Feeding Your Ferret
The nutrition you provide your ferret is hugely important – food provides the building blocks for everything that happens in your ferret’s body.
More about feeding your ferret
How much a ferret needs to eat depends on:
- Activity level
- Reproductive status
- Health status
- Base diet
Usually free-feeding is best for ferrets, but you may find you need to restrict their daily intake if they are becoming overweight.
Ferrets are well designed to digest fats and protein, but struggle with carbohydrates. A lot of sugar has also been potentially implicated in the development of insulinomas in ferrets. This means sugar is off the menu.
- Vegetables - especially hard vegetables such as carrot, which can also block their digestive tract, and avocado. which is poisonous to ferrets.
- Fruit - These are very high in sugar. Grapes/raisins are also toxic to ferrets.
- Dairy - As well as being high in sugar, ferrets lack the enzyme required to digest dairy products.
- Sugary treats - If you want to give treats use ferret or cat treats, or use fresh meat or cooked egg. Some meat-based dog treats may be suitable, but many are carbohydrate-heavy and can upset ferret digestion.
- Chocolate - As well as being high sugar, chocolate is toxic to ferrets.
Other items that should also be avoided in ferrets are:
- Cooked bones - These can splinter and seriously damage your ferret's digestive tract.
- Dog and adult cat food - These do not contain enough protein for ferrets.
- Xylitol - This sugar-substitute is also toxic for ferrets, so don't assume something low-sugar is safe for ferrets.