A New Addition to the Family?
Ferrets make great pets and they are an exciting one to bond with if you’ve never owned a ferret before. They are loyal and loving creatures, but often times ferret owners lack the knowledge of what is needed to properly care for a new ferret. Don't look any further. Here is everything you need to know!
An immediate necessity of your furry friend is a good cage, so be sure to choose one with a good amount of space for your ferret. Also, keep in mind that if your ferret is a newborn, he or she will grow to their adult size in roughly one year. This needs to be accounted for when choosing a substantial cage. Ferrets like to have space to play and exercise. It is important to take your ferret out of the cage once and awhile to roam around the house or a single room, but you will want to have the home “ferret-proofed” before doing this.
Ferret-Proofing Your Home
1. In order to completely ferret-proof your home, make sure any small or tight openings are blocked off. Ferrets can shrink themselves through spaces as small as one inch.
2. Ferrets love burrowing (as I will discuss in several paragraphs) and they may often end up in your laundry. Use caution when throwing clothing into the washer and dryer. Your new friend may be snuggling in them!
3. Secure Dryer ducts and air vents.
4. Windows should be closed when your ferret is running free around the house. They love to chew and a screen isn't a large obstacle for a ferret.
5. Do not leave standing water unattended (or toilet seats up). This will help avoid the risk of your ferret drowning.
6. Electrical cords, plants, and cleaning supplies should all be kept out of reach of ferrets for obvious harmful reasons.
During holidays and vacations you may want to travel with your new friend! There are several different styles of carriers to choose from. No matter where you are traveling or how long the trip is, it is suggested that you choose a carrier that is going to be comfortable for your fuzzy and easy to transport from place to place.
Now that we have gone through ferret housing and transportation what is your new ferret going to eat? This is a big question when it comes to new ferret owners. Ferrets are carnivorous by nature and therefore require a specific diet high in protein. Examine the ingredients listen on food packaging or site descriptions and note the percentage of protein in the ferret food. It should be between 32% and 40% protein based and between 18% and 22% fat based for your ferret to get the correct nutrients he or she needs. Ferrets digest food in a short period of time, making it a priority for ferret owners to keep a good amount of kibble, as well, in a food bowl throughout the day.
As you probably knew previous to bringing your ferret home, this mammal loves to burrow, so having a soft sleeper or comfy bed is important to your new friend. Washable sleepers and hammocks are the best to look for so that you may wash the bedding once a week as needed. Closely woven fabric on a sleeper or hammock is also important to protect your ferret’s toenails from getting caught.
As with any pet, your new ferret needs fresh water. The easiest way to provide your new pet with this is through a water bottle. Bottles eliminate the possibility of spilling that accompanies a water bowl.
Ferrets become bored rather easily, so having multiple toys available is necessary to keep your new friend well-behaved and happy. Since ferrets love burrowing, tunnels and sacks are great options, but they also love toys that make noise and things they can climb up. You will want to rotate these options so they don't get bored. Once a ferret becomes bored, they will slip into a depression and begin acting out.
Litter and Cleanup
Finally, a new pet owner will need to “potty train” their pet. A litter box is needed for a ferret’s cage. One preferably with high sides and back, so as little will slip outside of the cage. Naturally, a litter box needs litter and a scoop to clean. If a litter box is not cleaned regularly, you will begin to notice your ferret will not go in the litter box, but in other areas.
Are you feeling a bit more secure about your new pet? We hope so! Now make sure to find a veterinarian in your area knowledgeable in ferrets so that when, as a ferret owner, you need help and support for your sick ferret, you will always be covered!