Ferret Home Ferret Care
Every year, ferrets as pets become more popular. But for our country, the ferret is still an exotic animal, unlike, for example, America, where more than 7 million people keep these animals at home. But the ferret at home is not only fun, fun, positive, but also a great responsibility, time, patience and careful care of the owner. Ferret owners probably know what is needed for the happiness and health of their wards. But if you are just going to have this exotic pet, it will not be out of place to find out what care for a ferret is and is it so difficult.
Ferret Safety at Home
When keeping a ferret, you need to follow some rules necessary for the safety of the pet. Pay attention to the following important points:
- If a ferret appears in your home, carefully inspect all corners, walls, furniture, household appliances for cracks or holes. To prevent your pet from getting into trouble, all openings where it can climb must be closed. Flower pots, electrical wires, fragile items, cosmetics, detergents, medical supplies, i.e. should not be accessible to the pet.
- Ferrets love to stockpile. They arrange hiding places and store food in them. And it’s better to immediately close the places suitable for arranging hiding places, having allocated one special corner for the animal, where it will store its supplies. So you can clean up the "nestles" of food on time, avoiding the appearance of unpleasant odors.
- Ferrets like burrowing animals love to dig. And they can dig anything: the earth in flower pots, flour, cereals, washing powder, etc. Of course, the animal should not have access to such things.
- Always close the doors in the kitchen and bathroom. Having penetrated there, the animal can create real chaos. And if the animal decided to examine the toilet or taste the detergent or other household chemicals, this can lead to tragedy.
- The ferret should not have access to open windows, since the animal does not feel the height well.
- Ferrets are very playful and brisk. When they walk free, extremely carefully close the doors so as not to pinch the pet.
If you decide to keep the polecat in the cage, then it must certainly be so spacious that the pet can move freely in it, as well as play. The optimal housing dimensions of your pet are as follows: length – at least one meter, width – at least 50 cm, height – at least 80 centimeters.
Hang something like a hammock and hanging toys in a cage. Be sure – this will delight your pet.
It’s good if you can give the animal a separate room in the apartment. But a shelter or mink, where he can be in complete solitude, he still needs.
A ferret, like a burrowing beast, must have a shelter in its cage. It’s good if you can allocate the animal a separate room in the apartment. But a shelter or mink, where he can be in complete solitude, he still needs.
The absence of a ferret house in a human home can lead to nervous breakdown, exhaustion and even death of your ward. However, most likely the animal will find a hole for itself, somewhere in the sofa or behind the closet, without it it simply cannot exist. It is unlikely that this option will appeal to the other inhabitants of the apartment. Therefore, it is better to take care of a cozy ferret house in advance.
It is advisable to use not plywood, and thin boards and whetstones, they do not suffer from moisture when washing. Particleboard is categorically not suitable, not only because of toxic phenolic glue, but also because of poor water resistance. Connection – on self-tapping screws; today they are sold galvanized and do not rust.
The entrance opening needs to be made at least 10 cm, and preferably to the edge, so it will be more comfortable in the hole. It is not necessary to paint the house from the inside, and from the outside you can cover it with one layer of pentaphthalic or glyphthalic varnish. For bedding, put wool or cotton rags in the house. Shavings also fit, but large, without sawdust and wood chips and, of course, from hardwood, without resinous inclusions. Small filings of any type cause inflammation of the nasal mucosa. Paper with printing ink is also not an option, although the ferret is a predator, he loves to try everything on his tooth.
When a ferret lives in a house on a free pasture, the house for him can stand on the floor, but in the most quiet place, away from heating appliances, sunlight and drafts. Sometimes, the picky ferret does not want to go to a new home. Then try to rearrange the house where he prefers to rest most often. Keep in mind that the sense of "feng shui" in ferrets is more developed than in humans.
The floor house can be made large and complex of several chambers connected by manhole pipes, ladders, equipped with sunbeds and walkways-exits from different sides. Fantasy and design delights are unlimited. You can make a grand building that copies a human house, for example, with opening doors, windows, balconies, etc. Especially, such a house is good if you have several ferrets. Hang a drinker and a hammock to the house, put a reliable not tipping food bowl. Such a house, together with its nimble occupant, will serve as a real decoration of your apartment!
