Owning a ferret can be a really rewarding experience. They offer loads of entertaining fun and mischief but… there are a few things worth keeping in mind when thinking about buying a ferret.
- How Much Do Ferrets Cost? Ferrets can vary in price from between $5 to $150 and sometimes can even be picked up for free. It’s really a case of looking around and finding a ferret you love and from someone you trust. If you’re looking to buy a ferret in another country, like England for example, then they are about the same price, after the money conversion.
This is not the only the cost you need to think about when it comes to having ferrets as pets… There are a few more things you need to think about first…..
- What Ferret supplies will you need? Your ferret is going to need somewhere to live. They will need to be kept clean, dry, warm and cosy… So if you want a happy fuzzy friend then here are a few things you should think about getting…
- a cage
- vitamin supplements
- food dishes
- a water bottle
- and of course toys
You will also need to take into account that a ferret will need to visit the vets regularly and will need their vaccinations. Many ferret owners opt to take out pet insurance to cover such costs, along with any other unforseen medical bills that may arise.
All of these are additional costs to consider when you’re creating a home for your pet ferret.
- What and how much will a ferret eat? Ferrets are carnivorous animals which means they are meat-eaters, and that’s when those nashers come in handy.
To begin, a balanced diet is essential for a ferret and it is recommended that your ferret is fed specialised ferret food. A good diet should be based on extremely digestible, animal meat protein, with little carbohydrates and high in fat content.
Chicken and lamb are always good choices but it’s not a good idea to choose any foods with grain or corn in it. Aways check the labels..
Ferrets should always have fresh food and water available to them, but don’t worry about over feeding your ferret as ferrets don’t over eat and are known as free-feeding animals.
It only takes two hours for a ferret to digest its food due to its very fast metabolism, so ferrets should have at least 8-10 small meals per day.
So with the frequent consumption of a high protein diet, ferrets will use the litter tray more than most other pets. Always keep the litter tray clean and fresh for the ferrets sake… and yours. A ferret’s litter tray needs to be cleaned on a daily basis.
It’s fine to allow your ferret to have cat food but always check the label to make
They do not eat fruits, nuts or vegetables or crisps, biscuits or any other treat you may think would be nice… Make sure the environment the ferrets are in is clean and tidy so they don’t pick any dropped food off the floor.
- The best ways to keep your ferret groomed: Ferret fur needs to be regularly groomed to keep their coats healthy. Ferrets are well known for getting hairballs, so it is important to regularly brush the fur to remove any excess hair.
Clipping your ferrets nails: You should be clipping your ferrets nails twice a month and this will stop any snagging that may rip off the nail… ow!
You are going to need a few things before you start:
- Cat or ferret clippers
- Some styptic powder (just in case you snip a bit to close)
- Some ferret treats
Here are a few tips on how to clip your ferret’s nail. First, lay your ferret on his back comfortably in your lap. Next, pop a tasty ferret treat on his stomach and get to work while he is busy with the treat. You should angle the nail when clipping them so that they are parallel to the floor when he is standing up or walking.
Be careful not to cut too close or you may catch his skin. If you do, pop a small amount of styptic powder on the nail, and you will stop any bleeding.
Brushing your ferrets teeth: Brushing your ferrets teeth is extremely important. How often you clean your ferrets teeth really depends on their diet.
If your ferrets are eating mainly dry foods then you should be looking to do them every other week. If he eats foods that are softer, then he will need to have them done more frequently, more like once a week.
When you’re brushing their teeth you should use and pet toothpaste and tooth brush and slowly brush the teeth.
Start from the back and work your way forward to the incisors and canines. Make sure you concentrate on the back molars as the ferrets tongue doesn’t reach here and tarter does build up.
There is going to be some wriggling when you start and it may all seem a bit traumatic but stick with it and your ferret will soon get used to it… Ferret treats always help!..
However thorough you are at brushing your ferret’s teeth, it’s still a good idea to book them in for a profeesional clean at the vets every 1 – 3 years…
Your ferret deserves this – it really is important to keep your ferret’s teeth clean for their overall health and quality of life.
Cleaning ears to check for mites: You will need to clean your ferret’s ears every week to stop any infection, nasty odours and ear mites.
