Baby food for ferrets

Feeding Ferrets | VCA Animal Hospital

What do ferrets eat?

Ferrets are carnivores and cannot handle a diet containing more than 4% fiber. A good quality ferret diet should contain 32-40% protein and 10-15% fat. There are several good commercial dry foods for ferrets. While cat food has been suggested for use in ferrets in the past, diets specifically made for ferrets are more appropriate and highly recommended. Whole meat diets are an option, but they can be messy and, if not balanced properly, can lead to nutritional imbalances.

"Ferrets are carnivores and cannot handle a diet containing more than 4% fiber."

There are diets available to meet the unique needs of growing kits, pregnant or lactating females, and geriatric ferrets. Remember that your ferret "is what he/she eats", so try to feed him/her the best food possible. Consult your veterinarian for a proper diet.

How often should I feed my ferret?

Ferrets have a rapid gut transit time (from eating to defecating) of three to four hours, so they appear to eat and defecate constantly. As ferrets age, many develop tumors in their pancreas, causing the production of excess insulin. Because of this, ferrets can easily develop hypoglycemia (low blood sugar) without food and should be fed several small meals throughout the day. This is most easily accomplished by leaving food out 24 hours a day, allowing your ferret to graze as desired. Ferrets who spend excessive time eating may become obese and should be offered only limited food quantities.

"...ferrets can easily develop hypoglycemia (low blood sugar) without food and should be fed several small meals throughout the day."

Do I need to give my ferret vitamins?

Extra vitamins are unnecessary if your ferret is eating a high-quality, premium diet.

Can I offer my ferret treats?

Ferrets enjoy sweets, dairy products, raisins, fruits, and vegetables, but these foods should be avoided because they may produce diarrhea and erratic swings in blood sugar. A piece of cooked meat or some meat baby food is acceptable as an occasional treat. Supplementation with ‘Duck Soup’ is unnecessary for a healthy ferret and causes obesity in ferrets who consume it regularly. It is intended as a supplemental diet for sick ferrets needing extra calories.

"...ferrets can become overweight if fed an abundance of calorie-dense treats or foods."

Chocolate can be fatal to ferrets! Check with your veterinarian before you feed your ferret any people food, especially snack foods. Dietary changes can contribute to problems such as upset stomach, diarrhea, and pancreatic problems. In addition, ferrets can become overweight if fed an abundance of calorie-dense treats or foods.

What about water?

Fresh water should be available all the time. You can offer water from a sipper bottle or a heavy crockery bowl that will not easily tip over, as ferrets love to play with and spill their dishes.

Can I Give My Ferret Baby Food?

Can you give your ferret baby food?

It is a big concern for any ferret owner to know which food is best to feed its pet as well as what food to avoid. With its strict diet requirements and the need to be frequently fed every 3 to 4 hours, feeding a ferret can be a daunting task at first.

But what a ferret eats will determine its health and overall well-being that is why it is important to be properly informed. You need to be educated on what makes up a healthy diet for a ferret. A ferret needs to be fed largely with meat. Raw meat from lamb, chicken, beef and rabbit are recommended and with very little to absolutely no vegetables, grains, fiber and fruits. A carnivore by nature, a ferret has a hard time digesting these food items.

Extra care and due diligence is needed in feeding a ferret because it can spell the difference between its life and death. Improper nutrition is the cause why a ferret gets sick very easily and very frequently.

Baby food is characterized by its soft and easy to digest mixture. It is easily available and can be easy to prepare at home.

Since it is safe enough to be taken by babies, it can also be safe enough for animals too right? And yes, baby food has become a popular food alternative for some animals and this includes ferret.

But before you go panic buying for baby food for your ferret; be mindful of the kind of baby food you get. There are plenty of varieties available for baby food: fruit and vegetable and meat-based. Again be wary of incorporating anything with fruits and vegetables to a ferret’s diet.

A ferret is an obligate carnivore and cannot tolerate fruits and vegetables baby food which has high sugar contents. Before diving right in and buying all flavors of baby food, exercise caution and check labels very well.

You can take your pick though on plenty of other meat-based baby food that contains chicken, turkey and veal. Baby food cannot be the only thing you feed a ferret. While it is healthy enough, a ferret needs more of its raw meat requirement. A baby food can serve best when a ferret is not feeling well and is not up to eating its typical diet.

Baby food can be very convenient especially when a ferret is sick. With no appetite for its usual food, you can start feeding a sick ferret with soft food like baby food. It is a decent temporary replacement for the usual ferret diet and it easily provides the adequate nutrition it needs while a ferret is sick. It is also usually prescribed by veterinarians though it is still best to consult a veterinarian to really know what may be best for your ferret. But overall, it is a cheap, safe and convenient alternative.

It can be difficult to feed a sick ferret. But you need to find clever ways for it take some food to replace what has been lost because of the illness. Warming the baby food is recommended as well as hand feeding a ferret or if it is necessary, force feed it but still always with care. Moments like this require the ferret owner to be very patient because depending on its illness, it may take weeks before a ferret recovers and may be able to feed itself again.

Feeding a ferret some diet appropriate baby food is also a great way for it to gain back its appetite. It may like the soft texture of the food too much though that it may be difficult to revert back to its typical diet. One thing you can do is to gradually go through this phase by grinding and softening its food and progressively feeding the chunks of raw meat that it usually eats.

Baby food is also highly recommended to feed a ferret who just gave birth. Most ferret owners feed mother ferrets with chicken baby food after it gives birth. A baby ferret or ferret kits may supplement the milk that it takes from its mom with some baby food. Nursing a baby ferret can deplete energy and a mother ferret can replenish this easily by incorporating in its diet some baby food.

