Treats

When considering treats, you need to remember that treats should be a very small part of your ferret’s diet.

It’s helpful to look at the size of the treat in relation to the ferret’s head, then imagine how big a cookie for a human would have to be to equal that size! Most of the ferret’s nutrition should come from food, not treats.

Chicken or turkey baby food (just the meat — not the kind with noodles or vegetables in it) warmed in the microwave and served off the tip of your finger makes a wonderful treat. All protein, a little fat, no sugar, and served by their favorite human — perfect!

Serving a treat

People give their ferrets something called Duck Soup when they’re sick — it’s basically a high protein, high fat mixture, ground up with liquid to make a soupy goo most ferrets love. I recommend that you give duck soup as a treat — then when your ferret gets sick and doesn’t want to eat, you can offer the duck soup and the ferrets will gobble it up! (“Gee, mom is giving me all treats!”)

Another great treat is a piece of cooked chicken (leave the fat and skin on). Cooked beef or pork, a piece of salami, even a piece of hotdog — are you getting the idea? A great treat is MEAT, something ferrets need anyway.

Ferret eating Cheweasel made by Hyperfur

Other treats that are good in moderation are things like Cheweasels, Marshall’s Chews (pretty much the same thing, although my ferrets like the Cheweasels better), N-Bones, Foamy Fries, Rosie’s Rewards and similar treats. These are protein-based and contain little or no sugar.

Treats such as Yogies (yogurt-based) aren’t bad, but they do have sugar and should be strictly limited. Anything that is cereal- or sugar-based should be limited. Raisins are a popular treat, but they fall into this category, too. What is “limited”? Well, many people believe once a week is plenty for these sugary treats, certainly no more than one raisin or one Yogie (or equivalent) per day.

Ferretone is a popular treat. The manufacturer says to put it on the food, but you don’t need to do that if you feed good food. Also, it would be easy to overdose them that way. Ferretone contains oil-based vitamins (like A and E) that can build up in the liver. Water-based vitamins (like vitamin C) will just flush out of the system in the urine. So we recommend giving Ferretone as a treat, one drop at a time. I generally save it for nail clipping. A few drops on the tummy will make the chore easier for you and much more pleasant for your ferret. I also use it to reward good behavior (tricks, using the litterbox, etc.), to distract at the vet’s office or to comfort them if I accidentally step on their tail.

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