Can Ferrets Eat Dog Food?

can ferrets eat dog food

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Many people have cats or dogs.

But we don’t have many people with ferrets as pets.

This creates one problem: ferret food cant be mass-produced.

This makes it more expensive to raise your ferret.

You’re probably thinking: will dog food do? Is it healthy for your ferret?

Read this article to get the full scoop about feeding dog food to ferrets.

Why Should You Avoid Giving Dog Food To Your Ferret?

Food is food as long it’s balanced, yeah?

In most cases, it is but not when it comes to your ferret.

You may give dog food to your ferret once in a while.

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But making it a regular thing is dangerous.


Dogs have a different biological makeup.

You’ve probably seen them digest a variety of meals from avocados to meat.

Your ferret, on the other hand, is another species entirely.

Their stomachs are unable to absorb some of the ingredients in dog food.

And it doesn’t stop there since your little animal can develop health complications such as intestinal blockages or kidney issues.

This is harmful to your ferret, and it may also cause premature death.

As you know, dogs are omnivores. And maybe you own one of those jovial, energetic, and bouncy dogs.

That kind of energy will need lots of carbohydrates.

But ferrets, being carnivores, need animal fat and meat protein.

That’s what their little stomachs can handle.

Your ferret’s food should, therefore, contain high protein content and little to zero fiber.

As we said earlier, there are days you won’t find ferret food. What do you do?

Quality dog food may do for the day.

One thing, though, cheap dog food brands are usually unsafe for your ferret.

And as we shall see next, they do more harm than good.

What Happens When Ferrets Eat Dog Food?

Research has been done to determine if ferrets can live on dog food.

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Unfortunately, all ferrets in this study died prematurely.

It means your ferret gets little or nothing from dog food.

Worse still, they end up eating more food to try and get more nutrients.

Your problems will only increase from here. Excess carbohydrate (sugar) leads to obesity.

And sadly, obesity means your ferret will die sooner than later.

Dog food also lacks taurine. This amino acid is great for your ferret’s heart and eyes.

Lack of taurine in the body leads to dilated cardiomyopathy, which leads to congestive heart failure and untimely death.

What Should Your Ferret Eat?

Your ferret needs food that is high in protein. High fiber content is a no-no.

Lucky for you, most pet stores now have ferret food on their shelves.

The best diet is a minimum of 33% fat and 21% amino acids.

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The maximum ash level should be 7%, and fiber content shouldn’t exceed 3%.

Note that ferrets have a high metabolic rate, and oh, do they burn calories!

If you supplement their two meals a day with a small snack every 4 hours, your little guy will be as active as ever (which is good).

Remember, ferrets are small. You want an active pet ferret, but quality doesn’t mean quantity.

Give them food servings that match their body size, and you will avoid making these cute pets obese.

Does Your Ferret Prefer Dry Food or Moist Food?

Most experts recommend dry food pellets for your ferret.

First, you can store these foods for a while.

Dry food pellets also help clean the ferret’s teeth while eating (Like hard foods to humans).

What about moist foods?

It is still okay, but the ferret should finish it in 45 minutes.

After that, the food becomes a breeding ground for bacteria, and it should be thrown away.

What about Frozen Foods?

It will be a miracle if your ferret eats frozen fish or meat.

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Before you get a ferret, you should know a secret that every ferret owner knows.

Once these cuties develop a dislike for certain foods, they would rather starve.

Closing Remarks

Planning a balanced diet is crucial for your ferret’s health and lifespan.

Dog foods can only be served on rare occasions.

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Even when selecting ferret food, you must choose the highest quality.

And high meat content will keep the ferret healthy for longer.

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