Keeping a dog or cat as a pet does not necessarily call for excessive consultation or thought process as the domestication of these animals has been a regular norm over the ages. However, the same may not be true for a ferret. A mammal hailing from the Mustelidae family, a ferret is known to be sharing its genes with otters, weasels and polecats.
The domestication of ferrets is a relatively new fad, ranging back to the latter years of the 20th century. Today, many in the US have them as pets. The dietary habits of a ferret are not as simple as many other pets and therefore require special knowledge and thick billing!
Owing to its inherent hunting characteristic, a ferret is essentially meat eaters. This fact is further reinforced by some its body features. The animal shows adequate development of carnassials, teeth that especially aid in flesh eating. The abdomen shows absence of the appendix and cecum, organs required to digest carbohydrates and fiber rich foods. In order to keep a ferret in good health and increase its lifespan, it should be provided with food that is rich in proteins with some amount of fat intake as well.
The best proportion of nutrients in a ferret’s meal should be approximately 35 to 40 percent protein, 18 to 30 percent fat and about 2 percent fiber. Fresh meat in the form of mice, chicks, eggs and some kinds of fish are preferable over cooked forms. The best would be raw or cooked poultry, lamb, fish, beef and cooked eggs. The meals should be light yet frequent. Occasionally, the animal can be given fruits such banana, pineapple, or vegetables like, broccoli and carrots in mashed form. Since it cannot digest lactose, therefore milk is a complete no-no and the only liquid to be provided is water. Keep ferrets away from junk and sugary food to maintain good health and save your pocket from rounds of a vet clinic!
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