Have you recently adopted a ferret? Congratulations! Your new pet will definitely keep you on your toes. While ferrets have many unique qualities—such as their habit of stashing things—one area where they’re quite different from other pets is their diet. As your Marion, IA vet, I’m happy to provide great care for ferrets. I list some dangerous foods below.
Fruits and Vegetables
Ferrets are carnivores, so your pet should run almost entirely on animal protein. These little guys really can’t digest produce properly. Grapes, currants, and raisins are particularly dangerous. Garlic, onions, scallions, chives, and avocados are also unsafe.
Xylitol is found in a wide variety of processed foods, particularly sugary snacks, like gum, cakes, and cookies. It’s safe for us, but not for pets.
Milk, yogurt, cheese, and other dairy products are also dangerous for ferrets. Play it safe and opt for something else.
To state the obvious: dog food is made for dogs. It doesn’t have the right proportions of proteins and carbs for ferrets, and may also contain fillers, like wheat, that aren’t safe for ferrets. (Note: many kitten foods are okay.)
Chocolate is one of the most dangerous foods for pets. It contains a substance called theobromine, which pets can’t process. Even small amounts of chocolate can be fatal!
Candy, soda, cookies, cereal, honey, and other sweet treats are all on the no-no list, as are sugary or salty snacks. Black licorice and nuts are also unsafe.
Your ferret’s kibble may contain some grains, such as wheat or oats, but you definitely should never give your pet any of these foods whole.
Fish isn’t as dangerous as some of the other foods I’ve listed, but it really isn’t good for ferrets. Stick with meat and poultry instead.
Too Much Off Any One Food
Ferrets tend to ‘imprint’ on foods, and may get stuck on one thing. This can be dangerous, as you may find yourself in a pickle if your ferret’s usual food is ever unavailable. It’s very important to give your ferret a variety of safe, suitable foods, such as chicken, turkey, beef, chuck, and eggs. Ask your vet for specific advice, including portion sizes and feeding schedules.
Do you have questions about feeding your ferret? Call me, your Marion, IA vet clinic, today!