Ferrets make great pets for the whole family and are terrific companions. However, just to clarify, they are not rodents as many people are led to believe. Ferrets are in the Mustelid family along with their companions which include otters, mink, weasels and polecats. They have been domesticated for over two thousand years no and their primary duties include hunting rabbits, vermin control, and much more.
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Ferrets are well known for their high level of intelligence and outgoing curiosity, which can lead to some frustrating moments for ferret owners! Your ferret will require training and a lot of interaction with you and other members of your family for proper socialization. Ferrets are very social creatures and will bond with fellow ferret cage mates and their owners.
In some regions of the world, pet owners keep their ferrets outdoors, but this is a rare practice North America. The primary reason for this is because canine distemper, heartworm disease and rabies are common in North America and ferrets can develop all of these. Also, ferrets are prone to heatstroke and any temperature above seventy-five degrees Fahrenheit can be very dangerous for your pet. Preferably a comfortable range for your ferret is sixty-five to sixty-eight degrees Fahrenheit.
Ferrets have a lot of energy to burn and will require some time outside their enclosure for activity and exercise. Your Ferret cage/enclosure will need to be large enough to allow ample roaming space in addition to including hammocks, litter box, food bowl and water bottles. Take a few moments to inspect the cage and ensure there are no jagged or rough edges that may harm your pet. We also suggest using metal clips to secure the entry door as ferrets can open the enclosure door on their own. When choosing an enclosure for your pet, consider that your ferret will require ample space to move around. As a minimum, a three-foot by two foot by two foot is a good start but consider larger if you have the budget.
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Ferrets are energetic and independent creatures with a set of formidable teeth. As a result, you should know that petting a Ferret
is not quite the same as petting a cat, dog or guinea pig. Although affectionate, you will have to understand when they are in the mood petting.
Most Ferrets have an insatiable appetite for activity. They love to be active, hunting for food, socializing with other Ferrets and tunneling. They will need to run around, climb and play like little kids. This is particularly true of baby ferrets, who just want to play.
If your Ferret want’s to play, let them. This is not the time to be affectionate or touch them. They need to let off steam, most often by doing a bouncing ware dance.
Unless you want to be tasted, make sure your hands are clean of any food smells. If you are concerned about the Ferret biting you, you simply spray some bitter apple on your hands as it will taste really foul. If a ferret does bite, or put their teeth on you, then pick up the ferret by the scruff of the neck and stare into its eyes, frowning, then put the Ferret back down and try again.
Although Ferrets appear indestructible, rubber bands, they are actually quite fragile. The average Ferret is about the same weight of a large guinea pig. Ferrets love a light touch from humans, even though they k nock other ferrets around like punching bags.
Ferrets will let you know if your touch is well reciprocated with a lick. So, if your Ferret turns around to your petting hand, don’t just assume that you are going to get bitten. If a Ferret leans into your touch, then you can use more pressure. When you stroke over their hips and they like it, they will raise the hips like cat.
Most Ferrets don’t appreciate being patted like a dog, or slapped playfully like you would a horse or large dog. Those motions may frighten them. Also, let the ferret know you are there before you decide to touch or pick them up. Their main predators were birds of prey, so they can be protective about any large body that appears to be swooping down on them from above.
Ferrets also like a light scratching, otherwise known as “sritching” This is typically a cross between petting and a light scratch, where your fingers gently move back and forth as if closing in to pick up a pin and then letting go.
Not all Ferrets have the same amount of tolerance for human contact. They all are individuals. Some will cuddle with you for a few minutes before dancing off again, while others cuddle in your lap all night. In general, the older the ferret, the more responsive they are to your affection.
Not all ferrets have the same amount of tolerance for human contact. They all are individuals. Some will cuddle for a few minutes before dancing off again, while others will cuddle in your lap all night. Generally, the older the ferret, the more responsive they are to your affection.
Always allow your Ferret come to you for affection in his or her good time. Its suggested to handle your ferret at least once a day, just so they learn good manners and can be more easily looked over at your local veterinarian. This also means that the ferret gets accustom to your touch.
The satisfaction in living with a Ferret or two is that they are Ferrets and not any other pet. They have such vibrant characters and such sense of humor, that it is a true privilege when on devices that you are Ferret enough for contact.
Whether running through tubes, across hallways, up-and-down stairs, you will soon find that Ferrets are extremely playful at heart, and not just with toys – the ferrets favourite toy will soon become, you. Ensure your fuzzy furry friend get’s enough playtime and exercise, out of his cage, each day for at least a couple of hours. This time should be spent interacting with you or your other family members and pets. For playtime, avoid toys which your pet could chew off and swallow.
Ferrets make for great pets whether alone or with other ferrets. They are very social and if you think cat’s or dog’s make for fun pets, wait till you get your ferret home. Don’t say we didn’t warn you that their zest for life is contagious. But just as with any other pet, they will require regular maintenance such as baths and grooming. They can be easily trained to also walk on a leash and can be litter trained.
Ferrets are by no means a pet that can be caged all the time such as hamsters. They can spend some time in a cage, but will require their freedom to run around and explore the environment around them and to play, everyday. We don’t advise locking up ferrets for extended periods of time as this will adversely affect their health.
Remember that kids can be overzealous with pets at times and as a result of this, we do not recommend this pet for children. If handled roughly, its possible that the ferret may bite or scratch when frightened by a child’s affection.
Ferrets are considered obligate carnivores – that is, your pet Ferret, will require protein and nutrients from meat and of which is a biological necessity. Ferrets cannot digest and have no need for vegetable protein. It’s diet should consist of treats and food what are meat based. Foods that are also high in sugar content should be avoided. Food should have no less than thirty-five percent protein and around twenty-perfect fat. Treats should always be fed in moderation, no matter what the ingredients.
Remember that Ferrets are strict meat eaters. As a result, cat food or dog food should be an option for your pet’s diet as they do NOT contain the proper level of nutrients that they need, Also, they cannot digest vegetables or moderate-high level of corn which is used as filler. These food items can lead to blockages and other health issues.
Also avoid any food or treat that has a high sugar content. Food should have no less than 35% protein and around 20% fat. Treats should always be fed in moderation, no matter what the ingredients.
Ferret Care Sheet
Just as with any pet, ferrets are susceptible to disease, but with continued good maintenance and healthy diet your ferret pet will be a great companion for many years to come. We also suggest regular veterinary checkups, a clean living environment and a healthy diet. Have questions? Don’t hesitate to ask our friendly staff here at Pet Warehouse.
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