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It’s not always easy figuring out what foods ferrets can and can’t have. We’re here to help. There are certain things you should know about your ferret’s diet, as malnutrition or too many treats can lead to many problems, like bladder stones, obesity, tooth decay, hypoglycemia, and even death.

This is why it’s so  important that you feed your ferret a proper diet. Your ferret should have access to a high-quality, meat-based diet. They eat very similarly to cats (but you should avoid giving your ferret cat food). Opt instead for either a raw diet (known as "Frankenprey") or a high-quality kibble diet that is designed specifically for ferrets.

Click here for a list of Treats that Your Ferrets Will Enjoy.  But, read on for a list of treats your ferret should NEVER be given:


Ferrets are mostly lactose intolerant, so dairy products are a no-no. Dairy items like milk or ice cream can create digestive issues in a ferret - namely, diarrhea and other stomach upset. No one wants that to happen, so it’s best to avoid the dairy world altogether.


Ferrets should not eat high-carb treats (like cookies or baked treats). Carbs can lead to increased problems with the pancreas, so it’s best to avoid these types of treats all together. Sugar


Ferrets may like sugary treats but it’s so dangerous, you should always keep sugar treats out of reach. Not only can they not process sugar, it can create problems before it even reaches the digestive system - problems like tooth decay and other issues. Insulinoma is one of the most highly-diagnosed cancer in ferrets and it’s caused from the insulin-secreting pancreatic cells (resulting from sugar). Just avoid sugar (in your pet’s diet and your own!)


This is not good for ferrets due to its high salt and sugar levels. The preservatives are also quite bad for everyone, including your ferret.

Garlic or Onion

Just like cats, ferrets should never eat meat that’s been cooked with garlic or onions. It can create problems with the kidney as they have an inability to process certain aspects of the food.

Fruits and Vegetables

Here’s the thing - while you can technically give your ferret fruits and veggies if they really want them, it’s not really great for them. You should avoid giving them vegetables (and especially fruits which can cause diarrhea and upset stomach). That said, you can occasionally give them a piece of carrot or apple (or maybe a bit of sweet potato or banana or papaya) if they want to toy around with it.

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Author: stacymantle
About the Author

Stacy Mantle is a freelance writer who currently resides in the southwestern deserts of Arizona with a few dogs, several cats, and a very understanding husband. She is a regular contributor to Pet Age Magazine, Catster, Animal Behavior College, and of course, PetsWeekly. Many of her stories and articles have been translated into several languages, and now reach an international audience. She is also the author of a bestselling urban fantasy/thriller, Shepherd's Moon; a humor book entitled, Conquering the Food Chain: Living Amongst Animals (Without Becoming One), and a line of Educational Activity Books for children.

Critter Facts

  • Ferrets seldom cause allergies. People who are generally allergic to cats and dogs don't usually have problems with ferrets.
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