Everyone loves having a chocolate or two every once in a while. Chocolate is known to increase the levels of endorphins in the brain, which leads to less pain and stress and more happiness. They say that when eating chocolate, it mimics the feeling of when you’re in love. This is the reason why many people love chocolate and it is considered as a comfort food. It is also the official valentine gift as it symbolizes love and affection.
Although chocolate is one of man’s most treasured and favorite foods, it might not be the same thing for animals and some pets.
Can I Give My Ferret Chocolate?
It is not recommended.
Even if you love chocolates, your pet might not think the same. Ferrets have a different diet compared to humans. Being an obligate carnivore, they only consume meat and require high amounts of protein and fat.
Chocolate can also be poisonous to ferrets. Other food that you need to be careful of is licorice, raisins, corn, and onions. These also tend to be toxic to these small animals. Don’t give these as treats to your pet as he may become ill. Aside from that don’t feed him fruits and vegetables, as well. Ferrets also don’t have the metabolism to digest chocolate and fiber, unlike man.
Chocolate tolerance varies depending on the kind of chocolate and the size of the pet that you have. For a two-pound ferret, the minimum dose is only two ounces of milk chocolate and one ounce of baking chocolate. If the chocolate consumed goes beyond this, pay attention to how your ferret is reacting. It is even more serious if it’s dark chocolate or cocoa.
After eating chocolate, observe your ferret for a few days. Keep him on his usual diet and avoid giving him any sweet treats. Give him a lot of water to flush out what he ate. Most ferrets commonly experience diarrhea and excitement. In bad cases, your pet may vomit, be depressed, have seizures, excessive thirst, urinate more frequently, and even experience muscle tremors. If the ferret ate too much chocolate, he may die from cardiac arrest.
If you think your ferret ate quite a lot of chocolate, take him right away to the vet. Watch out for the symptoms, too. He needs to get medical attention as soon as possible, especially if he ate a whole chocolate bar. This helps in addressing the problem and prevents any bad things from happening.
There are some ferrets who like the taste of sugary foods. This is why most of them enjoy reaching out to chocolate and other candies. However, always remember that sugar is not good for them and they cannot digest it. Even if they like munching on sweets, this is not enough reason for you to give it to them. Never give chocolate as treats, too. Only give him healthy food, like meat and food pellets. Ensure that your pet only consumes high protein meat and ferret food that fits his diet.
Always be a responsible ferret owner. Make sure that you keep your candies and chocolate away from your pets. Store them in places that your ferrets cannot reach. It would also be ideal to store them in glass containers that they cannot open. Don’t leave snacks and other junk food opened in the kitchen or in the living room where your pet is always around. Make sure that you clean up the leftovers and the crumbs after your snack to prevent him from eating those, too.
If you left any chocolate bars out in the table or he already ate chocolate, check all of the possible hiding places of your pet. Ferrets have a tendency to stash away their food for future use. Make sure that you remove them, especially the chocolates ones. Hide the chocolate and clean up the area.
Always make it a point to clean the area where you are letting your ferret play. If he’s always in your bedroom, check out the area below your bed. Ensure that there isn’t any candy or chocolate bar hidden below. Close your dressers, closet, and bags where you are keeping some candies.
Prevention is always the better way to address such disaster. Avert any serious events like your pet experiencing symptoms from eating chocolate. When feeding your ferret, make sure that you read the labels and ensure that he gets the right amount of nutrients. Avoid feeding processed and sweet food to your pets. These are not healthy for them and you want to be sure they’re in good shape.