As it is important that your ferret should not have to much weight it is important that your pet is not too thin because both situations can cause a lot of health issues. So to keep your ferret healthy i have researched all about ferrets nutrition and how to help them gain and keep proper weight.
The easiest way to help your ferret get some weight is to add raw meat (chicken wings, minced beef…) to regular packed food and limit their physical activity.
It is not easy to help your ferret gain weight because the goal is not just gaining weight but also keeping your pet healthy. In this article you will learn all about normal weight, metabolic system and what is the right food for your ferret so let’s start.
What would be the normal weight of an adult ferret?
Adult ferret should weigh 1-4 lbs depends on the gender. Of course females are smaller and they weigh around 1-2,5lbs pounds, males are bigger and their average weight is about 2-4 lbs
If you think that your ferret is out of these proportions then you are anxious to know how to help it to gain some weight.
Ferret’s metabolic system
Ferrets have very high metabolic rates and therefore very short digestive tract. They are very active animals so they need to eat often. What does it mean in practice -Infants should have 4 meals per day and adult ferrets around 8 meals per day.
It is said that adult ferret should eat 5-8% of its body mass, which means that if ferret’s weight Is about 2lbs, your ferret should take about 2-2,5 oz of food every day.
Perfect food for you ferret
If you check the numbers and you think that your ferret meals are in those proportions (quantity and number of meals per day) but still consider your ferret skinny ,then you check the food content you are giving to your pet .
As ferrets being 100% carnivores, meat is a MUST. If you give your pet a packed food for ferrets, do check nutrition value numbers on the pack.
Ferrets diet must consist of at least 40-50% proteins ( animal source only, plant proteins are not good for ferrets ) Then food should be rich in fat ( around 20-25% ) and a maximum 7% of carbs. This should be a guideline for your pet balanced and high-quality diet.
How to help your ferret gain some weight ?
Some pet ferret owners consider raw meat would be great addition to regular packed food . But not every meat has the same nutrition value .
The best option for your ferret are prey animals :
- chicken ( wings )
- minced beef
Many studies show that raw meat is better then cooked meat although some owners prefer to give cooked meat to their small friends .Be careful , if you give raw meat to your pet and it doesn’t eat in one hour, throw that away as it is not safe for usage afterwards. This does not refer only on raw meat , but also on canned food as well. Ferrets food is rich in fat so it can go bad if stays open for few hours. Also bear in mind that sometimes giving raw meat to a ferret can awake its natural instincts ( which are not so strong as your ferret is a domestic animal ,does not live in wild) which can lead to more aggressive behaviour.
Ferrets also love eggs ,for example you can give eggs to your pet ,as a treat ,once or twice a week.
If you cannot afford /find packed food for ferrets with good nutritious value then high-quality food for cats would also do the work. If possible buy the food for kittens as it is richer in proteins and everything that one ferret needs then food for adult cats.
Another thing you can do is to limit your ferret physical activity. Maybe you are doing all well when it comes to food but simply your little buddy is too active.
This does not mean that you should ban it to go out of the cage, that would not be clever nor good for its health but maybe you can let it be out of the cage for a shorter time than usual and maybe you can limit its play area, make it smaller.
Eventually if none of these helps, consult your vet, maybe ferret has some health issue and loses the weight as a result of it or maybe needs some food supplement.