Ferrets require a high protein diet and plenty of fresh water. Protein levels should be at least 33%. The protein should also come primarily from chicken or poultry. Steer clear of food that lists fish meal as its first, second or third ingredient. Ferrets are not big fish eaters. Minks are. Many so-called ferret foods are nothing more than an adaptation of mink feed. This is not acceptable for ferrets.
When purchasing look for products that have at least 35- 40% protein and 18-30% fat, 2% fiber, need to contain 21 amino acids, less than 7.0 % ash level, and good carbohydrate ingratiates such as rice flower or brewer’s yeast. Also, take into consideration some ferret foods are made with poorly processed frozen fish, and your ferret will not eat it. Some ferrets are so finicky they will refuse to the point of starvation. High quality ferret food is usually more expensive than higher quality cat food, but ferrets eat minimal amounts of the food, which brings down the overall cost. Ferrets that are feed with healthy diets do not need to take supplements.
Ferrets also can be given meats such as turkey cold cuts. Many ferrets will not even try real meat. They can also be given moderate amount of cereals and grains and some fruits and vegetable like, raisins, banana slices, bean sprouts, bland Cheerios, goats milk and cooked egg. Ferret do not digest vegetables or grains well and onions are poisonous to ferrets.
What one ferret may love another may turn up her nose to. Their diet should also be supplemented with vitamins such as Ferretone or Ferretvite by 8 in 1 products. Remember that treats are just that, treats, and ferrets should be given them in very small amounts only.
Ferrets eat many small meals a day due to their short digestive tracts. There should always be a supply of food in a bowl for them to eat on their own schedule. Feeding them dry food helps keep their teeth in excellent condition. Canned food tends to go bad too quickly for the feeding habits of ferrets.
Ferrets should never be given any chocolate as you will find your ferret vomiting violently all night or perhaps dead. Chocolate is very toxic to ferrets. They are also lactose-intolerant, so do not feed them milk, ice cream, cheese or other dairy products, no matter how much they beg. Ferrets can ingest goat’s milk since it contains little lactose. Things made from goats milk should be fine for your ferret. Do not feed your ferret dog food or sugary sweets.
A ferret has to eat at least twice a day in order to gain the calories needed to sustain a healthy life. Remember ferrets are small animals so their portions should be small too. If they are fed a moist ferret diet the food is only good for about forty five minutes, soon after the food should be removed. You might also want to consider a dry pellet diet. A dry pellet diet is longer lasting and can be left in the cage all day. Dry pellets also help to clean the ferret’s teeth. Ferrets on dry diets must have fresh water all the time. Ferrets prefer to drink from a dish rather than a water bottle, but if water is given in a dish it should be changed a few times a day to ensure purity.
Giving your ferret treats in not a necessity, but can be useful with housebreaking your ferret. Cooked eggs and meats are the best choice of snack. Avoid fruits they are high in sugar, candy, dairy products such as ice cream and milk, nuts and nut products; these products will cause nutritional problems. Some health problems include malnutrition, obesity, tooth decay, diarrhea, intestinal blockage, insulinoma, and hypoglycemia. Treats may also cause your ferret to refuse its normal daily diet, so use treats sparingly.