5 Effects of Poor Diet in Ferrets

Unlike most animals, ferrets have special dietary needs that must be given at all times to maintain proper health and prevent various medical conditions. Ferrets are obligate carnivores, which means that they need a constant supply of protein from meat products for their body to function properly. The majority of their diet must be composed of protein and fats while minimizing high levels of fiber.

Although ferrets are known to live for several years, deviating from this required diet can lead to negative health effects that may eventually turn to untimely death. Below are some of the most common effects of poor diet in ferrets.

Sudden Weight Loss

Similar to both humans and other animals, wrong and poor diet in ferrets will lead to immediate weight loss. In this case, your ferret will not get the required nutrition that its body needs for daily activities and routines. Ferrets are always on the go, which means that they need a constant supply of energy for their very active lifestyle.

Smelly Ferret

Another effect of poor diet is that your pet will become noticeably smelly. A healthy ferret may already have a strong natural smell, but this odor becomes stronger and more distinct with a poor diet such as processed food items. In addition to body odor, your pet will also show changes in the appearance and amount of poo. If the poo is thin and lesser, this usually means that your pet is suffering from an intestinal blockage, which is commonly caused by poor diet.

On the other hand, if the poo is green and mushy, this may be a result of poor digestion. Whatever the case maybe, it is highly recommended to immediately bring your pet to a vet for proper diagnosis and treatment. Furthermore, it is also best to change the diet to more appropriate and healthier food items.


When your pet is regularly fed with food items that contain high levels of sugar, it becomes more susceptible to developing Insulinoma, which is caused by excessive intake of glucose or sweets. Insulinoma is a common health condition among ferrets which can lead to other health issues such as indigestion, overweight and delayed food digestion. In addition, excessive glucose or insulin build up in your pet’s system usually leads to developing pancreatic cancer.

As a solution, avoid giving food items that are high in sugar. Also avoid giving sweets and treats, which are usually given as a reward or prize during training sessions. Instead, opt for natural food items such as vegetable sticks and fruit pieces.

Unwilling to Interact

One of the most popular traits that make ferrets a favorite family pet is its natural urge to interact with people. Aside from being cute and cuddly, ferrets are a natural when it comes to playing and bonding with people from all ages. Whenever you observe that your pet is becoming more and more unwilling to interact or bond, this usually means that it is suffering from a health issue that may be caused by poor diet.

In addition to having low energy, your pet will likely develop various health conditions that will negatively affect its natural urge to play and interact. In order to avoid this issue, make sure to stick with a high protein diet and avoid processed food items.

Intestinal Blockage

It is no secret that your ferret’s intestines are small, which means that you must be extra careful with its daily diet. The problem is that your pet’s diet is mainly composed of meat products that are often harder to digest compared to most pet food items. With this in mind, it is also very important to serve meat products in easily digested form. Doing so will minimize the risk of intestinal blockage and promote better and faster digestion.

Aside from eating meat, ferrets also love to chew and nibble on different kinds of things such as rubber and plastic. Most of the time, this habit becomes a problem when your pet accidentally swallows an object that can cause intestinal blockage. When this happens, immediately bring to a vet get proper treatment.

Jake Willhoite
Jake runs AnimalDome.com and has had cats and dogs his entire life. As a kid his family adopted several dogs from the local shelter which set him down the path of animal rescue.
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