Recommendations for ferret care

HEALTH
A ferret can live up to 8 years. Like other pets, he may develop health problems during his lifetime. When ferrets get sick, their health can deteriorate very quickly. It is therefore important to monitor them closely and provide veterinary care for them quickly when needed.

Watch for loss of appetite, vomiting, significant hair loss, lack of energy, excessive salivation, and unusual behavior.

Like a dog or cat, your ferret will require vaccines and deworming. Flea and tick treatment is also very important.

Interestingly, ferrets can catch and transmit the human flu. You should avoid being near and touching your ferret if you have the flu!

Females should be sterilized because otherwise, they will remain in heat during the entire breeding season. With the absence of mating, the ferret will continue to produce estrogen (Hyperoestrogenism) which can lead to aplastic anemia which can eventually be fatal.

Nutrition

If males remain uncastrated but are unable to breed, this may cause undesirable changes such as aggressivity towards other ferrets, the production of a very strong odor, oily hair, urinary marking, etc.)

Sterilization of females and castration of males can be done between 6 and 8 months of age of the animal.

HYGIENE
Ferrets are naturally very clean animals but do have secretory glands on each side of the anus which can produce a strong musky odor.
However, try to avoid giving them a bath too often, at the risk of irritating their fragile skin. Washing the fur too often will increase the layer of sebum in their coat which can actually make them smell stronger.

A bath once every two or three months is sufficient.
Don’t forget to cut their claws, because, like our fingernails, a ferret’s claws grow continuously. Generally, this should be done every 2 to 4 weeks. To avoid the accumulation of tartar, you should brush your pet’s teeth regularly. Regular ear cleaning is also important in order to prevent the build-up of sebum.

Choose a mild cleanser that will dissolve ear wax. If you are not sure how to perform this care at home, ask your veterinarian to demonstrate how it should be done.

You should make sure that your pet becomes accustomed to these kinds of manipulations from a very early age; otherwise, it will be more difficult for you to administer basic care.

CAGE AND LITTER

Choose a sufficiently large cage and install a hammock, a blanket, and appropriate litter. To ensure a stimulating habitat, you can choose a multi-story model connected by ramps and tubes.

Your ferret may need bedding outside its cage as well. Choose plastic bins that will have one side lower than the other, allowing your pet to easily go in and out. Make sure the litter you choose, whether it’s crushed maize litter, recycled paper or cat litter, is unscented. Also avoid pine, cedar or softwood chips that release substances that are toxic to your ferret.

ALIMENTATION ET NUTRITION
FOOD AND NUTRITION:

The ferret is primarily a predator and therefore a carnivore. His should essentially be one of animal proteins. Since the ferret does not digest fiber, fruits and vegetables are not recommended in large quantities. Avoid feeding your ferret chocolate, raw egg, grapes, coffee, tea, garlic, shallot and onion because they are toxic to him.
Since the ferret doesn’t chew his food very much, he can be at risk of intestinal blockages: therefore, avoid giving him large, hard pieces. It is better to let him have access to his food and fresh water at all times.

 
Ferrets tend to hide their food so it’s quite important to make sure the food does not end up rotting in a corner of its enclosure. Ferrets eat more or less depending on the season. You can feed your pet up to 30% more in the winter. Your veterinarian can recommend a balanced diet designed specifically for your ferret including what amount to be offered and when.

Education and behavior
What you need to know for you and your ferret to stay happy.
Ferrets love to sleep (up to 18 hours a day!) so be sure to provide yours with a cozy, comfortable space. Even though they sleep a lot, it is still very important to take time to cuddle and play with him every day, otherwise, he may suffer from loneliness.
 
Ferrets are explorers and enjoy sniffing around and eating everything they find. Unfortunately, this behavior can expose him to accidents such as intoxication. Leave your pet in a secure room, away from anything dangerous if you can’t watch him explore.

Ferrets bite, but usually as a “mode of expression” or as a defense. During his development, he will learn to control his biting, but it will always remain a way for him to communicate. Through more frequent manipulation and positive play sessions, your ferret will learn to control his biting.

Ferrets can be taught to do tricks! Like a dog, they can learn to sit, give a paw or roll over. When teaching your ferret tricks, always make sure to use positive reinforcement and avoid punishment.

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