What Ferrets Can And Can’t Eat? (Essential Tips)
The ferret is an essentially carnivorous animal, so its diet is basic, meat must account for more than 90% of its diet, and it must be fresh and free of spoilage.
Ferret keepers usually establish from the beginning a diet for their pet, taking into account which are the preferred foods for the ferret and at the same time guarantee the necessary nutrients for their physical development, without causing them any harm, in addition, it should be taken into account to provide them with a source of clean water accessible at any time.
The average life span of a ferret is 5 to 10 years, during its life journey you should know the different stages of the ferret, because the proper feeding at each stage is different, for example, there are certain foods that a baby ferret should not be supplied because they would cause them harm, when the ferret is born, it weighs less than 50 grams.
At 5 weeks old, the weight has increased to about 180 grams. The ferret at 6 months has basically reached an adult body shape and can tolerate different foods much better.
What can’t ferrets eat?
1. Avoid feeding ferrets’ salted products, salt can easily make them sick, avoid giving them any food that contains a lot of salts, such as crackers and other salt-laden foods.
2. Never feed ferrets fruits, especially those fruits that contain a lot of sugar or glucose, also avoid giving them vegetables, sweet human snacks, etc. Ferrets cannot digest sugar and fiber well.
3. Never feed your ferret dairy products, no matter what they are. Ferrets cannot digest them and do not need them. They can get sick easily and can become dehydrated by vomiting after consuming dairy products.
It is especially contraindicated to give raw fruits and vegetables to domestic ferrets. The domestic ferret does not have a caecum and cannot digest vegetable foods, raw vegetables can clog the ferret’s intestines, also, pet ferrets should not be given any sugary snacks that humans like.
All foods containing a lot of salt, even if they are simple snacks for humans, are not recommended to be fed to ferrets, among these to avoid:
- Potato Chips
And any other processed foods that contain significant amounts of salt, as well as sweet foods and fruits should be avoided as ferret food, for example:
- sweet cookies
- ice cream
- Apples (or any other sweet fruit)
Many of these foods are rich in sugar or glucose in the case of fruits, which can be harmful to the ferret.
Can ferrets eat cooked meat?
The ferret is a demanding carnivore, therefore, it is generally necessary to feed it meat, and to make sure that the food contains more than 34% protein and less than 2% fiber. Young ferrets are best fed with special ferret feed.
Specifically, feed young ferrets cooked chicken, raw chicken meat, chicken heart, cooked eggs, and also cat food or ferret feed.
Buy chicken breast and boil it in water, don’t add anything, just boil the chicken, then cut it into small pieces for the ferret.
You can also buy minced meat and feed it raw to the ferret. But it is better to feed cooked meat because it is easier for him to eat and digest.
Can ferrets eat cat or dog food?
Ferrets will feed well by eating high-quality dry food, in the event that you cannot find ferret specific dry food, you can substitute high-quality cat food, but cats and ferrets have different nutrient requirements, so even if you can give cat food to ferrets, this food does not fully meet the ferret’s dietary needs.
The nutritional content of dog food does not come close to the nutrients that the ferret needs to absorb. If you look at the analysis of the composition of the food in the package bag, it does not meet the ferret’s basic needs.
Ferrets’ main food should be composed mostly of fat and protein, especially animal protein because their digestive and circulatory system is very short, if they only absorb vegetable protein, it is not nutritious.
Can ferrets eat fish or herbs?
Ferrets can eat fish, although most ferrets do not like fish and may reject it, eating fish will make their feces more odorous. Ferret food should contain 30-35% protein and 15-20% fat.
Most plants cannot be absorbed by the ferret’s digestive system. Feeding mink with plants can cause bladder stones, so make sure there are no plants in the food.
Are bananas good for ferrets?
Due to the amount of sugar contained in a banana, it is not a recommended food for ferrets. One large banana has 17 grams of sugar, which is more than twice as much as 1 cup of strawberry slices, which has approximately 8 grams of sugars.
That being said, ferrets can eat low-sugar fruits such as strawberries, raspberries, watermelon, and cantaloupe in moderation.
Watermelon and cantaloupe are more affordable in terms of price, and there is also the added bonus that besides being low-sugar fruits, they are very hydrating.
Avoid feeding corn and carbohydrates to ferrets
The high amount of carbohydrates contained in corn and cereals, as well as fiber, makes it one of the most undeniable foods for ferrets.
This type of food rich in fiber can easily cause intestinal problems in the ferret. In addition, the excess of corn can end up fermenting in the ferret’s stomach, generating a lot of discomfort in its gastrointestinal tract.
Other cereals and foods rich in carbohydrates should also be avoided, such as rice, beans, chickpeas, oatmeal, bread, and flour in general.