Why Is Providing the Best Ferret Care For Your Ferrets Important?
Ferrets are nature’s clowns, so it is easy to assume that ferret care is similarly laid back and easy.
However, as with any animal, ferret care should not be taken lightly. Ferrets are fragile beings with touchy digestive systems and a tendency to crawl into places and onto heights that they shouldn’t.
As a ferret owner, it is important to know what proper ferret care looks like, as well as the potential money it may require to keep your ferret healthy. This article will discuss what to look for at home to ensure your ferret stays healthy and happy and why it’s important to take your ferret to the vet, to provide the best care for your ferret’s well being.
Tips For The Best Ferret Care In Your Home
Provide a safe space to play
To provide the best environment for your ferret in your home, it’s very important that you carefully “ferret-proof” their space before introducing your ferrets to a new play area. This includes going around the perimeter of your room, and checking for any small holes into which a ferret could disappear!
Don’t be fooled by how big a ferret looks – they can squeeze into tiny spaces … and their natural curiosity means they will always want to test every little hole, just to see where it may lead!
Ferrets are also remarkably agile climbers, so once again, check carefully for anything a ferret might be able to climb that would get them into a dangerous position!
Once you think you have secured the area, let your ferrets loose and watch them carefully – they will naturally look for any interesting escape holes. You can then block off anything you missed as you play with them. Providing a secure and safe ferret play space is vital for the best ferret care.
Provide a range of quality toys and activities for your ferret
Another basic thing you can do to provide the best ferret care is to provide a range of safe toys for your ferret to play with. Check the toys are robust and don’t have little parts that would come off in their mouths and interfere with their digestion.
Ferrets love to play and a wide variety of safe toys provides hours of entertainment for you and your ferrets. Ferrets can become easily bored, so it is essential to vary their play environment regularly – providing interest, fun, variety and enjoyment is definitely an important aspect of providing high quality care for your ferrets.
Provide for your ferret’s essential needs
Ferrets have very specific at home requirements. Like any animal, fresh water is necessary at all times, and you should work out an appropriate feeding schedule with your veterinarian for any specific dietary needs your ferret may have.
Additionally, ferrets in the wild do not live in warm climates, and as such, are not accustomed to temperatures over 75 degrees fahrenheit. Therefore, it is important to ensure that your house stays below this temperature or you have fans keeping the area around to keep your ferret’s cage cool.
As part of adequate ferret care it is also important to have a decent cage for your ferret, as a bored ferret can be destructive and accidentally harm itself. You can find more about our suggestions for an ideal ferret cage here.
Get to know what is normal for your ferret
Ferrets are tremendous poopers, and you may just be tempted to clean their litter box without too much thought. However, ferret faeces can tell a lot about the health of your ferret, so it is wise to be at least somewhat familiar about their bowel movements.
Look for these types of bowel movements to better understand digestive ferret care:
- Typical ferret poop is tube shaped, smooth, and tan to light brown. This is what you want to see, so familiarize yourself with typical color.
- Green ferret poop is another common color, and in older kits and mature ferrets, this is not something to be concerned about if you see it very seldomly. This means that the food is moving too quickly through the digestive tract. If this is seen frequently, it is time to take your ferret to the vet.
- Black ferret poop is not a good sign, indicating that there is a large amount of blood in the stomach. Proper ferret care dictates taking your ferret to the vet quickly.
- Blood in ferret poop is not a good sign either, and a significant amount can lead to shock quickly. Take your furry friend to the vet immediately to receive appropriate ferret care.
- Grainy ferret poop means that your ferret is not digesting its food correctly or is sneaking food from your cat or dog’s food dish and not absorbing necessary nutrients. Either way, start your ferret on a different diet. Your vet may have recommendations about a different ferret diet.
- Foreign objects in your ferrets stool may mean that a trip to the vet is in order to ensure there is no obstruction. Partial obstruction may also result in very thin bowel movements.
If you are aware that your ferret has consumed something potentially toxic or could cause a bowel obstruction, it is important to have the Animal Poison Control Line number handy (find a list of various organizations here), an emergency vet’s number in your area, and a bottle of hydrogen peroxide to induce vomiting if necessary.
Ferrets can catch your cold or flu
Finally, at home, the best ferret care is not complete without a warning about respiratory ailments. When you are sick with a cold or influenza, the first thing you may be compelled to do is cuddle with your furry friend. However, ferrets are susceptible to many different human respiratory ailments, so it is wise to keep your space from your ferrets while you are contagious and use preventative measures to avoid the spread of your illness to your ferret friend.
If you notice your ferret coughing or sneezing more than normal, or if she seems to have a hard time breathing, make an appointment with your vet to see how you can help to relieve some of your ferrets congestion.
Your Best Ferret Care Includes Staying Alert For Changes
Ferrets are masters at hiding any illness, and can remain relatively lively, even when they are quite unwell. They are also very quiet pets – they are well known for their cute ‘dooking’ noises, or little clucks they make when they are excited, happy, or mad, but are for the most part, tend to be quiet animals.
The combination of these things means that a ferret’s illness can go undetected until it’s too late to help them.
This means that it is very important to watch for small signs of discomfort, changes in eating, bathroom, and sleeping habits, and any abnormal behavior. Your awareness of any changes in your ferrets’ mood or disposition could ultimately prove to be the best ferret care you can give your lovely pets.
If you observe any changes or are unsure about your ferret’s health, it’s always wise to take your furry friends to the vet for the best ferret care.
What Special Ferret Care Should They Get At The Vet Clinic?
Regular veterinary ferret care should happen on an annual basis to ensure that your ferret is healthy.
When finding a vet for your ferret, ensure your vet is well versed in the particular needs and biology of ferrets, as they are different to dogs and cats, and require special vet knowledge to provide the best care for your ferrets.
At an annual well ferret examination, your vet will check to ensure there are no urinary tract problems, parasites such as fleas and ear mites, that their sight and hearing is still working correctly, and listen to their heart and lungs to ensure everything is working correctly. Vets will also do a manual examination to ensure there are no tumors or other growths, broken bones, or other irregularities.
At the age of three, veterinary ferret care will also include a blood glucose test to ensure that your ferret has not developed cancer of the pancreas or is becoming insulin resistant.
Vaccination and Ferret Care
In most states, proper vet care also includes vaccinating your ferret against rabies and canine distemper yearly. Both are devastating and fatal diseases if contracted, and rabies can be spread to humans as well.
However, ferrets can have very negative reactions to vaccinations, so it is important to monitor your ferrets in the days following their vaccinations. Most commonly, negative reactions occur almost immediately after the injection is given, so vets properly versed in ferret care will have you wait for at least fifteen to twenty minutes after vaccinating to ensure your ferret does not go into shock. This is rare, but worth a mentioning, to ensure they stay well.
With regular checkups and being aware of any changes in your ferret, you can ensure you are giving your ferret the best care, to ensure they stay healthy and live long and well.
Ferret care does not have to be difficult. Work carefully with your veterinarian and get to know your ferret to know what is normal and what is not.
Prevention is always the best, so make sure to carefully ferret proof your home, inspect your ferrets toys to make sure they are still safe, and take your ferret to the vet for a checkup at least once per year.
When in doubt, trust your gut, as it is always better to be safe rather than sorry when it comes to the health of your ferret.
Using these tips can help you provide the best ferret care for your pets, and keep them happy and healthy for many years.