|Just like any other animal, ferrets need a properly balanced diet to look and feel their best. For years, ferrets and their owners were forced to feed high-quality kitten foods. That time has come to an end; due to the rising popularity of the ferret as a pet, there are now numerous commercially available foods that are specifically designed for ferrets.
A good starting point is to keep in mind that you need to find at least 2 foods that are nutritionally satisfactory for your ferret. Ferrets can be notoriously finicky eaters, and if they are fed only one food, and that food suddenly becomes unavailable, most ferrets will not eat. The easiest way to prevent such a problem is to feed your ferret a blend of 2 foods from the start - that way he won't develop a dependence on a certain kind.
Most importantly, ferrets require a dietary plan that is based on animal protein in order to satisfactorily meet their nutritional needs. Ferrets are obligate carnivores and have no cecum, therefore they are unable to digest vegetable proteins, or utilize the nutrients that are found in them. When choosing a food for your ferret, pick one where at least 3 of the first 6 ingredients listed are meat. Avoid foods that have the first ingredients listed as vegetables or other plant materials.
Also, the guaranteed analysis of a food is very important. Ferrets have very short digestive periods - from the time of ingestion, it only takes 3 to 4 hours for food to be digested. Because of this it is even more important that their diets are high in protein (no less than 34%) and fat (no less than 20%). If fed foods with these nutrients in lower concentrations, the ferret's digestive tract does not have enough time to extract what they need for good health.
By using these guidelines to choose a food for your ferret, you will be able to see that your ferret is well-fed. He will have a glossy coat, supple body and clear, alert eyes. He will be active, playful and inquisitive. Putting the best food into your ferret will help him be the best ferret he can be!
Here's a food comparison chart to assist you when shopping for ferret food at Ferret.com: