Your Ferret may lose weight or gain pounds, it is completely normal if not prolonged. Gaining or losing weight is a progressive process with consistent effort and time. An evitable loss or gain may be due to some illness like malnutrition or obesity.
Normal weight of the Ferret
Based on the gender of the ferret, an adult must be between 1 – 4 lbs. The male ferret is bigger than the female ferret, a male should weigh 2 – 4 lbs and the female must weigh 1 – 2.5 lbs.
The reason for weight loss
If your ferret is losing its weight but you notice him eating, as usual, is because of your mistaken calorie calculation. A ferret eats 5 – 7 % of its own body weight every day. As a Pet Ferret is provided with different foods every day, it’s hard to count the calories. So, increase the calorie either by supplements or by additional meals.
You are the only reason for your Ferret’s poor diet, these naughty creatures are strict carnivores. They cannot digest the carbohydrate and lactose. So make sure their diet contains rich animal protein and fat.
The Ferret is lean
Your Ferret may look skinny if they do not get adequate protein or they may be malnourished. Or the ferret may also suffer from diseases like glaucoma or insulinoma. Visit your Vet before starting the weight gain ceremony. Understand that, your ferret is perfect if you can not trace its backbone or ribs.
Foods that make your Ferret fat
In gaining weight, ample food must be provided to the ferret. Two main foods play a major role in the process, one is dried ferret foods and the other one is meat.
Dry foods designed for ferrets are the choice you must pick to gain weight. It gives you the freedom to know the exact calorie in every meal. You can test and adjust the food and calorie according to your ferret’s needs.
Some may provide kitten food to their pet ferrets. You have two options to choose from, either you can add the quantity of the food per meal or add a meal at the end. You will get results in both ways.
There are a number of different meats that you can feed your pet ferret that is readily available to ferret owners. Many ferret owners choose to feed their ferret their meats cooked. There’s little difference between the calorie content in raw or uncooked meat.
Raw meats do help mimic your ferret’s natural diet and do offer some health benefits though. When choosing your meats try to choose the fattier cuts rather than leaner cuts. Fats are the essential energy source for ferrets and they are excellent for weight gain.
Choosing fattier cuts not only helps provide your ferret with the nutritional profile it requires but also increases its daily calorie intake.
There are a number of meat-based feasts or table scraps that you can feed your pet ferret. The problem with this type of treatment and helping your ferret gain weight is that you don’t know the calories in the feast. This makes it hard to know if it’s helping get your pet ferret into a calorie surplus.
On top of this, the N Bone ferret treats are also very cheap meaning that you can pick up a single pack to see if your pet ferret will actually eat them or just run off and hide them. The bacon flavor definitely seems to be the most popular and they can be a quick and easy way to increase the daily calorie intake of your pet ferret.
The easiest way to get your pet ferret to gain weight at a healthy rate is to simply start supplementing their meals with a high-calorie supplement paste for ferrets.
These supplements contain a large number of calories relative to the volume of the pastes allowing your pet ferret to unknowingly consume it with their meal without filling up and deciding not to at their regular food.
Although there are a few different nutritional pastes on the market for ferrets, most of them are designed to just increase the vitamin and mineral intake of your pet.
The majority of ferrets tend to love eggs and the nutritional profile of an egg as well as its high-calorie content can be ideal. Again though, eggs should not be the primary meal or food source for your ferret’s diet and should strictly be used as a treat.
Although chicken eggs from the local store can be popular, most ferrets will make short work of a quail egg due to their richer taste. This can be a quick and easy way to increase your ferret’s daily calories and the higher nutritional content of a quail egg can also help increase the vitamins and minerals that your pet ferret is getting on a daily basis.
Losing weight in Summer and Gaining in winter
There are many ferrets out there who fatten up in the winter and then shed those pounds in the summer. Their body acts like they are still in the wild. Food is scarce in winter and the ferrets also need body insulation. Hence they begin to store food in their bodies in the winter.
In the summer they need to stay cool and there is loads of food available, so they lose weight. This behavior is very common among ferrets and is totally normal. As long as your ferret is eating appropriately and getting the exercise it needs, you really do not need to worry.
If you are still concerned, then visiting your vet will not hurt. It will help put your mind at ease. Ferrets can lose up to 30 percent of their body weight in the summer after the winter season. If your ferret is losing weight, then there is a chance that it might just be losing the winter pounds.
You should try to feel its ribs; if there is a layer of fat in the ribs of your ferret, it is fine and healthy. Also, Ferrets lose their pounds due to the photoperiod. The ferrets gain weight on the shortest day of the year as it has less sunlight and then shed pounds on the longest day of the year when there is an ample amount of sunshine.
This whole process is actually gauged by the pineal gland present in the brain of the ferret. Artificial light may also affect this process. But even during the shedding times, the ferret should not end up looking bone thin.
The reason for weight gain
Weight issues are relatively common in domesticated ferrets. ferrets can put on weight if they eat too much and don’t get enough exercise. It’s a good idea to keep an eye on your ferret’s weight. If you’re worried that your ferret is gaining or losing too much weight, speak to your vet.
Prevent the ferret from getting obese
Obesity is a preventable disease. Limit the animal’s intake of sweet treats, and if possible, encourage exercise outside of the cage. Ferrets have a higher protein and fat requirement than cats and dogs.
For general maintenance of diet in pet ferrets, a high-quality kitten or ferret chow with animal protein listed as the first ingredient is recommended. If you are not sure which brands are the best, ask your veterinarian for some recommendations.
Lets make your Ferret lose his weight
Usually, it is easy to restrict your ferret’s available food but increasing its activity level can be a challenge. Another common problem that we see is ferret owners feeding their pets unsuitable food types. The ideal nutrient profile for your ferret is
- At least 30 percent protein.
- At least 15 percent fat.
- No more than 5 percent fiber.
Try to keep your protein to fat ratio as 2:1 as fat contains nine calories per gram while protein contains only four. Although fats are essential for ferrets increasing your pet ferret’s fat content too much will provide an unrequited increase in calories that will result in weight gain.
Ferrets usually eat similar to cats, when they are full they are full and will usually stop eating or try to hide food for later rather than eat it. Owning a fat ferret or having your ferret experience sudden weight gain is usually down to the balance between protein and fats exceeding the ratio of 2:1.
Food for weight loss
The average ferret will usually require between 5-7% percent of its body weight in food each day. When trying to get your ferret to lose weight, try to only feed it five percent of its body weight. Observe how your ferret reacts to this and test and adjust accordingly.
It can take up to a month for you to see visual signs of weight gain in your ferret. Tracking its progress with a tape measure is also inefficient as the width of your ferret’s stomach will increase due to food and water volume throughout the day. Make sure that your ferret eats animal proteins and avoid plant proteins.
Do not feed your ferret with vegetables nor fruits, they are not good for your pet. For example, carrots and avocado are very dangerous as they can block the ferret’s digestive system. Fruits are too sweet for your pet and can cause diabetes. Grapes /raisins or chocolate are literally toxic to ferrets! Stimulate physical activity.