Start by warming some ear cleaning solution – it’s a good idea to have one recommended by your vet. Squirt a couple of drops in the ear and then give the ear a rub to massage the solution in.
This will loosen up any build-up of wax and dirt in the ear. Gently remove the accumulation with a q-tip and keep changing this until the ear is nice and clean.
It is nearly impossible to hurt the ear drum of a ferret as the ear canal of a ferret is L shaped and as long as you are gentle when you are cleaning, they will be fine.
If you find that the ear wax is dark in colour or black then he may have ear-mites which can lead to deafness, so take him down the vets if this is the case.
Giving your ferret a bath: Do not over bath your pet ferret. This can be a common mistake and can make the skin dry out causing your ferret to scratch and be uncomfortable.
Over bathing can actually cause bad odour due to over-production by the oil glands…….
Only specialised ferret shampoo should be used as these shampoos have the correct PH balance.
A ferret’s body temperature is 102 degrees, so the bath water will need to be lukewarm otherwise your ferret will find the water very cold.
When the bathing is all done, give your ferret a good rub down with a towel until damp and then let him loose onto a towel and let him roll and toss around like a crazy thing finish drying himself. They have great fun!..
- What housing does your ferret need? Many pet owners have described their ferrets as being a bit like a cross between a dog and a cat. Although there are similatraties, unlike your pet cat or dog, a ferret should not be given the free run of your home.
If your ferrets are left unattended, you may come back to a scene of ferret chaos!
You can make a completely ferret proof room just for your ferrets, but having a good ferret cage is essential………
The size for a cage for one ferret should be enough to fit one food dish and one litter box leaving plenty of room to play.
The cage should be big enough so that your ferret dosen’t feel restricted.
He will thrive in a space that allows him to run around and have lots of ferret fun.
The minimum size of a ferret cage should be……
- High: 20 inches (51 cm)
- Long: 60 inches (76 to 90 cm)
- Wide: 18-24 inches (46- 60 cm)
Choosing a ferret cage with closely-spaced sturdy wire is a must. The wire cage allows air to flow freely for good ventilation.
It has been known for ferrets to be kept in aquariums, but this is not advisable… Aquariums should not be adapted for ferrets as it makes for an unhygienic enviroment with poor quality air flow.
Aquariums are designed for fish and not ferrets!!
Make sure that there is a sturdy escape-proof latch. Ferrets have very dextrous paws and willl have no trouble with a simple latch.
Ferrets, male and female ferrets, need to stay in their cage while you are unable to supervise them.
For bedding, machine washable towels and clothes are great… Never throw away your old towels or socks as these will make great bedding for your ferret.
It is a good idea to hang a ferret hammock from the ceiling of the cage. Ferrets love to sleep inside these. You can also put some toys inside the cage such as a tunnels to run through and hide inside.
Do not have wire that has been painted or treated, and this also applies to treated wood. There can be toxins in these that can be harmfull to your ferret.
- How Much Is A Ferret Going To Want To Play? Ferrets love attention. They love to chase things and bring them back to you and they love it when you interact with them…
If you are unable to give a ferret attention, they are not going to be the right pet for you.
You should be looking to take your ferret out of the cage on most days if not every day. Saying this… your ferrets will do a lot of sleeping and will be more than happy to be in the cage for the day, so they can still be a great pet if you work and wont be there during the day.
There are several ferret facts that one might not realize: Unlike the Black-Footed Ferret, the ferrets we have in our homes, are not considered to be wild animals. They have been domesticated for 2,500 years, but no one is 100 percent sure. In some parts of the world today they are still used to hunt rabbits. Happily, the vast majority of ferrets today are pets.
Ferrets are extremely intelligent and rely on social interaction. They can get into quite a bit of trouble if they are unsupervised so, again, be sure to put them inside their cage when you are not able to keep a close watch…
Ferrets are not a good pet for people with young children in the house. They do need to be handled correctly. Should a child inadvertantly squeeze or grab it a bit too hard when playing, the ferret will interpret this as an attack, rather than play, and may nip in defense.
Ferrets do get along great with cats and dogs, but other animals are best kept away from them… (especially rabbits!!)