World Ferret Day is tomorrow! Just like any other pet, these little furballs need good nutrition to stay healthy. There are some definite do’s and don’ts to feeding ferrets, so it’s important to do plenty of research here. A local Fort Myers, FL vet offers some advice on this topic below.
Ferrets are carnivores, so they need meat-based, high-protein diets that are low in fiber and carbs. Commercial ferret food is going to be your best bet here, though high-quality kitten food may be a suitable alternative, though you may need to add fatty acid supplements. If buying commercial food, check the label and make sure that suitable meats, such as chicken, turkey, or lamb, are listed first and most often on the label.
Ferrets enjoy gnawing on bones, but you should never give your tiny friend cooked bones, as they can break into dangerously sharp shards. Only offer raw, human-grade bones. Ask your vet for specific advice on this.
Ferrets are nibblers, and need several small meals every day rather than a few big ones. Opt for between 8 and 10 mini-meals. Your furry buddy should also have fresh water available 24/7. (Tip: get a sturdy bowl, something your ferret can’t knock over.)
It’s also important to know what not to give your ferret. Grains, such as grain or corn, are on that no-no list, as are fruits and veggies, ice cream, chocolate, rice, salt, nuts, milk and other dairy products, peanut butter, alcohol, and anything that contains xylitol. Fish should also be limited. Ask your vet for more information.
Just like any other pet, ferrets love treats. You can offer small amounts of cooked meat, such as chicken or turkey. Cat treats are also okay, but do not give your little buddy dog treats. Duck soup—which, in the ferret world, doesn’t actually have to contain duck—is also a favorite. However, it’s quite caloric, so should be fed sparingly. Ask your vet for specific advice.
Ferrets can get quite fussy. In fact, they can become so fixated on a favorite food that they refuse anything else. This can be dangerous, as if your cute pet’s preferred food is ever discontinued, you’ll be in a bind. Offer different things from the start.
Do you have questions about ferret care? Contact us, your Fort Myers, FL animal clinic, today!