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Ferret Nutrition & Food Questions and Answers

ferret-nutrition

What is the ratio of food do you feed a ferret, food weight verses ferret weight?
 
Ferrets have high metabolisms and you can just feed them as much as they will eat.  You don’t have to worry about feeding (for example) 2-3% of the ferret’s body weight. They’re good self regulators with very high metabolic rates so they will eat what they need. You’ll learn through trial and error how much your ferret(s) eat each day.

What nutritional supplements if any do you use with raw foods?
 
The only supplement I recommend is a fish BODY oil (not cod liver oil) supplement a few drops per week (use common sense and moderation—–oily poop means too much oil). If you can feed grass fed meats then you don’t need to feed the fish oil.

Are there any scientific facts on how much longer on how much longer a ferret will live eating raw? I know dogs usually average at least a couple of years.
 
Nope, no studies I am aware of for dogs OR ferrets.  I CAN tell you that through anecdotal evidence ferret on a natural diet seem to be a lot healthier then their kibble fed counterparts. They’re more muscled, less tarter on the teeth, better hydrated, and appear to become ill less often. It is also thought that a natural diet *might* help prevent (in some cases) several common ferret diseases such as insulinoma, periodontal disease, IBD, and bladder stones.

How do you deal with salmonella, I know with dogs they don’t keep it in there mouths but instead poop it out, if the chicken had it then there poop has it still.

Nope, dogs AND ferrets can both shed salmonella in their feces AND saliva. Just use common sense and wash your hands after handling their poop (you should be doing this even if you are feeding kibble). Also, don’t have a “kissy fest” with your ferret five minutes after he finished eating a raw chicken; you can still kiss your ferrets, just use common sense.

Do you know of any good websites that are against raw? I like to weigh both sides
 
Honestly, no, I don’t know of any websites that CALMLY and RATIONALLY look at the risks of a raw diet. The main argument seems to be that:
 
your pet will choke and die on raw bones
your pet will die of salmonella
your pet will become vicious if you feed them meat
your pet will die of nutrient deficiencies if you feed a raw diet (no matter how you feed it)
etc

There is a huge bias against raw diets, why I don’t know. All the things above are either completely untrue or the risk is greatly exaggerated.

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