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What Do Pet Ferrets Eat: 15+ Favorite Foods They Love

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Ferrets are fascinating animals known for their energetic and playful nature, as well as their ability to learn tricks. 

They’re also known for their strong scent, making them useful in tasks like detecting drugs. But what about their diet? We’ll get to that later.

While ferrets are relatively low-maintenance pets, they still need plenty of attention and exercise. 

They’re known for getting into mischief, so it’s important to keep an eye on them. 

Ferrets typically live around 6-8 years, but with good care, they can live up to 10 years. 

However, their well-being goes beyond just having a comfy cage and toys. 

Understanding their dietary needs is crucial. 

So, what exactly should you feed your pet ferret to ensure they stay healthy and happy? 

Let’s explore the basics of feeding your ferret for a long and joyful life.

What do Pet Ferrets Eat: A Proper Diet for Your Pet Ferrets

ferret drinking

Ensuring your pet ferret’s diet is properly balanced is essential for their overall health and well-being. 

You have several options to consider when it comes to feeding your furry friend.

1. Commercial Ferret Food

Firstly, specialized ferret foods available in pet stores are formulated to provide all the essential nutrients your ferret needs. 

Look for high-quality options with meat or meat meal listed as the primary ingredient to ensure they receive adequate protein and fat. 

2. Raw Meat 

Additionally, raw meat is a vital component of a ferret’s diet, offering a variety of options such as chicken, turkey, beef, and lamb. 

It’s important to ensure the meat is fresh and safe to eat. 

Additionally, some ferrets may benefit from chewing on raw bones for both nutrition and mental stimulation.

3. Cooked Meat 

You can also give cooked meat to ferrets, but it shouldn’t be their main protein source. 

Stick to plain cooked chicken or turkey, without any seasoning. 

Avoid giving them seasoned or processed meats, as these could have ingredients that might harm them.

4. Eggs

Eggs serve as another excellent protein option for ferrets. 

You can give them cooked eggs as a treat, whether scrambled or hard-boiled, from time to time. 

While eggs are good to include in their diet, they shouldn’t be the main focus of their meals.

5. Boosting Taurine

Taurine is a crucial amino acid for ferrets. 

Although many commercial ferret foods have enough taurine, you might think about adding taurine-rich foods like heart or liver to their diet. 

Always chat with your vet before introducing any supplements to your ferret’s meals.

6. Keeping Ferrets Hydrated

Ferrets don’t have a strong urge to drink water and can quickly get dehydrated. 

To help them stay hydrated, you can give them moist foods like wet cat food or mix water with their kibble.

7. Treat Time

Ferrets can indulge in treats now and then, such as freeze-dried meat, small bits of cooked meat, or treats made specifically for ferrets. 

Just remember, treats should be given in moderation and shouldn’t make up a big part of their diet.

Making sure your pet ferret gets different kinds of food is important to keep them healthy.

Keep an eye on their weight and how they’re doing overall, and if you’re worried about what they’re eating, talk to a vet. 

Giving them the right mix of foods that suit them well can help them stay healthy and live a long life.

Essential Components for a Ferret’s Diet 

1. High-Quality Protein

Protein is incredibly important for ferrets because it helps them grow and stay energetic.

When picking out commercial ferret food, look for brands that have meat, poultry, or fish listed as the main ingredients. 

Choose kibble made especially for ferrets since it has the nutrients they need. 

These foods typically have a lot of protein (32-38%) and a reasonable amount of fat (15-20%), which is just right for ferrets. 

Make sure most of what your ferret eats comes from animal-based proteins. 

This helps them build strong muscles and keeps them lively and active.

2. Moderate Fat Content 

Ferrets need a good amount of animal fats in their diet to keep up with their fast metabolism and get important fatty acids. 

It’s important to find foods with just the right amount of fat – not too much and not too little. 

Too much fat can make them overweight and cause health problems. 

But if their diet is too low in fat, they won’t have enough energy or be able to absorb nutrients properly. 

So, it’s all about finding the right balance.

3. Vitamins and Minerals 

Make sure your ferret gets the vitamins and minerals it needs, like vitamin A, vitamin E, taurine, and calcium. 

These nutrients are super important for keeping their eyesight sharp, boosting their immune system, and keeping their bones strong. 

Good commercial ferret foods are designed to give them just the right amount of these nutrients to keep them healthy and happy.

4. Fresh Water

Make sure your ferret always has access to clean, fresh water. 

Staying hydrated is important for their health and helps prevent problems with their urinary tract.

5. Limited Treats

When it comes to treats, it’s best to give them in moderation. 

Try to avoid treats that are high in sugar or carbs. 

Instead, go for treats that are high in protein, like cooked meats or freeze-dried meat snacks. 

This way, you can keep your ferret healthy and happy without overloading them with unhealthy snacks.

6. Feeding Schedule  

Set up a regular feeding routine for your ferret, usually with 1-2 meals each day. 

Keep an eye on their appetite and weight to make sure they’re getting the right amount of food based on how big they are and how active they are. 

