Adorable and gregarious, ferrets are wonderful pets. If you recently brought one into your home, you may be curious about what it eats and whether you can properly feed your ferret any human foods.
Because they are obligate carnivores, ferrets need to eat meat in order to survive. The primary prey items for ferrets in the wild are mice, rabbits, and gophers. Domestic ferrets can consume some human food if it is prepared properly, although they usually consume high-protein kibble.
Though they may have a craving for some human treats, not everything is good for the cuddly, tiny animal. Fruits, vegetables, dairy products, and sweets (especially chocolate, which can be fatal) should not be given to your ferret. The majority of human foods can upset your stomach or cause blood sugar to surge. In actuality, ferrets cannot tolerate a diet higher than 4% fiber.
In the mistaken belief that cat chow and ferret food are nutritionally equivalent, many individuals also feed their cats to their ferrets. Although ferrets and cats eat similar diets, they are not interchangeable since ferret chow is slightly different (it contains more protein). Put otherwise, never feed your ferret cat food, especially not in place of it.
Considering all of these health issues, you should exercise caution when preparing food for your ferret. It’s advisable to feed it just ferret-specific food in order to be safe. But you may be in luck if you can’t wait to offer yours a taste of cooked meat.
Here are five human foods you can safely feed to ferrets.
Notice: These foods can’t adequately cover all of your ferret’s nutritional demands, thus they shouldn’t be used in place of kibble.
1. Cooked Lean Fish
If you prepare it properly, you can occasionally give your ferret prepared fish. The majority of specialists advise staying with lean fish like salmon. Make sure the fish is cooked through and remove any bones that may have come loose. Next, finely slice it into small pieces for your pet. This dessert shouldn’t be left out for too long because you don’t want it to spoil.
2. Lean Beef that has been cooked
Another human food that most ferrets adore is lean beef. Just cook your beef as you usually would, making sure it’s well done and without any additional seasonings or spices. Cut the beef into bite-sized pieces for your ferret and serve it up as a delicious treat.
3. Cooked Lean Chicken
Small quantities of chicken, a common human food, can be given to ferrets. However, because they frequently carry diseases, make sure you cook your chicken completely (as well done as you would for yourself, ensuring it reaches at least 165° F). To prevent choking, chop the meat into tiny, bite-sized pieces for your ferret.
Store-bought precooked or cold chicken should not be fed to your ferret since it may contain unwholesome substances or additives.
4. Turkey, cooked and lean
Cooked low-fat turkey is another human meal choice that ferrets can eat. But watch out for extra oils, spices, and other substances that could upset your ferret’s stomach or lead to other health issues. Furthermore, turkey should only be given to your ferret sometimes as a snack rather than as a consistent source of protein. Make sure the pieces are sufficiently small for your ferret to eat without risk.
5. Pureed Meat Baby Food
Due to its soft, mushy, and easily ingested texture, baby food is frequently fed to ferrets by their owners. But many of the elements in baby food, like grains and pureed fruits and vegetables, are not healthy for ferrets to eat. However, pureed beef baby food—a practically liquidized, pulverized source of meat and protein—is one kind of safe baby food. Just be careful not to use any hazardous ingredients.
How to Feed a Ferret
After discussing human items your ferret can safely eat, let’s speak about certain things you should never use. As previously said, never provide dairy, chocolate, candies, fruits, or veggies to your ferret. Additionally, avoid giving your dog any food—even kibble—that has nuts, seeds, or dried fruit like raisins.
Because ferrets have a quick metabolism and a small digestive tract, you should feed them little meals six or eight times a day. Making food available to your ferret throughout the day is advised by many experts to ensure that they never go too long without it. Some people think you can check on a good supply of food and water once a day and leave it out every twelve hours.