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Pet Ferret – How Do You Decide?

Pet Ferret – How Do You Decide?

There are a some serious questions that you should ask yourself before choosing or deciding on getting a pet ferret.

o Do you have the time to care for your pet ferret?

o Do you have enough space to keep a ferret?

o Have you educated yourself about these furry little creatures?

If your answer to all of these questions is a “Yes” then your ready to start the journey of a lifetime.

Ferrets are highly active and mischievous animals who will keep you entertained with their antics. They are extremely intelligent and hence litter training your pet ferret is not difficult at all. However, since they are extremely active you will need to make sure to get rid of items that are dangerous for them. Once left loose outside their cages they will run all around your home and enjoy every moment of their freedom. You will find them scampering around to investigate items that are lying around and trust me, they think everything is theirs.

Your pet ferret requires a cage that is big with enough space for their bedding, food, water and also some space for play. Choosing a cage for your ferret also requires you to check on certain details before you invest in one. For example, you will need a cage with bars that are no wider than 1 inch. This will ensure that your pet does not try to escape through the bars and/or get their head stuck while trying to get out. A specialized ferret cage is an ideal investment that takes care of minute details like flooring, bar spacing and even the area inside the cage.

Your pet ferret will also need a lot of attention like bathing, grooming, feeding, brushing their teeth and other ferret care requirements that will ensure their well-being and good health. Pet ferrets are very active in nature and love to play around. Give them a toy and they will spend hours and hours playing with it. There is an old saying about ferrets that I have found to be absolutely true, “A Ferret Can Never Have Too Many Toys!” However, a pet ferret prefers playing with you. This not only keeps them busy and entertained but you can also enjoy yourself in this daily-required activity. Yes, I said daily. Ferrets require a lot of your time, everyday.

Ferrets are generally nosey little animals and they love inspecting every corner of your house. If you think that you have put everything away, you haven’t. It is just a matter of time before your pet ferret finds it. Everyday is a huge adventure and they love every bit of it. Their curiosity will normally lead them in some trouble, which could be a misadventure for you. It is therefore important to keep things out of their reach and hidden in a safe place.

When your pet ferret is out of his/her cage, ensure that you are with them. Leaving your ferret unsupervised is not a good idea, for a simple fact that these nosey animals could swallow things or get themselves into trouble. Also make sure that you do not keep plants around their play area as they may be toxic for your little friend.

If you want to keep a pet ferret, make sure you learn everything you possibly can about them. I have written an eBook myself about them and you will find other educational books on ferrets in pet stores and even online. Choose one that will give you the guidance you need before investing financially as well as emotionally into one of these lovely little friends. Best of luck.…

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New Ferret Safety and Poop-Proofing Your Pad

New Ferret Safety and Poop-Proofing Your Pad

Getting a new ferret can be one of the most exciting things to happen to a home in a long time. Ferrets are simply unique pets that have a lot of creative energy when awake, and tend to be quite playful, if not outright social. Ferrets have been known to enjoy playing their version of tag, going for a walk, or even hanging out in your backpack.

One of the most exciting things about getting a new ferret is simply discovering what idiosyncratic little tendencies they will have. Of course, it’s not all play. There are some basic ferret care issues to be covered. But, fortunately, there are some tips you can employ that will help ease the transition into caring for your new ferret, so the two of you can spend the bulk of your energy on play time.

Here are my top tips for breaking in your new ferret. If you can get that little guy or gal litter box trained as quickly as possible, that will obviously help. The good new is that consistency pays off, and most new ferrets get trained to use it most of the time rapidly. It’s really not uncommon to find them to be a clean as cats. However, you’ll avoid disappointment if you simply come to expect a periodic accident. Simply have them begin running loose in a small bedroom or even the bathroom. If you do this right after they have eaten or awakened, then there is a good chance they will have to “potty.” If you simply place them in the litter box after some free time, you can encourage them to do it there, and this can become a bit of a routine until they get the hang of it on their own.

The upshot is that you can readily train your new ferret with a bit of behavioral training. For example, just give them a treat if they use the litter box. Make it a good experience for them. They’ve just relieved themselves, and now they are getting a reward to boot. This is always better than punishment. The tendency is to ignore the issue and try to punish them for the occasional accident when it occurs. But, a reward for the desired behavior will pay bigger dividends. Plus, you do not want them to become scared of you. Instead, you want them to want to play with you.

