Ferret Well-being: Feeding them Right

Ferrets are active and always on the move. With their seemingly unlimited supply of energy, healthy food to keep them active is a must for proper ferret well-being. However, picking the right food can sometimes be tricky. Knowing what and what not to feed your ferret pet will be crucial in ensuring a healthy and long life.

Either living in the wild or kept indoor as a family pet, a ferret will naturally explore its surroundings and beg for human interaction. With all these activities, it needs constant supply of energy, which will only be realized if proper food is given. Known to have a very fast metabolism and digest food quicker than other animals, a perfect food choice is meat.

ferret well being

Photo: Jamie | Flickr

Ferrets are carnivores

Being a carnivore, ferret’s daily diet must include meat and meat based products. Small pieces of chicken meat or beef will give it enough supply of energy throughout the day. Meat given must be fresh and clean to avoid health risks such as diarrhea and irregular bowel movement. Another important thing is to make sure that the meat does not contain any small bones that might harm its stomach and digestive system. Due to the fact that ferrets have the tendency to chew and swallow even hard objects, tiny and sharp meat bone is just an accident waiting to happen. To avoid bacteria formation, the meat must also be cooked. Ferrets are susceptible to various kinds of bacterial diseases so cooked meat is recommended to minimize the risk.

Vital Nutrients for Ferret Well-being

Unable to get vital nutrients from plant based foods, your pet ferret needs to consume meat products that will give it enough protein, fat, fiber and carbohydrates for your ferret regular balanced diet.

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As stated earlier, ferret digests food faster, which means that it eats small amounts but in regular intervals. Ferret well-being experts suggest that giving it food with 3 to 4 hours interval is the best way to keep up with its fast metabolism. If this interval is not followed, two things will probably happen – malnutrition or overeating. After being active and burning energy for several hours, your pet ferret needs to replenish calories in order to stay active throughout the day. If not given food on time, it will display signs of low energy and decreased eagerness to participate in any activity.

On the other hand, always leaving food in its cage for constant access might result to overeating. Although a ferret does not generally consume what it needs, eating more than what it should which can eventually result into weight problems must be avoided. To be on the safe side, never give your ferret pet constant access to food. However, if your pet becomes overweight despite all your efforts to maintain proper diet, bring it to a veterinarian for a general checkup. Aside from improper nutrition, overweight issues may be a symptom of other serious health conditions for.

Although a carnivore, ferret can also be given fruits from time to time. Aside from being nutritious, fruits will minimize overweight issues while giving steady supply of energy. However, you must only feed fruits that are fresh and has low sugar content. In addition, fruits are considered the best alternative to meat because fruits take longer time to rot or stale and are cheaper compared to meat based products.

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Ferret training is a regular part of your pet’s daily activities for ferret well-being. As a reward or prize for properly following an order or successfully doing a trick, ferret treats are usually given. However, these ferret treats are loaded with fatty oils and other ingredients that can pose various health issues when consumed excessively. Furthermore, these treats often contain lots of sugar, disrupt proper eating pattern, and can cause indigestion. Clearly, these treats must never be a part of your pet’s regular food intake and only be given in small amounts during training sessions.

In addition to all these foods, another vital part of a ferret’s diet is clean and fresh water, which must be constantly accessible. Aside from helping in blood circulation, clean water also promotes better digestion specially after consuming meat products. It is advised to use a shallow water container that is placed a few feet away from your ferret’s litter box.

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