Top 6 healthy ferret Treats
The only healthy ferret treats you need to feed your ferret should be made from animal protein, muscle or organ meat, freeze-dried or dehydrated and sometimes fish, salmon skin rolls or even salmon oil in moderation for kibble fed ferrets.
Why do you need healthy treats for your ferret?
The best way to show your love for your ferret is to please him and the most direct way is with food, especially treats, ferrets love treats.
You will also need treats to train your ferret (positive reinforcement), like litter box training or ferret bite training and even to teach him brown tricks like acrobatics or fetch…
It is therefore essential to choose the right treats for your ferrets, treats that they will like and that will not make them sick.
PS: 99.99% of “ferret’s treats” that you will find in pet stores are “just garbage! “Today I’m going to fight for their health, happiness and well being by telling you what treats to buy for them and you can even make some at home.
So what are the best treats to give your ferret?
Before we look at what treats to give your ferret, let’s first look at which ones to avoid and which treats are likely to make your ferret sick in the long run.
What treats should ferrets avoid?
Pet food manufacturers don’t give a damn about ferrets and anyone who recommends treats like Malt paste for your ferret is surely not doing him any good!
1- Never give Malt paste for your ferret
Avoid these terrible treats and never poison your ferrets with these multi-vitamin malt pastes!!! because they are full of sugar and this will quickly make your ferret sick (high risk of getting insulinoma and other ferret diseases )
2- Marshall Bandits ( freeze-dried ) treats are bad for ferrets:
I don’t recommend this brand firstly because they treat ferrets as a product and not as a living being and I don’t like you to give your money to this kind of unethical company.
Secondly, they use a lot of additives like dyes which are really not a good thing to give your ferret, I have even seen a “Peanut Butter” or even a “grape” flavour for ferrets and it is really incompetence! Grapes can kill a ferret!!!
3- Never give Sweet human treats to your ferret
There are people who just give whatever they find to their ferret as a treat, a boy who eats ice cream should not share it with his ferret for example!
Here is a list of other ingredients that should never be given to your ferret as a treat ::
- Sugar and anything sweet ( never make this mistake !!)
- Peanut Butter
- Honey and Molasses
- Fruit, especially sweet fruit (avacado, watermelon, banana, etc.)
- Dairy products (especially milk)
- Dog and cat treats which have fillers, colourings or additives etc.
The list could be bigger so that it contains everything that is not healthy meat and fit for consumption because people tend to forget that their ferret is a hunter in nature and therefore a strict carnivore!
This will help us to find the best treats to give your ferret without making it obese or sick.
The healthiest treats for ferrets :
Ferrets are very picky pets, so when you first get your ferret used to a treat, it’s a bit difficult to get your ferret to accept the new treats straight away.
What you will do to change your ferret’s treats is to be rather patient, offer the new treat to your ferret again and again until he tastes it and will surely adopt it and ask for more because the treats I am going to recommend for your ferret are delicious, tasty, natural, healthy and cheap too! Your ferret will love these treats:
1- Freeze-dried treats:
These are treats (frozen and than dehydrated) that I recommend for your ferrets, you can choose standard muscle meat like chicken breast, but I recommend that you buy several kinds in order to balance the level of nutrients you give to your ferret, so you can buy him always one ingredient freeze-dried organ (like freeze-dried beef liver or heart treat) and even if you find some, freeze dried whole freshwater-fish (like minnows)…
You only have to give one ingredient per day after you are sure that your ferret is not allergic to the protein of course.
Stewart’s Pro-Treat Bag Freeze Dried Dog Treats
The Granville Island Pet Treatery Pure Proteins with Love and Fishes Sardine Treats
Crumps naturals freeze dried treats
2- Slow cooked Treats
These are dehydrated animal parts or organs, just make sure they don’t contain any preservatives or other additives.
These treats have a kind of jerky texture and are an excellent choice for your ferret, they are pieces of meat or organs, cooked at very low temperatures, this will preserve the nutrients and most importantly crystallise the bones that will not splinter and harm your ferret’s mouth or intestines…
These treats can be kept for a long time if you keep them away from humidity, you can also use them to train your ferret.
You can try different brands and different proteins until you find the ones your ferret loves the most.
You can make them yourself of course but there are some commercially available ones: Chicken or duck feet (ferrets love to chew them but keep them supervised!!), chicken breast and wings. There is also dehydrated rabbit or lamb meat as an excellent ferret treat.
