, they are delicious), they shouldn’t have them because of the variety of unhealthy ingredients.
Ferrets are meant to eat lean meat without any spices or preparation. The preservatives and salt in sausage make it very dangerous to feed to ferrets, especially as a regular treat. If your ferret got a hold of some sausage accidentally, let it digest and try to avoid it in the future. Otherwise, keep your pet healthy by excluding sausage from its diet!