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phone:   (608) 423-3315
fax:        (608) 423-9575
mail:      PO Box 3
              Cambridge, WI
              53523-0003           
email:             ferretnook@ferretnook.org

 

 

Considerations

            BEFORE BRINGING A FERRET INTO YOUR HOME

Ferrets are great pets but not a pet for everyone. Before you consider bringing home that little ball of energy, please consider the following:

  • What will you be doing 6 to 8 years from now? Ferrets are a long term commitment and it isn't fair to the animal bringing it home and then once you're tired of taking care of it, pass it on to someone else. Do a lot of reading about ferrets before you purchase or adopt one. Recommended reading: Ferrets for Dummies by Kim Shilling; Ferrets USA (an annual) and Ferrets Magazine (now on the web at www.ferretsmagazine.com; and by searching on the web. We recommend www.miamiferret.org, www.ferretuniverse.com, and  www.ferretcentral.org.
     
  • Line up a veterinarian that is qualified to care for ferrets before the pet is brought home. Consider the veterinary care that a ferret will add to your budget; not only the annual physicals and vaccinations, but consider the geriatric problems that will be faced with ferrets. Estimate at least $1,000 over and above normal veterinary care for emergencies. These little guys are prone to cancers of all types and if caught early ferrets can handle chemotherapy and surgery quite well; but the owner must be willing to make that type of financial and extra care commitment.
     
  • Are you willing to spend time before you bring your ferret home to ferret proof. By this we mean making sure there are no holes in the baseboards, that the ferret can't get behind your refrigerator, stove, washer and dryer, all latex items are safely put away. If you have a recliner, make sure that you place it in an off-limits area from your ferret. Recliners are one of the top causes for ferret deaths. Make sure that your kitchen cabinets are childproof and cannot be opened easily. Get down on your hands and knees and inspect the floor area. If there are any holes 1 inch in diameter, a ferret could possibly get through it. What their heads can go through the rest of the body will follow.
     
  • Have your cage and accessories ready before you bring home your ferret. Ferrets should be caged at night and when not being supervised by their owner. For one or two ferrets a cage that measures 24" x 24" x 36" would be sufficient. You should have bedding material such as old sweatshirts, t-shirts, sleep sacks, hammocks, etc. in the cage along with a water bottle, food dish, and litter pan. The type of litter that works best is non-scented, pelleted litter. Scoopable litters are not safe for ferrets. The ferret might ingest the litter and get it lodged in their intestinal tract causing a blockage and possibly death if not treated.
     
  • Feed your ferret a high quality premium ferret food. Examples: Totally Ferret, Marshalls, 8 in 1 Ultimate. A ferret requires 32-36% protein and 22% fat in its diet. The grocery store brand cat foods/ferret foods are compiled mostly of grains and ferrets, being an obligate carnivore, cannot digest the grains fast enough; therefore, they will require more of the food and will be eliminating more than if you placed him/her on a high quality ferret food.
     
  • Will you have time to take care of and spend with your new pal? Ferrets are a high maintenance pet and require at least an hour out of their cage a day with their human. If you can't give him/her that, then a ferret is not for you! If you have questions, please give The Ferret Nook a call and we will be happy to assist you.

Happy Ferreting!


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