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Things Potential Ferret Owners Should Know

Have you thought about bringing a ferret into your home? While ferrets may not appeal to everyone, they can make wonderful companions. Indeed, if you’re searching for a pet that’s not only really adorable but also active, mischievous, and unique, a ferret might just be the ideal choice for you. Continue reading to learn about ferret care from a Live Oak, FL veterinarian.

Ferret Proofing Is Essential

In order to ensure that your pet is secure while they are inside your home, it is essential to take some precautions. Ensure that any objects that could potentially pose a risk of choking, strangulation, or poisoning are kept safely out of paws’ reach. This includes any small objects that your ferret can eat, bat around, or carry. Rubber can be quite hazardous. Toxic plants are also a threat.

Here’s a suggestion: Crouch down to your pet’s level to gain a different perspective. You may be surprised at how insightful this can be. Ferrets have a knack for finding their way into tight spaces, such as couches, recliners, and futons.

Baths Are Optional

In general, ferrets do not require regular baths, unless they come into contact with something that dirties their fur. A few ferrets enjoy playing in water, but others prefer to remain dry. If you do bathe your ferret, it’s important to use a gentle soap. Products specifically designed for ferrets are of course ideal here. You could also go with baby shampoo. Make sure the water is just lukewarm. It shouldn’t be too deep, either. Your pet should be able to move effortlessly in the water while keeping their cute head above the surface.

It’s better to bathe your ferret sparingly, ideally every few months, rather than risk overbathing. There is a common misconception that bathing ferrets can help reduce their musty smell. This isn’t true. In fact, excessive bathing of your pet can result in dry skin and potentially trigger skin problems.

Regularly trimming your pet’s nails and cleaning their ears is important, even if they don’t need a bath. For additional details, consult your veterinarian.

They Need Lots Of Free Time

Though he may spend a lot of time in his cage, your ferret will become bored and agitated if left there for an extended period of time. It is important to provide your pet with ample daily free time in a secure location that has been properly ferret-proofed. Set aside some time to give your little companion attention, play with them, and simply spend quality time together.

They Have Special Dietary Needs

Ferrets require a specialized diet. As carnivores, in their natural habitat they almost exclusively consume meat. Potential owners should be aware of a few key things before embarking on ownership.

  • Ferrets can become quite fixated on a particular food, and will even ignore all other options. While this might seem adorable, it is actually quite risky. It can be very difficult to convince your furry companion to give a different brand a chance if their favorite is suddenly unavailable.
  • Finding the right ferret food is essential. It should ideally consist of at least 20 percent fat and approximately 40 percent protein, with carbohydrates and fibers making up less than five percent.
  • As with any other pet, you should be aware of what can be dangerous to your animal friend. Among the items on that list are chocolate, raisins, grapes, avocado, fruits and veggies, and xylitol.
  • Finding food for pet ferrets may require more effort than simply visiting your local grocery or convenience store.
  • Many ferrets enjoy duck soup. Don’t let the name fool you: this doesn’t have to contain duck. Recipes can easily be found online.

Ask your veterinarian for personalized recommendations on feeding your ferret, including a appropriate and inappropriate foods, recommended portion sizes, and suitable treats.

They Can Learn To Use Litterboxes

One great advantage is that these adorable creatures can easily be trained to use litter boxes. However, it is ideal to begin training at a young age.

Comfortable Enclosures are Essential

You’ll need to set up a nice, secure cage with interesting toys, cozy bedding, and accessories like bowls and a litterbox. Ask your vet for specific advice on this, including recommendations on bedding and toys.

Ferrets Need Proper Veterinary Care

Just like any other pet, ferrets require routine veterinary care to ensure their well-being. You’ll need to find a small animal exotic vet. Typical health concerns encompass cancer, heart issues (particularly dilated cardiomyopathy), parasites, adrenal disease, and tumors. These guys also have a tendency to become overweight. Pay attention to any indications of illness.

These are some of the most common ones:

  • Salivating
  • Coughing
  • Trembling
  • Shortcoming
  • Losing Weight
  • Abdominal Swelling
  • Feeling Sluggish
  • Trouble Breathing
  • Decreased Appetite
  • Bloody Or Dark Stools
  • Fur Loss
  • Itching
  • Loss Of Muscle Tone
  • Seizures
  • Sneezing

If you observe any of these signs, contact your veterinarian in Live Oak, FL immediately. Diagnosing an issue as soon as possible is crucial, as so many illnesses are most successfully treated when caught early.

Climate Control Is Crucial

Ferrets can easily become overheated during the summer months. In hot weather, you can freeze small water bottles and put them in or just outside their cage. Some ferrets may enjoy having a shallow ‘pool’ to splash and play in. During the colder months, offer additional blankets.

Ferrets Will Steal Everything

Undoubtedly, ferrets are the most adorable culprits on the planet. They will joyfully scamper away with whatever they can hold. That includes items such as cell phones, car keys, inhalers, and, well, anything and everything that catches their fancy. Be sure to monitor the areas where your pet tends to stash its belongings. When searching for something, you’ll probably want to start there.

Ferret Kits Are Cute, Yet Playful

Ferrets are super cute when they are kits. However, baby ferrets are very, very mischievous. Be ready to dedicate a significant amount of your attention and effort to caring for a young ferret. (Note: ferrets younger than approximately two months old should still be with their mothers.)

They Need Companions

Ferrets are highly sociable and thrive when they have at least one or two companions. It’s important to find the perfect fit, of course. (Bonus: you’ll be treated to an extra dose of that adorable ferret charm.)

There Are Always Rescued Ferrets Available For Adoption

If you’re considering adding a ferret to your family, it’s worth checking if any are available for adoption at a local rescue organization or animal shelter. We love seeing pets being given another opportunity for happiness! You may also find a bonded pair, which will ensure that your pets will get along.

They Are Skilled Escape Artists

Don’t underestimate your furry pal’s capacity for jailbreaks. Ferrets have a remarkable ability to squeeze through incredibly tight spaces, including shower drains! They can also slip effortlessly beneath couches and mattresses.

They Sometimes Bite

Occasionally, when caught off guard or engaged in play, ferrets bite. It’s important to realize that this isn’t always a hostile action. Ferret kits love playfully biting each other. However, this doesn’t really hurt them: their thick fur protects them from their siblings’ sharp teeth. Our skin is considerably more delicate. This is something to keep in mind if you have kids.

Schedule An Appointment With Your Live Oak, FL Veterinarian

Did you just get a new ferret? Are you thinking about getting one of these adorable little pets? Contact us, your Live Oak, FL pet hospital, anytime!

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