Having a ferret as a pet is one of the most beautiful things in the world, they are very cute and energetic, similar to dogs they can be very playful with humans and can also be litter trained which is very important to some owners. They love to play a lot, not just with other ferrets but with humans too, all that energy that is packed in their bones needs to be spent somewhere. These troublesome beauties will do it all, from chewing on objects to displacing some. Therefore it is important to keep in mind you cannot be careless in the way you leave objects that can cause harm to your pet, below are 12 things you must know before getting a ferret as a pet;
(1) Ferrets need to vaccinated
Since ferrets are not legal in every area, in areas where they are legal they are required to be vaccinated for canine distemper and rabies diseases that both affect puppies. Baby ferrets should get a series of three canine distemper vaccines three weeks apart starting at 2 months old; they should get their first rabies shot at approximately 4 months old. After that, they should get annual booster vaccines against both rabies and distemper viruses for life, even if they are indoor pets.
These diseases are fatal and should be taken with the utmost seriousness. It can only be prevented by vaccinating your ferret.
Ferrets are not born with diseases therefore they are contracted from other animals, even birds, or sometimes just by getting in contact with surfaces that have been infected by the virus. There are a plethora of sources where your ferret can be infected so the safe thing to do is to vaccinate and follow the schedule.
(2) It’s not legal to have a ferret pet in every area
Depending on your local area, you should check the state law before you consider getting a ferret pet, in some states in the US like California, Hawaii, and New York City they are illegal.
Leaving in such areas with a ferret pet can be frustrating as it can be difficult getting the best products and resources suitable for these beautiful creatures. Therefore you can either leave these areas or you can choose another pet but if you are a ferret ride or die ( living with a ferret pet is the only way to be alive ) then leaving is the only option.
(3) Ferrets need companions
Ferrets love to play and sometimes you just don’t have the time to help them burn all that energy and this is where having multiple ferrets can really be a game-changer, they don’t have to feel alone when you are not there.
But you have to be careful when getting an additional ferret because not all ferrets like each other, to combat this situation you should keep an eye on them whenever they are together for several days just make sure all is well, also make sure they have equal access to resources, they are emotional creatures, you do not want anyone feeling cheated of left out.
We offer ferrets that are already used to leaving together as is their nature in the wild, if that is what you are looking for, check our available ferrets.
(4) Ferrets need exercise
Ferrets can become obese if they do not get enough exercise, you will need to set time out of your day to get them out of their cage so they can run around especially the young. In another case, you can set an area in the house which they can run around and have some fun even when you are not around. The area has to be set specially for them i.e made up of their toys and nothing that can get them in trouble.
They do not only play as they can be good sleepers too, as they sleep for long hours especially when they can find comfortable spaces.
(5) Ferrets can be too curious their own good
Ferrets can be very curious, chewing and biting on foreign objects they can lay their hands on, or in this case their mouth on. From electrical cords to foam, rubber, clothes, shoes, furniture. This mischievous behavior can lead to significant health problems since foreign objects they inadvertently swallow can get stuck in their gastrointestinal (GI) tracts and cause life-threatening obstructions that require surgical treatment.
But this is not the end of the world, there are measures you can take to prevent this from being a hassle;
- Ferret proof your home by taking all those objects that your ferret can potentially chew on or steal out of its reach
- Supervise your ferret whenever they are out of their cage
- And lastly, if you do not want to go through the stress of ferret proofing your home or you are just not sure if your home has been properly ferret proof then just concentrate on ferret proofing a small area in your house which they will be limited to.
(6) Ferrets if not de-scented have a musky smell
Ferrets are born with scent glands near the bases of their tails. The glands are typically surgically removed by the breeder’s veterinarian when the animals are very young, before they are sold, or they would probably never sell because they smell so musky. Therefore having ferrets as pets would not be possible.
Most people don’t mind the lingering scent, but for some people with sensitive noses, a musky pet might be a problem. Therefore if you are sensitive to odor, and you’re considering a ferret as a pet, you might want to spend some time around one to be sure you can tolerate the smell before you bring a ferret home.
(7) Ferrets only eat meat or specifically developed diets
In the wild ferrets only eat meat ( carnivores ) similar to their domesticated counterparts but you shouldn’t feed your ferret pet raw meat, this could lead to infection from salmonella bacteria often found in raw meat, the GI tracts of domesticated ferrets is not adapted to disgusting raw meat like those of in the wild. This infection can lead to diarrhea, vomiting, and even death.
Some ignorant breeders and clerks recommend feeding ferrets with vegetables and fruits and this is wrong, ferrets require food that is moderate in fats, high in proteins, and low and carbohydrates.
Pet ferrets should be fed commercially formulated, high-protein/moderate-fat/low-carbohydrate diets that contain all the nutrients that ferrets require. These diets have also been prepared to eliminate potentially harmful bacteria.
Several kibble diets are available for pet ferrets, and they generally love them.
Before diets were developed specifically for ferrets, many people fed their pet ferrets cat food. In general, we recommend well-known commercially available ferret diets since they already have all the diets that ferrets require to be healthy.
(8) Similar to cats, ferrets get hairballs too
Ferrets typically shed a lot of hair particularly when the weather gets warm and like cats, they can ingest this hair as they groom themselves. If they ingest a great deal of hair, it can wad up in balls in their gastrointestinal tracts, leading to potentially life-threatening obstructions.
