Must Know for First Time Ferret Owner

It is natural to have doubts and questions when deciding to buy or adopt a ferret. This is most especially true when you are a first time ferret owner. To help you decide properly if a ferret is indeed the best pet for you and your family, below are some of the most common questions asked by rookie owners.

First Time Ferret Owner

Photo: Lindsey Turner | Flickr

What are ferrets? Are they related to rodents or mouse?

Although they look like rodents and sometimes even mistaken as a large mouse, ferrets are more linked with skunks and weasels. But don’t worry because they do not have the stinky defense mechanism that skunks possess. Actually, ferrets are more related to cats and dogs, which make them a commonly domesticated animal.

Are Ferrets Easy to Breed?

Due to their cuteness and wonderful traits, many people are tickled by the idea of breeding them. Unfortunately, breeding ferrets is usually reserved for professional breeders who have already invested so much time and money to be the best with their craft. Unlike with cats and dogs that are easier to breed compared to most animals, ferret breeding is not recommended especially if you are just a beginner. If you want to care for a lot of ferrets, try to go to adoption shelters where numerous ferrets are looking for responsible owners. Doing this will not only save you time and money from the difficult breeding process, but will also help a lot of abandoned ferrets.

How much does a ferret cost?

If you don’t fancy getting a ferret from an adoption shelter, the next best thing is to buy from a pet shop. There is no specific price tag for a ferret, but getting one will usually cost 100 usd. This amount still depends on various factors such as the overall health of the ferret, location of the store and reputation of the breeder. But one thing that is certain is that you will get your money’s worth when you begin to experience the joy and pleasure of owning a ferret.

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For a first time ferret owner, what are the things I must look for when buying a ferret?

The first thing to make certain when buying is its overall health. Ferrets are naturally active, thus they move around most of the time. A healthy ferret must not only show activeness, but must be attentive and responsive. Try to interact with it and see if responds accordingly. Also, examine the eyes, which must be clear and round. Eyes that are cloudy and seem always sleepy are possible signs of sickness. Lastly, examine the skin and coating, which must be shiny and full. Look also for falling hairs which is also a symptom of a medical condition.

Aside from physically examining the ferret, you must also take notice of its living environment. If the pet shop is clean, it is likely that the breeder or shop owner takes good care of his animals. If possible, talk to the breeder and asks how he maintains the health of the animals. This may seem a bit over the top, but doing this will give you first-hand knowledge about an animal that you will share your house with.

What are the other costs when owning a ferret?

Aside from the buying price, you will need to save money for added expenses like cage, daily food, medicines and doctor’s appointment. You should invest in a well-built but light ferret cage. Due to its active nature, a second rate cage will probably breakdown in a short span of time. Also, buying a lightweight cage will enable you to bring it along during travels.

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A large portion of your budget will be spent on your pet’s daily nutrition. Although you can feed it regularly with raw meet and commercial cat food, you will need to buy high quality ferret food made especially for its needs. Choosing high quality foods will minimize the possibility of developing health issues and in the long run, you will be able to save money from visits to the doctor. Furthermore, just like humans, your new pet will need regular immunizations and vaccines to strengthen its immune system and maintain proper health. A visit to your vet once or twice a year is also a must.

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