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Advice for Caring for Your Ferret
May 1, 2024

Are you interested in bringing home a cute and lovable pet? You might want to consider getting a ferret. These adorable little creatures are absolutely delightful to have around, and are sure to bring joy and excitement to your day. Of course, Ferrets need quite a bit of affection and attention. Here are some helpful tips from a veterinarian in Mt. Pocono, PAorida.

They’re Mischievous

These guys are very active and playful. Extended periods of confinement in a cage can lead to boredom and restlessness in your ferret. You’ll need to give your pet plenty of free time each day in a safe, ferret-proofed environment.

They Have Unique Diets

Ferrets have specific dietary needs. As carnivores, they prefer small, meat-based meals, and must have the correct balance of protein and fat. For optimal nutrition, it is recommended that your pet’s food contains at least 20 percent fat and around 40 percent protein, while keeping carbohydrates and fibers to less than five percent. However, you’ll want to ask your vet for specific advice. For instance, a pregnant or young ferret might need a higher fat diet than a senior would.

Deciphering pet food labels can provide valuable information about the quality of a specific product, but it can be a little tricky. Look for a product that clearly states meat as the main ingredient. An ideal ferret food should contain suitable fats and fatty acids, such as chicken fat and omega 6 or 3 fatty acids. Avoid products containing sweet substances like corn syrup or sucrose, grain-based proteins and fillers like corn or rice gluten, soy meal, and soy flour.

Another point to consider? Ferrets can develop a strong fixation on their favorite foods. Although it may seem cute, this could cause major problems if your pet’s favorite food becomes scarce. 

Ferret owners also need to know what isn’t safe for their pets. That list includes sweets, dairy products, raisins, fruits and vegetables, chocolate, grapes, avocado, xylitol, rice, salt, peanut butter, nuts, grains, and anything sugary.

These guys really love duck soup. You can easily find recipes online that don’t necessarily have to include duck.

Consult your veterinarian for personalized guidance on which foods are safe and unsafe for your pet, as well as the appropriate portion sizes and feeding schedule.

They Require Climate Control

Ferrets may have fur coats on, but they need to be kept cool in the summer and warm in the winter. During hot weather, you can freeze small water bottles and place them in or around your pet’s cage. You can also Consider providing your ferret with a compact pool for some delightful splashing and playtime. However, not all ferrets like swimming.

Adding extra blankets during the colder months is a great way to provide them with cozy warmth. (Hint: lots of ferrets also enjoy it when their owners wear hoodies with pouches, as those pouches provide cozy spots for them to curl up in.)

Ferret Kits Are Absolutely Adorable!

Ferrets are incredibly energetic during their youth. Prepare to invest a considerable amount of time and effort into taking care of a young ferret.  (It is recommended that ferrets younger than two months stay with their mothers for optimal care.)

They Are The Most Adorable Criminals In The World

Ferrets are known for their knack of accumulating various items. They eagerly grab anything within reach. Actually, they might just be the cutest little troublemakers in the world. (Interesting fact: thieves once trained them to pick pockets.) They will take care of your essential items like cell phones, car keys, inhalers, and anything else you need.

It’s important to keep an eye on the places where your pet likes to hide its things. Begin your search by starting there.

They Are Prone To Jailbreaks

Ferrets can fit through all sorts of small holes, like shower drains.! They’re quite skilled at maneuvering into narrow spaces beneath beds and couches.

A Good Cage Is Crucial

Your pets would need a cage that is big and comfy. Make sure to include a variety of entertaining toys, cozy bedding, and essential accessories like dishes and a litterbox. Ask your vet for specific advice on this.

They Can Be Nippy

Occasionally, ferrets may nip, either during playtime or if they get startled. It’s not always a sign of anger when this happens. Ferret kits often playfully bite each other. Their thick fur offers them a shield against their energetic housemates. Unfortunately, our skin is no match for those sharp teeth. If you have small children, this is something to think about.

They Need A Bit Of Grooming

You don’t have to give your pet a bath, but it’s important to clean his ears and trim his nails. Hairballs can be a nuisance. Ask your vet about hairball preventative products.

You’ll Need To Bring Your Ferret To Your Mt. Pocono, PA Clinic Regularly

Just like any other pets, ferrets may experience certain health issues. It’s important to stay informed about various health concerns, including cancer, parasites, adrenal disease, ear mites, heart disease (specifically dilated cardiomyopathy), and tumors.  carefully watch your pet for any indications of illness.

Here are a few things to keep an eye out for:

  • Losing Weight
  • Swelling
  • Sluggishness
  • Vomiting
  • Drooling
  • Coughing
  • Trembling
  • Limitation
  • Breathing Difficulty
  • Lack Of Appetite
  • Dark/Bloody Stools
  • Hair Loss
  • Pain Signaling
  • Trouble Walking
  • Seizures
  • Sneezing

If you happen to notice anything unusual, contact your veterinarian in Mt. Pocono, PA as soon as possible.

They Need Friends

Ferrets enjoy the company of others and are happiest when they are with a friend or two. Finding the perfect fit is crucial, of course. (Bonus: you’ll also get to experience the irresistible charm of ferrets playing and cuddling with their friends. We probably don’t  have to tell you how adorable that is going to be.)

They Are Up For Adoption!

If you’re considering bringing a ferret into your home, it’s worth finding out if any are available for adoption at a nearby rescue organization or animal shelter. We absolutely adore witnessing pets getting a brand-new beginning!

Ferret Proof… Everything

Ferrets possess a boundless sense of curiosity and a talent for infiltrating any and all objects and spaces. Make sure that anything potentially hazardous is kept safely out of reach of those cute little paws. This includes anything small and/or sharp, as well as plastic wraps and ties, items with ropes and cords, chemicals, medication, and toxic plants.

Here’s a ferret proofing tip: Pause for a moment and lower yourself to the floor to view things from your pet’s point of view. Ferrets are quite skilled at squeezing into tight spaces, like gaps under or behind things like futons, recliners, and even couches. Make sure to close off any gaps or openings. Ask your vet for some specific tips on making your place safe. 

Schedule An Appointment With A Mt. Pocono, PA Veterinarian 

Did you just get a new ferret? Are you considering getting one of these adorable little pets? If you ever need any help, please feel free to reach out to us. We are here to assist you! As your nearby pet hospital in Mt. Pocono, PA, we are dedicated to offering great care!