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Ferret With Strange Eating Habits

Why is a ferret only eating watered-down ferret kibble and hiding his food?

By Ailigh Vanderbush
Posted: July 1, 2011, 5 a.m. EDT

Q: My ferret is little over a year old now, and he still eats only watered-down ferret kibble. He will not eat it dry. He likes to dig in the bowl and take mouthfuls of the dry food and hide it around the house. He rarely actually eats it. I have tried a different brand of food, and he just does the same thing. I have tried not feeding him the wet food for a few days and he still refuses to eat the dry food. He has done this ever since I got him when he was about 4 months old. He is the only ferret in the house so there is no competing for food. Also with the wet food he likes to take mouthfuls of that as well and eat it off the cage floor or on the carpet. I have good-sized bowls, the size of cat bowls. I have heard the size of the bowl can be why they dig in it, but he still does it. He will eat the wet food sometimes like he hasn't eaten in days and then feels and looks bloated. I supply him with fresh food every day. I have no idea what to try anymore. Any advice?

A: Your ferret seems to have a preference for wet food, but have his teeth checked out by a veterinarian who treats ferrets to make sure your ferret's teeth are healthy and he can actually bite the dry food.

It is not uncommon for ferrets to take food out of their dish and eat it elsewhere, so that is nothing to worry about. It may be that your ferret sees the dry food as something to cache, but it seems he has a large space to hide it (the whole house) and a never-ending supply, so there is no reason to find it again.

Once a veterinarian confirms that your ferret's teeth and mouth are healthy, try offering a little wet food and a regular amount of dry food together in a similar manner to switching to a new food. You can also try a few different ferret foods to see if your ferret prefers the texture and taste of one over the other; there are several good ferret foods to try.

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Ferret With Strange Eating Habits

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Reader Comments
I have two ferrets who also eat only wet food. They are both roughly two years old. The first ferret that I got was never interested in switching to dry, even though it was always available, so when I got the second one, she followed along. They do both eat the "moist" pellets made by one company, and I continue to leave the crunchy version around, just in case they decide to try it. So.....three types of food! One of my ferrets had an abscessed tooth that had to be removed last winter, but I'm not sure if that had anything to do with his diet. I am sure to give them both a chew each day to be sure they are using their teeth. My vet doesn't seem to be too concerned about their diet, so I'm not either. Good luck!
Lauren, South Easton, MA
Posted: 7/12/2011 9:15:29 PM
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