A balanced diet for a ferret would include high fat and protein with little to no fiber, as ferrets are not designed to process fiber. Ferrets do not have a ceccume (pouch where the large intestine starts which enables us to digest fiber), so their tiny bodies do not utilize fiber. The more fiber the ferret eats the more poops it produces and the less nutrient it absorbs. Fat in their diet should be at least 20%%, Animal protein at 36% and fiber would be at 3% or less.
Along with food, fresh water should always be available for ferrets. A healthy ferret eats frequently, generally every 3 to 4 hours because they do not overeat and only take in what’s necessary. They have a fast metabolism which means they get hungry right away.
Types of Meat for Ferrets
Ferrets need to have high protein diets so the primary protein source for a ferret should be meat. The easiest and most readily available would be chicken or poultry. Secondary sources of protein, such as meat meal, whole eggs, liver meal, bone meal, or fish meal, should be in the top five ingredients.
The most acceptable meat protein sources for ferrets would be chicken, turkey, egg, egg product, liver, lamb, venison and beef. Although, some pet owners claim that beef and pork may be difficult to digest.
Can i give my ferret Tuna? Yes, if it’s fresh and raw
When giving your ferret tuna, it would be best to give your pet fresh raw tuna, provided that your pet is receiving a balanced diet; that means they should be having raw meat, eggs and specially designed ferret food. The tuna should be fresh raw fish and not from a tin can.
Although tuna is protein, it may not be all that healthy for them in terms of the nutrients that are fitted for ferrets. Also, most canned tunas contain high amounts of seasoning and salt in order for them to be preserved and such chemicals and unnatural ingredients are not good for ferrets.
Aside from the minimal nutrition that may be gained from canned food, as opposed to fresh meat and ferret kibble, there is also a possibility that canned food will cause dental problems for your pet.
A number of ferret owners provide canned tuna to their pet ferrets only as a treat but usually it would be given maybe once or twice a month at the most. It is not bad for them but it is not optimal either so if you do decide to give your pet tuna, give them a few pieces and not the entire can.
Do not treat your pet ferret like a cat; their nutritional and dietary requirements ARE NOT THE SAME. Some pet owners are ok with feeding tuna while there are some nutritionists that argue they are not the primary protein a ferret in the wild would go for.
If you are giving your pet the healthy balanced diet that ferrets require, sparingly providing tuna will not be a problem. If you are giving tuna for the first time, observe your pet’s reaction, some ferrets react to tuna negatively if it’s being introduced for the first time. They may develop a different smell in their feces as well as a smell on their fur. Make sure to pay attention to the reaction of your pet to tuna.
Tuna is not the best or all that healthy for them. Ferrets are meat eaters, thus their physiological makeup requires them to have lots of protein and fat in their diet. Should you want to put them on a leaner diet, you can always opt to make them healthier alternatives in the home. You can make the extra effort of cooking turkey or chicken and cutting them up to smaller, easily digestible pieces.
Refrain from adding any salt or other seasoning when you are cooking meat. This can be unhealthy to ferrets and do not feed them any pre-cooked cold meats either. It is always best to feed your ferret raw and fresh meat regularly.
Training your ferret to eat healthy as early as possible will develop good eating patterns and give your pet a healthier lifestyle. Remember that ferrets are sensitive to food you need to reinforce a healthy and natural diet for this obligate carnivore.
Try varying what you feed your pet, this will increase the different nutrients that they’ll get and given them a diversity in terms of food intake. You can always feed him the usual ferret food and food pellets. However, it’s also best to give him different kinds of meat every now and then. These are not only healthy for him but will give him the nutrients that he needs.