Ferret Care and Education. A Useful Guide
Ferrets are exciting creatures and have become quite popular as pets. Anyone can provide care to a ferret but as with anything else, it is a matter of commitment. In this article, we are going to look at the basic ferret care and education to help you understand the requirements of keeping one.
Most people will find it easy to get a ferret since they rarely get neurotic. It means that even if you have to work, you can leave your ferret at home for a few hours. You will need to provide clean water and food throughout the day. And understand that ferrets will feed for more than eight times a day.
To be able to care for your ferret, then you must set aside some time to learn a few things about ferrets. Now, ferrets are small mammalian carnivorous creatures that belong to the same family as weasels. They are, however, a bit larger than weasels.
Ferrets are intelligent and very social. I think this has a lot to do with the fact that ferrets cannot get neurotic. While they will get attached and play with one person more than everyone else but it is unlikely for them to suffer from emotional disorders. Your ferret is not going to suffer separation anxiety when you leave for work.
While this works to your advantage, it does not mean you should not play with your ferret. They still need to spend some time outside their cages every day. I will outline this more as we look at the playful nature of ferrets later on in this article.
And since they are carnivorous, you must also understand the appropriate food to give him. Below, we will look at the ferret diet.
What you feed your ferret is a crucial part of ferret care and education that you will have to learn. This small creature also happens to be obligate carnivores. In the wild, it means that ferrets would have to hunt and catch prey for meals.
However, in a home setting, this is going to be impossible. Therefore, you need to understand what to feed your ferret. You will find commercial ferret foods in your local pet store. If not, you can always choose from a variety of brands online.
Alternatively, if you cannot access ferret food, you can either decide to go with a raw diet or a homemade meal. In some instances, certain cat foods can also be used as food for ferrets. However, I urge you to read the ingredients list to make sure that it does not contain harmful ingredients such as onions and garlic.
Also, stay away from foods with a lot of sugar. Your ferret will not be able to digest vegetables or sugars. These might include dairy products, chocolate or cakes.
If you are going for a raw ferret diet, then I suggest you refrigerate all the foods before giving it to him. A raw diet could be pre-killed prey such as mice and chicks. It is a healthy diet when you take the necessary precautions.
Now, it is unlikely that you will be able to come up with a perfect schedule to feed your ferret. They constantly need to eat. I suggest you leave as much food as you can in the food bowls. I prefer getting multiple food stations in the cage to ensure you leave enough food to go by.
Ferrets are healthy pets. You will rarely experience health issues with your ferret. However, this does not mean that you do not need those regular check-ups with your vet. One check-up per year is going to be very essential for you to keep tabs on his health.
At the same time, older ferrets should see a vet at least twice a year. The need for check-ups is to catch any possible illnesses as early as possible. Also, your vet will vaccinate your ferret every year against the canine distemper.
Some of the other common illnesses in ferrets include insulinoma, ear infection and intestinal obstruction. As I mentioned earlier, foods with high sugar content can be fatal to ferrets. They could cause insulinoma, which is a decrease in blood sugar.
Be careful not to allow your ferret to chew and swallow non-food items. Ferrets are notorious thieves of small items such as shoelaces, small toys, and even earplugs. Since these items are indigestible, they will likely cause your ferret an intestinal obstruction. It will need surgery to remove, which is not exactly an easy process.
Ferrets, as with other pets, will need a little grooming. One of the common traits of ferrets is the musky smell that could develop if not well maintained. However, too much bathing can be equally harmful as not bathing him at all.
Now, how often should you bathe a ferret? My answer to this question is to restrict this to once a month. Well, if he has been active outdoors, you can probably wipe him with a washcloth instead. When you bathe your ferret too often, it rids his skin of natural oils.
As a result, his skin oil glands will overwork and produce excess oil. It will make your ferret smell even worse. So, yes, you should only bathe him once a month. While at it, you will also need to clean his ears, and once again, just once a month.
Purchase a gentle shampoo for smaller pets. You also need a, preferably kitten ear cleaner. You should use cotton swabs to get his ear wax out completely. As a friend to help you out if you are having trouble holding him still.
Now, before you bring your ferret to the bathroom, I suggest you bring everything that you will need. You will not be able to do anything else once you start bathing him.
Ferret play is part of caregiving
Now, ferrets are social, intelligent, curious and most of all playful. They love interacting with members of the family but will occasionally get attached to the primary caregiver. You will notice your ferret running around the house immediately you let him out of his cage.
Buy plenty of toys for your ferret. He will need them to play within his cage. At the same time, engage with him by playing other games such as chase, hide and seek. Some ferrets will start nipping your ankles but you must let him know that this is not part of the appropriate play.
Build a maze in his cage using cardboards. You are going to enjoy watching him try to solve it. And guess what, he will because these creatures are smart and amazing. There are several toys that you can purchase for your ferret to play with.
Even though ferrets will not become neurotic, one of the basic ferret care and education is to understand the needs of a ferret. However, do not get him tiny toys that he can easily swallow. Stuffed animals, balls, and food puzzles are some of the toys your ferret is going to love.