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Animal Care Hospital
Call us today! 319-378-9000
Call us today! 319-378-9000

1146 Blairs Ferry Rd NE
Cedar Rapids, IA 52402

9 Things You Should Never Feed Your Ferret

March 15 2020

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/Processed Foods

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.

Dairy Products

Milk, yogurt, cheese, and other dairy products are also dangerous for ferrets. Play it safe and opt for something else.

Dog Food

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!

Junk Food

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!