April is Adopt A Ferret Month! We’re happy to see these playful, frisky little pets get some PR. Ferrets may be small, but they have big personalities and are lots of fun. However, these guys do have a few specific care needs potential owners should know of before adopting one. A Potomac, MD vet goes over some basic aspects of ferret care in this article.
Ferrets may be the world’s cutest thieves. Your tiny furball may very well take off with anything he can drag or carry. Small and shiny objects are often prime targets, but ferrets also ‘ferret’ away things like phones, keys, coins, books, wallets, and remote controls. This can be amusing, but it can also be dangerous. Pay attention to where your pint-sized buddy stashes things: that will be the first place to look when things go missing.
This is one area where you’ll need to be careful. Ferrets need a meat-based diet that is high in protein and low in fat. They also tend to get fixated on certain foods, so it’s important to get them used to eating various things while they are young. Ask your vet for specific advice.
Ferretproofing is a must! Remove potential hazards, such as toxins, plastic wraps, and keep small or sharp objects out of reach of those tiny red hands. These little guys are perfectly suited to running through small openings. In fact, they’ve been used to run wires through pipes. They can fit into some pretty small spaces, and won’t be shy about exploring. You’ll need to seal off holes behind and beneath furniture, cabinets, and appliances, and make sure your doors and vents close securely.
Ferrets are prone to developing a few specific health issues, such as parasites; cancer; heart disease, particularly dilated cardiomyopathy; and tumors. They also sometimes swallow things that aren’t safe. Watch for warning signs, such as lethargy, behavioral changes, lack of appetite, weight loss, respiratory issues, and diarrhea. Contact your vet right away if you notice anything amiss.
Ferrets need some help with their beauty care. You’ll need to bathe your furry friend regularly. This will require some training and enticement. Nail trims and ear care are also important. Hairballs are another concern. Ask your vet about hairball preventative products.
Do you have questions about ferret care? Contact us, your Germantown, MD animal clinic, today!