The best treats for ferrets are tasty, easy to digest and good for their health. And there are plenty to choose from!
Ferrets can eat lots of different types of high protein foods, which are easily available to us. From foods designed for kittens, to bits of our meaty dinner. These pets are simple to keep and easy to treat!
So, let’s take a look at the best commercial treats for ferrets, as well as treats for ferrets you can prepare at home.
All of these products were carefully and independently selected by the Squeaks and Nibbles team. If you decide to make a purchase from one of the links marked by an asterisk, we may earn a small commission on that sale. This is at no extra cost to you.
What Do Ferrets Eat as Treats?
Here is a general list of safe and appropriate treat foods to give you some ideas:
- Kitten food (always supplement with fatty acids)
- Cooked or raw chicken
- Food pellets (chicken or lamb is a great choice here)
- Cooked egg
- Chicken, turkey or lamb bites
- Treats made specifically for ferrets (or kittens or cats)
Treat Safety for Ferrets
Ferrets might be great hunters, but they have very sensitive gums and mouth tissues.
Also, their mouths are small.
So make sure you only feed treats that are softer or have smoothed edges to avoid injury to their gums and mouth tissues.
Rounded dry or moist kibble balls are fine, but steer clear of dry hard squares or triangles.
Also be sure that any treats you offer to your ferret are pre-prepared in bite-sized pieces so your ferret won’t risk choking.
If your ferret ever does get a taste of sweet foods, it won’t be long before he is begging for more.
This is just the nature of such “highly palatable foods” – it is why people love them too!
Avoid the Following Types of Treats:
- Treats that are high in sugar or carbohydrates.
- Nuts or nut butters
- Dairy or ice cream
- Grains or rice
- Anything with caffeine
Your ferret’s very specialized digestive system cannot digest these foods and will likely get sick.
Chocolate in particular can be fatal to ferrets, and should never be offered.
Finally, your ferret will thank you for finding some good ferret treats that are formulated to prevent the formation of hairballs.
Like cats, pet ferrets groom themselves by licking and can develop hairballs.
But unlike cats, ferrets can’t vomit those hairballs back up.
So if your pet ferret does develop a hairball, she may require surgery to dislodge it!
Here, it is far safer for her to simply offer some treats for ferrets that can keep hairballs from forming in the first place.
Good Treats for Ferrets
These good treats for ferrets will give you plenty of options to “test the waters” of your ferret’s palate and see what he most prefers.
Since all of these treats for ferrets are economically priced and come in small amounts.
Even if your ferret isn’t keen for one treat flavor, you can quickly move on until you find the one he goes wild for.
Marshall Bandits Ferret Treat
Marshall Bandits Ferret Treats* are very popular.
Bandits ferret treats come in a variety of flavors including chicken, banana, raisin, bacon and peanut butter.
These ferret chew treats are moist and soft and full of pure meat protein.
Wysong Dream Treats For Ferrets
Wysong Dream Treats* are designed for dogs, cats or ferrets.
These treats come in three flavor options: chicken, quail and rabbit.
The treats are freeze-dried to retain full nutritional value without using additives.
NBone Ferret Treats
NBone High Protein Treats* for Ferrets.
Packed full of high protein with a tasty bacon flavor, these new ferret treats actually have a poultry base and are economically priced.
They are designed to be a treat item only, not for use as a main food.
Healthy Treats for Ferrets
Some of the healthiest treats for ferrets you can offer your pet ferret are the ones that can pull double duty.
As in, they are tasty but they also tend to your ferret’s healthcare needs at the same time.
Some examples include ferret treats that help to dissolve hairballs and treats that help to keep the teeth clean.
This is a list of some of our favorite healthy ferret treats to try!
8 in 1 Ferret Treats
The 8 in 1 Ferretvite* is a high calorie vitamin supplement.
8 in 1 ferret treats are economical, tasty and healthy for your ferret. What more could a ferret owner ask for in a treat?
It also delivers a healthy dose of essential fatty acids to keep your ferret’s coat thick and glossy and reduce skin issues.
Best of all, you can give it as a treat on the tip of your finger and let your ferret lick it off.
Just be sure you have your camera ready to capture the cuteness!
N-Bone Ferret Salmon Chew Treats
N-Bone Ferret Salmon Flavor Chew Treats* is another fab treat for ferrets.
This one helps to remove plaque buildup and tartar from your ferret’s teeth and gums.
Even while it is cleverly disguised as a tasty soft salmon chew treat.
These treats for ferrets also come in chicken and bacon flavors.
The ingredients are all natural with no artificial colors, ingredients or preservatives.
Marshall Uncle Jim’s Duk Soup Mix
A fun alternative treat for ferrets is Duk Soup Mix* for Ferrets.
Duck soup is the common name given to the soupy mixture often given as food when ferrets are under the weather.
This classic dry mix formula tastes like (what else!) chicken soup.
Ferrets love it and find it easy to ingest and highly palatable.
It is a good idea to offer this treat occasionally when your ferret is in good health as well so he will recognize and accept it when he isn’t feeling well.
Homemade Ferret Treats
Even with your pet ferret’s protein-centric dietary requirements, it is absolutely possible to make your ferret homemade ferret treats.
Here are two fun ideas to try:
If you have access to a local butcher or meat market, you can ask for some discarded meat cuts or organ meats that won’t be sold for human consumption.
