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This Ferret Won’t Switch Food

What are the tricks to getting a ferret to switch food?

By Ailigh Vanderbush
Posted: December 1, 2010, 5 a.m. EST

Q: I have a very common, yet peculiar problem. My ferret Smokey is a little over 5 years old and in great health, but a little overweight. Recently, the manufacturer discontinued the ferret-specific food he ate. Smokey absolutely refuses to eat any other type of food. I have tried the other types of ferret food by the same manufacturer and other brands of ferret food. I've separated the foods in her dish side by side. I've mixed them together. I've mixed two different brands together with water and mixed in Ferretone and Ferretvite. She absolutely refuses the new food. I now have spent well over $100 in food and have over 50 pounds, and only one ferret (Vixen) who will eat it. Now, the bad news is that I only have about two cups of the food left that Smokey eats. A couple of weeks ago, I had to go out of town for two days and left her with two different types of food. Once she ran out of what she liked she stopped eating. She did not eat for a day and a half and was weak when I got home and had problems standing. She would rather starve than switch. She will eat treats and take her vitamins. What else can I do? I need help.

A: This is a difficult situation. Because the food she is used to is no longer available, it is vital that you get your ferret to switch foods.

Start by blending her current food so it is all crumbs. Then blend some of the other brands you have available. In different dishes, make a few mixture varieties and in some of them add a little chicken broth, baby food or other tasty meat items to try to entice her to eat. If all else fails, take her to the veterinarian.

See all Ferret FAQ questions and answers>>

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This Ferret Won’t Switch Food

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Reader Comments
We’ve decided over the years and 10 ferrets to feed them Purina Kitten chow, since it is the closest in terms of protein percentage and it is always available on a store shelf. It may not be the ideal ferret food, but we have found that they eat it and they appear to stay healthy, As opposed to trying to get a preferred ferret food mailed to you when you are traveling or the manufacture no longer makes it OR changes the contents
Tom, Willard, OH
Posted: 1/17/2013 6:03:39 AM
I have a 5 year old male just the same. I currently offer all 3 of my ferrets 3 diff kinds of food
( evo is best) so that they will all eat
Sara, Canada
Posted: 6/8/2012 11:50:51 AM
I make a wet mixture out of my ferrets food by grinding the pieces and adding warm water, it took one week to switch the food. On day one I took away one piece of the "old" food and replaced it with one piece of "new" food, the next feeding I replaced two pieces, etc... one week later and they never knew what hit em!!
Laura, Amherst, OH
Posted: 12/8/2010 7:59:25 PM
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