Decisions to Make When Buying a Ferret

Old and first time ferret owners must make major decisions before buying a ferret or adopting one. Fortunately, with the growing popularity of these furry creatures, the internet provides almost unlimited info on what factors to consider in order to properly choose the right ferret that suits your lifestyle. Having a little knowledge about these factors will ensure a better experience especially for first time owners.

Buying a Ferret

Photo:  Alexis Lewis | Flickr

Male or Female

There are many differences between male and female ferrets. For starters, male are heavier and larger than females. Males usually reach 3 pounds and can grow up to 16 inches in length. On the other hand, females usually weigh about 1.5 pounds and can grow up to 12 inches.

If you plan buying a ferret that is male, make sure to buy a long and well-built cage or enclosure. If you prefer a female, a smaller cage will do. Whatever gender you pick, make sure that the cage or living environment is spacious and not isolated. Ferrets are very active and love to move around while exploring their habitat. In addition, they thrive on human interaction so a few hours each day must be devoted in playing or having activities.

Baby or Adult

Baby ferret demands more responsibility and time compared to adults. Baby ferrets need several vaccinations to prevent various diseases and strengthen the immune system, so be ready to spend some cash on doctor appointments and medicines. Furthermore, a baby will demand more time and attention as its needs are more special than adults. With regards to its diet, you must give more attention to the food items you provide while making sure that it is able to get proper nutrition. In addition, considerable amount of time and effort are needed for basic training such as how to use litter box and what objects are allowed for chewing.

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On the other hand, buying an adult ferret, especially trained ones, will require less effort and time with regards to teaching basic tricks and visits to the doctor. In terms of training, an adult ferret is usually already familiar with proper use of litter box and already has an idea on things it can play with.

Buying a Ferret by Color

One of the perks of buying a ferret pet is the many options you’ll get when choosing a color. Some of the most in demand ferret colors include black, champagne, chocolate, cinnamon, white and sable. If you have a lot of spare time for cleaning and maintaining its coat and fur, a light colored ferret is a good option. Due to the fact that ferrets are energetic and love to move around, they are like a magnet for dirt and dust. Clearly, light colored ferret will show more coating dirt compared to dark colored one.

Pet Store or Adoption Shelter

There are many factors to consider when choosing between pet store and shelter ferrets, but the most crucial are money and time. If you have spare money, buying from a trusted pet store is the best option. Although it will cost you more, ferrets from a reputable pet shop are usually healthy, free of diseases and bred properly. To be more certain and have peace of mind, it is still best to carefully inspect the ferret you are planning to buy even if the pet store has a good reputation. Make sure that your chosen ferret is active, shows clear eyes, and responds to your commands. It is also recommended to get a copy of its vaccination history starting from birth. Also inspect its living space to make sure it was raised in a clean environment.

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Getting a ferret from a shelter usually means not spending a single dollar. However, you still must spend some money for a compulsory medical checkup before bringing your new pet home to avoid spreading diseases in your household. In addition, bringing home a ferret from shelter will need a lot of adjustments in terms of environment and interaction. In adoption shelters, ferrets are usually used to living with other ferrets while enjoying lots of interaction. So be patient as your ferret will probably need time to adjust with living alone and having less playtime with other ferrets.

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