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Avatar universal

Best food for Ferrets?

Hello, me and my Girlfriend have three ferrets, and we have always struggled finding them a brand of food that will give them a decent weight. Our baby's are to thin, we have brought  them to the vet, and she said it was their diet. the food she suggested just didn't work, and was really expensive. so for all you fat ferret owners, what do you feed you're little guys.
21 Responses
Avatar universal
Hello, I have two ferrets and they seem to love Zupreem.  I don't know if you have tried it or not but it works well with my two little carpet sharks.  Also, by the way a good website to order ferret food, or other accessories is ferretdepot.com.  I first bought the zupreem because it was high in protein, they liked it, then switched to ferret gold because it was even highter protein, but they didn't seem to like the ferret gold as much so I went back to zupreem and they have eaten it ever since.  My ferrets are not heavyweights but they are both average weights.
good luck
514916 tn?1224521687
I have one female 5 yr old ferret, she eats Ferret Dry Food from (Wally World (Wa___mart) carries Ferret Dry now for $3.50 a med size box, if your Wa_mart doesn't carry, ask Mgr to order for your store) and one slice of apple cut up every day....she knows when she hears me cut the apple, its coming, and she moderately sized and happy and very healthy, also Ferrets required a lot of sleep, dark, night time, more than other animals, so my vet suggested a cat house w/blankets to crawl into and get darkness....there sleep time determines their eating, lots and lots of sleep....Note: the pet stores, ferret food can sometimes be costly)
Avatar universal
ferrets should eat dry high protein foods.  i feed mine marshal ferret food theone in brown box.  She is healthy average weight.  They need food always available so they can eat throughout theday because of their shor digestive tract.  They can not digest fruit and vegetables so should not be fed such things.  Also vitabite pastes are a great treat for ferrets and they go nuts for it.  This is high in sugars(corn starch) and can be really useful in helping ferrets gain weight as well as picky eaters or sick ferrets to eat.
Avatar universal
Ferrets should eat a diet high in protein. The BEST diet for a ferret is a raw diet (raw meat/bones/organs), but if this cannot be provided, a kibble VERY LOW in plant material. Wellness Core has a high protein cat kibble that I would consider acceptable for ferrets. Feel free to ask me about feeding ferrets raw. I've been doing it for almost 3 years now and my ferrets are great!
Avatar universal
Soybean, you sound like one smart cookie!  

KinLINY, you claim they must eat high protein foods, yet feed Marshalls which is one of the worst choices out there, next to Kaytee and Walmart or any grocery store brand!

OK, the best food out there is Innova Evo brands, which unfortunately was just bought out by Proctor & Gamble which owns Iams and is not a great food at all.  Its unfortunate because Evo is a fantastic brand for cats, ferrets, and dogs.  The Evo Feline is the exact same kibble as the Evo Ferret, so either one will work.  They may cause runny poops because of high protein count so it is ok to add a lower protein kibble, such as Wellness Core to the mix.  You should always feed a variety of kibbles to make up for a lack of vitamins and to be sure they are getting all they need.  If you decide to buy Evo, be sure to check the label and make sure they have not added corn (BIG FAT NO) or rice to their kibbles.  Corn and Rice is VERY bad for ferrets and some studies have linked them to causing cancers in ferrets.  

Any high sugar paste is bad for ferrets as well.  I suggest instead you make a "duck soup" for your ferrets.  There are many recipes on the web, and another great way to add muscle, not fat, to your ferrets is to switch them to raw or whole prey diets.

Its very important that you feed them the right food with high quality ingredients.  $4 a bag will not bring your ferrets up to a healthy weight, or build their muscle or keep them from dying from malnutrition, a slow painful death.  Please do your research, grab an encyclopedia, read up on Animal Planet, check out Bob Church for correct information.  Its hard to know who to trust, but there are accurate resources out there.  The best book available is Ferrets for Dummies 2nd Edition.  Please go buy it and keep it handy!
1506182 tn?1289816586
I agree! marshall ferret food is the one thing you must avoid!!!

We are big fans of ferrets and just brought one more ferret from a ferret shelter and he was eating marshall. couple of months later, now he's more than twice bigger than before. he's eating totally ferret.

totally ferret, and evo. they are two brands that really know what ferrets need. but i personally prefer totally ferret because it smells better.

ferret foods are expensive. people who can't afford the good quality ferret food and vet visit every now and then, they should not have ferrets. it's animal cruelty.
Avatar universal
My ferrets eat dry cat food - Purina Fancy Feast with Savory chicken and turkey. Protein is 32%. This company makes Fancy Feast dry with fish, but I know fish is bad for ferrets, so I always buy chicken with turkey. My ferrets love it. They are neither fat nor thin, just average.
1383383 tn?1279360481
The best product that I have found is sold by Doctors Foster and Smith. It's called Superior Choice Original Ferret Diet or Superior Choice Natural Ferret Diet. The price is very good also. The least expensive way to go is Purina Kitten Chow from Walmart.

Many of the "so called" Ferret diets have corn meal or other vegetable fillers that offer little nutrition. They will yeild an underweight and underfed pet that poops a lot.

I feed my critters the Foster and Smith's and they do well on it.
1636874 tn?1311551031
You could always try kitten brand dry food. It's a great substitute for ferrets and it really puts the pounds on my ferrets. =)
Avatar universal
Someone said they're giving their ferrets apples!  This is completely wrong!  Never, ever feed your ferrets any fruits or vegetables!  NEVER!

If you're looking for the best bang for your buck food, Evo Ferret is it.  Ferret.com sells it for $18.99 for a 6.6 lb bag.  That sounds expensive, doesn't it?  But buy a bag anyways, actually LOOK and READ the feeding instructions.  Up to three lbs. gets only 1/8 cup serving ... per day!!  Suddenly that seemingly small bag looks a whole lot bigger!

