Key Things to Consider Before Adopting a Ferret

May is Adopt A Ferret Month! While ferrets may not appeal to everyone, they can make wonderful companions. If you’re seeking a pet that’s adorable, lively, playful, and one-of-a-kind, a ferret might just be the ideal choice for you. However, they have specific care requirements. Continue reading to learn about caring for ferrets from a veterinarian in Ellicott City, MD.

Ferrets Are Finicky Eaters

Ferrets require a specialized diet. In their natural habitat, they primarily consume meat. Here are a few key things that potential owners should be aware of.

  • Ferrets may develop a strong preference for a specific food, to the point where they will obsess over it and even disregard other options. While that may sound adorable, this actually poses a significant risk. Getting your furry friend to switch to a new brand can be quite a challenge. This can become dangerous if their favorite is no suddenly longer on the shelves.
  •  It’s important to be aware of what foods pose potential dangers for your pet, such as chocolate, raisins, grapes, avocado, fruits and veggies, and xylitol, among others.
  • Locating pet food may not be as effortless as visiting your local grocery or convenience store and grabbing dog or cat food.
  • It is important to find the right food for your ferret. The content should contain at least 20 percent fat and approximately 40 percent protein, with less than five percent carbohydrates and fibers.
  • Your furry companion might enjoy a delicious bowl of duck soup. Recipes (which don’t necessarily have to include duck) can be easily found online. 

Consult with your veterinarian for personalized guidance on which foods are safe and unsafe, suitable treats, and appropriate portion sizes.

They Can Be Litterbox Trained  

One great advantage is that these adorable creatures can easily learn to use litter boxes. Starting training at a young age is highly recommended.

They Need Veterinary Care

Just like any other pet, ferrets require regular veterinary care in order to stay healthy and happy. Some common health issues that can affect these animals are cancer, heart problems (specifically dilated cardiomyopathy), parasites, adrenal disease, and tumors. Additionally, they have a tendency to become, well, chubby.

Keep an eye out for any indications of illness. These include weight loss, abdominal swelling, lethargy, vomiting, trouble breathing, appetite loss, drooling, coughing, trembling, weakness, black feces, bloody stools, diarrhea, hair loss, itching, loss of muscle mass, seizures, and (frequent) sneezing.

If you observe any of these signs, immediately contact your veterinarian in Ellicott City, MD. It’s important to address and resolve any issues as soon as possible for optimal results!

Ferrets Need Great Cages

Make sure to provide a cozy and safe cage. You’ll need to include toys, soft bedding, and necessary accessories, like dishes and a litterbox. Consult with your veterinarian in Ellicott City, MD for personalized guidance, including recommendations for bedding and toys.

They’re Very Playful

Ferrets need plenty of stimulation and opportunities for exercise outside of their cages are offered to prevent boredom and restlessness. It is important to provide your pet with ample daily free time in a secure area that has been properly ferret-proofed. Also, set aside some time to give attention to your little companion, whether it’s through petting, playing, or simply spending time together.

That Silky Fur Doesn’t Protect Them From Extreme Weather

Ferrets can easily become overheated during the summer months and require a snug and comfortable environment during the winter. During the summer months, you can freeze small water bottles and put them in your pet’s cage. Your ferret might enjoy having a small pool to splash and play in. In colder weather, it’s a good idea to include additional blankets.

Baby Ferrets Are Super Cute … And Super Frisky

Ferret kits are absolutely adorable, but they can be quite mischievous at times. They’re very social and full of energy when they are young. Kits can make incredible companions. Be ready to dedicate a significant amount of your time and energy to caring for a young ferret. (Please keep in mind that it is best for ferrets younger than two months to remain with their mothers.)

They Have Sticky Paws

Ferrets have a knack for pilfering items. Undoubtedly, ferrets are the most adorable little bandits on the planet. They will gladly depart with whatever they can transport. This includes items such as cell phones, car keys, inhalers, and any other personal belongings. 

Make sure to monitor the areas where your pet tends to stash their goods. When searching for something, start your search there.

They Need Buddies

Ferrets are very sociable creatures and thrive when they have a companion or two. It’s important to find the perfect fit, of course. (Bonus: you’ll be treated to an extra dose of charm.)

There Are Many Super Cute Adoptable Ferrets Out There

There are numerous rescued ferrets available for adoption. If you’re considering adding a ferret to your home, it’s worth checking if any are available for adoption at a local rescue organization or animal shelter. We absolutely adore witnessing the incredible opportunities that pets are given for a fresh start!

They Do Need Some Grooming

In most cases, ferrets do not require regular baths, unless they happen to get something spilled on them. However, regularly trimming your pet’s nails and cleaning their ears is important, even if you don’t bathe them.

They’re Good At Getaways

Ferrets have a remarkable ability to squeeze through tiny openings, including shower drains! They can also move around under couches and mattresses. 

They Can Be Nippers

Occasionally, when caught off guard or engaged in play, ferrets may exhibit biting behavior. It is important to understand that this isn’t always an act of hostility. Ferret kits frequently engage in playful biting with one another. Unfortunately for us, our skin is much more delicate than the protective fur of animals. Consider the implications of adopting a ferret if you have young children.

Ferretproofing Is A Must

You’ll need to make sure that any objects that may pose a risk of choking, strangulation, or poisoning are kept out of the reach of those tiny paws. That includes anything that your ferret can easily eat, play with, or carry around. Rubber can be quite hazardous: it can cause potentially fatal internal issues if ingested.

Plants are also a concern. There are several plants that can be hazardous, such as aloe vera, amaryllis, azalea, baby’s breath, begonia, carnation, castor bean, chrysanthemum, cyclamen, daffodil, gladiola, hosta, ivy, all lily species, milkweed, morning glory, oleander, poinsettia, pothos, sago palm, tomato plants, tulips, narcissus, rhododendron, and yew. 

Ferrets have a knack for finding their way into tight spaces, like couches, recliners, and futons. Here’s a suggestion: Try looking at things from your pet’s perspective by crouching down to their level. This can be quite eye-opening! 

Ask your vet for specific advice.

Schedule An Appointment With An Ellicott City, MD Veterinarian

Did you just get a new ferret? Are you thinking about getting one of these adorable little pets? If you ever need any help, please feel free to reach out to us. As your Ellicott City, MD animal hospital, we are dedicated to providing great care.

Comments are closed.