One thing that we have seen a few people reaching out and asking for advice on over the last few weeks is how they are able to fatten their pet ferret up as easily as possible so we have decided to publish this article to try and help any of our readers in this same situation. There are a number of reasons that a pet ferret may have to gain weight with two of the main ones being to bulk up for any potential surgery at your local veterinarian and to help them recover from being malnourished or having a poor diet.
Unfortunately, it is very common for ferret owners to accidentally put them on a poor diet that simply does not meet their nutritional needs as some people think ferrets are omnivores but they are actually strict carnivores. They have not evolved to be able to digest carbohydrates efficiently and they are usually lactose intolerant too meaning you should do everything possible to ensure they are on a diet with plenty of animal protein and fats.
On top of this, ferrets have evolved to have an abnormally high metabolic rate for their body size as well as also having a short digestive tract too. Due to this, you should try to feed your pet ferret small portions as regular intervals throughout the day. Even something as simple as this can help increase their overall calorie intake and help fatten your ferret up.
We would always recommend that any of our readers who are ferret owners always try to increase their ferret’s daily calories via additional food intake rather than decrease their daily calorie burn by reducing their exercise. Getting a ferret to gain weight in a healthy way can be a slow process but we have included our favorite methods below to try and help our readers.
Implement A High-Calorie Supplement
In our opinion, the easiest way to get your pet ferret to gain weight at a healthy rate is to simply start supplementing their meals with a high-calorie supplement paste designed for ferrets. We feel that this is the best way to go as provided you are providing your ferret with meals based around animal fats and proteins and not carbohydrates, you can easily add these pastes to their meals.
These suppliments contain a large number of calories relative to the volume of the pastes allowing your pet ferret to unknowingly consume it with their meal without filling up and deciding not to at their regular food. Additionally, unlike the other methods on our list below that may require large changes to your ferret’s regular meals, you can simply add these high-calorie suppliments to your ferret’s regular meals and not break their eating habits.
Although there are a few different nutritional pastes on the market for ferrets, most of them are designed to just increase the vitamin and mineral intake of your pet. We would always recommend that you use Ferretvites High-Calorie Ferret Vitamin Supplement as it has an excellent track record of allowing you to get your ferret to gain weight. Additionally, it definatley has the best reputation amongst ferret owners.
Get A Dry Food Designed For Ferrets
Next up we have a simple one that is very easy to implement but as we mentioned back at the start of the article, ferrets have a very particular diet that can be a pain to meet unless you use pet foods specifically designed for ferrets. Although they can do well on most types of kitten food as well as many types of food designed for adult cats, we feel something like Kaytee Premium Ferret Food With Chicken will always be a better option.
Not only has the macronutrient break down of the food been specifically designed for the unique ferret nutritional needs but it is one of the very few dry foods released for ferrets that has managed to do well. Over the years since Kaytee released the food, it has managed to consistently go from strength to strength with each passing year and earn an an excellent reputation amongst ferret owners.
The kibble size of the food has also specifically been shaped and sized for the smaller size of your ferret’s jaw to make the food as easy as possible for your ferret to actually eat it. Simply switching the main meals over to a ferret food with an optimal nutritional breakdown can help with your pet ferrets gaining weight in a healthy way and is well worth trying.
Increase Suitable Treats
Now, this next one can definatley be hit and miss and will likley depend on your ferret more than anything. Some ferrets seem to love treats while some seem to just run off and hide them for later and never actually get around to eating them. That said though if your ferret does like their treats and usually eats them as soon as you give them to your pet then this can be another quick and easy way to increase the daily calorie intake for your pet ferret.
Although there are a fair few popular brands going now, we always recommend NBone Ferret Chew Treats as in our opinion, they are without a doubt the best option available and also have an excellent reputation with the ferret owning community too. Just like the actual dry food for ferrets above, they can do well on treats designed for kittens but in our opinion, a specific treat designed for ferrets and their unique nutritional needs will always be the better option and we feel that NBone definatley make the best ferret treats.
On top of this, the NBone ferret treats are also very cheap meaning that you can pick up a single pack to see if your pet ferret will actually eat them or just run off and hide them. The bacon flavor definatley seems to be the most popular and they can be a quick and easy way to increase the daily calorie intake of your pet ferret.
Use Raw Cuts Of Meat
Raw feeding and the very similar whole prey diet are other solid options that can help you get your ferret to pack some weight on. It is essentially based around feeding your ferrets a mix match of raw cuts of meat that they would usually feed on in the wild. The recommended breakdown for your pet ferret is around 80% meat, 10% bones and 10% organs with liver often being one of the recommended organs to go with.
As it can be a pain to match your own homemade raw cuts to these guidelines, there are a number of popular raw ferret meal suppliers online that prep everything for you and send it out to you. Many ferret owners opt for this method for feeding their ferret as it is as close to their natural diet as possible and Wysong have rightfully earned themselves a solid reputation amongst the ferret owning community over the years as being the best raw food provider offering these meals tailored for ferrets.
Another method that some ferret owners use is to start their pet ferret one whole pinkys but keep in mind that these should not be used as the primary food source for your ferret. They do not have the required fat content to sustain your ferret and get it to gain weight but can be a great nutritional treat that is close to what they will eat in the wild.
Give Your Ferret Eggs
Our final recommendation for our readers to get their pet ferret to gain some bodyweight is to start using eggs as a treat for their pets. The majority of ferrets tend to love eggs and the nutritional profile of an egg as well as its high-calorie content can be ideal. Again though, eggs should not be the primary meal or food source for your ferret’s diet and should strictly be used as a treat.
Although chicken eggs from the local store can be popular, most ferrets will make short work of a quail egg due to their richer taste. This can be a quick and easy way to increase your ferrets daily calories and the higher nutritional content of a quail egg can also help increase the vitamins and minerals that your pet ferret is getting on a daily basis.
Wrapping It Up
That brings our article on how to fatten a ferret up to an end. We have covered a number of different methods that our readers can implement to help increase the daily calorie intake of their ferrets with ease. On top of this, most of these methods will also help to increase the vitamin and mineral content of the average ferret diet too helping to make your pet healthier and happier too.
As we mentioned back at the start of the article, we would always recommend that you try to get your ferret to gain weight by increasing their calorie intake rather than cutting back on playtime and general exercise to prevent calorie burn. We hope that you have found our article useful and that it helps your ferret gain weight in a healthy way as quickly as possible.