Ferrets have a really fast metabolism, which means they burn food very quickly – lucky devils! Therefore, they need to eat every 3-4 hours.
Unlike humans, ferrets have great control and will only eat enough to meet their needs – you’ve probably never seen an obese ferret. So you don’t need to worry about constant access to good quality food. However, if your ferret is gaining too much weight, visit a vet because there may be an underlying medical problem.
What to feed your ferret
Dry food is your best bet for regular food as it can be left out all the time without spoiling. You can give him canned ferret food as a treat or supplement, but only occasionally.
The basic requirements you should base your ferret’s meal plans on are:
Low in Carbohydrates and Fibre – less than 3% is ideal
Make sure the protein is high quality, easily digestible and animal based; not plant protein. Do not give your ferret meals with protein by-products, as opposed to meat. This is the stuff that doesn’t even make it into our foods, so is definitely not good enough for your furry friend.
A great source of protein is eggs, hard boiled or scrambled will do just fine.
Although some fish, such as salmon, is an excellent source of fat for your ferret, don’t give it to him too often. It will make their litter box pretty smelly!
A word on cat food
Many people have the tendency to feed their ferret dry cat or kitten food. If you can help it, don’t. But if you must, then make sure it is the premium food, high in protein. Avoid generic or grocery store brands at all costs. These are usually very poor for ferrets.
As the saying goes ‘everything in moderation’ and this definitely applies to treats for your ferret.
When it’s time for a treat, there are a few favourites. Ferrets are partial to hairball remedies, which also make good training aids, so they’re a good choice. As well as this, bits of cooked meats or freeze dried liver treats are ideal. Ferrets have a sweet tooth too, but don’t give in. Avoid sweet treats, including raisins and other fruits.