Soft Ferret Food
Since ferrets are strict carnivores, they need a healthy, quality, meat based protein diet. But, ferrets can be finicky eaters. If a ferret doesn’t like the taste, texture or size of his food–especially kibble, he simply won’t eat it. If a ferret is ill or has dental problems, he may stop eating his normal food as well.
It may be time to try soft ferret food. Pet food manufactures do not provide many options for soft ferret food. Because ferrets should not eat grains and other carbohydrates, it is often difficult to find a suitable diet (for info on ferret nutrition click here).
There are several options to try. Some food options can be used long term and others should only be used temporarily, or as a treat.
Wysong Epigen is a moist canned food for cats, dogs and ferrets. Although not specifically formulated for ferrets, it’s comprised of at least 95% meat and contain no starches, grains, fillers, or artificial preservatives.
However, it has a 75% moisture content. Because of this high water content, it only has 10% protein. Ferrets need 35% – 45% meat protein and 15% – 20% fat for proper nutrition.
You can also try a moist canned kitten food. Kitten food generally has more protein and fat than cat food, but it still is not adequate nutrition for a ferret.
Uncle Jim’s Duck Soup mix is a dietary supplement. It is not meant to be a ferret’s only source of nutrition. It’s designed to improve and stimulate appetite, increase weight gain in ill ferrets, and boost the ferret’s immune system. It has 34% protein–not quite enough long term, so your ferret will need additional meat protein.
Meat Baby Food
Although not a typical soft ferret food, meat baby foods can serve as a short term option also. Again, due to the high water content, they will not have enough protein–typically around 30%. Plus, many contain other ingredients not healthy for ferrets, such as cornstarch. Be sure to get a natural, all meat variety. Stay away from stews. You could add a bit of Ferretone to the baby food for added nutrition.
New Form of Kibble
If your ferret is ill or develops dental problems, he may stop eating his normal dry food. It may be because the size is too large and it takes too much effort to chew it to break it down, or it may be that it hurts him to chew. When my ferret, Siera, was ill, she had a lot of trouble eating her normal kibble. She did want to eat it, though. To help her, I decided to break up her kibble into “crumbles”. Then, to assist her even further, I held her while she ate it out of my hand. She appreciated it!
Another way to help your ferret eat his kibble is to moisten it. You will have to experiment with the amount of water to get the consistency your ferret likes. You could also try a little chicken or beef broth. Be sure the broth doesn’t contain salt or other additives. Don’t make too much at a time because it will just turn to a soggy mess.
There a many recipes for soft ferret food. But, like most other options, these are not meant to be a long term diet or the only form of nutrition for a ferret
Ferrets were originally hunters of small prey, so naturally they love raw meat. Done properly, a ferret can receive complete nutrition from a raw diet. But, there is A LOT of room for error. It is not recommended to pursue this type of feeding without the help of an experienced consultant.
If your ferret stops eating kibble, make sure he isn’t sick or has dental problems. If you have just added a ferret to your family be sure to try the most nutritious kibble. If he doesn’t seem to like kibble, you can try adding one of the above soft ferret food options to the kibble. Remember, ferrets have specific nutritional requirements . To keep your ferret healthy and happy, it is extremely important that his diet meet these needs.
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