This helps keep them healthy and at their best.

7. Variety 

Add some variety to your ferret’s meals by giving them different types of protein and sometimes adding small amounts of cooked eggs or organ meats like liver. 

But be careful not to change their diet too suddenly because ferrets can be sensitive to sudden changes in what they eat. 

Keeping their diet varied while being mindful of gradual adjustments helps keep them healthy and happy.

8. Consult with a Veterinarian 

Make sure to see your vet regularly to keep an eye on your ferret’s health and make sure they’re getting the right food. 

If you’re worried about what your ferret should eat or if they’re getting everything they need, talk to a vet who knows a lot about ferrets. 

They can give you advice tailored to your ferret’s needs and help you keep them healthy and happy.

Tips to Switch Your Ferret’s Diet


1. Take it Slow: Make changes gradually over a few days to avoid upsetting your ferret’s tummy. 

Start by mixing small amounts of the new food with their current diet, then increase the new food gradually until they’re fully switched over.

2. Offer Variety: Make the transition more interesting by giving them different kinds of food. 

Try out various types of meat like chicken, turkey, or beef, and don’t forget eggs or treats made just for ferrets.

3. Keep an Eye Out Watch how your ferret reacts to the new diet closely. 

If you notice any tummy troubles or changes in their appetite, slow down the switch or talk to your vet for advice.

4. Stay on Track: Once your ferret is happily eating their new food, stick with it to keep things consistent. 

Keep an eye on their weight, behavior, and overall health to make sure they’re doing well.

5. Ask Your Vet: If you’re unsure about anything or have questions about the diet switch, don’t hesitate to reach out to your vet. 

They can give you personalized advice based on your ferret’s needs and health.

Following these steps can help your ferret adjust to their new diet smoothly, ensuring they stay healthy and happy.

Supplemental Nutrition for Your Pet Ferret 

Giving your pet ferret extra nutrients can help keep them healthy. 

Here are some supplements you might want to try.

1. FerretVite Ferret Supplement: This supplement has important vitamins and minerals to keep your ferret in good shape overall.

2. Marshall Ferret Lax Hairball and Obstruction Remedy: It helps prevent hairballs and blockages in your ferret’s tummy, which can be a common issue.

3. Ferretone Skin and Coat Supplement: This supplement has omega-6 fatty acids that make your ferret’s skin healthy and their fur shiny.

4. N-Bone Ferret Soft Treats: These soft treats are made just for ferrets and can be a yummy addition to their diet while also giving them some extra nutrition.

Important Things To Keep In Mind Before Feeding Your Pet Ferret 

Before you feed your pet ferret, there are some important things you should think about:

1. Their Diet: Ferrets are meat-eaters, so they need a diet that’s mostly meat. 

Make sure they get plenty of protein and fat to stay healthy.

2. Watch Their Portions: Don’t give your ferret too much food. Overfeeding can lead to problems like obesity. 

Follow the recommended amounts based on how old, heavy, and active your ferret is.

3. Keep Them Hydrated: Ferrets don’t drink a lot of water, so it’s easy for them to get dehydrated. 

Always have fresh water available for them in a shallow dish or bottle.

4. Avoid Bad Foods: Some foods, like sugary treats, dairy, and processed foods, can make ferrets sick. 

Stick to meat-based foods and avoid anything that might upset their stomach.

5. Supplements: Sometimes, adding extra vitamins and minerals can help keep your ferret healthy. 

But talk to your vet first before giving them anything extra.

6. Keep an Eye on Their Health: Pay attention to your ferret’s weight, how much they eat, and how they act. If anything seems different, they might need to see a vet.

By remembering these things, you can make sure your ferret stays healthy and happy with the right food and care.


By knowing what your pet ferret needs to eat and giving them the right kinds of food, you can make sure they stay healthy and happy for a long time. 

So, if you ever wonder, “What should I feed my pet ferret?” just follow these tips to keep your little buddy feeling great and living their best life with you.


What human foods can ferrets eat?

Ferrets are primarily carnivores, so they need a diet that’s mostly meat.
They can eat certain human foods like cooked meat, eggs, and some fruits and vegetables in small amounts.
However, it’s important to avoid foods that are high in sugar, dairy products, and processed foods, as these can upset their stomachs.

Do ferrets need milk?

Ferrets are lactose intolerant, which means they can’t digest lactose, the sugar found in milk, very well.
Giving them milk can cause digestive issues like diarrhea.
It’s best to stick to water as their main source of hydration.

Can ferrets eat meat?

Yes, ferrets need meat in their diet to stay healthy.
They are obligate carnivores, meaning they require a diet that’s high in protein and fat.
Good sources of meat for ferrets include chicken, turkey, beef, and lamb.
Make sure the meat is cooked thoroughly and free from seasoning or additives.

Do ferrets eat eggs?

Yes, ferrets can eat eggs and they are a good source of protein for them.
You can offer cooked eggs, such as scrambled or hard-boiled eggs, as an occasional treat.
Just make sure to avoid adding any seasoning or other ingredients that might be harmful to them.

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