Have you noticed your ferret trying to chew on the buttons on your remote control or maybe on a flip-flop? If so, don't be surprised - chewing is a completely normal behavior for ferrets. However, ferrets can easily get blockages from ingesting materials that they cannot digest, such as soft rubber. Because it is a natural instinct for ferrets to chew, it is important that you provide safe, ferret specific products for your ferret to chew on. But which items are safe and which aren't?
Unsafe Chew Toys
Never allow your ferret to chew on the following items. They can cause blockages or other damage to your ferret's stomach or intestines. Blockages are a life threatening condition, and they are fatal if not caught and treated by a veterinarian in time.
Rubber is incredibly dangerous for ferrets, which is unfortunate because it is one of their favorite items to chew on. Soft rubber, like the kind that remote control buttons are made from, is especially dangerous because your ferret can easily bite small pieces of it off and swallow them. These pieces can get lodged in the stomach or intestines, and the ferret may or may not be able to pass them. If a full blockage forms in the intestines and is not treated immediately, that section of the intestine will start to die, making your ferret very ill.
While ferrets naturally like to chew on things, they do not chew for the same reason that small pets do. Small pets need wood to chew on to control the constant growth of their teeth throughout their lives. Ferrets are carnivores, and their teeth and jaws were made to chew on meat and bones. If you give a ferret wood to chew on, she could ingest wooden splinters that could damage her stomach and intestines. It is acceptable to give ferrets cage accessories that are made from wood if supervised, but if you see any signs at all that your ferret has been chewing on them, remove them from the cage immediately.
Ferrets only take about four hours to completely digest their food from the time they eat it to the time it leaves their body. This isn't enough time for the rawhide to re-hydrate, and the pieces she eats can form severe blockages in her stomach and intestines. If you have dogs and you give them rawhide, be sure to pick up any pieces lying around before you let your ferrets out to play.
If your ferret accidentally swallows one of the items listed above or any other non-edible item, give her a ferret laxative or hairball remedy immediately. Watch her stool for the next few days, and if she does not pass the unsafe object, schedule a veterinary appointment immediately.
Safe Chew Toys for Ferrets
There are a variety of safe chew toys and treats available for ferrets. They will satisfy your ferret's need to chew, but are completely edible and easy for your ferret to digest.
Ferret N-Bones Chew Treats
Ferret N-Bones are all-natural ferret chew treats that are high in protein and fat. Completely edible and digestible, these chew treats are a favorite of ferrets everywhere. They have a delicious chicken flavor, and they meet the specific dietary requirements of ferrets.