Tips to Bring Your Ferret Home
Now that you have decided that you want to keep a ferret as a pet, there are several important tips to remember before you take your new friend home. Your ferret will need a suitable home to live in. Although ferrets love to run, play, and explore, it will spend most of the day inside its cage. You need to ensure that the cage provides three essential things for your ferret: a comfortable place to sleep, a private place to do its ‘business’, and ample room to play.
An ideal ferret cage will consist of multiple levels, with shelves and ladders to climb. You should purchase a cage with a wood bottom, not mesh as this will hurt your ferret’s feet. Under no circumstances should you house your ferret in a glass aquarium as this does not provide enough circulation and moisture will build up. Too much moisture can cause bacterial and fungal infections on the skin and can affect the respiratory system. This can ultimately lead to death.
When you are lining the cage, do not use wood chips as, again, this could lead to respiratory problems. Instead, use a clean towel or old clothing; something that is soft and comfortable to sleep on. Ferrets also love to sleep in suspended hammocks. Make the sleeping area as comfortable and dark as possible as ferrets sleep a majority of the day; on average from 15 to 20 hours.
Be extremely cautious when you are choosing toys for your ferret. Avoid anything that is made from soft, spongy, or easily ripped material. If your ferret manages to shred materials and swallow them, this can seriously harm the intestines, resulting in the need for surgery. Some great suggestions for toys include long tubes, slides, and wheels. Anything that is stimulating and fun will keep your ferret entertained for long periods of time. Such things as balls with bells or rattles are also good suggestions.
Ferrets are members of the weasel family, which means that they are carnivores and require a diet that is high in animal protein and fat. They should not eat a lot of foods that are high in carbohydrates and fiber. Ferrets have extremely high metabolisms and must eat every 3 to 4 hours. Keep a constant supply of food and fresh water available. A water dish is preferable to a water bottle as ferrets like to wash their faces in the dish as well. Hard food is preferable to soft food as the soft food will go bad if left out for too long.
All pets require regular visits to the local veterinarian as well as regular vaccinations, and ferrets are no different. When they mature and reach adulthood, ferrets will begin to emit a strong odor. It is recommended that you bring them to the vet to have them de-scented and neutered. Always follow your veterinarian’s instructions regarding ferret care. This will ensure that your pet will live a long and healthy life.