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What should I feed my pet ferret?

Ferrets are strict carnivores. In the wild they prey upon and eat whole animals that consist of raw meat, raw bones, other tissue and digested vegetable matter.

They require a diet of meat/animal products that are typically high in protein and fat and low in carbohydrates and fibre. There are some good quality commercial ferret foods available in Australia but they may be difficult to obtain. The alternative is to offer a constant supply of high quality commercial kitten food as ferrets need access to food at all times due to their fast metabolisms.

Human grade raw meaty bones may be offered on a weekly basis to help keep teeth clean. It is important to only offer human-grade raw meat/raw meaty bones as pet meat products can contain preservatives that can be detrimental to pet health.

Never feed cooked bones as these may splinter and cause internal damage or become an intestinal obstruction. Raw meaty bones must be large enough so that your ferret cannot fit the whole bone in its mouth or try to swallow the bone whole. Please check with your vet first that raw meaty bones are suitable for your ferret (e.g. some ferrets with dental disease may have difficulty chewing on raw bones). If you want to treat your ferret, small pieces of meat are the best option.

Clean fresh water should be available at all times in heavy bowls.

Nutritional supplements are normally not necessary for ferrets, provided they have a balanced diet.

Ferrets are inquisitive animals and they like to chew, so be careful of objects around the home or in their cage that may tempt them. Swallowed objects can become hazardous by way of intestinal obstruction. Also ensure they cannot eat anything that may be toxic for them such as Xylitol (sugar substitute found in some products such as sugarfree chewing gum, lollies, baking goods).

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Updated on May 1, 2019
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