Ferrets are lovable animals that need mindful care. Ferrets are smart and playful animals that need hours of rest separated by short bursts of activities. They're social and loving pets when properly cared for. Read on to find the best ways to properly care for your ferret.

Getting A Ferret

If you're looking to buy a ferret, be sure to check the laws in your state. Not every state allows ferrets as pets, and some cities restrict keeping ferrets in your home. If your state does allow for ferrets and you're interested in getting one, avoid buying one from a pet store. Consider adopting, instead, from an animal shelter. Pet stores often keep ferrets in unsatisfactory conditions, leading to bad health and further problems.

Choosing A Cage

When looking for a cage for your new pet, avoid buying and aquarium or anything similar as it will restrict airflow and potentially cause respiratory problems in your ferret. Instead, choose a wire cage with a good latch, roughly 20 inches long, and 30 inches wide. The wiring will feel uncomfortable on the ferrets feet, so consider lining the bottom with linoleum tiles and a soft, washable cloth or carpet. 

Ferrets like levels in their homes, so consider adding stairs or ramps, and shelving or hammocks that they can sleep in. Also consider adding toys, and things that they can play with while they're in the cage. Once you have your cage set up, keep it in a cool, shaded area out of the sunlight.

Potty Training

Ferrets have a tendency to poop in corners, so it should be easy to litter train your pet. Begin by putting a high-backed plastic litter tray in the corner of the cage, away from food and sleeping areas.

Be sure to use dust-free paper pulp litter, and avoid any kind of litter that's clumping or made with clay. These kinds of litters can bother your ferrets eyes, and potentially cause respiratory problems. Ferrets use the litter often, so be sure to clean it frequently to avoid odors and maintain the best environment for your pet.

A Quality Diet

Ferrets digest their food quickly, so be sure to feed them regularly (once every 2-3 hours), or give them constant source of ferret food. Ferrets eat a very specific diet, so be very careful of the food you choose. A ferret's diet consists of 34% animal protein, and 22% fat. They're very carnivorous, and can't handle a lot of vegetables, so avoid feeding them dog or cat food.

Turkey and Chicken are both good snacks for your ferret when you feel like treating them. Avoid feeding your ferret fruit, vegetables, eggs, or raw onion. All of these foods can potentially make your ferret sick. Always keep a constant source of fresh, clean water in the ferret's cage, preferably from a water bottle.

Play Time

Regular exercise and brain stimulation are both very important for the well-being of your ferret. Be sure to give them 2-4 hours of supervised exercise per day. This can easily be done with an out-of-cage exercise pen. Ferrets like to crawl through things and climb, so consider adding tunnels, ramps, and toys to the play pen.

Give your ferret lots of love during their play time. If they're handled frequently, they'll become more friendly and sociable. Be sure to handle your ferret properly when you pick it up. Hold it loosely, and lift it from behind. Use your other hand to support its chest and cradle its body. Ferrets can also be picked up from the scruff of the neck without being harmed.

Routine Check-Ups

When you handle your ferret, make a habit of checking it for any abnormalities that might be a sign of health problems. Keep its nails trimmed as well, to avoid any discomfort for the ferret. Its nails will need to be trimmed once every 6-8 weeks, a veterinarian can show you how to properly trim a ferret's nails. Take your ferret to the vet for vaccinations, and to get spayed or neutered.

By following these instructions, you'll have a healthy happy ferret, and a wonderful pet. Be sure to have fun with it, and monitor your ferret when around children.

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