Can Ferrets Eat Cheese, Milk or Dairy Products?

Ferrets are an amazing addition to any household.

They are intelligent, curious, playful, love to explore and very friendly animals.

They are the ideal pet for anyone who has a lot of free time and wants to bond with their pet.

Ferrets are not very maintenance pets, but you still need to be careful about certain things in order to properly take care of the little adorable creatures.

Food, water, vaccinations, vet care, housing, and hygiene are all you need to be very particular about when it comes to taking care of ferrets.

So, can ferrets eat cheese milk or dairy products? No, you should never feed your ferret cheese or any other kind of dairy products. Ferrets do not have a digestive system that can easily digest these things. Feeding your ferret dairy can actually make it very sick. So why take the risk?

Ferrets are not wild animals; contrary to popular belief the little adorable munchkins are actually very friendly. All the cases that have been reported in the media in which ferrets have bit people, all involve a ferret that was either severely malnourished or badly abused. Ferrets are of no harm to you or your family. They are actually great pets for any household. If you want to spend a lot of time bonding with your pet, then ferrets are definitely the way to go.

It’s better to always consult your vet regarding what and what not can you feed your ferret

Ferret care tips

Food

The most important part of ferret care is food. In order to keep a ferret healthy, you really need to provide it with a diet that gives the ferret all the nutrition it needs. Ferrets have really high metabolic rates and short digestive tracts, that means they have to eat little but frequently. They also have a very active lifestyle which means that they need a diet that caters to their huge energy demand.

Ferrets are obligate carnivores and their diet is dominated by meat. Their diet had to have large portions or protein and fats and the protein has to be derived from meat sources.

You can feed your ferret cat food but make sure that the protein in the cat food is derived from meat and not from plants. The soy that is found in cat food actually triggers allergic reactions in ferrets, so you have always to read the ingredient label of the cat food product.

Dog food is something that you should never feed your ferret no matter what the case is as the dog food does not have the nutrients that the ferret needs to stay healthy. You can feed your ferret raw chicken, turkey and eggs.

Feeding your ferret raw food can be a little risky as raw food sometimes contains pathogens and parasites that can make your ferret very sick. It is better first to cook the eggs, chicken and the turkey and then feed your ferret.

Ferrets can also eat feathers, organs and bones of the animals that humans do not, this is because in the wild the ferrets cannot be picky and they need to survive on what they can get. You can go to your butcher and ask the fellow to cut all parts of the prey animals into pieces that are of equal size. Then come home and ground all that together, add the vegetable mixture and then freeze the food in cubes. You can take out cubes every day and feed your ferret food that is rich in nutrition.

Dairy products, grains, leftover human food, honey, peanut butter and chocolates should not ever be given to ferrets. Vegetables and fruits are also not good for ferrets as ferrets do not have the digestive system that can easily digest the fiber and the ferret can get very sick.

Water is a very important component of the diet of ferrets. You need to make sure that your ferret is hydrated throughout the day. Provide your ferret with clean fresh water in a water dish rather than a water bottle. Ferrets drink much more from a water dish as compared to a water bottle.

Just make sure that the water dish is not deep in order to prevent your ferret from drowning. The ferret should have access to the water throughout the day.

Ferrets for thousands of years were used to hunt small rodents so you can also feed your ferret live prey such as mice and rats. Remember to give your ferret a mouse that you have killed as killing a mouse can actually cause your ferret to get injured.

The best way to get good quality mice is from snake breeders. You can also buy mice at the pet store but they will be around 5 dollars per mouse and that can make great a dent in your pocket, and some pet stores might not even sell you the mouse for this purpose.

Whenever you give a mouse to your ferret make sure that it is fresh as a rotten ferret may make your ferret sick. If you have a frozen mouse, then thaw it in the fridge. A ferret will have no idea what to do with a frozen mouse and thawing the mouse at room temperature can get it contaminated much more easily.

Cost

Ferrets are actually a little more expensive than normal pets as they are thought to be exotic. You can get a ferret for around 150 to 250 dollars from a breeder or your local pet store. Try buying a ferret that is over 12 weeks old as ferrets need their mothers till they are at the very least 8 weeks old.

