Can Ferrets Eat Dog Food5 min read

Have you ever wondered if ferrets can eat dog food? Do not worry. This is a common question. Dog food has grains and fillers as ingredients, which ferrets cannot digest.

Ferrets are obligate carnivores and need pure meat in their diet. Their diet should consist of a mixture of high protein and fat from animals exclusively.

So the answer is: No, Ferrets should not eat dog food!

Why Should your Ferret not eat Dog Food?

Ferrets require different nutrients than dogs do. Ferrets cannot get the nutrients they need from dog food.

Ferrets need complex nutrition, and dog food cannot provide that.

Dog foods have carbohydrates that ferrets cannot digest, plus dog food has fillers, leading to health problems in your ferret.

Ferrets should only eat a mixture of high protein meaty foods. Ferrets are susceptible to falling ill or having other health problems if they receive too much or too little nutrition.

They are obligate carnivores which means they need meat to sustain themselves. Meat only!

Carbs do not provide the right nutrition for an animal like a ferret. Dogs eat other things besides just meat, so it’s fine if you let your dog have some vegetables or grains as well, but this isn’t healthy for a ferret and will be causing health issues.

Urinary Tract Stones are one of the things your ferret could end up with if you feed dog food to it!

The Digestive Tract Size of Your Pet Ferret

Another reason why you should not feed dog food to your ferret because their digestive tract size is tiny. Dog’s have a much larger intestine than ferrets and are not as strict carnivores.

Ferrets need more calories per pound of body weight, so they won’t be getting the right amount from eating dog food if you’re feeding an equivalent volume for both species.

Dog food consists of grains, fillers, sugars, and other ingredients, leading to health problems in ferrets, such as Diabetes or insulin resistance. Your pet ferret should only eat high protein meaty foods with no, or as few carbs possible whatsoever.

What If Your Ferret Eats Dog Food?

Ok. But what happens if your ferret steals some dog food?

There should be no problem if your ferret gets away with a few pieces of dry kibble occasionally.

However, you must keep the dog food and ferret food separated at all times to avoid any mishaps. Dry dog kibble is not good for ferrets because they can’t digest carbs or sugars.

  • Dog food should never be left out where a ferret can get access to it – even if only occasionally!
  • Feed your dog and your ferret in different rooms

If you want your ferret to live a long and healthy life, stop it from eating dog food!

What are the Benefits of Feeding Ferrets Raw Meat?

meatgrinder grinding meat_chicken

Feeding ferrets raw meat provides them with all the nutrients they need without any extra additives or preservatives, so their body doesn’t end up getting overloaded.

Meats your Ferret can eat:

  • Game birds
  • Chicken wings
  • Stripped chicken carcasses.
  • Turkey necks
  • Rabbit
  • Minced beef
  • Lamb

Make sure you give only high-quality meat to your fuzzy friend! You could even feed them with fish but don’t overdo it. Fish is nothing they would catch in the wild. Plus, you will end up with a fishy-smelling ferret …

Ferrets should eat a mixture of protein and fat that can easily digest – just the right quantity of meats, so they stay healthy while not getting bored after eating the same type all time long.

Taurin, what is it? Why does your Ferret need it?

Unlike dogs, ferrets can not produce taurine and need to get it from their diet. Taurine is an amino acid that helps the body produce energy, and if your ferret does not have any, it will end up with all kinds of health issues.

You find taurine in meat, fish, and some dairy products, which means that your ferret needs to eat meat!

How often should Ferrets eat?

Ferrets are high metabolism animals that eat eight to ten small meals a day. They have high protein needs, as they are obligate carnivores.

Pet stores and veterinarian offices sell food pellets, which are excellent sources of protein for ferrets. They are easy to store and always at hand. Obviously, only buy kibble that is ferret approved!

Variety is Key

Did you ever try to introduce an old ferret to a new diet? It is not impossible, but it can be a bit trickier.

Ferrets should be introduced to many different food sources at a young age. Once they turn 4 months old, they are pretty much “programmed” regarding the foods they will eat (or won´t eat).

The stuff they haven’t tried until then, they probably won´t touch later in life.

Make sure young kits are eating various high-quality foods and snacks to avoid food sensitivities later on!


Ferrets need a high-protein, low carbohydrate diet that consists of animal meat and nothing else. It would also be best to vary a young ferrets diet to avoid food sensitivities later in life.

The fillers, grains, and sugars in dog food are something you ferret should not eat. They can not digest these ingredients and could develop severe health conditions from it.

Instead, look into a ferret-specific type of food or raw meaty bones to satisfy their needs.

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