Ferrets

Lifespan:  6-10 yrs

Temperament:  Ferrets are highly intelligent and social pets that do best in small groups. It is highly recommended you consider adopting a pair of ferrets so they will always have a companion to socialize with. Ferrets natural play includes nipping and training is required to ensure your ferret knows that nipping humans is not an acceptable behavior.  Ferrets are relatively robust when playing with each other, as small pets, they are not animals suitable for homes with small children. It’s best to wait until children in the family are at least twelve or thirteen years old. Ferrets can be easily injured by handlers who lack manual dexterity. Second, children are easily injured and frightened by the nips and bared teeth of ferrets. A frightened child may injure a ferret by dropping or accidentally hitting the pet in retaliation.

Diet:  Ferrets are obligate carnivores. This means they need meat in their diet. They also have very high metabolisms, so they need a large amount of animal fat in their diets. There are many high-grade ferret foods on the market, however, be sure to read the ingredients to make sure that the food is not fish-based. Several types of ferret food are nothing more than modified mink food. Mink eat fish. Ferrets do not. Some ferrets will starve themselves instead of eating fish-based food.

Ferrets tend to be picky eaters. Buy small quantities of food, so that it doesn’t go stale before it’s used: no more than a month’s worth at a time. Meat or whole prey can be frozen but it will need to be properly thawed prior to giving it to your ferret. Changing foods abruptly will make the ferret sick. As a result, it is a good idea to ensure your ferret experiences a mix of foods at an early age so as to accustom them to different diets in the event their preferred food is unavailable for a short period.  Fresh water must be available to your ferret at all times

Exercise:  Ferrets love to play. They will bounce back and forth and sideways with their teeth bared and looking quite ferocious. When they do this, they are inviting you and any other ferrets to play with them. Bounce along with them, and they will be happy.  They also like to wrestle and play-fight. They tend to play rough, but they learn to be careful with humans if their human playmates yelp when nipped. A firm “no!” will also get the job done.

Home/Environment:   Ferrets can wiggle through almost any hole or gap that is 3cm across. They’ve been known to get out of houses through dryer vents, screened windows, and the gaps under doors. At the same time, you’ll need to keep rubber items, electrical wires, breakable items, and any dangerous substances out of their reach.

Temperature is another thing to watch. Ferrets do not do well in hot weather. Any time the temperature is likely to get to 80F or more, check on your ferrets frequently and put an ice-pack in their cage.

Equipment:  Ferret cages are usually designed with two levels and a place to hang a cozy hammock. The cage should also contain a dark enclosure such as a wooden hut, where the ferrets can make a nest for sleeping. Heavy ceramic bowls are good dishes for ferrets. Expect the playful little pet to up-end the water bowl, however, so supply a water bottle as well.

Oxow

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Information

Lifespan:  6-10 yrs

Temperament:  Ferrets are highly intelligent and social pets that do best in small groups. It is highly recommended you consider adopting a pair of ferrets so they will always have a companion to socialize with. Ferrets natural play includes nipping and training is required to ensure your ferret knows that nipping humans is not an acceptable behavior.  Ferrets are relatively robust when playing with each other, as small pets, they are not animals suitable for homes with small children. It’s best to wait until children in the family are at least twelve or thirteen years old. Ferrets can be easily injured by handlers who lack manual dexterity. Second, children are easily injured and frightened by the nips and bared teeth of ferrets. A frightened child may injure a ferret by dropping or accidentally hitting the pet in retaliation.

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Care and Feeding

Diet:  Ferrets are obligate carnivores. This means they need meat in their diet. They also have very high metabolisms, so they need a large amount of animal fat in their diets. There are many high-grade ferret foods on the market, however, be sure to read the ingredients to make sure that the food is not fish-based. Several types of ferret food are nothing more than modified mink food. Mink eat fish. Ferrets do not. Some ferrets will starve themselves instead of eating fish-based food.

Ferrets tend to be picky eaters. Buy small quantities of food, so that it doesn’t go stale before it’s used: no more than a month’s worth at a time. Meat or whole prey can be frozen but it will need to be properly thawed prior to giving it to your ferret. Changing foods abruptly will make the ferret sick. As a result, it is a good idea to ensure your ferret experiences a mix of foods at an early age so as to accustom them to different diets in the event their preferred food is unavailable for a short period.  Fresh water must be available to your ferret at all times

Exercise:  Ferrets love to play. They will bounce back and forth and sideways with their teeth bared and looking quite ferocious. When they do this, they are inviting you and any other ferrets to play with them. Bounce along with them, and they will be happy.  They also like to wrestle and play-fight. They tend to play rough, but they learn to be careful with humans if their human playmates yelp when nipped. A firm “no!” will also get the job done.

Home/Environment:   Ferrets can wiggle through almost any hole or gap that is 3cm across. They’ve been known to get out of houses through dryer vents, screened windows, and the gaps under doors. At the same time, you’ll need to keep rubber items, electrical wires, breakable items, and any dangerous substances out of their reach.

Temperature is another thing to watch. Ferrets do not do well in hot weather. Any time the temperature is likely to get to 80F or more, check on your ferrets frequently and put an ice-pack in their cage.

Equipment:  Ferret cages are usually designed with two levels and a place to hang a cozy hammock. The cage should also contain a dark enclosure such as a wooden hut, where the ferrets can make a nest for sleeping. Heavy ceramic bowls are good dishes for ferrets. Expect the playful little pet to up-end the water bowl, however, so supply a water bottle as well.

Oxow