Ferrets are playful, energetic, and curious pets. They are a member of the Weasel family that were domesticated over two thousand years ago. They’ve been a popular pet throughout history for members of royal and noble families. As recently as the 1970’s, they became a very popular pet in the United States.
For a beginner ferret owner, there are some very important things you need to know so that you can prepare for your little bundle of energy and humor.
Ferrets Require Proper Housing
While pet store clerks will tell you that any cage is fine for a ferret, professional ferret owners will tell you that small cages and confined spaces are unhealthy for them. Even if you just own one ferret, make sure they have a large cage. Ferrets are playful and full of energy. They need plenty of room to roam and play. Confined to a small cage for long periods of time will make them upset and more prone to illness.
Ferrets Love To Sleep
Their great amount of energy takes a very long time to replenish. Ferrets will sleep 14-18 hours a day. Because of their extensive sleepy time needs, their cage must be properly outfitted with ferret napping furniture. A hammock made of a strong, soft material is perfect for them. Also, try to include a little hut to give them a dark space in which to sleep should they need it.
Ferrets can only eat meat. They are strict carnivores. The best diet to have them on is called a raw diet. A raw diet is where you feed them raw meat on a daily basis. Ferrets will become very ill if you feed them dry food that is full of vegetables or grains. Their stomachs cannot digest anything except meat. A raw egg can be scrambled and given to them as a soup treat twice a week since eggs are primarily animal protein.
Ferrets, unfortunately, do have little stink glands very similar in nature to skunks. Most breeders will surgically remove these stink glands to make them a more smell-friendly pet. Although their scent glands are removed, they can still get a little stinky sometimes. Bathing is only recommended every couple of months to prevent drying out their skin. The best way to keep your ferret smelling fine is to wipe them down with a damp cloth once a week in between baths. Brushing their teeth will also keep their health at optimal levels.
Bringing a ferret into your life can be time-consuming but also endlessly rewarding. They are the little clowns of the animal world. You’ll enjoy plenty of laughs, adorable moments, and loving cuddles with your ferret. Be sure to take in all of the teaching information that you can find to ensure you keep them in your life for as long as possible.