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Top Tips On How To Feed A Ferret

Ferrets are very comical little creatures and if well handled and socialised make fantastic pets. However, it should never be forgotten they have sharp teeth and that if they are scared or startled by anything, even the friendliest ferret may nip you. Making sure a pet ferret is happy and healthy means creating a great environment for them to live in as well as feeding the a well balanced diet that contains all the vitamins, minerals and nutrients they need.

Ferrets are carnivores and need to be fed a specially formulated complete food. However, they also like to have the occasional healthy treat which is a great way of adding a little variety to their diet. Because they are so intelligent, many people like to place their pet's food in feeding balls which makes getting at the tasty morsels a lot more interesting than simply eating out of a bowl.

Little and Often is Best

By far the best way to feed a ferret is to offer them a little food at a time throughout a 24 hour period which is usually in the evenings when they are awake because they usually sleep most of the day. It's also important for their food to be fresh and if you find any that's left over from the day before, you should remove it from their environment and it throw away.

You also need to keep an eye on your pet's weight and if you find they are getting too podgy then adjust the amount you feed them accordingly. If you are unsure, you should seek advice from your vet and then follow their recommendations.

Offering Your Ferret Some Special Treats

As with any pet, the more variety you can offer them in a diet, the happier a ferret would be. There are some really healthy things you can give them as a reward or just as an occasional special treat which includes the following:

  • A fresh raw egg
  • Some cooked chicken (boiled is best) off the bone because feeding them to ferrets (or other animals) is never a good idea because bones splinter and cause lots of damage to their insides!
  • Kitten food – ferrets usually love a little of this but you should never feed them too much
  • Ferret Vit which is a vitamin supplement specifically formulated for ferrets which they adore

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Making Sure Your Ferret Has Access to Fresh Water

Ferrets need to have constant access to fresh clean water which you should place in a drinking bottle they can't destroy too easily. Ferrets also love paddling in water so it's a good idea to place a shallow dish filled with water they can splash around in especially when the weather is warm.

Things that are Highly Toxic to Ferrets

There are quite a few things which are toxic to ferrets and this includes both chemicals, drugs and certain foods. If you think your pet might have swallowed or ingested something that is harmful to them, you need to get them to the vet as a matter of urgency. Things that are toxic to them include the following:

  • Non-Steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs otherwise known as NSAIDs – this includes ibuprofen, naproxen, diclofenac as well as many other types
  • Chocolate which contains theobromine – the darker the chocolate the more toxic it is to ferrets (and other pets)
  • Grapes, sultanas, raisins and currants should never be fed to ferrets even in small amounts
  • Household cleaners and this includes most that are commonly found in a kitchen or bathroom
  • Any type of rodent poisons

It is really important to make a home "ferret safe" if you plan on keeping them as an indoor pet. Ferrets are extremely clever when it comes to opening cupboard doors so it's essential that any household cleaners and detergents are placed somewhere your pet cannot get at them.

Keeping Away From Foods that are Too Rich and Too Sweet

Ferrets can quickly develop a "sweet" tooth which is not something that should be encouraged. Not only will your pet put on too much weight but feeding a diet that's either too rich or too sweet can have a disastrous effect on their overall health too! It is far better to offer an occasional treat or a tasty reward when your pet has been very good – an example being when they let you clip their nails!

Invest in some tasty yet healthy specifically formulated ferret treats which you can offer them when teaching them to do a new trick! Like this you know they won't put on too much weight yet they will look forward to the tasty morsel you give them for being good!

Conclusion

Feeding a ferret a well balanced specifically formulated diet is essential to their overall well being. You should only offer them the occasional tasty morsel as a treat when they have been good and avoid giving them anything that's too rich or sweet which could cause them to have an upset stomach. If you think your pet may have eaten or swallowed something that's toxic, you need to get them to the vet as a matter of urgency and let the vet know what it is they have ingested so they know what type of treatment to give your ferret.


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