October 21, 2009
Feed your ferret well!
Ferrets can make great pets, but most people probably don’t know what they eat. Here's some insight into what to feed your ferret to keep him healthy.
Protein and fat
Ferrets are obligate carnivores and their good health depends on a quality ferret diet that contains at least 34 percent animal meat protein and 22 percent fat.
Cat and dog foods are not appropriate. Snacks, such as chicken or turkey, are recommended.
What not to feed
Vegetables should be avoided because they are difficult to digest and may cause choking or gastrointestinal blockages.
Fruits should not be given because they contain fructose and sugars that have been shown to exacerbate insulinoma conditions. Egg whites (albumin) and raw onion can lead to hemolytic anemia. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration cautions against giving ferrets any food or candy containing Xylitol.
The dish on bowls
Opt for a ceramic food dish rather than a plastic one. Ceramic dishes are sturdy, chew-resistant, and difficult to overturn. They're also durable and shouldn’t need to be replaced unless they become cracked or chipped.
Place the food bowl in an area of the cage that’s far away from your ferret's bathroom area.
Spot clean your ferret's food bowl as needed throughout the week if he kicks bedding or droppings into it. Wash the bowl with soapy water and rinse and dry thoroughly during the weekly cage cleaning.
Keeping it fresh
The steady amount of food your ferret's diet means that you need to be conscientious about removing perishable foods before they spoil. Check for untouched or unfinished food or treats an hour or so after they've been offered to your ferret.