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Adopting A Ferret
May 1, 2024

May is Adopt A Ferret Month! Ferrets can be very fun buddies, although they may not be suitable for everyone. That said, if you’re in search of an adorable animal companion that possesses a playful, mischievous, and one-of-a-kind nature, a ferret might just be the ideal choice. Discover the fascinating world of ferrets as a local Burleson, TX veterinarian shares their insights.

Should I Get A Kit Or An Adult Ferret?

 We strongly encourage individuals to provide loving homes for rescued animals when considering adopting a pet. Generally, it’s a good idea to remember the Adopt, Don’t Shop motto in most situations.

However, there are a couple of things to keep in mind when choosing a ferret:

  • Kits younger than approximately two months should still be with their mothers.
  • Ferrets are typically most active and playful during their initial one or two years of life. This is when ferret shenanigans tend to be at their height. That doesn’t mean they won’t be wonderful companions. Be prepared to invest a significant amount of effort and time into caring for a young ferret.
  • Ferrets all have their own personalities. Some are lovable and cuddly, and some are more on the boisterous side. (They’re all really cute, though.)

Before adopting, do some research and ask your Burleson, TX vet for information.

What Should I Know Before Adopting A Ferret?

Before adopting any pet, it’s important to do some research and think things over carefully. That goes double for ferrets! Ferrets occupy a unique place in the animal kingdom. Ferrets are undeniably adorable and enjoyable, and they are also small and full of mischief.

Here are a few things to keep in mind.

All Your Things Belong To Them

Ferrets are known to have, well, sticky fingers.  They’ll snatch up anything they can get their hands on. That’s why petproofing is crucial. We’d suggest watching your pet and learning their hiding spots. (Hint: It might not be in their cage.) If something goes missing, that’s the first place you should check.

They May Bite

Ferrets may bite occasionally, either playfully or if scared. This isn’t necessarily an indication of aggression. Ferret kits also playfully bite each other. However, their thick fur protects them from their rowdy roommates. Our skin, on the other hand, is no match for those teeth. This is definitely something worth considering if you have young kids.

They Are Very, Very Good At Escaping

Ferrets are well-known for their ability to escape from just about anywhere. They can get out through incredibly small openings, including shower drains! In addition, they can access tight areas underneath beds and couches.

They Need Lots Of Attention, Toys, And Playtime

Your small companions will need a spacious and cozy cage, but they will also require plenty of time outside of their enclosure. Ferrets are pretty high-maintenance. You’ll need to provide lots of playthings and free time, and take time with your pet every day.

How Do You Ferret Proof A Home?

Ferrets are very curious and mischievous, and are known to be quite affectionate and enjoy cuddling! However, they can very easily get into trouble. You’ll need to Make sure your home is safe for your ferret.

It is essential to ensure that your space is properly pet proofed.  Just like with cats and dogs, it’s important to keep anything that could pose a choking, strangling, or poisoning hazard out of their reach. Some of the dangerous items include small or sharp objects, soaps and shampoos, chemicals, common household products such as cleaning agents and pesticides, vitamins, medicine, plastic bags and ties, personal belongings, jewelry, craft kit pieces, earbuds, money, wallets, mobile devices, keychains … the list goes on.

You’ll also need to remove toxic plants. That list includes 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.

Rubber poses a serious threat to them. For some inexplicable reason, they developed a liking for the taste or texture. Needless to say, it’s not safe to eat.

Remember that ferrets have a knack for squeezing into tight spaces, such as futons, recliners, and even couches. We suggest that you crouch down and see things from your pet’s perspective.

What Should I Feed A Ferret?

Ferrets require a specialized diet to meet their unique nutritional requirements. They are highly carnivorous. This implies that their diet should primarily include generous portions of protein and fat, while being light on fibers and carbohydrates.

  • Just like any other pet, it’s important to be aware of what could be harmful to your furry friend. That includes things like chocolate, avocado, nuts, corn, fruits and veggies … the list goes on.
  • Ferrets tend to pick a favorite food and become fixated on it, sometimes to the point of ignoring other options.  This might seem cute, but it’s actually quite dangerous. If your furry friend’s beloved brand becomes unavailable, it can be really hard to convince them to try something else.
  • Ferrets love duck soup, which doesn’t necessarily need to include duck. You can find ferret recipes on the web.
  • Finding your pet’s food isn’t going to be as easy as picking up a bag at your local grocery or convenience store. Delivery may be easiest.
  • It’s important to find the right ferret food for your furry friend. It is recommended that the protein content should be around 40 percent, with a minimum fat content of 20 percent. Keep the carb and fiber content below five percent.

As with any other pet, the ideal diet will vary a bit, depending on your pet’s age and health. Consult your veterinarian for personalized guidance, including recommendations on appropriate portion sizes, suitable treats, and a list of foods that are safe and those that should be avoided.

Can Ferrets Be Litterbox-Trained?

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

What Illnesses Are Ferrets Prone To?

Ferrets can get a lot of different health problems, like flu, distemper, parasites, adrenal disease, oral sores, lymphoma, and ear mites. You’ll have to take your little friend to the vet often. Keep an eye out for signs of illness at home. These include the following:

  • Bloating
  • Weakness
  • Coughing
  • Weight loss
  • Bleeding
  • Diarrhea
  • Trouble walking
  • Itching
  • Seizures
  • Lethargy
  • Trouble breathing
  • Lack Of Appetite
  • Vomiting
  • Tremor
  • Patchy fur
  • Skin lesions/irritation

Contact your vet immediately if you notice any of these.

Do Ferrets Need Baths?

Ferrets don’t necessarily need baths, unless they happen to get into a mishap with a mud puddle or ketchup bottle. Ferrets have differing opinions on whether baths are beneficial or not. Some enjoy playing in water, but they are definitely not unanimous on this. It would be best to get one specifically designed for ferrets. Another option is to try using baby shampoo. Make sure the water is deep enough for your pet to comfortably walk while keeping their head above the water.

If you want to give your ferret a bath, it’s best to do it only every few months. A common misconception is that bathing ferrets can help minimize their musky odor. That’s not true. Overbathing can potentially dry out your ferret’s skin and lead to problems.

Regardless of your choice to bathe your pet or not, it is important to remember that they will still require regular nail trims and ear cleaning. Ask your Burleson, TX veterinarian for further details.

Contact Your Burleson, TX Pet Clinic

Do you need to make an appointment for your ferret? Contact us! As your Burleson, TX pet clinic, we’re here to help!