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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:

Ferret.Com Food Comparison Chart

Brand / Name of Food

Ingredients

Guaranteed Analysis

First

Second

Third

Fourth

Fifth

Sixth

Protein Min.

Fat Min.

Fiber Max.

Moisture Max.

8 in 1 Canned Ferret Chicken Dinner

Water (For Processing)

Chicken

Chicken Liver

Poultry

Poultry By-Products

Fish

10.00%

6.50%

1.00%

75.00%

8 in 1 Ultra Blend Ferret Diet

Chicken Meal

Ground Yellow Corn

Brewers Rice

Corn Gluten Meal

Animal Fat

Corn Oil

35.00%

15.00%

3.00%

10.00%

8 in 1 Ultimate Ferret Diet

Chicken

Chicken Meal

Ground Rice

Chicken Fat

Chicken Digest

Raisin Juice

45.00%

16.00%

3.00%

10.00%

8 in 1 Ultimate Soft Moist

Chicken Meal

Chicken

Rice Flour

Soy Flour

Poultry Fat

Corn Gluten Meal

30.0%

15.0%

3.0%

25.0%

Innova Evo

Chicken

Turkey

Chicken Meal

Herring Meal

Potato

Chicken Fat

50.0%

21.0%

1.5%

10.0%

Marshall Premium Ferret Diet Food

Chicken By-Product (Organs Only)

Herring Meal

Corn

Cod Fish

Dried Beet Pulp

Brewers Dried Yeast

38.00%

18.00%

3.50%

10.00%

Marshall Premium Ferret Diet Senior

Chicken By Products (Organs Only)

Chicken

Herring Meal

Corn

Oatmeal

Cod Fish

34.00%

17.00%

3.00%

10.00%

Sheppard & Greene Premium Senior Ferret Food

Chicken

Chicken Meal

Rice

Corn

Corn Gluten Meal

Chicken Fat

32.00%

16.00%

2.50%

10.00%

Sheppard & Greene Premium Adult Ferret Food

Chicken Meal

Ground Rice

Corn Gluten Meal

Chicken Fat

Ground Corn

Dried Whole Egg

35.00%

20.00%

3.00%

10.00%

Totally Ferret Active Diet Food

Chicken By-Product Meal

Rice Flour

Egg Product

Chicken Fat

Poultry Fat

Wheat Flour

36.00%

22.00%

1.50%

10.00%

Totally Ferret Older Diet Food

Chicken By-Product Meal

Rice Flour

Egg Product

Chicken Fat

Wheat Flour

Ground Corn

33.00%

18.50%

1.50%

10.00%

Totally Ferret Baby Ferret Formula

Chicken By-Products(Organs Only)

Wheat Flour

Whole Dried Eggs

Chicken Fat

Beet Pulp

Poultry Fat

42.00%

24.00%

2.00%

10.00%

Totally Ferret ASP Food Chicken Chunks

Chicken By-Product Meal

Rice Flour

Dried Egg Product

Chicken Fat

Poultry Fat

Wheat Flour

36.00%

22.00%

1.50%

10.00%

Totally Ferret ASP Food Turkey Chunks

Chicken By-Product Meal

Rice Flour

Egg Product

Chicken Fat

Wheat Flour

Corn Meal

36.00%

22.00%

1.50%

10.00%

Zupreem Premium Ferret Diet Food

Chicken Meal

Chicken Fat

Ground Wheat

Wheat Flour

Chicken

Egg Product

40.00%

20.00%

2.00%

10.00%

 

Ranking of Ferret Foods Based on Ideal Ingredients

Name of Food

Ingredients

Total Rating

Protein (at least 36%)

Fat (at least 19%)

Fiber (Less Than 2.5%)

Meat, Not Meat By-Products

# of meat-based ingredients in first 4

Corn In First 6 ingredients

Corn Free

8 in 1 Canned Ferret Chicken Dinner

 Y

Y

 

 

 3

 

Y

5

8 in 1 Ultimate Ferret Diet

Y

Y

3

Y

5

8 in 1 Ultra Blend Ferret Diet

Y

1

Y

1

8 in 1 Ultimate Ferret Diet Soft Moist

Y

Y

Y

2

Y

4

Innova EVO

Y

Y

Y

Y

4

Y

8

Marshall Premium Ferret Diet Food

Y

3

Y

3

Sheppard & Greene Premium Adult Ferret Food

Y

Y

2

Y

3

Totally Ferret Active Diet Food

Y

Y

Y

3

6

Totally Ferret ASP Food Chicken Chunks

Y

Y

Y

3

6

Totally Ferret ASP Food Turkey Chunks

Y

Y

Y

3

Y

5

Totally Ferret Baby Ferret Fomula

Y

Y

Y

3

Y

6

Zupreem Premium Ferret Diet Food

Y

Y

Y

Y

2

Y

6

* Percentages taken from The American Ferret Report Vol. 17, No. 4 2007. "Choosing a Proper Diet" by Kerry Fabrizio

 

Name of Food

Senior Ferret Foods

Total Rating

Protein (32-36%)

Fat (16-19%)

Fiber (Less Than 2.5%)

Meat, Not Meat By-Products

# of meat-based ingredients in first 4

Corn In First 6 ingredients

Corn Free

Marshall Premium Ferret Diet Senior

 Y

Y

 

 

 3

 Y

4

Sheppard & Greene Premium Senior Ferret Food

Y

Y

Y

Y

3

Y

6

Totally Ferret Older Diet Food

Y

Y

Y

3

Y

5



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