If you have read our blog for any extended amount of time, you will notice we have a lot of posts pertaining to our ferrets.Have you ever entertained the idea of having one of your own? Before you go out and obtain one, there are a few things you should know.
One of the most common things I hear about people talking about ferrets is their odor. Ferrets are have scent glands and although domestic ferrets are de-scented, they still have a musky odor. Is it horrible? No, but it is distinct. I personally love the smell. Bathing the ferret will eventually make the smell worse because it will begin to over produce the natural oils to make up for the ones that were stripped in the bathing process.
Here are some basic requirements for making one of these mustelids a part of your family.
Food-Ferrets require food that is designed for them. Ferrets are carnivores and need a high protein diet. They need a concentrated diet because their intestinal tract is so small they need to get the most nutrition out of it.
Grooming-Teeth, nails and ears will be something that has to be taken care of every couple of weeks. Like cats, they can develop hair balls so hair care should be monitored as well.
Containment- You cannot keep a ferret loose in the house like you might a dog or cat. While unsupervised they can get into a lot of trouble and cause A LOT of damage. They are able to squeeze into very small spaces and can get hurt very easily.
Playing- This is not an animal you can keep caged up for long periods of time. They need a lot of interaction and exercise. I’m talking several hours a day… Not many people have just one ferret, they do well keeping each other company, but need a lot of time out of their cages.
Vet care- Ferrets are very expensive to keep. Not only do they require a special vet and vaccines, they can develop a lot of health problems. Insulinoma and Adrenal disease are the ones that are most common and require a lot of medication and treatment.
In my personal life I have had ferrets at home and during my career at the museum I have had the opportunity to work with a lot of different ferrets. They have all had different personalities and quirks that make each of them a joy to be around.
If you have any questions about ferrets, ferrets here at the museum or want to know more in depth about ferret care, drop a line in our comment section.