Ferrets have a very sensitive digestive system and need a controlled diet. Pet owners need to be vigilant and responsible in ensuring that their ferrets only consume that will be good for them.
Ferrets and Drinking Tea
If your ferret has taken in some tea whether by accident or you gave them some to consume, this is a no-no.
Tea is not something you would want your ferret to be drinking because tea contains a number of ingredients that aren’t recommended to be consumed by pet ferrets. One of which is caffeine; regardless if you consume tea that is caffeinated or decaffeinated.
In extremely small amounts, having tea will probably not cause any harm to your ferret but digestion over long periods of time may be harmful. Ferrets oftentimes enjoy things that are most dangerous to them including milk, sweets and caffeine products. As picky eaters, it’s important to stay faithful to the food that will be best for them and limit their exposure to what is not.
Other food that are considered poisonous and harmful to ferrets include chocolate, diary, onions, soda and tobacco.
Ferret Food and Diet
Ferrets, as carnivores, need to consume a high protein diet. That is about 32% or greater protein consisting mainly of meat or animal byproducts rather than grain, carbohydrates, sugar and fiber.
A ferrets 3-hour digestive system and incredibly fast metabolism means that they need to eat small but frequent meals a day. It’s best to steer clear from the amino acids in vegetable protein which are not readily digestible by ferrets.
High quality ferret food is available in your local feed stores, veterinary as well as grocery stores. There are now, more than ever, a variety of ferret diet food appearing commercially. Always go for the food that is high in protein and steer clear from “grocery store” brands which contain a lot of dyes, fillers and preservatives that are not good for your fuzzy little companions. Having cheap food means your pet will be getting less quality animal protein and too much fiber that can lead to your pet’s kidney or bladder stones, malnutrition as well as dull coats and other health problems.
As an alternative, many ferret owners use cat or kitten food because of the similarity in the nutrition content. However, the problem with cat food is that they don’t contain the high protein diet that is best for ferrets and also have in them more fiber than what ferrets should ideally have.
Should you opt to use cat/ kitten dry food for your ferret, it’s best to choose the highest quality dry food that would contain good quality protein that will give your pet what they need. Since ferret food is more expensive, as a compromise, many owners mix food to make the meals more appetizing but also lower the cost.
It’s best to choose food that contains high animal protein (32% to 36%) with at least 18% animal fat. As a tip, when choosing food, ferrets are usually fond of liver flavored products because it’s got so much more flavor.
Similar to feeding, ferrets only eat what they need so when you leave out food for your lovable pet, make sure that there is always available fresh water should they need to hydrate. Especially in warmer weather, make sure that your ferret is drinking. Given their active and social personalities they need to hydrate frequently. Ferrets are small in size so it’s very easy and quick for them to be affected by dehydration.
As a word of caution, refrain from using water bottles for ferrets. They may be more convenient but they are unsanitary, can cause teeth damage and slow down the drinking process not allowing a dehydrating ferret to consume water fast enough to survive.
Ferrets are playful and enjoy playing with water. They enjoy dunking their heads in water and many experts attribute this to their natural behavior of finding food or fresh water in ponds and rivers. This is called “snorkeling” and your pet having such a behavior is not uncommon. They like to wash their cute little faces in water so having an open source for them to utilize is necessary for their hygiene.
To give your pet a little extra fun, you might want to consider getting your pet a large bowl or dish or water that would be similar in function to a child’s artificial pool and allow them to cut loose and have a lot of fun!