As a pet owner, it’s important that you are aware of what your furry little ferret is allowed to eat. You need to know their dietary requirements as well as how their body’s digest so that you can make responsible decisions about what your pet may or may not consume.
Ferrets are small furry animals whose size and weight range from 1 to 5 pounds depending on the progress of their maturity. Under animal classification they’re considered Carnivora and members of the Mustelidae. This means ferrets are part of the weasel family and meat-eaters.
Crackers and Other Treats
As a cautious reminder, when it comes to the snacks and food you want to give you pets, it’s best not to feed your pet any of the junk food that humans consume because they’re digestive system is small and built differently.
The items that you should avoid include sweets, chocolates, dog rawhide, salty human junk food, including crackers, candies and table scraps. Be sure to avoid treats that are high in sugar because ferrets have trouble digesting huge quantities of sugar. Giving such treats frequently and in large amounts can bring about problems with your ferret’s pancreas.
Crackers may be full of sugar or salty, which is not good for ferrets. If you must give crackers, it’s best to give sesame stick, rye or wheat crackers which can only be considered in this case as “the lesser evil.”
Seeds and nuts are snacks that you should avoid especially because these are indigestible and difficult to pass. Such food products might cause blockages in your pet.
Let us remind you that ferrets are carnivores so chips, crackers and all the other items mentioned above are not suitable. A tiny bit will not hurt but since there are a number of better and healthier options, it’s best to forego what could harm your pet.
You may find that ferrets enjoy milk products but do not give them any because they are lactose intolerant and will give them digestive problems. Cow’s milk can give them diarrhea that will cause them to be dehydrated. Should you need or really want to give them milk, ensure that it is lactose free milk and given sparingly. Other alternatives you may choose include goat’s milk as well as soy milk.
Absolutely no caffeine or alcohol for your loved pet and given their small size, they could develop cardiovascular complications that may cost them their life.
Ferrets don’t need to have treats every day, unless you’re giving the treat as a way to train your pet. Even then treats should be given in moderation and broken down into smaller pieces, enough for a few chews and then followed by a swallow.
Ferrets are carnivorous in nature; When found in the wild ferrets tend to eat smaller animals like rabbits and rodents. These animals require diets based on highly digestible animal protein with minimal carbohydrates.
In order to prolong the life of your pet, you must ensure that they have a balanced diet and maintain a long, healthy and active lifestyle.
Ferrets require that protein (animal meat) still be primary in their diets. Fruits, vegetables and snacks should be avoided.
Ferrets only consume as to their caloric need which means they will not be gorging because food is available. This means that they must eat often since they eat small meals and their short digestive tracts and fast metabolism means they get hungry frequently.
Snacks Ferrets can consume
If you’re looking to give your pet a treat, you may wish to consider one from the following list of good food choices for your lovable ferret:
- Meat products
- Eggs or egg products
- Freeze dried muscle or organ meat (available as cat and dog treats)
- Baby food meats without any added carbohydrate
- Semi-moist meat or liver snacks (check the label carefully, some snacks contain large amounts of carbohydrates)
As a pet owner, it’s vital that you consider your pet’s dietary needs prior to offering and food product or treat. Remember, ferrets have a unique digestive system that means their nutritional needs are different from other small-sizes as well as regular sized animals. Be sure to give treats that will not compromise their diet and overall health and well-being.
Treats are not substitutes for what your ferret really needs, that is a good meal as well as your time and attention. It’s quite easy to over feed your pet with treats so a strict schedule and mindfulness in what is allowable need to constantly be at the back of your mind.