Many pet stores and breeders sell ferrets that are as young as 6 weeks old. If you are unsure about the age of the ferret, just take it to the vet to find out. The mature ferrets are actually much easier to train and handle as compared to the younger ones.

There are many other costs in addition to the purchase cost. If you buy a ferret that has not been vaccinated, then you will have to get your ferret distemper and rabies shots which will cost around 500 dollars.

Vet care is also very expensive. There are many places that require you to get a permit for a ferret which will again cost you around 15 dollars. It does depend on the area you live in. The food, supplies and cage etc. will also put a dent in your pocket. You need to be aware of all the costs before attempting to buy a ferret. Obviously, the cost will increase with the number of ferrets.

Ferret proofing

Ferrets can cause havoc if they are not supervised. Ferrets will take your keys, pencils, pens, important documents, the phone, remotes, cells and almost everything that is not nailed to the ground and then hide it in places that are hard to reach.

Their slender bodies allow them to fit in the tiniest places. Your ferret might also end up getting in trouble, so you really need to ferret-proof the areas of your house where the ferret is allowed to roam around in.

You need to protect the electrical outlets as well as the electrical cords, Design safety gates, block the doorways, fill cracks and block all the holes that the ferret might be able to get into.

Companions

Ferrets need human interaction and they love the attention that they get from their human friends. If you want to get another companion for your ferret, then you need first to understand a few things. Ferrets get best along with cats. It does depend on the temperament of the cat and cats are very serious about their territories. It takes time for them in getting used to a new ferret.

Dogs, on the other hand, are a completely different story. There are many dog breeds that get along with ferrets and then there are many that do not. For centuries dos were used to hunt small animals and ferrets being small animal may trigger your dog’s hunting instinct.

Larger dogs are another problem. Large dogs do not quite understand their strength against the little ferrets. They may end up hurting the little creature. So the relationship between dogs and ferrets is rather tricky and the temperament of each animal does play a huge role.

Rodents such as rabbits, rats, mice, hamsters and guinea pigs should never be kept with ferrets. Ferrets for thousands of years have been used to hunt the rodents and drive them out of their burrows. This is the sort of behavior that you cannot just breed out of the ferret.

Your ferret will do its best to hunt down your rodent, it will not eat it but will definitely kill it. If you still really want to keep a rodent, then you should lock the doors of the cage of the rodent. Ferrets are very intelligent animals and they can easily learn to slide open doors and open cage doors. Always keep your ferret and your rodent pets in separate rooms.

If you have fish, then remember to cover the top of the aquarium and lock it. The ferret might feel the need to go fishing and kill all of your pet fish.

Introductions between the ferret and the other animals is very important and its forms the basis of the relationship that your ferret will have with the other pets. The introduction process is not a one man job and you will definitely need help from another person.

Hold your ferret in your hand and ask the other person to hold the cat or the dog in his or her hand. Then allow the animals to sniff each other out. Start with short sessions and then increase the timing of the sessions gradually. When your animals become comfortable enough with each other then let them go and interact.

You need to supervise all the interactions that your pets have no matter how comfortable they are with one another as things can go bad in seconds.

After the session place the animals back in their cages, where they can see and smell each other, but they cannot hurt one another. During the session, if you hear a hiss, show of teeth, hair standing or a growl, just separate the animals. The best age to get animals is when they are babies, this way they are more comfortable with each other as they grow together.

Related questions

How many times a week can I bathe my ferret? You should bathe your ferret only once a month. If you bathe your ferret more frequently, then the ferret will get sick. The water strips away all the essential oils from the skin of the ferret. This causes the body of the ferret to produce even more oils in order to bridge the gap and this causes the ferret to stink even more than it usually does. If your ferret gets really dirty then you can bathe it again.

What kind of toys should I get my ferret? Ferrets love to play and getting them toys is a great idea. You should get them toys in which they can hide or build tunnels. Give them toys that do not have small parts as ferrets can choke to death. Also do not get them rubber toys as ferrets have a habit of chewing and they might swallow the rubber which will cause internal blockages in the intestine of the ferret. Make your own toys for the ferrets. Take a large plastic container and then fill it with ping pongs. The ferrets love digging and your ferret will go crazy for this. There are many toys in the market that are specially designed for ferrets. Before buying a toy for your ferret make sure that it is safe for your ferret to play with. For more help, just go and consult your vet.

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