Keep in mind that you will have to examine your home for things your new ferret can get into. They can get acclimated at first in the cage, but soon will be let out into the surrounding area. They do not always understand the hazards of chewing on electrical cords and things like that, so you will have to pick up to keep them safe. You’ll also want to protect your valuables as well.

When you “ferret proof” your residence, remember that your new ferret can get into some pretty small spaces. If you just think about what a mouse could get into, then safeguarding the place on that basis should suffice. Because they are so low to the ground and like to sneak around and investigate, you’ll do best if you crawl around to try to experience your home from their vantage point. Only then can you really consider all potential hazards. Of course, don’t overlook the fact that they are climbers.…

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Ferret Disease Discovery – What Types and How to Avoid Them

Ferret Disease Discovery – What Types and How to Avoid Them

Ferrets are extremely active animals. They exhibit their enthusiasm by leaping, running, bouncing, dancing, and just plain playful silliness that is more entertaining than American Idol. They have very high levels of energy and it is uncommon for ferrets to be lethargic. When and if that happens, your fuzzy may be sick and possibly have a unique ferret disease. Like other animals, ferrets are susceptible to different illnesses. In fact, there are common ferret diseases that are curable but can be deadly if neglected.

Your ferret may be suffering from adrenal disease if you observe your pet’s hair is falling out whenever it scratches its body. Some other signs to look out for are sudden weight loss, weakness, and he hardly moves or walks. This type of ferret disease is often caused by cancer in adrenal glands. Usually, but not always, it will occur in animals that are three years old or older. At this age they are considered senior. Most of the time, veterinarians will recommend tumor removals through surgery. Just be aware that this could cost a little more than what you might want to spend.

Insulinoma is like diabetes for humans. Its common symptoms are weight loss, weakness of the body, poor appetite, and sometimes seizures. This is caused by a malfunction of the pancreas, which results in the decrease of blood glucose levels and high levels of insulin. This type of ferret disease is harder to treat than adrenal disease. Surgery is possible; however it is not highly recommended. The other only option is the maintenance of a proper diet, which is low in sugar. Because of insulinoma, it is advised to never feed your ferret foods that are high in carbohydrates.

Older ferrets are also prone to heart disease. It is caused by the thickening of the heart wall; whereas, it becomes stiff and can’t expand and contract normally. The heart has a harder time pumping blood to the body and causes the ferret to tire easily. Other common symptoms are body weakness, loss of appetite and rapid breathing. A healthy diet is strictly observed for ferrets with heart disease and that means what is healthy for the fuzzy, not humans. Veterinarians may give diuretic medicine to promote urination that will reduce fluid build-up around the heart. He may also be given medicines that will relax the blood vessels. A maintenance medication to avoid a heart attack may be prescribed but it does not cure the disease. It will ease the symptoms and provide more comfort to your little guy.

It is evident that ferrets experience the same types of diseases we humans do and honestly, most of them can be avoided if he sticks to his regimented dietary constraints. What is good for humans is not necessarily good for ferrets.…

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How Important is a Proper Diet For Your Pet Ferret?

How Important is a Proper Diet For Your Pet Ferret?

The lifespan of a ferret is highly dependent on the nature of their diets. Being carnivorous creatures, ferret’s need to consume high protein with very little fiber. It was only in recent years, about the late 80s, that high end feline food ceased to be the sole choice for decent ferret nutrition. While these foods remain as good choices for ferrets, the growing market demand for ferret specific food prompted the production of food with the optimal mix of fat and carbohydrate. The unique physical characteristics of the ferret call for this specific mix in order to maximize its lifespan. This type of food is critical for kits to ensure their proper development. Check the labels when you are purchasing these foods, making sure that protein is in the 35 to 40 percent level and 18 to 30 percent fat along with 2 percent fiber. There should be 21 amino acids coupled with an ash level that is less than 7 percent and quality carb ingratiates like brewers yeast and rice flower. Keep in mind that improperly processed fish can find its way into your ferrets food and this may result in the refusal of the ferret to eat. Ferrets can be very picky about their food, sometimes preferring to starve when faced with food that does not appeal to them. While the better brands of ferret food cost more than high quality feline food, remember that ferrets eat much less so total cost may be lower than expected. Moreover, supplements are generally not needed when the ferrets diet is optimal.

