Feeding ferrets a nutritious, well-balanced diet can go a long way to keeping them active, happy and healthy. Because ferrets are carnivores, their diets should generally be high in proteins and fats while being low in carbohydrates, sugars and fiber.
What Ferrets Can Eat: Good Food for Ferrets
Great sources of protein for ferrets include:
- Whole organ sources from chickens, such as livers, gizzards and spleens
Ferrets can get this protein from natural, raw food sources, as well as from dry and/or wet foods that have been specially formulated for ferrets. Regardless of the type of food you give to your ferret (raw, natural, wet or dry food), it’s important that ferret food is easy to digest .
Here, it’s also important to understand that:
- Ferrets tend to digest their food relatively quickly – This is because ferrets have fast metabolisms, with their digestive cycles usually lasting about 3 to 4 hours (from eating food to expelling feces). So, ferrets may need to feed every 3 to 4 hours.
- Different ferrets may have special or unique nutritional needs, based on their age, health status and activity levels – For example, older ferrets may need diets that are lower in calories. In contrast, young ferrets – as well as show ferrets and sick ferrets – can have different (and specific) nutritional needs, with some possibly even needing vitamin and mineral supplements to promote optimal health (and performance).
Diet & Recipe for Sick Ferrets
When ferrets are ill or are recovering from surgery, they may need special diets (and medications or other special care) to heal.
Please consult your vet regarding special food and dietary needs for sick ferrets.
Bad Foods for Ferrets
What you are NOT feeding your ferret can be just as important as what you are feeding your ferret. Some of the foods that you should avoid feeding ferrets include:
- Fruits or vegetables – Produce can be high in sugars and/or carbohydrates, possibly causing ferrets to develop health problems. Also, some vegetables (like carrots, for instance) can be too hard and fibrous for ferrets to digest (increasing the risk of intestinal blockages).
- Grains or breads – Foods that are high in carbohydrates do not provide health benefits to ferrets and can be difficult for them to process.
- Chocolate – The sugar and caffeine in chocolate is not safe or healthy for ferrets.
- Dairy products – Milk, cheeses, ice cream and other dairy products are also generally not healthy for ferrets because ferrets can’t digest lactose. This means that dairy products can cause ferrets to develop diarrhea, dehydration, upset stomachs and other health issues.
- Adult dog or cat food – These foods are not specially formulated for ferrets, and they can contain too much fiber (which ferrets cannot digest).
- Cooked bones – Although raw bones can be fine to give to ferrets, cooked ones are not because they can be especially hard and indigestible. Additionally, the way that cooked bones can fragment and form sharp edges can make them particularly dangerous (possibly harming ferrets’ internal organs during digestion).
Get the Best Food & Supplements for Your Ferret: Contact Totally Ferret
Totally Ferret offers the most nutritionally complete and balanced ferret food (and supplements) on the market!
Our friendly, knowledgeable pros are ready to speak to you about your ferrets’ needs to help you select the best food and supplements for them.
Simply call us at (303) 410-1101 or (877) 545-5462. You can also email us via the contact form on this page. Our standard business hours are 7:30 am to 3:30 pm (Monday through Thursday) and 7:30 am to noon (Friday), Mountain Time.
If you reach our voicemail during business hours, please leave us a message, including your contact information, so that we can get back to you as quickly as possible. We promptly respond to all calls, voicemails, emails and other inquiries.
Based in Broomfield, Colorado, Totally Ferret is a division of Performance Foods. We ship orders to every state in the U.S., as well as various countries across the world.