Can My Ferret Eat Dog Food Safely?

Q: Is dog food healthy for ferrets – can my ferrets even eat it?

A: I personally would keep the dog food away from your ferrets. Dog food has a lot of corn in it and some brands may be unhealthy for ferrets.

Are any brands of Dog Food Good For My Ferrets?

I’ve added Evo canine to my ferts food awile ago and they love it! I’m feeding Evo canine, Chicken soup for the cat/kitten lover soul, and Eukanuba lamb and rice.

Canine evo does contain taurine, its not in the list of ingredients because its not added as a supplement. It is in the analysis if you read that, that’s because it is there naturally within the ingredients. Its a great food for ferrets.

Don’t ever give the reduced fat dog food for a ferret. Just use regular evo kibble. You can get it in red meat or chicken (I believe there was a slight difference in nutrition and iron levels). You can also get it in small bites which are smaller shaped kibbles which I find better for ferrets.

I prefer Evo Red Meat, Wellness Core, Blue Buffalo Wilderness or Barking at the Moon, personally. They are all grain and by-product free and high on protein.

Evo Dog Food for Ferrets

I was reading in a ferret magazine that no dog food is nutritional enough for a ferret. Protein in Evo is 42%. It sounds really good when I read the contents but it contains no taurene. I was reading my eukanuba bag and it does not list any taurene either. Taurine is something they need.

The exception is Evo Dog Food. I bought a bag of evo dog food for my kids as they were out of the cat/kitten kind.I remember my friend saying they like to feed the dog evo to their ferrets.I also feed eukanuba adult cat lamb and rice.

 I  use Evo canine (and Eukanuba lamb) in my mix, and will soon be adding the evo red meat (to replace evo feline).. Evo is one of the few exceptions to the dog food rule where there is taurine. My guys handle the canine much better, they’re a bit older.

Its the first 5 to 6 ingredients that are important, not just the very first. Unless you’re feeding something like EVO or Orijen dog, or something all natural, I would keep the pup food to the pups
The top rated (proven safe) dog food brands for ferrets from best to worst:
  1. Evo Dog
  2. Evo Red Meat
  3. Orijen
  4. Blue Buffalo
  5. Barking at the Moon

How to Wean Ferrets Off Of Dog Food

Okay, so ferrets imprint on food at an early age, and your ferret may have been fed dog food, and is now how hooked on it. Here’s what you do: Get some really good quality ferret food (or cat food) maybe Evo Cat and Kitten, Totally Ferret Lamb and Venison, or something like that. Most can be ordered off the internet. Slowly mix the new with the dog food (about 1/4 cup each, then 1/4 cup of dog food to 1/2 cup of good stuff, then no dog food). You can even put the mix of food in a plastic bag for a day or two so they absorb each others scent/taste.

The problem with dog food is it’s not the right amount of protien/fat/carb ratio and you’re going to have serious medical problems down the road. Also for soup, once you have established a ferret food, grind some in a blender, add water, and make a soup. You can use hot water or nuke it to just warm enough.

Test to make sure it’s not to hot as nuking really does get it hot if you’re not careful. Once a week I add about a quarter cup of pumpkin (not pie filling) to help with hairballs, etc.

Canned or Dry Food?

I’ve heard from customers and such at work that for ferrets and cats, canned food is better. It helps keep them lean and that some of the dry food can hurt their smaller teeth. As for dogs though, dry food is better. Their teeth are larger (in most breeds) and the dry kibble does help clean parts of their teeth.

Is Dry or Wet Food Best?

My ferrets get dry food and the dog gets a mixture. Most days it is 3/4 pro plan dry with 1/4 pro plan wet and the other days instead of it being wet it is an egg. She loves it! I think i have one of the few animals that does not like chicken. Layla will not eat food that has chicken flavour in it. But boy you should see her when it comes to lamb.

Wet food makes an animal over weight, and the oils it is what hurt their teeth (easier to get stuck in the gums too) and stomach linings.

I believe everyone including top national ranked vets will have their own opinion on things. Honestly I think everyone’s teeth will go bad and we will all get fat if we do not excerise (yea me already there. Well, maybe not the teeth).

So as long as you are feeding them what is good for them (health wise) and give them exercise, any pet (including ferrets, dogs, and cats) will be healthy, whether feeding wet or dry cat food, ferret food, or dog food.

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