Can Ferrets Eat Wet Dog Food4 min read

Ferrets are small mammals that belong in the order Carnivora. They’re also known as soricids or mink-like animals. The name “ferret” comes from the Latin word for little thieve, and they look like a cross between a weasel and a polecat.

These tiny creatures have been around for almost 2000 years, but their popularity has increased dramatically over the past few decades.

There is no doubt about it: ferrets make great pets. But do you know what kind of diet your pet needs? Can ferrets eat wet dog food?

The answer is no. Ferrets should not eat dog food! 

Ferret Facts 

Ferrets are often kept as pets because of their playful nature and intelligence. They are also known for being excellent hunters and were primarily used for hunting rabbits and other rodents. Ferrets are considered to be intelligent animals and can learn new skills quickly.

Ferrets can live up to 10 years old if adequately cared for. Their lifespan depends on how well-fed they are. If they don’t get enough nutrition, then they will become sickly and weak. This means that they won’t survive long without proper care. The average male ferret weighs anywhere from 3 pounds to 5 pounds, while females weigh around 1,5 to 3 pounds. 

Males are larger than females, which makes them sexually dimorphic predators. In other words – male ferrets grow bigger than female ferrets. 

Ferrets love to hide stuff. It’s not uncommon that they have a stash of things hidden somewhere. When they find something interesting, they’ll play with it until they’re done playing. Then they’ll go back into hiding. 

They need lots of exercises too. A ferret loves running through tunnels and climbing trees. They enjoy exploring every nook and cranny. They also love digging holes. All this activity helps build muscle mass and keeps them healthy.

Don’t forget to make your home ferret-proof – they are very flexible and can make their way through the tiniest holes and openings. 

Why is Wet Dog Food Bad for Ferrets

Wet dog foods contain meat by-products, vegetables, fruits, grains, vitamins, minerals, etc. And while it may not be a problem if your furry friend steals some food out of your dogs’ bowl – this isn’t good for them at all if fed regularly.

Ferrets are obligate carnivores, which means they are strict meat-eaters. Vegetables, grains, and fillers are not suitable for them at all. They can not digest those ingredients properly. So when you feed your ferret dog food, he’ll end up with diarrhea and stomach problems. He might even die due to malnutrition. It’s important to note that most commercial diets are explicitly made for cats and dogs.

That doesn’t mean they’re safe for ferrets, though. In fact, many people who own ferrets say that their health deteriorates after switching to these types of diets.

What Should I Feed My Pet Instead?

As mentioned above – ferrets are strict meat-eaters. They don’t need anything but meat to live a long and healthy life. A variety of raw meats and other animal products are available for ferrets.

  • beef
  • chicken wings
  • chicken breast
  • turkey
  • turkey necks
  • game birds
  • raw bones
  • veal
  • offal
  • organs (liver, kidney, heart)
  • lamb
  • fish (tuna)
  • eggs

Ferrets are not really limited to the meats listed above. Any fresh meat would work just fine. However, there are certain things you want to avoid feeding your ferret. Some everyday items include:

  • dairy products
  • grains
  • beans
  • legumes
  • soybeans
  • corn
  • wheat
  • rice
  • carrots
  • potatoes
  • sweet potatoes
  • garlic
  • onions
  • peppers
  • cucumbers
  • tomato paste
  • vinegar
  • citrus juices

The list could go on. To be on the safe side – generally avoid vegetables, fruits, and dairy products. Ferrets are lactose intolerant – therefore, prevent milk or other dairy products.

What about Dry Food

Dry dog food is also a big no-no for ferrets. While dry dog food does have its benefits – it contains too much filler material like corn, wheat, soybean meal, rice bran, etc. These materials aren’t digested in any way by the ferret. Therefore, they cause digestive issues and lead to malnourishment.

If you plan to feed dry food to your furry friend, buy brands that are specifically made for ferrets. You should look for one that has only high-quality protein sources like chicken, fish, lamb, beef, turkey, duck, venison, rabbit, pork, eggs, liver, kidneys, hearts, and so forth.

You shouldn’t worry about buying expensive brands either. Just make sure to check the ingredients list. It doesn’t have to be the most expensive brand around. As long as it meets the requirements set forth above, then it will do just fine.


Wet dog food tends to have a lot of ingredients that your ferret doesn’t digest properly. Common vegetables, fruits can be harmful to a ferret. Dry dog food also has many filler materials that will cause health problems in your ferret.

That’s why wet dog food is something you should not let your ferret have.

Ferrets are lactose intolerant – so avoid feeding him milk or other dairy products. Ferrets can live healthy lives with meat only! They get all of the nutrients they need from raw meat. If you want to feed dry food, make sure it’s ferret-approved.