Nutrition


Ferrets are obligate carnivores - meat eaters. They need a diet that is high in meat protein and high in fat.  Look for kibble that has at least 35% protein and 20% fat. Do not feed your ferret cereals, grains, sugars, fruits or vegetables.  They cannot digest these foods and fruits or vegetables can cause a bowel obstruction.  

 

Most kibble does contain small amounts of carbohydrates as a binding agent or you'd end up with a bag of powder.  Key is to read the contents carefully. Ingredients are listed in the order of highest percentage of content to least percentage of content.  The first item listed should be a meat or poultry. Fish and fishmeal are okay but may give the food and resulting stool a strong smell.  

 


High protein diets require more water to be processed by an animal's body than lower protein diets.  Clean, fresh water should be available at all times.


We highly recommend the following food chart to chose which kibble will be most ideal for your ferret, or to see if your current food is truly appropriate: More Dooks Ferret Food Chart


We also recommend creating a mix of 2 or more foods to feed to your ferrets. This will not only offer a bit more variety to your ferret, but it will protect you on the occasion that one of your foods is no longer available. This could be due to manufacturing issues, recalls, etc. However, it's important to introduce a new food to your ferret slowly and gradually, as a sudden change may cause your ferret to get an upset stomach. For example, start by adding around 1/2 cup per ~4 cups of food, and gradually increase this by 1/2 cup or so every 1-2 weeks. It may take a few weeks for your ferret to accept the new food at all - just be patient!


Raw Feeding:

Many ferret owners would prefer to feed their ferrets a natural, raw, or whole prey diet rather than a kibble. It's always best for ferret parents to do their research and decide what is best for both themselves and their babies. If raw feeding is something you are interested in, a recommended forum would be: The Holistic Ferret Forum