With the rise in popularity of pet ferrets, businesses have seen an opportunity to make more money. As the demand for pet ferrets increases, so does the demand for ferret supplies. Unfortunately the top priority for most pet supply companies is not the well-being of the animals, but the maximization of profit. Businesses have begun creating cheap products to market, regardless of the fact that many of these products are not just bad, but often horrible for ferrets (and other domestic pets for that matter).
A very important rule to remember is that just because something says “For Ferrets” does NOT mean that it is actually safe for ferrets. Toys often have small pieces or materials that can cause blockages, foods (kibble) and treats are made with ingredients that ferrets are unable to digest, and that are known to cause lethal diseases such as insulinoma, the nutrients are baked out and often the “animal products” used in the food are left over bits and pieces. Kibble can cut gums and poses a large choking hazard. In ferrets with IBD kibble’s rough texture can scrape and irritate an already sensitive stomach. If you wouldn’t eat it, why would you feed it to your ferret?
Ferrets are obligate carnivores, meaning that they require a strict diet of animal protein – meat. The digestive tract and dentition of the domestic ferret is almost identical to that of their wild relatives (and ancestors) the European Polecat. They are designed to be predators, carnivores, who subsist on a diet of whole prey and carrion.
Feeding a Biologically Appropriate Diet means that you are trying to mimic, as closely as possible, the animal’s natural diet, the diet that they are biologically built to live on. Raw diets often go by many names including: BARF (Bones And Raw Food), RMB (Raw Meaty Bones), Frankenprey, Raw diet, Biologically Appropriate Diet, etc. With so many names it can be easy to get confused. But don’t worry, these are all different names for the same thing and we will help to guide you through creating a healthy, balanced diet for your little carnivore.
There are many Myths about raw diet – most of which are untrue. In reality, a raw diet is the healthiest option for your ferret. Ferrets on a raw diet have soft, sleek, shiny fur, clean white teeth, strong teeth and bones, improved digestive health, greatly decreased risk of insulinoma, more energy, decreased vet bills, less poop (smaller in size and number!), better hydration, improved muscle mass and tone, improved immune systems, and (barring hormonal changes in intact ferrets) NO smell. That’s right! That musky odor ferrets are notorious for? No more! (to read more on why this is, click HERE – link to come). This list is just the beginning of the health improvements you will see in your ferrets on a raw diet.
Keep reading for more info on how to create a balanced diet for your ferret (a poorly balanced raw diet can be even worse than a kibble diet!), how to switch your kibble ferrets to a raw diet, and more information on the benefits and facts behind feeding raw!