Dehydrated organs like chicken liver , gizzards , hearts …etc
Chewbebe Chewie’S All Natural Chicken-Chip Dog Treats 100% Human-Grade Dehydrated Chicken Breast
Pet Center – Lamb Crunchys Raw Dehydrated Lamb Lungs
3- Salmon skin treats ( skin rolls )
If your ferret loves fish, like dehydrated or freeze-dried whole fish (sardines or minnows …etc), he will surely love Salmon skin rolls.
These are crunchy rolls of slow cooked salmon skin and I recommend Wild Pacific Snack 21 Salmon Skin Rolls , the sticks are quite long, you’d better cut them into three small pieces so you don’t over feed your ferret.
4- Scrambled eggs are excellent treat for ferrets
You can give up to two whole eggs or two egg yolks (raw or cooked without salt) a week as a treat for your ferret, if eggs are not part of his daily diet of course.
Just expect your ferret to have bad breath and eggy poop, don’t worry, this is normal after eating an egg.
Eggs can help with hair ball prevention, and this can replace malt paste in this role. The fat in the egg yolk will coat the hair and help it pass through the ferret’s digestive system and avoid intestinal blockages.
Try to give at least one whole egg as a treat to your ferret per week, mix the egg white and yolk well before giving it to your ferret. This treat is rich in protein, also contain, selenium and vitamin D.
5- Salmon oil is a good treat for ferret (in moderation)
This controversial treat will provide your ferret with lots of Omega-6, help with joint pain and improve the health of your ferret’s skin and coat, not to mention that ferrets love the smell and taste of Salmon oil.
I recommend Salmon oil ( 1 tea-spoon throughout the week ) especially if you are kibble feeding your ferret but just as a treat and not as a training treat to avoid over feeding it to your ferret !
Giving your ferret too much salmon oil ( more than a couple of drops per day ) will thin his blood and in case of a cut or injury, he could lose a lot of blood ( salmon oil is like an anti-coagulant ), it is more serious when your ferret falls and the risk of internal bleeding !
Salmon oil when given too often as a ferret treat will weaken your ferret’s immune system and make it more prone to disease.
I recommend you buy small bottles of salmon oil because it oxidizes quickly, keep it in the fridge and it is not smart to buy one big bottle, buy several small bottles, it’s better
You should not give salmon oil to your ferret if you give it fresh fish! ( raw feeding )
It is recommended to have Salmon oil when you have a ferret to use as an appetite suppressant if your picky ferret refuses to eat especially if he has Insulinoma and has to eat at least twice a day.
6- Healthy homemade treats:
Boiled chicken meat:
We’re talking about making your own ferret treats!
You can make your own ferret treats with chicken (breasts) or duck meat, which you will boil in water without adding anything, not even salt, and then, shred them into little pieces.
Then put them in little bags and keep them in the freezer except the one you use for the week, just keep it in the fridge.
Meat and organs cooked in the oven at low temperature:
You can take organs such as liver, gizzards, chicken hearts and even chicken or duck breast, chicken feet etc.
Wash them well after cutting them into small pieces, don’t add anything even salt; you will then cook in the oven at low temperature to dry them and make them crispy.
Then keep them in a dry place away from humidity.
You can also use small fish (baked at low temperature), like small sardines or small freshwater fish that don’t have much bone.
My ferret only likes to eat kibble and refuses treats:
Ferrets are known to be picky eaters and don’t like to change their diet too much, this is a behaviour that avoids a lot of health problems.
If you want to give your ferret treats either for training or just to show him how much you love him but he refuses to eat them, here’s how to get your ferret to accept treats:
Start by cutting the treat into tiny pieces and sprinkling them on his usual kibbles or adding them to his raw food (note that I prefer that you give your ferret raw food).
Day by day, you will increase the size of the treat pieces until your ferret gets used to the taste and smell of the treat, and once he tastes his new treat, after a week usually, he will surely adopt it and start asking for his new treat.
You just need to make your ferret understand that treats are something good and that they are to be eaten in spite of the new taste and smell (which he doesn’t know yet!), so you will just need a little patience.
Let’s wrap this up:
The healthiest ferret’s treats are those made with meat or fish, with no additives or colorings and no sugar, fillers, seeds, vegetables or fruit … just healthy meat, freeze-dried or slow cooked of course and boiled without additives, salts or spices if you make it yourself.