My First Ferret. A Step By Step Guide
The idea of getting a pet is always exciting. However, the most important thing is to research as much information as you can to understand the kind of behavior to expect from your ferret. Well, I have previously discussed ferret care for a beginner. Today, I want to talk about getting your first ferret.
These are small mammalian carnivores and they have been kept as pets for thousands of years. They have become the third most popular pets in the US, and also a common pet in other parts of the world. For this reason, you can easily access information about ferrets. Go here to see the guide that my son Bobby and I put together.
Before I get started, I must mention that ferrets are individualistic. Each ferret will have a unique set of characteristics, which makes them exciting pets.
Buying your first ferret
You may have been thinking about getting a pet ferret and you finally made up your mind. Well, brace yourself as this is not going to be an easy task. Each pet will need you to care for them, and especially for the first few weeks.
Now, buying your first ferret can be an expensive affair. I promise you will not regret it as these pets are adorable, social and you are going to have so much fun. However, a ferret can cost you from $70-$200 to acquire one.
From the pet store, you will need to get him to the vet. Enquire about the vaccinations administered to your ferret and those that he should get. Your vet will also conduct a physical examination on your ferret to make sure that you are taking a healthy pet home.
It is important you ask about your new ferret’s food. You must not change your ferret’s diet suddenly. It could result in abdominal or medical issues. The pet store technician will advise you about the type of food to buy. If you would like to change your ferret’s diet, you can always do so gradually.
I do not advise ferret owners to change the diet for the first few weeks. Wait, until your ferret has settled in the new environment before imposing major changes for your ferret.
Preparing your home for your first ferret
Well, once you have identified your ferret, it is important to prep your home for his arrival. Ferrets are quite different to keep and care for dogs and cats. You will need to set up a room for your ferret. In this room, I suggest you purchase a ferret cage and equip it.
Some ferret owners allow their ferrets to roam freely around the house. However, you will require a ferret cage to keep him safe and especially when you are away from home.
These small pets can get around quickly. They are intelligent and very curious. Therefore, when let free, your ferret will run around, sniffing and trying to figure everything out. It is important to have your home ferret-proofed.
Let us talk about your ferret’s cage. See our recommendations here
Do I need to keep my ferret in a cage?
Keeping a pet in a cage is not always the best idea. However, getting a spacious cage for a ferret is recommended. You will need a place to keep him when you are away from home. It will also serve as a safe space where he can play and sleep.
When purchasing a ferret cage, think about the time your ferret is going to spend in there. It should allow basic movement and play. It should also fit in a place for your ferret to sleep and set up a food station. Besides, it is only fair for him to know that he has a safe space in the house.
If you are getting a baby ferret, then go for a grounded cage. It is safer for baby ferrets since they are jumpy and can get hurt while climbing up a multi-level cage. This will work better for an older ferret, who also needs more space to play.
Do not forget to purchase quality litter for your ferret. You can use it as beddings as well as in the litter box. Paper-based type of ferret litter will do. Beddings can also be in the form of hammocks, litter or blanket.
For his entertainment purpose, ensure that your ferret has plenty of toys. Before you get him home, shop for sturdy toys to keep your ferret occupied. You will also need these toys when playing with your ferret.
How do I ferret proof my house?
In almost every post, I talk about how important ferret proofing your house is. Well, as I mentioned above, ferrets are curious and love to get around. They also enjoy burrowing and digging which can turn out to be very destructive.
Well, ferret proofing your house should protect both your items and your ferret. For instance, a ferret can try to dig into your sofa, which will destroy it. On the other hand, these small animals love to steal small items. In some cases, ferrets chew and swallow solid objects which often results in intestinal blockage.
When proofing your house, choose a room that you will be using to play with your ferret. Ensure that there are no small and stringy items lying around for him to find. Also, close the cabinets and drawers as ferrets love to hide or squeeze through small spaces.
The purpose of ferret-proofing your house is mainly for your furry pet’s safety.
How long should it take before my ferret settles down?
Ferrets have different personalities. However, it takes about two to three weeks before your ferret gets used to your home. So if you just brought your first ferret home, give him some time and allow him to settle down.
During this time, do not leave your ferret alone for too long. Ensure that you check on him regularly to feed and care for him. Also, you should let him out of his cage for at least 4 hours a day. This will give him an opportunity to explore the surroundings and get comfortable.
Keep your routine consistent to help your ferret settle in faster. They get accustomed to their keeper’s schedule, which can help ease the nervousness of changing residency and ownership.
Caring for your ferret is the key to establishing trust and a strong bond with him.