Ferrets need to eat meat in order to live because of the fact that they are obligate carnivores. This is the reason why their diet must consist of mainly meat products. Furthermore, ferrets are born with a very short and tiny digestive tract, which make them unable to digest plant-based food items properly. This unique diet makes their diet very tricky especially when located in areas that are mostly dependent on agricultural products. To keep your pet ferret healthy and happy, you must follow a strict diet when you feed your ferrets. Below are food items that can pose health issues to your ferret when given.
Feed Your Ferrets Raw Meat
Although they are carnivores, it is still important to have a varied diet. In the wild, ferrets will not only consume the meat of various preys, but they will also eat the bones, skin and internal organs. These other food items provide them with other sources of essential nutrients that they need to achieve a well-balanced diet.
When domesticated, ferrets will often have no choice but to eat pure meat. The problem is most owners think that giving raw meat is healthy and enough to sustain ferret’s daily nutritional requirement. However, raw meat may be more harmful than healthy because sometimes, uncooked meat is infected with parasites and bacteria that can wreak havoc on a ferret’s health.
To prevent this issue, make sure to provide fresh and cooked meat. Using the proper level of heat will easily kill any bacteria and parasites that can cause infection and other health issues.
Some Types of Cat Food
With regards to cat food, many ferret experts believe that it is better than dog food. Still, it does not provide the proper nutrition that is required by ferrets. But when there is no other alternative, it is better to feed cat food while making sure to buy only the highest quality brand.
Foods Not to Feed Your Ferrets
Plant Based Products
Probably one of the worst things about ferrets is their inability to digest and take advantage of the healthy things that plant-based products like fruits and vegetable can provide. As stated earlier, due to their unique digestive system, ferrets are unable to digest plant products. Thus all nutritional benefits are lost. They are unable to produce cecum, the substance responsible for breaking down the fibers in plants.
Furthermore, when excessive amounts of fruits and vegetables are consumed, there is a high chance that your ferret will develop various health problems such as diarrhea, indigestion and loose bowel movement. It may also develop malnutrition because even though it consumes loads of healthy plant-based products, all nutritional benefits are just wasted.
Other food items that you must avoid to feed your ferrets include milk, ice cream, soya and other dairy products. This is because ferrets are lactose intolerant, which means that consumption of dairy products will likely lead to diarrhea, constipation, and LBM. Although some owners give eggs from time to time, it must be boiled or poached without any trace of salt.
There are cases wherein ferrets are domesticated side by side with other common house pets such as dogs and cats. During instances when there is no meat available, some owners will turn to cat or dog foods as an alternative source of nutrition. Unfortunately, doing this diet switch can be more harmful than ingenious.
Most dog foods have a higher amount of vegetable protein than animal protein, which already makes it a non-suitable nutritional source for ferrets. In addition, most dog food brands do not include essential elements such as Taurine in their mixture. These vital nutrients are essential in keeping your ferret’s overall health.
Other Foods to Avoid
Other food items that must be avoided include onions, tomato skins, and potatoes. Aside from having the high chance of making your ferret sick, these foods can also further complicate any existing health conditions such as heart problems.
How will you cope up with this extra special diet especially when you working on a tight budget? Clearly, prices of meat are way higher than plant-based products, making it a challenge to provide proper food supply on a tight budget. Fortunately, there are effective diet alternatives that will save both time and money. All you need to do is be creative and find ways to keep your pet healthy and happy.