Tips For Feeding Your Ferret

Tomorrow is World Ferret Day! These little guys can make very fun and cute pets. However, they have some pretty specific dietary needs. As your local Cedar Rapids, IA veterinarian, I offer advice on feeding ferrets in this article. 

Basic Menu

Ferrets are carnivores, and require diets that are high in animal fat and protein and low in fiber. A proper ferret diet should contain about 30 to 40 percent protein, 15 to 20 percent fat, and very small amounts (under 4 percent) of fiber. This may vary from ferret to ferret. For instance, a pregnant or young ferret may need as much as 30 percent fat. Ferrets nibble constantly, so your best bet is to have kibble available 24/7. Ask your veterinarian for specific information. 


Reading pet food labels can give you a lot of insight into the quality of a specific food, but it can get tricky. Ideally, you’ll want something that lists meat first and most often on the label. Meat meals and eggs are also suitable. These things should make up the bulk of at least the first six or seven ingredients. A good ferret food would also contain acceptable fats and fatty acids, such as chicken fat and omega 6 or 3 fatty acids. Avoid anything that contains a lot of sugar, such as corn syrup or sucrose; grain-based proteins; and fillers, such as corn or rice gluten, soy meal, and soy flours.

Unsafe Foods

Some foods should never be offered to ferrets. These include chocolate, sweets, grapes and raisins, fruits and veggies, ice cream, chocolate, salt, rice, nuts, meat on the bone, peanut butter, and anything that contains xylitol. There are also some things, such as cooked eggs, that are fine on occasion, but should not be fed often. Fish is another thing that should be limited.


Ferrets do enjoy treats. However, it’s important to stick with safe options. You can offer cooked meat or eggs, canned ferret food, baby foods (check labels), freeze-dried liver treats, or the occasional cat treat. There’s also duck soup, a ferret favorite. This contains things like kibble, canned kitten food, chicken, broth, and/or organ meats. However, it’s high in calories, and should only be fed on occasion. Ask your veterinarian for more information.

Do you have questions about your ferret’s diet? Contact me, your Cedar Rapids, IA veterinarian, anytime! 

Comments are closed.