One bag lasts my pair three months!  No joke!  This is not only the absolute healthiest kibble available for ferrets, when you break it down, it's also the cheapest.

Feed your ferrets Evo.  It has no grain and a whopping 50% protein.  Your ferret will eat less, poop less, the food is highly digestible, and within a couple of months you will see softer fur, brighter eyes, and more energy.  

You can switch them by sprinkling a very small amount of their old kibble on the bottom of their dish, then topping it with the correct serving size of Evo.  Continue until your old food is gone.

You may very well see slightly runny stools for a month, maybe two, during this switch.  Don't worry, this is completely normal.  Stay consistent and you won't regret it.  Neither will your wallet.
Avatar universal
United pet Group Inc. the 8 in 1 wild harvest ferret advanced nutriton diet food changed suppliers, that why I decided to change my ferret back to Marshalls Ferrret food, your not a veterinarian, so how would you know that the marshalls ferret food is bad for them. my veterinarian charges $20 for the pet visit, so people can afford to take their ferrets to veterinarian. what country do you live in?
Avatar universal
I agree about Marshall's ferret food. I thought it was what was best for my ferret Sasha. Well now at this point we just found out she has Inflammatory Bowel Disease (IBD)and is having to take all these different meds and hand feeding here Carnivore. Because of feeding her Marshall's ferret food, she is now sick, and it was because of this ferret food. To anyone who plans on owning a ferret, please make sure you have the means to support your ferret, because when they are sick it breaks your heart. If I would have know about this horrible ferret food I would have never gave it to her, but trusting that "Marshall's is the best, was the worst thing I could have feed her. Good luck, and yes Ferrets are the best pet ever....
Avatar universal
Completely agree: EVO is fantastic for ferrets (if they aren't used to having a raw diet). Of course feeding your ferrets raw/natural food is best, but that takes time to get them used to it, and it is a bit more work. EVO is great and has the most fat/protein I've seen in ferret/kitten food. Like someone else said, the kitten food is almost identical to the ferret food. I get the kitten one because it has a little bit more of some ingredient (I can't remember which right now, as I'm not near the bag.. I think it's fat). But other than that they are the same. Marshalls ferret food or any brand of "ferret food" from Walmart or some department store is TERRIBLE for your ferrets. Also, they should NOT be eating fruits/veggies! Ferrets are not like hamsters or other small animals.. they can't munch on cereal and fruits/veggies, they are CARNIVORES - they need MEAT (protein, fat). Please do proper research and don't listen to the people at the pet stores where you buy your ferrets, because they tend to not know much. When we bought our ferrets they didn't even know how old they were, and they told us they were both boys, and the first vet we ever brought them to (wasn't a ferret vet) told us they were boys..  well we later found out they were girls! I took them to an actual ferret specialist, not just a regular vet. So make sure you get your ferrets the proper car and proper food, because they are very special and unique animals! =)
Avatar universal
Oh and yes, Marshalls/Walmart ferret food may be cheaper, but it will cost you more in the long run (vet bills due to health issues), and your ferrets will NOT be happy and healthy. EVO is relatively cheap for such great food, and it does last a long time. Someone else said their bag lasts them 3 months between two ferrets, and that is about how long ours lasts us as well, and we have two ferrets. So that's $20 every three months.. pretty cheap if you ask me. Don't be selfish and try to save yourself a few bucks by compromising your ferret's health. You might as well not have them as a pet if you don't want to take care of them.
Avatar universal
Ahhh... as someone who has done ferret adoptions/rescues for a long time, it is refreshing to hear someone with 'common sense'... These days, I'd say 80% ( or more ) of the fools who own ferrets- shouldn't as they have NO idea how sensitive and fragile these little creatures really are... GREAT post!
Avatar universal
Ahhh... as someone who has done ferret adoptions/rescues for a long time, it is refreshing to hear someone with 'common sense'... These days, I'd say 80% ( or more ) of the fools who own ferrets- shouldn't as they have NO idea how sensitive and fragile these little creatures really are... GREAT post!
Avatar universal
Do not feed your ferret anything you can get for under ten. Walmart does not care about the health of your baby. Marshalls is also terrible. I highly highly suggest a raw diet if that's possible. If not mine also love zupreem. Wysong is the best out there but its pretty expensive and you most likely have to special order! Food needs to be at lest 36 perc. Protein. 18 to 40 perc fat and less than 3 fiber! Read labels at the pet store!
Avatar universal
My little girl has high quality chicken kitten food ( the ferret foods are shocking here, low protein, not enough fat...but away too much fibre/vegetable materials).
She also gets treats such as mice, grub and cricket. I find the latter very stimulating for her, as she loves to hunt them.
The mice of course, are frozen then thawed.
Avatar universal
I was buying my ferret food from walmart as well... but I found tractor supply has a 10lb bag for only $9.00. and my fettets actually like it better..
Avatar universal
Ferrets are strictly carnivores. They really should not be given fruits,vegetables or anything with sugars. A treat should consist of boiled eggs, cooked chicken pieces or even canned ferret or kitten food. Mine loves a few pieces of his dry food mixed with warm water until it softens up like a soup.just a thought since daily sufpgar can cause pancreas problems.
Avatar universal
If you want a healthy pet, it will cost money. Evo is one of the best ferret foods available. The better you feed your pet, the less sick trips they make to the vet. My vet charges 43.50 for a visit, yet my 3 dogs, 2 cats and 1 ferret  go as needed and always once yearly for check-ups and vaccines. Oh, and I am not rich and live in the US. Please only have animals that you can afford.
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