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Adopt A Ferret Month

May 1, 2024

Are you searching for an animal companion that’s not only incredibly adorable, but also full of energy, mischievousness, and personality? A ferret might just be the ideal choice. These guys also tend to be very affectionate and enjoy cuddling! Continue reading to learn more about the attention given to ferrets by a local Longwood, FL veterinarian.

Factors to Keep in Mind Before Bringing a Ferret into Your Home

Ferrets are undeniably adorable and enjoyable. They’re essentially mischievous little creatures that will constantly amuse you and keep you on your toes. However, they are unique in many ways, so it’s important to do your research before adopting one.

Here are some things to consider:

They Are Skilled Escape Artists

Ferrets are skilled escape artists. They have the remarkable ability to escape through incredibly small openings, including shower drains! In addition, they have the ability to access tight areas underneath beds and couches.

They Require A Lot of Free Time

It is important for your small companions to have a spacious and cozy cage. However, they will also require plenty of supervised time outside of their enclosure.

They Steal Things

Ferrets have a reputation for collecting and storing things. They’ll snatch up anything they can get their hands on. In fact, they were once commonly trained by thieves to help pick people’s pockets! This is one reason petproofing is so important. Your best option is to observe your pet’s behavior and find their preferred hiding spots. If something goes missing, that’s the first place you should check.

They May Nip

Occasionally, ferrets may bite, whether it be during play or when they are caught off guard. It’s crucial to understand that this isn’t necessarily indicative of aggression. Ferret kits also playfully bite one another, but their dense fur provides them with protection from their boisterous housemates. Our skin, on the other hand, is defenseless against those teeth. This is worth bearing in mind if you have young kids.

Which Illnesses Are Ferrets Prone To?

Ferrets are prone to various medical problems that can arise. Here are some of the most common ones:

  • Flu
  • Distemper
  • Common bacterial infections
  • Epizootic catarrhal enteritis
  • Aleutian disease
  • Infectious peritonitis
  • Mycoplasmosis
  • Parasites
  • Adrenal Disease
  • Coccidiosis
  • Ear mites
  • Lymphoma
  • Oral ulcers
  • Rabies
  • Aplastic anemia
  • Campylobacteriosis
  • Insulinoma 

It’s important to be vigilant for any signs of illness. Additionally, it is important to regularly take your beloved pet to the Longwood, FL veterinarian.

Ferret-Proofing

It is essential to ensure that your space is secure for your ferret. We would suggest that you take all the necessary steps to ensure the safety of your home for a child… along with a few extra ones. Just like with cats and dogs, it’s important to keep any potential choking, strangling, or poisoning hazards out of their reach.

Here are some things to address:

  • Small or sharp objects
  • Shiny things
  • Toxic plants
  • Soap and shampoo products
  • Chemicals
  • Common household products like cleaning agents and pesticides
  • Prescription drugs
  • Plastic bags and ties
  • Dangerous Food
  • Items made of rubber
  • Personal belongings
  • Money
  • Wallets
  • Mobile devices
  • Keychains

We’d recommend that you get down on the floor and see things from your pet’s perspective. Remember that ferrets have a knack for squeezing into or under objects such as futons, recliners, and even couches! Ask your vet for specific advice.

Do Ferrets Need Baths?

Ferrets don’t necessarily need baths, though of course, you’d want to clean your furry friend if they happen to get something spilled on them. Ferrets have differing opinions on whether baths are beneficial or not. Many enjoy playing in water, but that is by no means universal. When bathing your ferret, it’s important to use a gentle soap. It would be best to get one specifically designed for ferrets. Another option is to try baby shampoo. The water should be shallow enough so that your pet can comfortably walk while keeping their head above water.

Take care not to overdo it! You should only bathe your ferret every few months, if at all. Some people believe that giving ferrets baths can help minimize their musky odor. However, that’s not true. Using it too frequently can actually dry out your ferret’s skin and lead to potential issues.

Whether you bathe your pet or not, they will require regular nail trims and ear cleaning. Ask your veterinarian for further details.

What Does A Ferret Diet Consist Of?

Ferrets almost exclusively consume meat. Their diet should primarily include generous portions of protein and fat, while being limited in fiber and carbohydrates. In fact, certain foods that are beneficial for us, like corn, can actually be harmful to your pet’s health.

It’s important to find the right ferret food for your furry friend. As a general rule of thumb, this should contain approximately 40% protein and a minimum of 20% fat. Keep the carb and fiber content below five percent. Your vet can offer more specific advice.

Just like any other pet, it’s important to be aware of what could be harmful to your furry friend. Here are the items on the list:

  • Sweets
  • Dairy Products
  • Raisins
  • Fruits And Vegetables
  • Chocolate
  • Grapes
  • Avocado
  • Xylitol
  • Alcoholic Beverages
  • Seeds And Pits
  • Candy
  • Caffeine
  • Garlic
  • Gum
  • Macadamia Nuts
  • Onions
  • Potato, Tomato, And Rhubarb Plants Leaves And Stems
  • Salt
  • Yeast And Dough

As far as shopping, it won’t be as simple as picking it up at your local grocery or convenience store, unlike the way you would for a cat or dog.

In addition, ferrets can become fixated on a particular food and may even ignore other options. Although it seems adorable, this could be harmful. If your furry friend’s go-to brand is no longer available, it can be quite a challenge to convince them to try a different option.

Duck soup is a big hit with these guys. (Despite its name, this dish doesn’t necessarily include duck.) You can find recipes online.

Consult your veterinarian for personalized guidance, including recommendations on appropriate portion sizes, suitable treats, and a list of foods that are safe or should be avoided.

Is It Better To Adopt An Adult Ferret Or A Kit?

This is ultimately personal preference. Adults that are over two or three may be much calmer than a baby. However, many people prefer to raise their pets, which is understandable.  When it comes to adopting a pet, we always encourage giving rescues a loving home. Of course, baby ferrets also need good homes.

Can I Train A Ferret To Use A Litterbox?

Absolutely! This is certainly one of the advantages. However, there is no guarantee for this. Starting at a young age is highly recommended.

Contact Your Longwood, FL Pet Clinic

Are you looking for a great veterinarian? Please feel free to reach out to us. As your Longwood, FL pet clinic, we are here to help!

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