Eggs are often regarded as a superfood in human diets because they’re a complete source of animal protein and are packed with essential vitamins and minerals. Because they’re so nutritious for us, you also may be wondering if they’re safe and healthy for your ferret. The answer is yes, eggs are safe for most ferrets in moderation. There are some specifics you need to be aware of before you offer your pet this superfood, so let’s dive in!
Do Ferrets Naturally Eat Eggs?
Many ferret owners worry that food that isn’t eaten by ferrets in the wild may be unhealthy for them. The good news is that ferrets are obligate carnivores, which means they process protein most efficiently, they hunt for their food, and they only consume animals and animal products.
According to ferret experts at Ferretable.com, wild ferrets eat an assortment of small animals, and they will happily eat bird eggs they’re able to find. The fact that they eat eggs in the wild should quell your concerns a bit, but let’s look at the health benefits as well.
Are Eggs Healthy for Ferrets?
Eggs are a complete and abundant source of animal protein for both humans and ferrets, and since ferrets are carnivores that process protein best, eggs make a healthy and nutritious snack when added to their diets. You can supply your ferret with about six grams of protein per egg.
According to pet authority, Exotic Direct, ferrets need diets high in fat as well due to their short digestive tract. Eggs contain a healthy amount of both protein and fat, so this makes them a nearly ideal snack for your ferret.
In addition to an abundance of protein and healthy fats, eggs contain vitamin D, also known as calcium, which is a vitamin that isn’t found in many food sources. According to veterinarians at Vetark, vitamin D deficiency in ferrets can lead to decreases in bone density among other issues. Eggs are an excellent source of calcium, so they will help your ferret get their necessary daily amount.
Are There Any Risks Involved?
No food is perfect, and while eggs are largely beneficial for your ferret, they shouldn’t replace your ferret’s regular diet, as there are some health risks involved with overfeeding.
Experts at Exotic Direct also mention that too much egg can cause constipation in your ferret, which can lead to discomfort and additional health problems. For this reason, you should limit your ferret to one or two eggs a week, and you should introduce them slowly at first. Jumping from no egg in their diet to two a week can be problematic, so start with a half, watch for signs of complications, and offer a little more the following week.
There is also some concern about feeding eggs to baby ferrets, as they have a fairly particular diet when they are kits. Pet experts at Chewy note that kits under three to four weeks should only consume its mother’s milk, so avoid giving your ferret egg until they are grown and able to eat solid food.
Is Raw Egg Okay for My Ferret?
Eggs can be offered to your ferret in a variety of ways. Some owners choose to feed their ferrets raw eggs, but this is a bit controversial. Pet health experts at PetMD recommend only serving your ferret cooked foods, as raw meat and eggs have the potential to carry harmful bacteria.
Other sources note that some raw egg is fine for your ferrets. Pet health research from The Veterinary Nurse warns that biotin deficiency is a serious concern if eggs make up more than 10% of your ferret’s diet, but maintains that some raw egg is safe for your ferret.
Given the conflicting information, it’s better to be safe and cook the egg before giving it to your pet!
How Can I Serve Egg to My Ferret?
If you do decide to treat your ferret to some egg, you may wonder what kinds of eggs they can eat. Chicken eggs are most popular because of their availability, but quail eggs or other bird eggs will be fine for ferrets as well.
It also doesn’t matter how you cook the egg, so you can decide or do some experimentation to figure out what your ferret’s preferred method is. Hard boiling and scrambling are easiest, so these may be your best options.
Offer your ferret the cooked egg along with their other food or as a standalone treat, and remember to watch for any discomfort from constipation after feeding. This can occur if it’s your ferret’s first time eating eggs, but continue to watch for discomfort the first several times just to be safe.
The Bottom Line
Eggs are safe to give your ferret as long as they are offered in moderation. Too much egg in your pet’s diet can cause constipation and related discomfort, so you’ll, of course, want to avoid overfeeding your ferret eggs. If they are fully cooked, eggs offer a very healthy amount of protein and fat, both of which your ferret needs, along with essential vitamins. One to two cooked eggs per week are a great addition to your ferret’s diet, and they’ll likely be more than pleased with the delicacy!
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