How to Care for a Pet Ferret
Are you thinking of adopting a pet ferret, or have you recently brought home your first ferret? Caring for a ferret can be a fun and rewarding experience, but it takes a little know-how to get started. If you’ve never had experience with ferret care before, you’ve come to the right place!
In the article below, you’ll find a few quick tips to help you get started with your ferret care. Once you’ve mastered the basics, take time to do some more research and learn even more about what it takes to provide the best care possible for your new pet.
Feed Your Ferret Healthy Foods
Although there are a lot of commercial ferret food blends on the market, many of these do not provide adequate nutrition for your pet. If you do choose a commercial food, know that you’ll need to pick one of the more costly options to get a well-balanced meal for your ferret.
Since ferrets are carnivores, they don’t need to be given fruit or vegetables. Their food and treats should consist of meat and meat-based ingredients, and they should get a lot of protein and fat in their diets.
Pick the Best Enclosure
Ferrets should never be housed in glass aquariums, no matter how large. These tanks are designed to be watertight, which means they don’t let in nearly enough air for a mammal. Instead, choose a wire cage with multiple levels and a solid floor. Be sure to pick something with a door that can be locked.
Ferrets should be given bedding as well as a litter box and should be kept between 60- and 80-degrees Fahrenheit for their safety.
Your ferret will groom themselves a lot of the time. However, ferrets should also be combed and brushed regularly to help cut down on shedding. This habit also helps ferrets lose their coats twice a year, which is a normal part of ferret behavior. You can also bathe your ferret, but do not do this more than once a month at most.
Ferrets also need to have their nails trimmed. Trimming your ferret’s nails can be tricky, so you may want to see a veterinarian or a small animal groomer for this task. Your ferret will also need their teeth brushed regularly.
Provide Safe Toys
You will need to give your ferret plenty of toys to play with. Ferrets love to play, and they also like to chew—a lot! Toys should not be able to be chewed up, and you should always monitor your ferret while they are playing with toys. Do not give your pet anything soft that can be easily shredded by their sharp teeth.
Hard plastic toys are generally a good option if they do not have any give. Cardboard and paper can be given, since your ferret can digest these substances if they do eat them. One of the best options for a ferret toy is a large PVC pipe tube big enough for them to run through.
Keep Up with Ferret Heartworm and Flea Medication
Just like dogs and cats, ferrets need to take monthly heartworm and flea preventative medication. Both parasites can and often do affect ferrets, but you can reduce or eliminate the risk by making sure your pet stays medicated throughout the year.
Talk to your veterinarian about possible medications for your ferret. Some ferrets may need specific medicines depending on underlying health concerns. An exotic vet will be able to help you determine the best option for your ferret.
Consider Spaying or Neutering
It’s generally recommended to spay or neuter your ferret. Female ferrets who are left intact and do not mate can die from a type of anemia associated with estrogen levels. Having your female ferret spayed will remove this risk and help them live a healthier life overall.
Male ferrets can also be neutered. Neutering your male ferret may cut down on aggressive behavior and make them more playful. However, neutering can sometimes lead to an increased risk of adrenal gland tumors, so you should talk with your vet about this option for your pet.
Talk with Boston Veterinary Clinic About Your Ferret’s Care
As you can see, ferret care isn’t too complicated, but it’s different from taking care of a dog or a cat. When you have a ferret in your home, it’s important to pay close attention to the special needs these animals bring.