Ferrets are exclusively carnivores, in the truest sense of the word, which is why their digestive system is designed to process meat proteins and animal fats, not fiber. It is important that the ferret’s meals have meat as the main component.
However, since all dog foods are not of the same quality, there is a possibility that very high-quality brands will be found that can meet the nutritional needs of the ferret. But make sure you avoid the cheaper brands.
As a responsible pet owner, it is your job to ensure the proper nutrition of the ferret, which is essential for its health.
Can ferrets eat dog food? The dangers
A study conducted on ferrets fed only dog food showed the inadequacy of the same, even leading to some cases of death. The study revealed that ferrets instinctively know they are not fed properly dog food, which leads them to eat more of it. This, in reality, only accelerates the negative aspects leading even to obesity.
The problem with dog food is that it doesn’t contain enough taurine, an amino acid that is essential for a ferret’s heart and eye health. When the animal does not receive adequate taurine, it can more easily develop dilated cardiomyopathy. This disease can cause congestive heart failure and even lead to death.
The right food for the ferret
If you want to ensure a healthy and happy life for your ferret, it is important to pay attention to the diet, which must always be high in protein and low in fiber.
The good news is that many online pet food stores have dedicated ferret food that is approved by veterinary experts and can meet their dietary needs. It is not enough, however, to choose anyone: it is important to look for a brand that ensures at least 33% fat, 21% amino acids, and which has fibers less than 3% and ashes less than 7%.
It is also important to make sure that the ferret gets the recommended caloric needs for its weight on a daily basis. The metabolism of these animals is very fast therefore, apart from normal meals, it is important to provide numerous snacks every two hours.
Keep in mind that the ferret is a small animal and that, consequently, the size of the meals must be adapted to its size. Even an adult ferret only needs a small amount of the right foods to satisfy its hunger.
It is, therefore, possible to use wet and dry dog food as an exception to feeding the ferret, always choosing foods rich in meat and of high quality. The ferret should eat everything within 45 minutes of opening the package, otherwise, bacteria could develop. If the ferret does not eat everything within 45 minutes, it is a good idea to clean its bowl anyway and remove everything.
Avoid frozen foods
It is important to avoid feeding the ferret with frozen meat or fish. They are very demanding in nutrition and, for this reason, they tend to avoid things that do not particularly inspire them: rather than consume unwelcome foods, ferrets starve.
As a responsible owner of a ferret, you need to plan a food plan that helps the animal maintain its health. The answer to the original question, whether ferrets can eat dog food, is yes, as long as it doesn’t become a habit. The choices to be made will have to be wise in order to ensure that the animal has the right type of food that avoids health problems. A good, meat-based diet ensures maximum ferret activity and health.
This article is purely informative, at Shelterapet we do not have the right to prescribe veterinary treatments or make any type of diagnosis. We encourage you to take your pet to the vet in case of any kind of discomfort.