The Fun Loving Ferret

While most people enjoy dogs and cats, others want something a little different.  Ferrets can be fun, enjoyable pets that have the benefits of being small in size and quiet, but also very active and playful. According to The American Ferret Association, www.ferret.org, ferrets have been domesticated since 63 BC, when they were  used for hunting rabbits. Ferrets today are pets though, first and foremost.

Ferrets should be kept in a large cage when not supervised, but they do need time out of their cage every day to exercise and interact with you. They sleep quite a bit, but when they’re active, they’re very active and need to get out and romp and run. If you want a pet that will spend all day in its cage, then a ferret is not the pet for you. Another plus is that most ferrets will learn to use a litter box as well, which can make cleanup easier.

Ferrets can get along with dogs and cats, especially if raised with them. Care must be taken with introductions though, especially with dogs that have a strong hunting drive. If you have small animals, such as hamsters, birds or reptiles, you will need to make sure they are in an area inaccessible to your ferret, as he may view them as prey.

Ferrets need veterinary care as much as more traditional pets. They should be spayed/neutered, and have an annual checkup and vaccinations. Ferrets also have a musky odor that’s hard to describe, most people either love it or hate it. Ferrets are true carnivores, so they need a meat based diet. There are several types of dry ferret foods available now that can make feeding them much easier. Your veterinarian can help you find the right food for your ferret.

Next week we’ll talk about how  you can help enrich your ferret’s environment.

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