Oil Based Supplements for your Ferret!

2021 saw the loss of a long standing ferret supplement distributed by 8 & 1 called Ferretone. There is a product distributed by Marshall’s called Furretone but many ferret owners found it too expensive or choose not to support Marshall products.

The hunt was on at the shelter to find an economical supplement. Flax seed oil is a good product but must be refrigerated. I couldn’t use it as I leave my bottle on the counter and it would be a pain to always be opening the fridge. Never mind the ice cold Fax seed oil drizzled on the ferret’s tummy!!I choose not to use Cod Liver oil because of the controversary over the vitamin A content. I couldn’t find any scientific data to prove its safety.

Next on the list was Olive Oil. Olive oil has great anti-inflammatory properties and doesn’t need to be refrigerated. All my ferrets turned their collective noses up at it. Go figure. Even when I cut it with Canola oil, they turned away from the dish.

The next supplement on my list to try was the Grizzly Brand Wild Salmon oil. With over 30 ferrets in my home, I choose the 32 oz bottle and just about had a heart attack when I saw the price. Most of the ferrets liked the taste, but again, the salmon oil had to be kept refrigerated and I kept forgetting to take it out of the fridge with each group coming out to play. My tummy did not like the salmon smell and instead of getting used to it, I started to gag when I used it. So, plan B was to “cut” it with canola oil to make it smell less bad. It sort of worked but I was still struggling with keeping it in the fridge. I left one small bottle out in the shelter room and hoped I would use it up before it had a chance to spoil. Well, it went rancid quicker than I thought! Lesson learnt.

I was in Pet Value looking to pick up a ball for my golden retriever Tucker, when I saw the Thrive brand of supplements. I read the label. Herring Oil! Same great omega fatty acids as the Salmon oil; however, the herring oil did not need refrigeration!!! Eureka. I bought a bottle to try on the ferrets. They loved it. An added bonus was that it wasn’t as fishy smelling and I was no longer gagging. The price point was much much better than the salmon oil and the shelter could easily afford it. I later found out that the Thrive Brand carries a Salmon Oil as well, but again it has to be refrigerated. I’ll stick with the Herring Oil.

I dropped in to Best West where I purchase my dog food and the shelter’s Go Chicken with Grains Cat food. I noticed they have their own brand of Salmon oil at a much better price point than the Grizzly Brand. Their brand has to be refrigerated too.

Last but not least, our vet clinic, Henderson Animal Hospital carries an omega fatty acid nutritional supplement. Our vet suggested we try it on a long term shelter ferret named Lucy. Lucy was acting as if she had Parkinson’s. She was shaking all the time. Her physical ruled out everything. We put Lucy on the supplement and within 2 weeks she was shaking half the amount of time. Our vet recommended we give it to her every 12 hours and within another 2 weeks, she was and is still symptom free. If you have an old and or sick ferret, the Vetoquinol care nutritional supplement may be your best option. Do check with your vet before giving it to your ferret.

There are lots of choices out there. You have to choose the supplement that works for you and your ferrets. I am sure that I have missed some options. If you have one to recommend to us, drop us an email at manitobaferrets@gmail.com.

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