What to do before bringing your new ferret home, by Serena Fiorella, Licensed Veterinary Technician

You’ve done your research and decided that a ferret is right for you. What do you do now? Before bringing you new companion home, you must ferret proof your house!

Here are a few things you should know about ferret proofing. Personally, I don’t let my ferrets have free run of the house, because there are way too many things for them to get into. Behind the fridge, under the stove, in the dishwasher (yes, it has happened) and even through the dryer vent, to name a few. Ferrets get into anything and everything, especially if you don’t want them to. If they can get their head through an opening, they can get their body through it. This is very important! These are just some of the things that I am paranoid about.

Pick one room, and turn it into a ferret play land. Whatever room you choose, make sure you check heating ducts and old radiators for anywhere they can possibly squeeze through. You may think they can’t fit, but they can! After you have deemed the room safe from escape, look around. Can they get in your closet? Into your shoes? If they can, they will dig in them. They are also fond of flip-flops because of their delicious chewy texture. Are there any hanging wires? Wires are a toy for them and another soft thing to chew. Are there any holes in the mattress? They will definitely get into them and dig until they drop; then, inevitably, they’ll fall asleep while you are frantically running around looking for them. If you have a cat or a dog, you also have to be mindful that their toys don’t end up in the ferret’s room. Latex toys are particularly bad. Soft rubber is definitely a delicacy to ferrets and can cause an intestinal obstruction if ingested. Be sure to provide your ferret with plenty of indestructible toys without small parts that they can tear off and swallow. Once you’ve removed all of the dangerous toys, now you have to inspect the furniture. Are there things they can climb up on and fall off of? Can they jump from the night table to the dresser? If they can, they will most certainly knock everything off and hide whatever treasures they find.

Okay, I think you get the picture. Now for a final check. No escape routes? Check. Nothing they can chew and swallow that isn’t edible? Check. No valuable items exposed that might be scratched or ruined? Check. Nothing high that they can jump off of and hurt themselves? Check. If you can confirm you’ve done all of these things, you have finally ferret proofed your house; now you can bring your new baby home and have some fun!

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