Not everyone knows for sure what ferrets eat since they are not exactly the most common pets. In fact, sometimes it can be difficult to find information about them.
Therefore, in this article, you will know everything you need to know to take care of the diet of this exotic pet.
The first thing you have to know is that, in essence, the characteristics of good food for ferrets are the following:
- 20% fat.
- 35% protein.
- Low fiber levels.
Ferrets are carnivorous animals, just like cats. They eat a protein of animal origin and their body allows them to digest a high amount of carbohydrates without problems. This is precisely why you should completely discard dog food when deciding to feed your ferret.
House feeding of a domestic ferret
Regarding what ferrets eat at home, it must be said that currently, it will be easier for you than a few years ago to feed this pet since various feeds specifically formulated to nourish these animals have been created.
It is recommended that if you decide to feed a domestic ferret with this kind of feed, you check the percentage of each nutrient on the container since in this way you will be able to measure its quality. Keep in mind that foods are ordered in descending order, starting with the ingredients with the highest concentration.
The best feed is those whose first three ingredients are of animal origin. It is not bad that a feed also has foods of plant origin (such as corn), but it is important that when they are present it is in low quantities.
It is essential that you check that the fiber percentage does not exceed 3%. The amount of fiber in the diet of ferrets should be as low as possible, since they have problems digesting it, and excessive consumption could make them sick.
You must make sure that among the first ingredients of the feed there are no foods rich in fiber, such as rice, vegetables, or fruits. These ingredients can only be tolerated when they are in the fourth or fifth place on the list. It should be noted that you should never feed your ferret fruits or vegetables.
If for some reason you cannot find feed for ferrets, you can use baby cat feed as an alternative and supplement it with a supplement rich in vitamins and fatty acids. The cat foods that you select should be high-end since the cheapest ones do not have a lot of protein and fat.
An alternative option is fox and mink food. However, in some places, they can be very difficult to find and are almost always sold in fairly large bags.
With regard to what you could use as a supplement for your ferret’s diet, the most recommended is cooked meat. You should avoid raw meat, as it could have parasites and bacteria that are harmful to the ferret. You can also give it skin, liver, heart, fat, and chicken, but always after they have been cooked.
You can let the ferret nibble a bit on the bones, but not the bird bones, as they are the most prone to splintering and could cause injury to the ferret’s digestive tract.
You must make sure that your ferret always has a bowl of fresh water and another of food 24 hours a day. Ferrets are not used to eating a full bowl at one time, instead, they eat small portions throughout the day.
Due to this, you must dedicate an extra effort to check that the feed is always in good condition since it is a food that spoils very quickly.
And since not everything is food, remember that your ferret has to rest well so that it is healthy and has energy.
Knowing what ferrets eat is very important, but it is even more important to know what are the prohibited foods for this pet since an improper diet can cause their health to be seriously affected.
When you go to feed your ferret, keep the following in mind:
- They cannot consume fresh or raw fish, since this food contains an enzyme called thiaminase that eliminates thiamine.
- They do not tolerate lactose, so they cannot drink milk.
- Although they can consume feed with very low amounts of corn, they should not be fed pure corn.
- The onion should be avoided, as it can cause anemia.
- They should never eat raw meat.
- They cannot digest seasonings.
- Avoid feeding them bones due to the risk of internal injury from splinters. You can only allow him to take small bites of non-bird bones.
- They cannot eat any kind of sweets as they can affect their dental health and lead to diabetes.
- The consumption of chocolate should especially be avoided, as it can cause your ferret to comatose, heart attacks, and diarrhea.