Ferrets love these meats even though many people do not.
Be sure to cook the meat fully to avoid dangers from bacteria or parasites.
You can then cube the cooked meat into bite-sized pieces and freeze the extra for future treats.
If your ferret likes to play with foraging toys, hardboiled egg crumbles or small egg cubes can be a fun treat to hide inside these toys.
Just boil the egg until both the whites and the inner yolk are fully cooked, then cool and cube or crumble.
You can freeze what you don’t feed your ferret right away.
Ferret Treats – Human Food?
As far as feeding your ferret human food, the guiding rule of thumb remains the same.
Your pet ferret is designed to consume pure animal protein and healthy fats with only trace amounts of carbohydrates.
Such as what might be present in the stomachs of herbivore prey animals.
Make sure human food is protein rich and steers clear of ingredients that may cause your ferret to experience indigestion.
Appropriate choices might include cubed soft meats and well-cooked hard-boiled eggs.
Do Your Research First
Remember that you won’t be doing her any favors by offering her table food that her digestive tract won’t recognize and cannot break down.
She may thank you now and then end up in the veterinary emergency room later.
And that is not a “win” for either of you. But stick to pure animal protein and you will both do just fine!
Ferret Treats for Training
Ferrets are very intelligent and amenable to training, mostly because they love and crave the interaction with you.
Offer treats and supplements for this purpose, which can serve as enrichment as well as an incentive to learn new skills or tricks.
And endure the occasional husbandry chores like nail trimming and fur brushing.
The key to using treats for training purposes is to offer the treats in very SMALL quantities.
This is due to how ferrets eat.
If they get full too fast, the training session will end quickly!
The best way to use food treats for training is to cut up a single treat serving into smaller pieces to keep your ferret motivated.
Can Ferrets Eat Cat Treats?
Ferrets can eat certain types of cat treats.
In general, veterinarians recommend offering kitten food or kitten treats rather than food or treats formulated for full-grown adult cats.
The high-protein, high-fat growing kitten’s diet comes closer to the diet a ferret needs than that of an adult cat’s.
Understanding the Ferret Diet
Ferrets are smart, furry and playful.
They make great pets because they combine the best features of cats and dogs.
And also contribute some uniquely wonderful features of their own!
But of course, you already knew this, because you are already living with one of these amazing little fur beings!
As early as 450 B.C.E., a Greek playwright named Aristophanes dubbed the ferret an equal to the ancient Greeks in terms of its thieving ability.
Believe it or not, at the time this was considered a great compliment!
What This Means
Today, the moment you bring your little one home, you know that everything you have now technically belongs to your ferret anyway.
And you are glad to give it – so long as you know it is safe for ferrets to have.
This includes your ferret’s daily diet of meals, snacks and treats.
Did you know that the first pet ferret dates back as far as 63 B.C.E.?
This is significant for three reasons:
1. Pet Ferrets Are No Longer “Wild” Animals
The modern pet ferret is a domesticated animal, similar in this way to livestock and dogs.
A domestic pet ferret will NOT fare well in the wild.
It is thus completely dependent on its owner for safety, health, wellness and survival.
2. Ferrets Are Still True Carnivores in Every Sense of the Word
The modern pet ferret still requires a daily diet of pure animal protein to remain healthy.
This is true for both meals and treats for ferrets. In fact, the ferret is known as an “obligate” carnivore.
The word obligate means “obligated” or “compelled.”
The reason ferrets have to have pure animal protein with very little carbohydrate is because of how their digestive tracts work.
They have very short intestinal tracts and aren’t able to digest their food very efficiently before it is already on the way out the other end.
In an adult pet ferret, the transit time from ingestion to elimination is about three hours.
In a kit (a young ferret), the transit time can be less than one hour!
Feeding a domesticated ferret a diet of anything other than pure animal protein that includes a healthy level of essential fats.
And very few carbohydrates can cause serious health problems, including intestinal disease and cancer.
3. Baby Ferrets “Imprint” on Their Food
Many baby animals imprint on, or bond with, their primary caregiver early on in life.
But baby ferrets don’t just do this with their moms. They also do this with their food!
The sensitive period for a baby ferret to bond with its food is between 60 and 90 days post-birth.
Baby ferrets are thought to imprint primarily through odors, but may also imprint on textures.
For this reason, we recommend feeding young ferrets a mixture of high protein food types.
Such as dry food/kibble, moist or wet protein, raw or cooked meats and a more soupy protein treat mixture many vets call “duck soup.”
How This Will Help
By offering your very young ferret a variety of treats, you will have more flexibility in the foods you can offer when he grows up.
This becomes especially important if your ferret gets sick and becomes fussier about what he is willing or able to eat.
But this also means that if your pet ferret is an adult rescue, you may find yourself with a generally more picky or fussy eater on your hands.
So you may need to experiment a bit with what you offer at first and be patient until you find the odors and textures your rescue ferret is familiar with.
Best Ferret Treats
Just as you probably have your preferences for what your favorite “treat” foods are, so too will your pet ferret quickly develop her own preferences.
If you bring home a baby pet ferret, you have the opportunity to help your fur baby imprint on a wide variety of appropriate flavors and textures right from the start.
But the good news is, there are PLENTY of options you can try!
In addition to the many wonderful prepackaged diet and treat foods formulated just for ferrets, you can offer a selection of kitten foods and also make your own homemade ferret treats.
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