Ferrets are one of the most popular pets in America. Unfortunately, many ferret owners don’t know what to feed their furry friends. This can lead to malnutrition and obesity, which can cause a variety of health problems.
This article will cover the important factors that you should consider for your ferret’s diet: protein content, fat content, and carbohydrates.
Ferrets are obligate carnivores which means that they only eat meat. They should not eat any plant matter because it can cause gastrointestinal distress and pancreatic disease which could eventually lead to death
If you have a ferret or plan to get one, you should know what ferrets like to eat. Ferrets are subtle animals. Owners have to be very careful about feeding them so they live a long life..
Can Ferrets Eat Human Food?
It is a bad idea to feed them regular human food like fruits and vegetables. The carbohydrates and vegetable proteins in different fruits and vegetables will make your ferret sick.
What´s the Best Food For My Ferret?
You can feed your ferrets raw meat. We’ll discuss more as we go along.
Ferrets are obligate meat eaters, which means they only eat meat.
You can also feed them eggs occasionally but they need a balanced diet of 32 to 38% protein and 15 to 20% fat.
A frequently asked question is, “What raw meat should I feed my ferret?”. The answer is any kind of raw meat.
For example: raw chicken, turkey liver or gizzard (chicken’s digestive organ), boiled eggs
You can feed it chicken wings if you want. You can also provide rabbits, game birds and turkey necks. Ferrets also like to eat pigeons, minced beef, lamb and its heart.
Ferrets can devour chicken in its raw form and even whole prey, including but not limited to chicks, rats, and mice.
Can Ferrets Eat Bones?
Ferrets will eat raw animal bones. Raw bones are a great source of calcium and help keep your ferret’s teeth clean.
But Raw Meat?
Raw meat might seem disgusting to some people, but for ferrets, raw meat is essential, as it replenishes vitamins and minerals. This helps them meet their nutritional needs and helps them be healthy and live longer lives.
The meat must be fresh and unspoiled. Raw bones are great for teeth
Food must be of good quality. It is better to deal with rodents bought from reputed retailers rather than catch them yourself because they are likely to contain parasites that harm your ferret.
Another option is to feed them cat food that has high levels of protein. However, cat food alone cannot provide the amount of protein that your ferret needs so they should eat other meat-filled foods too.
Are Dry Foods Good for Ferrets?
You can get dry ferret food made specifically for them, such as Burgess, Chudleys, Optima, James Wellbeloved, etc.
Kibbles are part of almost any ferrets diet. Kibbles are easy to store, and have a long shelf life.
When you buy your ferret dried food, make sure it’s rich in protein and low in complex carbohydrates – best would be to buy special ferret foods.
In my opinion the best kibbles for ferrets to eat is James Wellbeloved Ferret Complete Diet.
Sometimes Ferrets Hide Their Food
Sometimes, ferrets will even try to hide some of their food. The owner should be very attentive of their pets’ activities because raw meat can significantly harm your pet if it is eaten stale, as it can cause food poisoning.
How Do Ferrets Digest?
Ferrets have a short intestine that doesn’t let them absorb nutrients as quickly, so their diet should consist of meat-based proteins and fats since these are easy to digest and provide a lot of energy.
On the other hand, fruits and vegetables are packed with complex carbohydrates and high fiber, which are hard for ferrets to digest. They are also low in nutrients and are a risk to ferrets.
Ferrets have a short intestine but a high metabolic rate, so they should be eating frequently but small amounts at a time.
What Not to Feed to Your Ferret
You should also know what to avoid feeding your ferret. As previously stated, fruits and vegetables shouldn’t be a big part of their diet.
They cannot digest fiber and complex carbohydrates because they don’t have cecum.
Cecum is a part of the digestive tract that aids in the digestion of complex carbohydrates.
A high carbohydrate diet can also cause the formation of excess glucose in your ferret’s blood, which can lead to the cancer of beta cells in the pancreas called insulinoma.
Fruits and vegetables like apples, blackberries, lentils, peas, pigeon beans, pink beans, lima beans, pinto beans, raspberry spinach, small white beans, wing beans, etc., are not suitable to eat for your ferret.
They contain vegetable protein, which in excess leads to diseases such as bladder stones, ulcers, and gastroenteritis. It can also affect reproduction and cause slow growth in ferrets.
Others foods you shouldn’t give your ferret are bananas, blueberries, broccoli, green beans, guavas, kiwifruit, onions, raisins, rice, salt, chocolate, etc.
You should maintain a proper diet for your ferret starting from their tender years. As they grow older, it is hard to change their eating habits.
Feed Different Foods When They Are Young
It is a good idea to experiment with lots of different foods and see which ones they like. Ferrets should also occasionally eat soft food, so they don’t have trouble eating when ill.
You can give your ferret tap water but make sure it isn’t high in chlorine. You can filter your tap water to reduce the amount of chlorine.
Water is essential for your ferret because it prevents dehydration.
What Else can I Feed My Ferret?
Ferrets can eat raw and cooked eggs, but only once in a while. One or two eggs a week is enough for them.
Fish can be eaten by ferrets, but keep in mind that fish is not a natural part of their diet.
Food should be eaten in small quantities to avoid filling them up too much, as this can cause problems with their small intestinal tract.
Ferrets also like to eat rabbits, so you have to be careful if you own both of them. Ferrets cannot eat nuts, because the complex carbohydrates in them make them sick.
You should not feed your ferret plant-based protein or low-quality cat food as they can form urinary tract stones. These stones are common in ferrets that are three to seven years old.
Sometimes your ferret may suffer from urinary tract stones. They are caused by a compound called calcium oxalate, which can cause a lot of pain to the ferret.
The list is endless. Research the food before you feed it to your ferret. You shouldn’t give it something because it looks cute.
Feed your ferret only what is right for their body and overall well-being.
With the right diet, care and love, your ferret will live a healthy and long life.
This blog post has a lot of great information for ferret owners. The first thing I would recommend is checking with your vet before changing the diet and care regimen, as it can be very dangerous to do so without professional guidance on how much food you should give them in relation some other factor like weight or age.
A lot of foods are relatively easy to prepare for your ferret, but you should make sure to research the food before giving it them. The list of things that can be bad for your ferret is long and what may seem harmless could have disastrous effects on their health, so always check!