Ferrets with adrenal gland tumors commonly lose lots of hair as a result of hormones secreted by their tumors, which often predisposes them to hairball development.
To help prevent hairballs from forming, ferrets should be brushed several times a week and, if shedding is excessive, given hairball laxatives manufactured for either ferrets or cats by mouth once or twice a week or ferrets should be brushed at least once a week with a narrow-toothed hair comb meant for brushing either a ferret or a cat.
Talk with your veterinarian to find out more if you are worried about hairballs in your ferret.
(9) Ferrets need annual veterinary checkups
Like cats and dogs, ferrets ought to be checked by a veterinarian consistently. Since ferrets regularly foster certain illnesses, diagnosing these conditions early and carrying out treatment sooner can help ferrets carry on with longer and more joyful lives.
All ferrets ought to be immunized ( vaccinated ) every year, and ferrets more established than 3 years ought to have blood tests led every year, as well, to guarantee their glucose levels and kidney and liver capacities are ordinary.
And after 5 years old, ferrets preferably ought to be checked every 6 months, as they will in general foster a few of the illnesses they are inclined to by this age.
A ferret can make a beautiful pet if you want a spirited, playful, energetic companion. Ferrets do require a lot of attention and some space in which to run around. They also generally need more care — including medical care — as they age. Given that they can live as long as 9 to 10 years (on average 6 to 8 years), they are a long-term commitment. As long as you’re prepared to stand by your fluffy friend for that long, a ferret may be just right for you.
(10) Ferrets often develop certain diseases as they age
Ferrets sold in stores in the United States generally come from one of two very large breeding facilities. As a result, they are extremely inbred. While inbreeding can help select desirable traits like great temperaments and attractive coat colors, it can also increase the chances of developing certain diseases. The majority of inbred ferrets in the United States ultimately develop diseases such as adrenal gland tumors and a type of pancreatic tumor called insulinoma. These illnesses can occur in ferrets as young as 1 year old.
Older ferrets can also develop heart disease. Ferrets from private breeders develop these conditions, but they are generally not as common as in those from the larger facilities, since the ferrets aren’t typically as inbred.
You can check out our available ferrets, as private breeders, our ferrets have the lowest chances of getting such conditions because of the way we breed our ferrets. These are conditions that we have been putting effort to have reduced and maybe one day was completely removed out of the ferret bloodline for good.
If you will like to donate to this course, please contact us, we will appreciate any form of help. These beautiful babies need our help and we should give it to them.
When selecting a ferret, keep in mind there are several reputable ferret rescue facilities throughout the country, as well as private breeders where ferrets are less inbred and may ultimately have fewer medical problems than ferrets sold in pet stores.
Regardless, if you’re planning on getting a ferret, you should be mentally and financially prepared to deal with treatment for cancer as well as heart disease at some point depending on the source of your ferret.
(11) Ferrets need flea and heartworm disease preventative
Just like cats and dogs, ferrets are susceptible to flea infestation and deadly heartworm infection. This is true even for ferrets kept indoors, as fleas can come in from outside, especially if there are dogs and cats in the home. Mosquitos can also make their way indoors and transmit heartworm disease to indoor ferrets.
Ferret-savvy veterinarians can prescribe flea and heartworm preventatives that are safe for use in ferrets, as not all flea and heartworm products are appropriate for ferrets.
(12) Ferrets have a variety of colors
There is only one “breed” of ferret ( Mustela putorius furo), but they can come in many colors and patterns. Many colorations of ferret are being bred today. Sable is the most common and cinnamon is the rarest, but ferrets come in a myriad of color patterns.
There are eight basic ferret colors: Albino, Black, Black Sable, Champagne, Chocolate, Cinnamon, Dark-Eyed White, and Sable. The following definitions are the perfect example of that color.
As we all know there is no perfect ferret so you will need to find the closest color definition that matches your ferret. The one item that may not match up is nose color, especially if your ferret is in between two colors like sable and chocolate. Plus Marshall Farms tends to produce quite a few pink-nosed sables that are regularly seen at shows.
A Note on Ferret Colors: Ferret’s colors and patterns can change very dramatically with each seasonal coat change, and with age. If you purchase a ferret specifically for its coloring/markings, do not be disappointed when those features change. This is also a good reason not to choose your pet based on coloration alone.
How to find a pet ferret to buy or to adopt
Finding a pet ferret isn’t too difficult these days though illegal in some states, if you are already on our site then you have already done the most difficult part, we offer ferrets for adoption and you can visit our available ferret page to check the ones we have on there for adoption. Once you make a pick get in contact with us.
There are other ways to can get a ferret pet other than purchasing from us because not everyone meets our requirements, before picking you to be the next parent of our ferret we need to know you are up to the task. You can also rescue a ferret from a shelter but you have to be careful when going this route, animals from a shelter can sometimes have diseases therefore after you get them, you will have to set some time and place for their isolation from your other pets, just to be sure everything is well.
Before getting a ferret from a shelter, try learning as much about them as possible, learn about their past life, all the life situations they have had to go through, this is very important as it will help you easily transition your ferret into its new life.
We also have a shelter and we rescue ferrets who have been domesticated and find it difficult to live on their own, if you will like to contribute to our course in helping these beautiful mammals find their place in our society then please contact us and make a contribution.