(food for a sick ferret)



4 oz       Food the ferret is eating

4 oz       Pediolyte (Store Brand is OK)

1 can     Ensure, Sustacal, or for Insulinoma ferrets Glucerna (Ensure for Diabetics), Store Brand of either may be used.

1 can     Science Diet AD Diet or 1 jar of Strained Baby Food Meat (Use chicken, turkey, or beef).

This item is optional. It helps to add flavor, to entice your ferret to eat.


Food Chopper or Blender

Eyedropper or irrigating syringe with ½ of the tip cut off. These can be bought at a drugstore. Use a wire stripper blade to cut the tip until it comes off. File the sharp edge until it is rounded, with a nail file. This helps to prevent cutting the ferret's mouth.

2nd Eyedropper or any syringe to administer water or Pediolyte during feeding.

Ice cube Trays

Small covered container (Sm. sour cream or cream cheese containers work well)


Soak 4 oz of your ferret's food in 4 oz of Pediolyte until soft. If you are in a hurry, warm in microwave for about 1 minute. You can also put the dry food in a food chopper and chop the dry food into smaller pieces to make them soak up the Pediolyte faster. When the ferret food has absorbed the Pediolyte pour about 2 - 3 oz of Ensure into a blender or food chopper, slowly add the soaked food while blending until all of the food is chopped up. Keep adding the Ensure, a little at a time until the mixture is of pudding consistency. Add the AD Diet, or strained baby food meat.


Put about 15 cc's (½ oz.) in a small dish and offer it to the ferret. Try smearing a little on their nose to get the taste. If they don't want to eat, holding them in your lap helps sometimes. If they still won't eat, try force-feeding them with an eyedropper or an irrigating syringe.


To force feed, first sit on a chair. Cover your lap with a towel. Have a wet washcloth at hand to wipe up any messes and to clean the ferret's face when you are done. Use the football hold. Scruff the ferret, with your left hand (If you are right-handed) and place their body between your arm and body. Feed them a little at a time going from the side of the mouth. There is an area by the back teeth that the syringe will fit into easily. Sometimes the ferret will lap at the syringe. If this is the case, you are lucky. Also alternate with some water or Pediolyte in another eyedropper or syringe. Don't forget to stop occasionally and let your ferret breath between mouths full. When a ferret starts eating, donŐt get to excited. Try to get them to eat the full amount of food, before they quit eating.


Freeze the rest of the Duck Soup in an ice cube tray. If you have any Ensure or Pediolyte left over it also freezes well. Either make ice cubes or freeze small amounts in small containers. When frozen, store in a Zip Lock bag or a sealed container. 1 ice cube will feed a sick ferret 1 - 2 feedings. Take the frozen food out at the end of one feeding. Store it in a small container in the refrigerator and by the next feeding it is thawed. Warm the food in the Microwave for 8 - 10 seconds. Make it baby milk warm for feeding. After it is warm, draw it up in the eyedropper or syringe. Feed a sick ferret 2 - 4 times a day. If they donŐt eat much at one feeding, more smaller feedings may be done.


Of course, always have their dry food available in the cage. Keep the top patted flat. When ferrets eat they tend to eat in one (1) spot and make a hole in the food. First always offer some of their regular dry food in your hand. Sometimes hand feeding will be just the trick for them to start eating again. Sometimes you only need to force-feed a sick ferret 1 or 2 times. This could be called giving them a jump-start. When ferrets quit eating they forget how to eat. Keeping them eating and hydrated is the most important part of getting a sick ferret well again.


Houston Area Ferret Association             Houston Ferret Meetup Group               For The LOVE of FERRETS

HoustonŐs Ferret Support Group                  Visit our Web Site and become a Member Gail & Jimi Hummel