Questions and Answers
Why make a food chart?
Because I am unsatisfied with the current food charts available for ferret owners. I love Atroxy's food chart to pieces, but it's become outdated and most of the foods listed have changed their formula since the time it was made. Other current food charts are either:
-don't/can't include any food types aside from dry kibble
-don't explain their scoring criteria
-have an un-mathematical scoring system
-or use a scoring criteria that I don't agree with (which is fine, we can agree to disagree)
Due to the nature of ferret nutrition and the availability of cat an kitten foods as viable choices, I think it's important for ferret owners to have this kind of a resource.
Why make a food search tool/chart creator?
-Some people don't agree on what the most important parts of a good ferret food are. That's okay. I want people to be able to find the things that are important to them instead of telling them they need to follow my way of thinking.
-Some people have a reason to want to look at cat, kitten, ferret: dry, wet, raw, etc types of food all together or separately.
-Some people have pets with allergies or sensitivities. I want them to be able to look through foods that don't contain those ingredients if they need to.
-Likewise, some people may have reasons to need different protein or fat levels in their pet's food
-Programming it this way ensures that my foods and scores can be easily updated. Instead of making a chart, I made a database that I can pull charts out of. It's more dynamic.
-I leave the option open to expand and include more species in the future if there's a demand for it.
How do I know your information is accurate and unbiased?
Information quality and bias distinction are very important to me. There are enough people on the internet presenting their own opinion or information they heard from a friend, or don't things they don't properly understand, or anecdotal evidence, as fact. I honestly don't want to be one of them. I promise, I spend a lot of time on research before writing anything here. When possible, I try to go straight to the source and get use directly from the AAFCO, FDA, or primary research, rather than reading opinionated web pages.
On informational pages, I try to watch my wording and use phrases like "in my opinion" when I'm including my own ideas, or provide a general disclaimer at the top of the page.
On food and ingredient database pages I've also included a breaker that separates solid fact from personal opinion:
Information above a green line is something I got or paraphrased from the AAFCO, a scientific journal, reputable nutritional site, product website, etc. Information below the line is my comments, opinions, common internet knowledge that I haven't verified completely, etc. Take my advice if you want it. If you don't, stop reading at the line.
Why don't you have [insert food name here] or [insert ingredient here]?
This website is still under construction and brands are always changing. If you want something added, just ask and I'll gladly oblige as fast as I can :)
Any way I can help or make this go faster?
YES. All foods and ingredients are added to the database through a form: no programming knowledge is required. Any volunteers that want to help add/edit foods and ingredients are more than appreciated. Just post on the forums.
Are you a vet?
No, I'm not. I haven't run a shelter or cared for 40 ferrets either; I only have two. I'm not perfect or infallible, I'm just trying to help out where I can. I've spent several years at an entry level job in a vet clinic and now have a Bsc. degree in zoology. I've also spent years researching ferret nutrition online, in books, and in peer-reviewed scientific literature.
I frequently read up from the following online ferret communities:
The Lazy Hammock
Ferret Mailing List
Everything Ferret forum
Ferretopia Ferret forum
Holistic Ferret forum
Feel free to recommend me to any others.
If I say anything you don't agree with, feel free to talk to me about it. I want to provide the most accurate information that I can.