How Important is a Proper Diet For Your Pet Ferret?

The lifespan of a ferret is highly dependent on the nature of their diets. Being carnivorous creatures, ferret’s need to consume high protein with very little fiber. It was only in recent years, about the late 80s, that high end feline food ceased to be the sole choice for decent ferret nutrition. While these foods remain as good choices for ferrets, the growing market demand for ferret specific food prompted the production of food with the optimal mix of fat and carbohydrate. The unique physical characteristics of the ferret call for this specific mix in order to maximize its lifespan. This type of food is critical for kits to ensure their proper development. Check the labels when you are purchasing these foods, making sure that protein is in the 35 to 40 percent level and 18 to 30 percent fat along with 2 percent fiber. There should be 21 amino acids coupled with an ash level that is less than 7 percent and quality carb ingratiates like brewers yeast and rice flower. Keep in mind that improperly processed fish can find its way into your ferrets food and this may result in the refusal of the ferret to eat. Ferrets can be very picky about their food, sometimes preferring to starve when faced with food that does not appeal to them. While the better brands of ferret food cost more than high quality feline food, remember that ferrets eat much less so total cost may be lower than expected. Moreover, supplements are generally not needed when the ferrets diet is optimal.

The caloric requirements of the ferret call for a minimum of two meals a day. Be aware though that being small creatures, ferrets require equally small portions. When using moist food for ferrets, do not leave it there beyond 45 minutes. It should be discarded soon after. It may be advantageous to try a diet based on dry pellets since they last longer allowing you to leave them in the cage for a day. They also assist in improving the ferrets oral hygiene by assisting in teeth cleaning. Note that when ferrets are fed dry food, it is essential for them to always have access to fresh water. For ferrets, water dishes are preferred over water bottles but ensure that the water stays pure by changing the dish water several times a day.

Treats for ferrets, while not necessary, are excellent tools that can be employed to housebreak a ferret. Cooked meat and eggs are popular snack choices. Steer clear of high sugar foods such as candy, fruits, milk and other dairy products as well as nuts. Any of these foods could create problems with your ferret’s nutrition including obesity, tooth decay, malnutrition, insulonima, hypoglycemia and even intestinal blockage. Treats must be used sparingly because too much of them can disturb the regular diet of your pet. Avoid vegetables and grains because the ferret cannot digest them. Remember that onions can poison your ferret.

Correct nutrition is a prerequisite for your ferret’s good health. Aside from ensuring the happiness and comfort of your pet, it reduces or eliminates risks of coming down with potentially deadly diseases. Ferrets elicit lots of affection and love from their owners through their behavior. Providing them with an optimal diet that will maximize their lives is one of the best ways to love them back.

By Laura