The ferret (Mustela putorius furo) is a small mammal which has become an increasingly popular pet in the past several decades. While this popularity is nowhere near the level occupied by cats or dogs, it has created an upsurge of specialized ferret food as resourceful companies have attempted to corner this growing market (before that, certain types of cat food were recommended for ferrets).
As anyone who has owned a ferret will be able to testify, this animal can be tricky to feed properly (this stems, at least in part, from the fact they are obligatory carnivores, meaning they have to eat meat to survive), and we have tried to help you choose the right food for your furry pet by testing out various brands and arranging the best performers into the following list.
Premium Ferret Diet
Designed to fulfill all nutritional requirements of ferrets, made with real eggs and fresh chicken which has never been frozen, this kibble contains 40% protein and 20% fat. It is meant to be the primary food for your pet and doesn’t require any supplements, giving you a one-stop solution for your ferret’s dietary needs (you may, optionally, include other food or treats, but these should be limited to no more than 10% of the animal’s intake).
This brand contains noticeably less filler, meaning your animal can get the same nutritional benefits from a smaller overall amount of food, and this can provide major long-term benefits as it significantly eases the strain on the ferret’s somewhat sensitive digestive system. Interestingly, the manufacturer directly states that your ferret should be fed “free choice” when using this product. This means the bowl should always be full, and you let the animal dictate when and how much it wants to eat – this is done in an effort to simulate the feeding habits of their undomesticated ancestors, where they would go out and hunt smaller animals whenever they felt hungry.
On the downside, this brand is a bit on the pricey side of the spectrum. Also, the bag is rather big, so if your ferret refuses to eat this particular product (which can happen as they are notoriously picky eaters), you’ll be stuck with 8 pounds of unused food – although, if you manage to return the unused portion directly to ZuPreem with a proof of purchase, you should be able to get your money back.
FortiDiet Pro Health
Second on our list, Kaytee’s ferret food derives its protein from poultry and also contains probiotics and prebiotics to help with digestion, along with antioxidants to aid your pet’s general health. Unlike many other brands, this kibble contains some pieces which are intentionally larger and crunchier, requiring the animal to put in some extra effort to chew through them – this additional activity benefits the ferret’s dental health. Also, out of the 3 products on our list, this one comes in the smallest bag, which means it’s generally fresher as it won’t have to stay open for as long.
Now, while there isn’t a shred of doubt that everyone wants the absolute best for their beloved pet and would pamper the critter to no ends if possible, the sad truth is that sometimes budget is of primary concern. This is where Kaytee’s ferret food stands out, as it is the most affordable products on our list – not only does it come in the smallest package, meaning you don’t have to spend a lot at once, its price per pound is by far the lowest.
Due to its lower cost, the protein content is also somewhat lower (it has 35% crude protein). While some ferrets might actually prefer this, it is something you need to keep in mind. One way around this issue is to use this product as filler for more expensive brands with a higher protein content – this way, you can get the best of both worlds.
Epigen 90 Digestive Support
Perhaps the most well-known brand on our list, Wysong’s Ferret Epigen 90 represents the “big guns”. It is the priciest of the bunch, but it justifies its price tag with an unrivaled meat content – 60% protein and 16% fat. This brand cuts down on other ingredients in favor of these two macronutrients (for example, it contains no starch), which is how carnivores have sustained themselves in the wild since primordial times. But it’s not just meat, as it also contains plenty of other nutrients which are important in their own right – probiotics and prebiotics for digestion, vitamins and minerals for overall health, etc.
Even its steeper price can be somewhat mitigated as there is a special offer for a 4-bag pack which will allow you to save some money over the long haul, provided you can handle the initial hit to your finances.
The above stated also makes the downside of Wysong’s Ferret Epigen 90 plainly evident – it simply isn’t for everyone’s pocket. You can try mixing it with a less pricy brand, but don’t be surprised if your ferret chooses to only eat the “good stuff” and leaves the rest at the bottom of the food bowl. Nonetheless, when we look at the quality it provides, we still think this product delivers excellent value for money, and it has our wholehearted endorsement – with it, your pet will be healthier, happier, and its shiny coat will show just how much it is thriving.
As this industry is on the rise, your choices aren’t nearly as limited as they used to be. Following our tests, we have concluded that these are the 3 products to recommend. One bag of ZuPreem’s Premium Ferret Diet should last you up to 3 months, plus it doesn’t need any supplements, so it’s a good choice if you want to save time. Kaytee’s Forti Diet is the option for people who are on a tighter budget, and while it certainly can be used on its own, it is also an excellent choice to be used in conjunction with some other brand, as filler.
If you’re truly looking for premium quality, Wysong’s Ferret Epigen 90 is our top choice, as we genuinely believe its unsurpassed quality makes it the best food for your pet ferret.