The caloric requirements of the ferret call for a minimum of two meals a day. Be aware though that being small creatures, ferrets require equally small portions. When using moist food for ferrets, do not leave it there beyond 45 minutes. It should be discarded soon after. It may be advantageous to try a diet based on dry pellets since they last longer allowing you to leave them in the cage for a day. They also assist in improving the ferrets oral hygiene by assisting in teeth cleaning. Note that when ferrets are fed dry food, it is essential for them to always have access to fresh water. For ferrets, water dishes are preferred over water bottles but ensure that the water stays pure by changing the dish water several times a day.

Treats for ferrets, while not necessary, are excellent tools that can be employed to housebreak a ferret. Cooked meat and eggs are popular snack choices. Steer clear of high sugar foods such as candy, fruits, milk and other dairy products as well as nuts. Any of these foods could create problems with your ferret’s nutrition including obesity, tooth decay, malnutrition, insulonima, hypoglycemia and even intestinal blockage. Treats must be used sparingly because too much of them can disturb the regular diet of your pet. Avoid vegetables and grains because the ferret cannot digest them. Remember that onions can poison your ferret.

Correct nutrition is a prerequisite for your ferret’s good health. Aside from ensuring the happiness and comfort of your pet, it reduces or eliminates risks of coming down with potentially deadly diseases. Ferrets elicit lots of affection and love from their owners through their behavior. Providing them with an optimal diet that will maximize their lives is one of the best ways to love them back.…

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What Is a Ferret? Is It For You?

What Is a Ferret? Is It For You?

While ferrets may look slightly rodent-like with their long, pointed snouts and ticklish whiskers, they are not rodents at all. Ferrets come from the Order Carnivora, which simply means “meat or flesh eating.” This is order encompasses a huge group of animals, from Fifi the common lap dog to the mighty African lion. Ferrets are further broken down into the Family Mustelidae, which they proudly share with such bold critters as the badger, wolverine, pine marten, sea other, and skunk. Included in that family are domesticated ferrets and ferret-like animals such as the weasel, European polecat, steppe polecat, black-footed ferret, and mink.

A huge amount of mystery and controversy surrounds our little ferret friends. The fact of the matter is that all polecats are very closely related and can interbreed among themselves successfully. That is, they can produce viable offspring. Nobody really knows exactly how the ferret is related to the rest of the polecats. Several theories exist, but the most commonly accepted one points toward the European polecat. Mustela putorius as having likely claims to ferret ancestry. While there has been little archeological evidence found to support this idea, genetically speaking, the European polecat and today’s modern ferret are practically twins. It’s possible that our domestic ferret is a polecat hybrid. The domestic ferret’s genetic makeup may be more of one polecat, probably the European, than another polecat. One of his grandparents may even no longer exist. But even a seemingly insignificant genetic difference can mean the difference between a horse and a zebra or a dog and coyote.

Genetic difference, however slight, can be highly significant. So the studies move forward. Researchers continue to compare our domestic ferret to other potential ancestor. However, it’s quite possible that we may never know the real answer in our own lifetime. For our own purpose, all we truly need to know is that we are dealing with a unique little creature – more affectionate than ferocious and so easy to fall in love with.…

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Ferret Disease

Ferret Disease

Insulinoma is probably a word you do not hear every day. It is the term veterinarians refer to for cancer of the beta cells of the pancreas in ferrets. Apparently, the ferret disease insulinoma is reaching epidemic proportions among this species. It also seems to be a disease related to your ferret’s diet. The first part of the word gives you an idea of the cause. The word “insulin” in reference to blood sugar. Now you probably know where I am going here.

The metabolism of blood sugar in your ferret is very sensitive to dietary disruption. Diets containing too much carbohydrates cause the pancreas to produce higher levels of insulin as a natural reaction to the high levels of glucose in the blood. If this sounds like diet-induced (or type 2 diabetes) you are close. The causes are similar, but the results are different. Unlike with diabetes, some ferret experts say that the cells in the pancreas do not just burn themselves out, but they actually change their growth pattern. And this new, strange carbohydrate induced pattern causes a cancerous state.

