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Basic Ferret Care

May 01, 2024

Would you like to welcome an adorable pet into your family? Ever considered getting a ferret? These adorable little pets are highly engaging and will certainly keep you on your toes! Nevertheless, Ferrets need a substantial amount of love and care. Before adopting a ferret, it’s important to be aware of a few key factors. Here, a Covington, GA veterinarian shares some valuable insights.

They Have Unique Dietary Needs

Ferrets require a specialized diet. They are hyper carnivores, so their diet should primarily consist of meat. They also tend to thrive on frequent, small meals.

Ensuring their diets have the right protein and fat balance is essential. To ensure your pet receives optimal nutrition, their menu should contain a minimum of 20 percent fat and approximately 40 percent protein. Carbohydrates and fibers should be kept below five percent. There might be a few minor variations here, though. For example, a pregnant or young ferret may require a diet with a higher fat content, potentially reaching up to 30 percent. Ask your vet for advice.

Understanding pet food labels can offer valuable insights into the quality of a particular product, though it may require some careful navigation. Find a product that prominently lists meat as the primary component on its label. A perfect choice for ferret food would include appropriate fats and fatty acids, like chicken fat and omega 6 or 3 fatty acids. Steer clear of products that include ingredients like corn syrup or sucrose, grain-based proteins, and fillers such as corn or rice gluten, soy meal, and soy flour.

It’s also worth mentioning that ferrets can become quite obsessed with their preferred foods. While that may sound adorable, it’s actually dangerous. If your pet’s food ever becomes unavailable, you may have a very hard time getting them to eat something else. It’s best to include some variation to help your pet develop a taste for different types of food. Many ferrets love duck soup. (Despite the name, duck soup doesn’t have to specifically include duck.)

It’s important to know what foods could harm your beloved pet. The list contains a wide range of items, including sweets, dairy products, raisins, fruits and vegetables, chocolate, grapes, avocados, xylitol, rice, salt, peanut butter, nuts, grains, and anything high in sugar.

Ask your veterinarian for specific advice on this, regarding food choices, portion control, and feeding schedules.

They Steal Things!

Ferrets have a remarkable talent for gathering an assortment of objects. They are always quick to seize anything they can get their tiny little hands on. Honestly, they just might be the most adorable mischief-makers on the planet. (Fun fact: thieves once trained them to pick pockets.) Small personal items, such as cell phones, car keys, and inhalers are prime targets.

Keeping an eye on the spots where your pet tends to stash its belongings is crucial. Whenever you can’t find something, that’s the first place you’ll want to look.

They Sometimes Bite

At times, ferrets may nip, whether it’s during playtime or if they become startled. It’s worth noting that this doesn’t necessarily imply any aggression on their part. Ferret kits also engage in playful biting with one another. Their thick fur provides them with a protective barrier from their lively companions. Unfortunately, our skin is no match for those sharp teeth. Parents with young children may find this worth considering.

They Are Very Sociable

Ferrets are very friendly and sociable, and thrive when they have a companion or two. We recommend having at least two. Of course, you’ll need to find the right match! (Bonus: you’ll also get to enjoy an extra dose of ferret charm.)

There Are Always Ferrets Available For Adoption

If you’re considering adding a ferret to your household, it’s worth checking if any are available for adoption at a local rescue organization or animal shelter. It’s always incredibly heartwarming to see pets starting a new chapter in their lives!

You’ll Need To Petproof Everything

Ferrets have an unquenchable curiosity and a knack for infiltrating any and all spaces they can access. make sure anything that could be dangerous is kept securely out of reach of those adorable little paws. The list of dangerous items includes any and all small and sharp objects, along with items that are wrapped in plastic or tied with ropes and cords. Chemicals, medication, and toxic plants are also included in the list, as is anything made of rubber.

When petproofing, try crouching down to get a better understanding of their perspective. This can be very insightful! Ferrets have a remarkable ability to fit into small spaces, such as futons, recliners, and even couches. It’s important to make sure you seal off any gaps or openings behind and underneath your furniture and appliances. Ask your vet for specific advice on this.

They Will Try To Escape

Ferrets have a knack for slipping out of any kind of enclosure. They can get out through even the most minuscule crevices, including shower drains, and can fit through tight spaces under beds and couches. It’s important to closely monitor your little companion when they’re out and about.

They Need A Great Cage

It is important to provide your pets with a spacious and cozy cage. Be sure to include a wide range of fun toys, comfortable bedding, and necessary accessories such as dishes and a litterbox. Seek guidance from your veterinarian for personalized advice, including suggestions for bedding and toys.

They Need Some Grooming

Although baths are not a requirement for ferrets, you will need to regularly clean their ears and keep their nails trimmed. Hairballs can also pose a problem. Ask your vet for tips regarding products that can help prevent hairballs.

They Require Veterinary Care

Ferrets can sometimes encounter health problems, such as cancer, parasites, adrenal disease, ear mites, heart disease (specifically dilated cardiomyopathy), and tumors. As with any other pet, it’s important to be on the lookout for signs that something is wrong.

Here are a few things you should be aware of:

  • Trembling
  • Coughing
  • Breathing Trouble
  • Lack Of Appetite
  • Weight loss
  • Abdominal swelling
  • Fatigue
  • Vomiting
  • Stools that are dark or bloody
  • Hair Loss
  • Convulsions
  • Sneezing

If you observe any of these things, or anything else that seems unusual, promptly reach out to your Covington, GA veterinarian.

They Need Daily Free Time

Being confined to a cage for long periods of time can result in feelings of boredom and restlessness. Make sure that your furry companion has access to a safe and secure space. You’ll also need to give them ample time to roam and play each day. This is a wonderful opportunity for you to spend quality time with your adorable furry friend!

They Are Very, Very Cute

Last but certainly not least, we can’t overlook how charming these little guys are. Your furry pal is bound to keep you smiling with their adorable antics! 

Book An Appointment With Covington, GA Veterinarian 

Have you recently acquired a new ferret? Are you thinking about getting one of these cute little pets? If you ever require any assistance, please don’t hesitate to contact us. As your trusted Covington, GA pet hospital, we are ready to provide you with the assistance you need!

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