Ferret Nutrition and Feeding Tips

You’ve decided to add a pocket pet to your family, and you think a ferret will fill the bill nicely. They’re cute, have plenty of personality, and they don’t need to go for walks at 2 a.m. when it’s raining. You’ve learned about ferrets’ habitat and social habits, but finding concrete information on ferrets’ nutritional requirements has been tougher. Your Ludington veterinarian can cut through the information overload and provide you with good, useful advice.

Nutritional requirements

Ferrets are champion snackers, eating 8 to 10 small meals each day to satisfy their high metabolic rate. Since these furry little friends are confirmed carnivores, find them a high-protein food such as specially formulated ferret pellets. Look for lamb or chicken listed as the first ingredient, and stay away from foods that include corn or grain.

Food sources

If you can’t find a satisfactory ferret food locally, ask your vet if you can substitute kitten food along with fatty acid supplements from a pet store. Also, ask your vet if you can combine chicken with the ferret pellets for added protein. Chicken-based baby food might also supplement your ferret’s strict pellet diet. Don’t eliminate the dry food entirely, as the dry kibbles help to clean your ferret’s teeth. Make sure the pellets are shaped into small, smooth chunks or ovals. Triangle-shaped or sharp-edged kibbles can dig at the roof of your ferret’s mouth.

Feeding tips

Your ferret will give your picky eater cat a run for his money. Ferrets prefer to consume only one type of food, so give your furry friend some variety so he doesn’t go on a hunger strike if his favorite brand is no longer available. If you’re transitioning to a new food, slowly mix small amounts of the new food with your old food, until his diet is comprised totally of the new food. This process might take about two weeks.

Treats and warnings

Ferrets love treats as much as cats and dogs. Consider fruits, cooked eggs, and green vegetables. Add turkey, chicken, or lamb for extra protein. As much as your ferret begs, don’t give him ice cream, chocolate, or grains.

If you’ve still got a few ferret feeding questions, your Ludington vet can provide you with specific pointers about your ferret’s diet. After all, if your little buddy is well nourished, he’ll have plenty of energy to play with you.

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