Ferret Care Information
This summary contains
tips that should benefit veteran ferret owners as well as first time owners.
First off, let me say that ferrets are DOMESTIC HOUSE PETS, not exotic novelty
animals that may become a passing phase. There are estimated to be over 6
million pet ferrets kept in the United States.
Ferrets need a high protein (32% or greater) diet consisting
mainly of meat or animal byproducts rather than grain.
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food. The amino acids in vegetable protein are not readily used by
a ferret's 3-hour digestive system. Low ash and low magnesium are important
to a good ferret diet as well. Quality dry cat foods are available at feed
stores, at a good pet shop, or your veterinarian's office. There are new
ferret diets appearing on the market all the time, but the ones which are
fish based are not liked very well by ferrets, but preferred by their cousin,
the mink. Most ferrets prefer shaped pieces of food and do not care for food
pellets for this reason. Try not to use most grocery store brands of cat
and kitten food because the dyes, fillers and preservatives used are not
good for your little ones, and they are low on meat protein.
Ferrets enjoy eating treats such as raisins, grapes (peeled
or cut in half), unsalted popcorn, peanut butter, banana and an occasional
veggie or two. Go here for
ferret treats. Try different things out in very small quantities
and remember - this is a treat and not an alternative to quality food. Do
not feed your ferret dairy products (can cause diarrhea) or chocolate and
caffeine products. The ferrets may beg for these things, but what doesn't
bother our system can kill a ferret. Linatone, from pet and feed stores,
is good for ferrets as a treat (2 drops a day or one pump a week) and a way
to occupy the ferret as we clip its nails. Have the ferret seated belly up
and pour a little Linatone (or Ferretone),
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ferretone, on its stomach. Show him where it is, and while he's licking
it up, clip the nails on all four feet to within a little bit of the quick
(the pink part of the nail). Do not cut the quick as this may result in bleeding.
Ferret Care - continued
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