How to Avoid Raising a Biting Ferret

Biting is a natural reaction for both humans and animals. Biting out of self-defense or curiosity can become harmful and sometimes fatal if not properly handled. For ferrets, biting is a habit that all ferret owners surely wants to avoid specially in the presence of small children. Fortunately, there are several tips on how to minimize the biting ferret tendencies of your pet.

biting ferret about to

Photo: christels | Pixabay

Nipping vs Biting

Baby ferrets love to nip. During their early stage, ferrets usually nip out of curiosity, which is a natural reaction that can’t really be avoided. In addition, a ferret nips to attract attention while hoping to get some interaction with humans and other animals. However, a nipping baby ferret inflicts no real danger or harm. More often than not, the result is just a tiny temporary mark on the skin which will be gone after a few minutes.

Ferret biting, on the other hand, is a more serious case. A bite happens when your pet’s teeth clamps and pierces the skin, leaving a bloody wound. It does not matter if the bite is small or deep, this is a habit that must be stopped immediately.

What Causes a Ferret to Bite?

There are many reasons why ferrets bite. First reason is due to lack of care or attention. Ferrets are very active and social animals, they need love and interaction with other creatures specially humans. Biting ferrets are usually misunderstood, traumatized, uncared, and unappreciated. A bite actually signals that you need to spend more time with your pet.

Another reason is that a bite is inflicted as a form of self-defense. If it’s your first encounter or interaction with a ferret, make sure to touch and handle it very gently and carefully. Doing so will make the fury animal feel that it is safe and you intend no harm or danger.

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Training your Ferret

Training your ferret not to bite requires patience, time and understanding. First of all, make it feel that you are in command. During the early signs of nipping and biting ferret, give toys that are specifically made for ferrets. These toys are effective in keeping a ferret’s mouth and teeth busy. Most importantly, always spend time with your little friend; making it feel cared and loved will surely lessen its tendency to bite.

What You Should Do When Bitten

Generally, ferrets are not notorious biters; they are actually friendly and safe to handle for both adults and kids. But if you are unfortunately bitten, the first thing to do is to stay calm and don’t panic. Next, locate its mouth and teeth with your unbitten hand while feeling your way through its jaws. Slowly and carefully pry out its teeth from your skin using an upward motion. Lastly, wipe the wound and blood with a clean towel or cloth. Apply betadine or any antibacterial gel on the wound to avoid infection.

Should I Still Keep My Biting Ferret?

If you still want to keep a ferret even if it has a biting history, there are several things to consider. First of all, you must let the members of your household know the personality of your ferret in order to keep the biting problems at bay. If you have small children, warning them that a bite may occur is also a must. As a precautionary measure, teach children how to properly handle and raise a ferret.

On the other hand, if you decide that a biting ferret is not safe for you and your family, there are also options that will be beneficial to both parties. First option is to talk to a ferret community which can give you vital information on how to properly let go of your pet. Ask for a mailing list of ferret owners and share your story. From these contacts, you can find the best option for adoption.

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Another option is ferret shelter adoption. Nowadays, ferret shelters are increasing in number due to the popularity growth of ferrets as pets. This might be the best option because most shelters will allow you to visit your pet in exchange for shelter chores.

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