Ferrets make fun and unusual pets for families who are looking for a companion other than the traditional cat or dog. Although ferrets have only become popular as family pets in the past 50 years or so, they have actually been domesticated for more than 2,000 years and they integrate into most households easily. If you’re considering adding one of these high-energy, playful pets to your household, here are the answers to some of the questions you may have about caring for your new ferret, from finding veterinarian care to picking the best food.
Do ferrets need vet care?
Just like other pets, ferrets do need veterinary care. Your veterinarian may recommend preventive care visits once or twice per year, plus regular vaccinations and flea and heartworm preventive medications. Ferrets should also be spayed or neutered between six and 12 months of age. This is especially important if you plan to have more than one ferret, but it will also protect even solo ferrets from health complications.
What do ferrets eat?
Ferrets need meat and animal fat in their diets because of their high metabolisms. Avoid ferret food that is fish-based. Despite the prevalence of this kind of ferret food, many ferrets don’t eat fish and it is not healthy for them. You should also avoid food that has high vegetable or grain content. Ferrets are picky and dislike stale food, so only buy enough food for a month at a time.
Are ferrets good pets for kids?
Ferrets tend to nip when they play, which can scare young children. Although ferrets can be trained to play gently, it is usually recommended that you wait until your kids are at least 12 before getting a ferret. With younger children, both the ferret and the child can be hurt during play.
Chastain Veterinary Medical Group offers exotic pet care in McKinney for ferrets, snakes, and everything in between, as well as your family’s dogs, cats, birds, and other animal family members. Schedule an appointment at our animal clinic by calling Meadow Brook Animal Hospital in McKinney at (972) 529-5033 or by calling Preston Road Animal Hospital in Dallas at (972) 239-1309.
As your veterinarian will tell you, training a pet ferret is not only possible but also necessary. Ferrets are intelligent and inquisitive, and training them will make both them and their owners happier. Just as with other animals, training a ferret requires patience and persistence, but if you stick with it, your ferret will be following your instructions in no time. Succeed with your training efforts with these tips.
Focus on Biting First
Ferrets are notorious for having a few bad biting habits, so it’s important to deal with nipping behaviors during training first. Once you train your ferret that nipping is not acceptable, it will be easier to focus on other activities. To convince your ferret to stop nipping, consider using a time out cage. This cage should be different than the one that your ferret goes to for sleep. If your ferret nips, simply put him or her in the cage for up to five minutes, before bringing him or her back out. Don’t exceed five minutes of punishment, or your ferret may forget what happened. Never spank, spray with water, or tap on the nose to punish your ferret for biting. Doing so is likely to make him or her bite harder.
Ferrets respond to positive reinforcement, so using treats to convince your ferret to follow your training efforts is helpful. For instance, if you want to teach your ferret to shake hands, start by putting a treat about an inch from your hand when you are sitting in front of your ferret. When he or she steps on your hand to try to reach the treat, shake his or her paw and reward your pet with the treat.
Feed Your Ferret Before Training
Your ferret will be much more likely to go along with your training efforts if he or she is not hungry. Try to work on training right after your ferret eats. You will keep his or her attention for longer and are less likely to experience biting and bad behavior.
Ferrets also need regular veterinarian care to ensure they stay healthy enough to keep learning. Chastain Veterinary Medical Group provides exotic animal care at both of our veterinary hospitals in Dallas and McKinney for ferrets, snakes, and other less common animals. Make an appointment today by calling (972) 239-1309 for Preston Road Animal Hospital in Dallas or by calling (972) 529-5033 for Meadow Brook Animal Hospital in the McKinney/Frisco area.
When your pet’s fur becomes long, it also becomes prone to tangles and matting. Matts can appear on the outer coat, where they are easy to see, or in the undercoat, where you may not notice them. Regular pet grooming is an important part of preventing matting in your pet.
De-matting your animal as part of a regular pet grooming schedule will keep your pet comfortable and help to prevent health problems. Matted fur can be extremely painful, and the skin underneath matts can form sores and other irritations. Sometimes, debris becomes tangled in matts and further irritates your pet skin. During grooming, de-matting can be done gently to reduce discomfort for your pet. Brushing your pet regularly between pet grooming appointments will reduce the risk of matts.
At Chastain Veterinary Medical Group, we are pleased to offer pet grooming in McKinney and Dallas by professional groomers who can remove matts while protecting your pet’s delicate skin. To make an appointment for grooming or to learn about other services we provide at our pet hospitals, call (972) 239-1309 for Preston Road Animal Hospital in Dallas or call (972) 529-5033 for Meadow Brook Animal Hospital in McKinney.
Are you looking for a fun pet that is a little outside of the norm? If so, then a ferret could be perfect for you. Ferrets are playful and energetic and require minimal care. If you choose to adopt a ferret, make sure there is an animal hospital near you that can provide care for your new furry friend. Not all veterinarians will treat ferrets.
Watch this video to get some insight into life with a ferret. Ferrets love to play and can be great additions to families with kids, but they shouldn’t be left alone with babies or very young children, as they may nip. Ferrets can catch some human illnesses, such as the flu, and they should be spayed or neutered as you would any other pet.
Chastain Animal Medical Group is pleased to offer exotic animal care in Dallas and in the McKinney/Frisco areas of Texas alongside our services for dogs, cats, and birds. Whether you need pet grooming, dog neutering, or exotic animal checkups, our vets are ready to help. Make an appointment by calling Meadow Brook Animal Hospital in McKinney at (972) 529-5033 or by calling Preston Road Animal Hospital in Dallas at (972) 239-1309.
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