More than half of the world households own a pet. Well, we have learned how to co-exist with pets and form a mutual bond. However, over the years, humankind has domesticated different animals and birds.
Let us talk about the process of getting a ferret to keep. You need to understand how to keep a ferret before you bring one home. I mean, even though they are becoming increasingly popular, we need to prepare. After all, we must ensure that our pets are happy and content.
Things you must know before getting a ferret
If you are a first-time ferret owner, then you need to sit down and find out everything you can about ferrets. What can I say, owning one can be very satisfying, only if you make them happy.
Without much hesitation, I will outline a few things to expect from your new furry buddy. Brace yourself, it is going to be an exciting and sometimes a funny experience!
They have an impressive lifespan
Every pet owner and especially new pet owners are concerned about the pet’s lifespan. I mean, you will want to know for how long you will have your pet. Ferrets can give you a happy 7-10 years on average. However, some ferrets have lived for over 12 years!
Note that when you get a ferret, they are going to rely on you for care and support. You must be prepared to provide food and other resources throughout the said lifespan.
Do not be scared as it is not going to be such a task. Quite the contrary, your ferret might become your best friend and companion.
Ferrets are super friendly
Ferrets are not only sociable but mischievous and smart. A well-looked-after ferret is going to offer you all its attention and affection. And what’s more, you may introduce them to other people or pets and they would still bond!
Also, these animals are extremely intelligent and hence highly trainable. However, do not forget that this character increases the chances of boredom. For this reason, most ferret owners will add another ferret to provide company.
Even though they will be happy together, you will still need to provide the much-craved attention.
Yes, you need a cage
Getting a perfect cage for a pet ferret is an essential part of this process. Unlike cats, a ferret is an escape artist! Well, let us start from the beginning here. Of course, the pet store will offer a cardboard box to carry your ferret home.
However, just as you would, your ferret will be anxious. The movements and even new environments could be the reason why. Well, ferrets are excellent diggers and he might destroy the box and try to escape.
I suggest you get a cage to keep your ferret at home. This cage should be spacious enough to fit a sleeping area, litterbox and feeding area. Also, your ferret should be able to move around and play in there.
Make sure the gaps are not too wide as he could still try to escape through them. I insist that you get a cage before you proceed to the pet store.
You might need to ferret-proof a part of the house
This is a must-do when you are considering a ferret pet. They are cute and adorable but a ferret can be quite destructive. It is especially when they are bored or very playful.
At this point, I should say that ferrets require a lot of attention as well as stimulation. They get bored pretty quickly, given that they are accustomed to the wild environment where they would explore and move around all day.
Now, to offer the stimulation your ferret will need, you must let him out of the cage. I am sure he would enjoy running around a place bigger to explore and play. Besides, you need to provide mental and physical stimulation.
Make sure you have a place just for play and exercise activities. Make sure that there are no items that he can hide or destroy around before you let him out. I emphasize that you should never let your ferret move around the house freely and unsupervised.
Only feed quality foods to your ferret
As with every other pet, you need to provide food and water to your ferret. Understand that they are purely carnivorous but the good news is that there are quality foods for ferrets in the store.
Also, I suggest that you get tasty treats for your ferret. There are going to be essential during training and in between meals.
Ferrets are less neurotic
Most pets get so used to having their owners around and act up when left alone. The good news about owning a ferret is that there are fewer chances of your ferret getting neurotic.
Unlike cats and dogs, your ferret is not likely to suffer from stress and anxiety when left alone. However, when first bring your ferret home, he could be a little bit anxious.
The upside of this is that you can get a ferret even when you work long hours! He will rarely get separation anxiety.
How do I keep my ferret happy?
Once you have settled to bring a new furry friend home, you must ensure that he is happy at all times. Below, I will list a couple of things that you must do to get a happy ferret.
- Mental and physical stimulation
- Clean environment
- Provide company
- Occasional Vet visits
Provide Mental & physical stimulation
In the above section, I mentioned that stimulation is essential for pet ferrets. To get your ferret happy, you must set aside some time to exercise. You can employ pet training techniques to provide mental stimulation.
One thing I can promise is that you are going to be impressed with how smart ferrets are. They are excellent at solving puzzle problems and they pick up new tricks pretty quickly.
Set aside about two hours each day and get your ferret out od the cage. Besides, he needs to burn up all the excess energy from treats and meals.
Well, while at it, keep in mind that ferrets love escaping and hiding. Therefore, keep a close watch on him when he is out of his cage. Also, consider dropping a few toys into the cage for him to play with when you are away.
Under-exercised ferrets can become bored, depressed and sometimes aggressive.
Provide a clean living environment
Getting a pet means that you will have to deal with waste and every other mess they make in the house. Now, when I talked about getting a cage, I never mentioned the housing requirements.
Get a well-lit space in the house, without direct sunlight. However, it should be of the right temperature, which means warm enough. Make sure that you clean up after him every day.
You may also need to potty train your ferret. Once this is done, you need to take out the waste immediately. After all, you do not want your house stink.
Make sure you clean any beddings every few days. Also, do not forget to wash your ferret to keep him from having a bad odor. Also, putting your ferret in dirty environments will depress your ferret.
Offer company and attention
Ferrets, like every other pet, will only comprehend affection based on how much time we spend with them. While being alone does not necessarily both ferrets, we should not forget that they are very social animals.
To get a happy ferret, set aside some time and engage in training and playful activities. Well, you can also consider getting another one to keep each other company.
However, you must be very cautious when you are introducing another pet to your ferret. Take it slow, let them sniff each other first and gradually get acquainted.
Also, do not forget that both pets will depend on you for attention, play and affection. Make sure to readily fulfill these needs.
Occasional vet visits
Furthermore, you should consult your vet to understand the necessary vaccinations. I advise you to get a vaccinated ferret from the pet store.
When dealing with older ferrets, you should consider getting him checked up every two years as they might be more vulnerable to illnesses.
Luckily for you, these visits are not expensive, unless there is an underlying issue.
Games you can play with your ferret
To get your ferret as happy as you can, you must provide a lot of stimulation, as I said earlier. However, it can be confusing at first to initiate play with your ferret. I mean, you may not know what kind of games he might enjoy. Try some of the following tricks and you will be impressed:
Play tug-of-war with your ferret
As I mentioned earlier, ferrets are highly intelligent. You may use a towel or the rope toy for this. To initiate play, get his attention by putting the towel/rope above his head. You can start swinging it ad, of course, he will grab it. Slightly pull and watch him pull back.
Let him chase you
This is going to be a great cardio session for you and your ferret. Furthermore, they enjoy this game and it will help burn the extra calories your ferret might be storing up.
When you come back home after a tiring day, brace yourself and chase around with your ferret. Remember that ferrets can be quite canning when trying to escape. It is the reason I insisted on proofing your small playground with your ferret.
All pet owners look forward to spending their best years with their pets. However, we must keep in mind that our homes are not the natural habitat for ferrets. Therefore, you must take action to make sure that your ferret is happy in our homes.
As I have outlined above, provide mental and physical stimulation. Purchase sophisticated puzzle toys that will challenge your ferret. This will keep him occupied and sharp. It will also ensure that your ferret does not get bored.
Do not forget to clean up after your ferret, and empty the litterbox every day.