A Ferret Diet That Won’t Tolerate Frozen Fish
If you want to give your ferret the best care possible, giving him an actual ferret diet is important. In times past, people have used cat food, especially high quality cat food. This has worked just fine, but today you can get food that’s actually built for the optimal ferret diet.
There’s no doubt that it’s cheaper to use cat food. However, these little guy sleep most of the day. And when they’re away and not playing, they don’t really eat that much. In the end, you’ll wind up spending less to feed a ferret than you would a cat anyway. Plus, if you give them quality food, you won’t need to lean on supplements. You’ll still likely want to give them treats. But you should have a healthier animal all around.
I want to share some thing to keep in mind when thinking through a well-rounded ferret diet. First, these guys are carnivores, so they want meat. However, they can do well with less fiber and a smaller carbohydrate intake. Also, it’s a good idea to avoid food made with frozen meats, like some unsatisfactorily processed fish. Even if you do not have a very picky eater, getting the combination of ingredients in your ferret diet is what will help them live as long as possible.
The protein and fat level is what distinguishes many cat foods from a proper ferret diet. Ideal protein is about 35-40% and proper fat content is in the low 20’s up to about 30%. Two percent fiber is good. In a perfect world, you’d be looking for approximately 21 amino acids and 7% or so ash. Carbohydrates can come from rice flower and brewer’s yeast. Understand this is the ultimate ferret diet, but the availability of commercial foods makes it quite easy.
Mastering the proper ferret diet isn’t just about what to feed. As for scheduling, it’s a good idea to feed 2 or more times a day so you spread their calorie intake. If you feed a moist food, or wet dry food, then you don’t want to leave the portion out for longer than an hour. By contrast, dry pellets keep just fine and can be left in the cage all the time if you prefer free-feeding. The dry food does have the added advantage of helping keep their teeth clean. And, as with any captive animal, one of the most important things is that they have access to clean, fresh water. This is especially true if you make dry food the centerpiece of the ferret diet.
Earlier I mentioned treats, and it’s a good idea to figure out how snacks factor in to the ideal ferret diet. Again, with healthy food choices, you will not need supplements. However, treats are still not only fun, but also useful for things such as litter box training. When it comes to treats, I would keep the healthy theme as you build upon your ferret diet. They actually love meat, of course, as well as cooked eggs. Just be sure to avoid sugary and other foods, like candy, fruits, nuts, and dairy products. These items can plague their digestive system. On top of that, they could end up with hypoglycemia, diarrhea, obesity, and they could even become food snobs and reject the healthy meals you try to dish up. You may be surprised to learn that you should also stay away from grains and vegetables. Purchasing healthy treats, along with the core ferret diet, will keep you safe.