Monthly Archives April 2012

So, you’re thinking about getting a ferret… by Serena Fiorella, Licensed Veterinary Technician

Are you thinking about getting a ferret? Ferrets, I think, are the best pets in the world. Why, you ask? They are one of the most fun, interactive, affectionate and cuddly pet, but only if they are properly trained and cared for.
In my 22 years of being a ferret owner, I have come to realize that having a ferret is basically like having a 2-year-old human child running around your house. Yes, they are very smart and can easily be trained to come when they are called. They like to be scratched around their ears and will sometimes even curl up and sleep in your arms. But, even with these wonderful attributes, there are some things to consider before bringing home a furry little friend. Ferrets can dig up your rugs, they can steal and hide things, they can nip at your ankles, they always rearrange their cages, and they frequently tip over their litter boxes. Digging in plants and eating things they shouldn’t are also favorite pastimes of these adorable, cuddly creatures. So, as you can see, they can definitely be a lot of work!
While they are a lot of work, they are very social animals and like to be with people and other animals. To be socialized, they need to spend a lot of time out of their cages exercising, playing, and snuggling. The more time they spend out of their cages socializing, the better behaved they will be and the less likely they are to show all the negative behaviors listed above.
Last but not least, just like cats and dogs, ferrets need regular vet care, too. They require yearly distemper and rabies vaccinations, as well as fecal examinations for parasites and dental examinations. If you plan on taking your ferrets outdoors, they will also require a flea and heartworm preventative. Also, after ferrets are 3 years old, they should have more frequent vet visits, as well as annual blood work.
So, are you still thinking about getting a ferret? If you have the time and the patience, they are definitely worth the effort. While they may sound like a lot of work (and they are), if you are dedicated to helping them be the best little fuzzies they can be, the love you get in return far exceeds the effort.