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Caring for a Ferret Kit

Are you considering adopting a baby ferret? Ferrets are very fun little pets. However, they can be a handful! Read on for some pointers from me, your Marion, IA area veterinarian, on raising ferrets.

Housing

A good cage is a definite must! Bar spacing is very important. You don’t want your pet getting stuck! An multi-story wire cage may be fine, as long as it has a solid bottom. You’ll need to add bedding, dishes, hammocks, tents, and comfy beds. You may also want to add a small litterbox. Ask your veterinarian for training tips.

Choosing Toys

Baby ferrets are extremely playful. Offer your kit lots of toys! Many cat toys are fine, and are durable enough to hold up to those sharp teeth. Certain baby toys and rattles are also safe. Just avoid anything with small parts, sharp edges, or dangling threads. Ask your veterinarian for more information.

Ferretproofing

Ferrets definitely have a knack for mischief. Remove or secure anything that could be dangerous, such as wires, cords, medicine, toxic plants, and anything small or sharp, and seal off any holes your ferret could fit through.

Feeding

Ferrets are carnivores, so their diets should be meat-based. Your pet can have ferret food, certain kitten foods, or cooked meat or poultry. Change things up often, as otherwise your kit may fixate on one thing and refuse to eat anything else. Ask your veterinarian for specific advice.

Veterinary Care

Your pet will need a thorough exam, as well as certain vaccinations, such as the distemper vaccination. You’ll also need to schedule spay/neuter surgery and musk gland removal. Also, watch for signs of illness, such as an abnormal gait, respiratory issues, diarrhea, or reduced appetite. Call your veterinarian immediately if you notice anything amiss.

Training

Nip bad habits, such as, well, nipping, in the bud. Ferrets usually bite more out of playfulness than aggression, but those tiny teeth hurt! When your pet nips, scruff them and say NO firmly. You’ll also need to get your pet used to being groomed.

Socialization

Socialization is very important! Handle your ferret several times a day, for several minutes at a time. Offer lots of cuddles, and the little guy fall asleep on you. It probably won’t take your pet long to melt your heart!

Do you have questions about ferret care? Please contact me, your Marion, IA area veterinarian, anytime!

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