Let me advise briefly about what not to give your ferret, if you are expect him to remain healthy and vibrant. Do not feed him fruits or vegetables. Also do not feed him starches or sugars. Feeding your ferret the wrong kinds of foods can lead to various health problems, not the least of which is obesity. And they are pretty low to the ground as it is, you would not want the ferret’s little belly to be dragging the ground as he ran around he house. But more importantly, the wrong diet can also lead to other food-related illnesses as well as a shortened life span.

If you know for sure that you are feeding your ferret a good high-quality meal but you suspect that he is gaining excessive weight, bring him in to see the vet. Unexplained weight gain may be a symptom of an enlarged spleen. It could also mean he is retaining fluid in his abdominal cavity. Some ferrets, do experience that so-called “middle age” weight gain. And some will get slightly heavier throughout the winter months. But for the most part, obesity is not a problem you or your ferret need to overly concerned about. Just as long as his diet is properly balanced.

One other thing to be concerned is ferret kibble. You need to make sure that the first three ingredients are all meat products. Then you need to make sure that it does not contain any corn. Do not feed your ferret any kibble that contains dried portions of fruit and vegetables. You also need to be concerned about the starch and carbohydrates in kibbles. Most kibble foods contain macro-nutrients which are composed of nearly 20 to 30 percent of digestible carbohydrates. You must consider the starch and carbohydrate content of the kibble. Starches and sugars are foods that the ferret just cannot digest. The higher the levels of carbohydrates in your ferret kibbles, the greater the chances of your pet developing some food-related illnesses, like gastroenteritis, and bladder stones. And nobody really wants that either.…

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Ferret Disease Information You Should Know

Ferret Disease Information You Should Know

Ferrets are hardy little animals but they are susceptible to several diseases and health conditions that an owner should be familiar with so that the health of the pet can be maintained. It is important to not only be able to know and recognize the symptoms but to know the best corrective action to take when they manifest themselves. If the ferret’s health is properly maintained they can provide years of enjoyment. Listed below are some of the conditions that deserve great vigilance.

The first consideration to observe after you bring home your new ferret is how is the digestive system working? Ferrets are meat eaters and if they are fed plant based food somewhere it can cause problems. They should only be fed a diet consisting of meat based protein with a maximum of 4% fiber. Sometimes they will not be fed the proper diet and will suffer gastrointestinal problems. If the new ferret is suffering from vomiting or diarrhea they more than likely are having problems with their digestive system. Usually after being put on the proper diet regimen they will get over this problem.

ECE or epizootic catarrhal enteritis is a serious disease that attacks adult ferrets. Animal health authorities believe that it is carried by baby ferrets who give it to the adults. Green diarrhea is the primary indication of this serious disease which requires immediate attention by a veterinarian so anytime you see this symptom in your pet ferret it is advised to get it to a veterinarian as soon as possible. It is a life threatening disease to you pet but it can be cured with proper treatment over a period of time.

Parasites are another common problem with ferrets especially if its former owners weren’t careful about controlling this malady so immediately after bringing a new ferret into your home it is important to carefully inspect the animal for parasites. A common parasite of ferrets are ear mites whose presence is indicated by the appearance of a brown substance in their ears and the ferret continually scratching its ears. A common problem to all animals is fleas and ferrets are not immune to this distasteful condition. Another common problem is heart worms that are caused by mosquito stings. The encouraging thing about parasite problems is that they can all be controlled with the proper treatment.

Unfortunately ferrets are susceptible to several forms of endocrine disease. One of the forms of this condition is when tumors appear in the ferret’s adrenal gland. Tumors can show up in their pancreas. This condition is referred to as insulinoma which causes difficulties with the ferret’s blood sugar levels similar to a human with diabetes. Endocrine diseases are serious health threats to ferrets and proper treatment by a veterinarian is essential.

Ferrets of all age are also threatened by lymphoma. This disease can attack a ferret with varying degrees of intensity. As with cancer in humans it can be treated with different results.

To insure that your pet ferret lives a long and happy life keep on the alert for the ferret disease symptoms and be prepared to take action when they raise their ugly heads.…