Can Ferrets Eat Dog Food

can ferrets eat dog food
Written by David Strickland

Can ferrets eat dog food? The answer is more complex than a simple yes or no.

While feeding your ferret high quality dog food occasionally may be okay, making it the ferret’s regular diet may be convenient but not prudent. This is because the ferrets’ nutritional requirements are different from those of dogs due to their individual physiological structure. Remember that the choice of meals plays a basic role in the wellbeing of your ferret.

can ferrets eat dog food

Dog Food Is Not Recommended For Your Ferret

It is not advisable to give your ferret dog food as a routine; however, if you do it once in a while, then it’s okay.

Dogs are omnivores, and can digest foods other than meat too. Dog food generally comprises several ingredients which ferrets can’t digest. These elements can cause several health issues, such as diseases of the kidney and intestinal blockages. Continued use of dog food can even lead to the death of your ferret. Most dog foods have large amounts of carbohydrates which are suitable for dogs, but can possibly be fatal for your ferret.

Ferrets are exclusively carnivores in the true sense. This is why their digestive systems are designed to process meat proteins and animal fat, not fiber. It is important that the meals you give to your ferret should have meat as the main component.

However, because all dog foods are not of the same quality, there is a possibility that you may find a high quality brand that fulfills the nutritional needs of your ferret. Make sure that you avoid the cheap brands.

As a responsible pet owner, it is your responsibility to ensure that your pet ferret gets all the right nutrition that is essential for its health.

Can Ferrets Eat Dog Food – The Dangers

A research study was conducted on ferrets that were fed only dog food. The study proved the unsuitability of dog food for ferrets as the ferrets died under observation. The study also revealed that ferrets know instinctively that they are getting insufficient nutrition from dog food, which causes them to eat more quantity of it. This only speeds up the negative processes and even leads to obesity in ferrets.

The problem with dog food is that it does not contain sufficient amounts of taurine, which is an amino acid that is critical for the health of the ferret’s heart and eyes. When your pet does not receive suitable amounts of taurine, there is an increased possibility that it may develop dilated cardiomyopathy. This is a disease that can cause congestive heart failure and ultimately lead to the death of your ferret.

The Right Foods For Your Ferret

If you want your ferret to be healthy and happy, and live out its natural life-span, you must always ensure that it gets a diet high in protein with very little fiber content.

The good news for you and your ferret is that now pet stores have ferret food that has been approved by veterinary experts for meeting the nutritional needs of ferrets.

Don’t just choose any ferret food. Look for a brand that comprises a minimum of 33% fat, 21% amino acid, less than 3% fiber and less than 7% ash level.

Additionally, you must ensure that the ferret gets the daily calorie amount recommended for a ferret. Ferrets have a very fast metabolism, so apart from the regular two meals daily; you need to give it a snack after every four hours.

Keep in mind that a ferret is a small animal and the meal sizes should be suitable according to its physical size. Even an adult ferret needs only a small quantity of the right foods to satisfy its hunger.

You can also use moist ferret foods to feed your ferret. In this case, your pet should eat the meal within 45 minutes because the food may start to develop bacteria after that. If your ferret hasn’t finished its moist meal in 45 minutes, it would be advisable to dispose it.

Dry pet food is recommended by veterinary experts as being more suitable for your ferret.  Not only does it last longer, dry pellets are also helpful in cleaning the ferret’s teeth.

Avoid Frozen Foods

Avoid feeding your ferret any kinds of frozen foods, like frozen meats or fish. They are very picky about what they eat and will often ignore such foods. Ferrets are even known to starve rather than consume any kinds of foods they dislike.

As a responsible ferret owner, you need to plan a meal plan that helps in preserving its health. The answer to the initial question, can ferrets eat dog food, is not as a routine. Choose wisely so that your pet has the right types of foods that are critical for avoiding health issues. A good diet that is based on meat products will ensure that your ferret is healthy and active!

Related Articles:

Can Ferrets Drink Milk

Can Ferrets Eat Cat Food

References:

http://www.all-about-ferrets.com/what-do-ferrets-eat.html

http://canigivemyferret.com/dog-food/

http://www.peteducation.com/article.cfm?c=11+1296&aid=498

https://www.lovethatpet.com/small-pets/ferrets/foods-bad-for-ferrets/

 

 

About the author

David Strickland

I love pets and I love animals. I have 2 dogs and 3 cats and it's not enough for me.

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