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Ferret Diet

Ferret Diet

Ferrets and weasels are part of the same carnivorous family and therefore have a very specialized diet in comparison to other household pets.

There is a specific dietary requirement of proteins, fat, and carbohydrates that the ferret needs and that powers this animal’s extremely hyperactive behavior. In a natural environment, a diet for ferret would consist almost completely of meat and that too raw meat. Fiber is a constituent of the animal’s diet but this is the least important part of the animal’s diet as well; reflecting years of evolutionary specialization to one type of diet.

Some pet stores and websites will actually offer you a ferret food chart to make the calculation of the ferret’s food intake a lot easier. This is important if you are not feeding ferret diet food to your pet and are instead going the natural way. However, for the dietary fiber constituent, you might have to indulge in dietary supplements or pellet type food.

Carbohydrates should not be fed in abundance to the animal despite its high activity levels. This can cause a condition called insulinoma. Ferret insulinoma is a type of pancreatic cancer that specifically targets the beta-cells of the pancreas that produce insulin. This means that despite the animal’s insistence on having sweet treats, you must refrain from feeding this to the animal. This is easier said than done because once a ferret knows that there is a sweet treat somewhere in the house, the combination of persistence and a penchant for mischief will nearly always ensure that the ferret will get what it wants. The ideal dietary combination prescribed for a ferret is 32% meat protein, 3 % fiber, and 18% fat. It is very important that you do not feed your ferret any plant-based protein as the ferret’s digestive system will not be able to absorb the required amount of nutrition from the plant food.

This means that the best kind of diet that you can feed your ferret is one that mirrors your own carnivorous style. Most ferrets will be very comfortable with meat like chicken, beef, mutton, and sometimes even fish. It is important that you rotate between meats and also between red and white meats to ensure that your ferret is not left wanting of any kind of nutrition. Milk is something that you have to avoid in an adult ferret because the animal loses its lactose-digesting enzymes after being weaned.
  Submitted on May 12, 2010