Before you adopt or purchase a ferret you should consider whether or not this is
the right pet for you. Ferrets require a high level of care and commitment and
need to be taken care of responsibly.
Medical care will include periodic check-ups by a veterinarian that is experienced
with ferrets. Rabies and distemper vaccines are highly recommended. Ferrets sleep most of the time but are highly active when awake.
When your ferret is out of his or her cage, special precautions should be taken to "ferret-proof" your home. Ferrets also need to be handled carefully because they can bite when startled or handled roughly.
If this does not deter you from bringing one of these wonderful creatures into your home, consider adoption first. However, before you do this,there are some things you will need to do to prepare.
Housing and food are just some of the things you will need to get ready. For a house, choose a wire cage that's at least 18 by 30 inches. Ferrets especially enjoy bi-level cages with ramps and shelves. Hammocks can also be added so they have a comfortable place to sleep.
You will then want to add soft material to the bottom of the cage. A washable blanket or carpet is recommended because newspaper can be messy and cedar
and pine chips can cause respiratory problems. The cage should be placed in a cool, shaded location away from direct sunlight.
To reduce the build up of odors that result from a ferret's scent glands, you will want to change and wash the ferret's bedding frequently. You can also bathe your ferret with ashampoo for either ferrets or kittens. Spaying or neutering your ferret may help with odors too.
When your ferret is out of his cage, you can enjoy playing with him by giving
him things to crawl through such as cardboard boxes, paper bags and PVC piping.
To protect your curious little friend when he's out of his cage, make sure to keep
him in a secure area. Ferrets have a great sense of smell and acute hearing but their vision is limited. They are also very fragile so it is best to handle them carefully. Let your ferret come to you and then lift him from behind using two hands to support both his chest and hips.
Another way you will bond with your ferret is by feeding him. He will need a high
quality ferret food. Dog or cat food will not suffice. You can also supplement his
diet with snacks such as chicken or turkey. Fruits, vegetables and eggs should be avoided, especially raw onion and egg whites which can lead to hemolytic anemia.
Dishes you use to feed your ferret should be ceramic and not plastic because they are more durable.
Once you feel you are ready to bring a ferret into your home, contact local shelters
or go online to sites such as Petfinder to try to find one to adopt.
Owning a ferret can be an extremely rewarding experience when you are having fun caring for them and interacting with them. Just remember that like all pets, ferrets need proper medical care and daily love and attention!