Ask the Vets Pets
A weekly column about pet health care Home
Pet Care Information About us Search
DOGS
CATS
OTHER PETS
IMPORTANT INFO
PET OF THE MONTH
LINKS
 
CONTACT US
2008-35

Dear FRANK B. FERRET

What should I feed my new ferret? The pet supply store sells ferret food, but a friend recommended I feed kitten food.

FRANK Responds

We ferrets are carnivores, so we need a diet high in protein and fat, but low in fiber.

Ferret and kitten foods both meet this nutrient profile.

Look for food that is 30 to 40 percent protein, and make sure most or all of the protein comes from animals, not plants. Animal protein is easier for us ferrets to digest, and the quality better meets our needs.

Our food should be 18 to 30 percent fat. Insufficient fat in the diet produces dry, brittle hair and itchy skin.

If the best food you can find has less than 22 percent fat, add a fatty acid supplement, such as Ferotone or Linotone.

I prefer dry ferret food, because it keeps my teeth cleaner than canned food. Additionally, it’s more calorie dense than canned food, which is 80 percent water, so it helps me maintain my weight.

Because food travels through ferret digestive tracts in only three to four hours, we need to eat frequently. If you make dry food freely available, we eat nine or 10 small meals daily.

You should restrict sugary treats, which stress the pancreas, and cereal grains, like corn, because they can give rise to urinary stones.

My favorite snacks are protein-based, like meat scraps, meat baby food and liver- or fish-flavored cat treats.

back to index

  Contact Us