As a ferret owner, you may get too worried when your pet is sick. Having the alternative of feeding a sick ferret with easily available baby food is truly helpful by taking some worry away and can give you some much needed peace of mind.

Feeding sick ferrets | Club "Russian Ferret"

The Internet is replete with recipes for diet food for feeding sick ferrets. Most of these recipes are called "Duck Soup", based on human food recipes.

These recipes contain a large amount of additives such as brewer's yeast, olive oil and many others. The authors write that allegedly some supplements even contribute to the destruction of cancer. Many veterinarians advise treating sick animals with HILL's Food, the A/D Diet, a liquid diet food designed for cats and dogs. nine0003

Although there are many recipes for feeding sick ferrets, there are some general trends:

  1. They require a lot of time and money to prepare.
  2. Often they have little to no scientific basis for the use of the supplements they contain.
  3. They are usually fed by the owner with a syringe without a tip.
  4. Worst of all, trying to force weak or sick animals to take fluids with a syringe can lead to accidental inhalation (or injection) of fluid into the lungs, which can lead to pneumonia, which can be much worse than the underlying disease. nine0010

There is another way to provide better nutrition for sick ferrets. This is a path that not only I use for my own ferrets, but has been prescribed for thousands of ferrets for many years.

Canned Chicken Baby Meal has proven to be a more than adequate replacement for normal meals for sick or elderly ferrets who cannot eat normal food. While I certainly do not approve of the use of chicken baby food as the main diet, in this case it is a well-preserved, convenient and affordable food. nine0003

Many people try to open a can of meat baby food and feed their ferret from there. Unfortunately, especially with sick ferrets, it's not that easy. But after a few tries, most ferrets will eat like champions.

Although ferrets can eat a variety of baby food, I only recommend one that is all chicken or chicken broth.

There are many other varieties of this food, for example with turkey, veal, pork, also with vegetables or fruits. But since ferrets are carnivores, not rodents, I do not recommend canned food containing vegetable fiber or fructose, or fruit or vegetable baby food. I strongly caution against using them as ferret food. nine0003

Baby food should be warmed to just above room temperature. You can warm it up in the microwave, then stir until the food is evenly warm and check the temperature with your finger.

For the first feeding, take some food on your finger. Gently open the ferret's mouth by spreading it with your index finger and thumb on the sides of the mouth, just behind the teeth. Then, holding the mouth of the ferret open, apply food to the upper palate behind the teeth with your finger with food. Your ferret may resist, but don't worry, this way of feeding is better and safer, your ferret will get enough food and it won't get into his lungs. nine0003

In terms of feeding volume, start with 1/6 jar every 4 hours, and then when the ferret is good at licking the food off your finger, you can feed her as much as she wants.

Typically, after one or two power-feeds, your ferret will begin to lick the food off your fingers on its own.

When a sick ferret enjoys eating from your hand, we recommend sticking to this finger-chest feeding pattern for at least a week or more. Later, you can move on to spoon feeding, and even later to pasta feeding for a few days or a week. If you are feeding microwaved pasta, stir it and make sure the pasta is heated evenly and there are no “hot spots”. nine0003

After your diseased ferret has been actively eating new food, give her as much as she wants every 4 hours. Always intersperse feedings with water from your finger. You can place your finger just below the surface of the water, giving the feeling of being watered from your finger.

As I said earlier, although baby food is a good alternative food for sick ferrets, this food does not contain vitamins, minerals and other compounds (including taurine) that ferrets need to maintain good health. I have kept ferrets on an exclusive baby food diet for up to 6 months (and experienced significant weight gain), but I would not recommend repeating this. Therefore, if you have to keep your ferret on this diet for more than 4 weeks, I recommend grinding your regular food in a coffee grinder and mixing it with baby food, which will allow the ferret to receive all the vitamins and minerals it needs. nine0003

Note to skeptics - I've kept one of my ferrets with chronic inflammatory bowel disease on this mix for over three years. Now she is 7 and a half years old and she feels quite normal.

Mixing baby food with regular food is also a very good way to wean your ferret off baby food and transition to regular food. If your ferret has begun to show a clear predilection for baby food, you need to gradually add more and more crushed dry food. As your ferret becomes accustomed to the mixture of baby food with regular food, you can gradually mix in unground dry food into this mixture. You can even fake "hand feeding" by dipping your fingers into the food mixture. It is possible that you will have to resort to all sorts of tricks to return your ferret's love of normal food. nine0003

If your ferret is sick, you don't have to worry about the need to maintain it during the recovery period. This system works and works well - it worked for my ferrets and will work for yours. Bruce Williams

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from Russell , in the category: All about ferrets and more , 9 months ago

Can I give a ferret baby food?

3 answers



Olesya U.

from Olesya U. , 8 months ago

Nothing terrible will happen and it is even useful sometimes to give your pet baby food, of course, it is better from chicken or veal meat. In nature, they do not receive such food, and therefore it is unusual for them, but if the animal suddenly gets sick, then it is this kind of food that will help him recover faster, and therefore you need to accustom him to it just in case. In any case, there will be no harm from it, only one benefit. nine0003




from Nicholas, 8 months ago

@russell Going further, veterinarians recommend giving ferrets baby food. But of course give a little, let's say a few spoons. We had such that the daughter's wife cooked the broth and just fed a little ferret. Chicken and turkey broth is best. If the hamster is also sick, then they recover much faster.

If we talk specifically about baby food jars, then it is also possible, but mostly meat and always from a normal manufacturer.

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