What to Feed your Ferret

How to feed a ferret a nutritionally balanced diet.

Ferrets are carnivores, many pet owners are not aware that ferrets cannot live without meat. These pets suffer from health complications because of the unbalanced nutritional diet.

Nutrition is an important aspect for properly caring for this pet. A ferrets life span can range anywhere between six to ten years. The healthier the pet the greater chance for longevity.

Here is a food guide to help support healthy eating habits for ferrets.

Ferret food- pet owners should buy ferret food that contains at least 35% protein and 20% fat and less than 3% fiber. The main ingredient should be poultry. A ferret should be kept on a high-protein diet, high-fat diet, and a low fiber diet. Ferrets have a tough time digesting fiber. The high protein and high fat diet enables ferrets to have less waste, more energy, softer fur. An overall healthy pet. Kits (baby ferrets) should be given moist ferret food with meat being the main ingredient. The moist food helps the ferret digest its food a lot easier.

Dry cat food- pellets are low in fiber, high in energy, and high in protein. Dry food is better for ferrets teeth because it does not cause plaque build-up. The dry food also contains little or no dairy which is disruptive to a ferrets digestive tract.

Carbohydrates- rice, corn, and soybeans are foods that help bind the food together. Carbohydrates should not be used as the main meal.

Supplemental vitamins- A, D and E are essential for the ferrets body to metabolize the food that had been eaten. Vitamin C is essential for preventing a disease called scurvy.

Fresh water- Ferrets should have access to fresh water daily. If a ferret does not have water for 24 hours, the ferret will stop eating altogether.

Just as a nutritionally balanced diet can help prolong a ferrets life span, an unbalanced diet can lead to future health complications.

Here is a guide on what not to feed a ferret and why.

Food/snacks to avoid:

marshmallows

potato chips

peanut butter

ice cream

soft drinks

nuts

dairy

seeds

coffee

tea

fruit

raisins

chocolate

salty foods

egg whites

A ferret who has been fed unhealthy foods from the items above, risk obesity, tooth decay, hypoglycemia, and digestive problems.

A pet owner who feeds a ferret a balanced meal will increase the pets chances of living up to its maximum life span.

Resources:

http://www.ddfl.org/behavior/ferrets.pdf

http://www.weaselwords.com/page/ferret_art010.php