As the seasons change, our animal companions’ care needs change a bit. There’s quite a bit of information on fall care for dogs and cat, but what about smaller animals? As your Marion, IA area veterinarian, I offer some fall care tips for ferrets in this article.
Ideally, ferrets should be kept inside, in cages or ferret-proofed rooms. However, some people do keep their ferrets in garages or outdoor enclosures. No matter where your pet lives, you’ll need to ensure that their habitat is at a comfortable temperature. If your furry buddy is housed in an outdoor run, cover it with plexiglass to keep wind out. The cage shouldn’t be in direct sunlight in summer, though in winter your pet may appreciate some extra warmth. Remember, you’ll also need to provide lots of toys and enrichment, as well as a proper diet. Ask your veterinarian for specific advice.
Ferrets don’t do well with either extreme heat or extreme cold. As the temperatures drop, make sure your little buddy has lots of warm blankets to snuggle up in. If your pet is allowed to play in water (or, in winter, snow) then towel them dry. You can also make the cage a bit warmer by using pet-safe heating or thermal mats, or perhaps a thermal cat house. Tents and tunnels are also very popular with ferrets.
Like many other pets, ferrets often shed more than usual in fall and spring. Keep up with your fuzzy pet’s hairball preventatives! A proper diet is also crucial. The general consensus is that ferret diets should consist of mostly protein (up to 40%) and fat (up to 20%), supplemented with a bit of fiber (2%). Ask your veterinarian for specific dietary advice.
Ferrets are known for having sticky fingers, or, technically, sticky paws. If you set out seasonal decorations, you’ll need to keep these things in spots where your tiny pet cannot reach them. That list includes things like Halloween candy, small decorative items, candles, string lights, and nic nacs, along with pretty much anything your little buddy can carry or haul off!
Candles and fireplaces can give a home a nice, cozy glow, but you’ll need to be careful. Use thick grates before fireplaces, and keep candles in spots your furry little friend can’t get to. Plastic bags can also be dangerous.
Do you have questions about your pet ferret’s care? Please contact me, your Marion, IA area veterinarian, today!