What You Need to Know About Your Ferret’s Diet
Developing a proper ferret diet for your pet is possibly the most integral part of keeping and rearing a ferret. Since your pet will rely solely on you to provide for food, it is imperative that you understand and learn what you need to know about their specific dietary needs diets and eating patterns.
By nature these animals are obligate carnivores, meaning that they primarily eat meat and meat byproducts. Hence, the typical ferret diet should be a reflection of the fact that they are unable to derive nutrition from plants and instead they are to receive their quota of protein from meat. Speaking of protein, you should know that any ferret diet should have high amounts of protein – at least 30 to 40 percent. Similarly, the diet also needs to be high in fat. Conversely though the ferret diet needs to have minimal quantities of fiber and carbohydrates.
An issue that is bound to arise is that of your pet’s apparent and constant need to eat. Since they boast high metabolisms and a very fast acting digestive system, they need to eat as regularly as every three to four hours. It is for this reason that you might want to think about leaving food on a permanent basis in your their food tray. For this task, dry fruits usually serve the best purpose as there is no risk of the dry fruits rotting or going stale.
Don’t be too concerned though about your pet overeating, note that this is usually not the case since ferrets generally eat only as much as they need. However, if your little fur ball starts to look like a bigger fur ball or for some reason begins to put on excessive weight, make an appointment with a veterinarian as he/she will be able decipher whether there is a weight problem is due to an illness or overeating. If it is concluded that your ferret’s weight increase is actually the result of overeating, then you need to incorporate an exercise routine into your pet’s average day. Remember though that you should never overdo the exercises as the aim of the exercises is not to completely exhaust the animal, but rather to bring it back into shape. Meanwhile, also make it a point to ensure that your ferret has constant access to clean drinking water as this is a vital part of any ferret diet.
It is also very important that you try to avoid giving your ferret too many treats. These treats usually contain very high amounts of vitamins and fatty oils that over time can prove to be lethal if overdone. Therefore, if you give treats, give them on a one-off basis as part of your pet’s positive reinforcement training. Similarly, make sure that the ferret diet you decide on does not contain foods such as marshmallows, peanut butter, sodas, or potato chips as all of these items can again do serious damage to your ferret’s health.
If you are having trouble figuring out what to use as treats then the best and safest option is to go to your local pet store and buy commercially packaged ferret or cat treats. Alternatively, know that you can also give them cooked eggs or cooked meats but remember to do so with great discretion.