It is safer for the animal and more convenient for owners if the ferret lives in a cage. But in this case, he needs daily walks around the apartment, at least for 2-3 hours. Walking should take place under the supervision of the owner, because in the house of curious ferrets a lot of dangers can await, which can not always be foreseen in advance. Leaving home, the owner is better to lock the animal in a cage.
It is not necessary to walk a ferret on the street, but usually it gives animals a lot of fun. A pet is taught to walk in the winter, starting from a few minutes, gradually increasing the time of walking. In wet and windy weather, walking a ferret is not recommended.
In the warm season, a ferret can lurk such a danger as fleas and ticks on the street. Therefore, it is imperative to treat the pet from these parasites, for example, Front Line, Advantix, Stronghol, etc.
Walk with a ferret only on a harness.
And, of course, the animal must have the necessary vaccinations. It is dangerous to walk with an unvaccinated pet, since the risk of catching a virus increases many times. And do not forget that after vaccination you need to withstand quarantine (2 weeks).
For walks, try to choose those places where dogs are not walking.
Ferret Care: Mandatory Procedures
Ferrets swim beautifully, but not all animals love to do this. Bathing a trochee no more than once a month, and only if necessary, if the animal is very dirty on a walk or at home. Frequent washing can cause an unpleasant odor, because after interacting with water, the sebaceous glands that secrete an odorous secretion begin to work in an enhanced mode.
For washing, it is recommended to use a shampoo designed specifically for trochees. Also suitable for children shampoo or shampoo for kittens. Shampoos for dogs of ferrets cannot be washed. Incorrectly selected shampoo can cause itching. In addition, the animal may become more odorous.
When swimming, it is better to keep the ferret on weight under a tap or shower. And if the animal likes to swim, fill the bath with water about 20 cm. At the same time, do not forget to equip an island on which the pet can climb (you can use an ordinary bucket for this). The optimum temperature for bathing water is about 40 C. During water procedures, do not leave your pet alone, watch for its safety. When the ferret builds up, pick it up and follow the instructions for shampoo, lather it. Lightly rub the skin and rinse off the shampoo. Keep water out of your ears. After taking water procedures, gently wipe the animal. If he actively resists, put him in a box with high sides, on the bottom of which lay a towel or soft cloth. Give the ferret time to put himself in order.
To prevent the animal from catching a cold, there should be no drafts during swimming.
Sulfur constantly accumulates in the animal’s ears. If you do not clean it, it will lead to the appearance of an unpleasant odor and inflammatory processes in the ears. In addition, the likelihood of the appearance of an ear tick.
Ferret ears should be cleaned once every 2-4 weeks. For the procedure, use a special tool for cleaning the ears for kittens and rabbits, hydrogen peroxide or solutions of dioxidine and chlorhexidine. A cotton swab is moistened in a cleaning fluid and the outer ear is gently wiped. Too wet a swab can leave fluid in your ear. In this case, take dry and get wet these areas. The ear canal should not be affected when cleaning, even if you see sulfur there.
The ferret’s nails grow quite quickly. If they are not trimmed, they will not only interfere with walking, but can also cause injury. The ferret can catch on curtains, blinds, carpets and tear out a claw or dislocate a foot.
To care for the claws, it is advisable to use a special nail clipper. The cutting line should be parallel to the inner line of the claw (only the hook growing downwards is cut). Do not touch the blood vessel inside the claw. Claw trimming is not the most pleasant procedure for a ferret, so distract the animal by smearing it with your belly with something tasty. You can read more about how to cut ferret claws here.
Ferret Hair Care
Once a week, ferret hair needs to be combed. To do this, a special soft brush is suitable, which will give the animal’s hair silk and shine. Insufficiently thick and silky coat indicates poor care.
In spring and autumn, ferrets molt. The change of wool lasts from 7 to 14 days. To facilitate the process of molting, it is recommended to give vitamins for wool.
Since the fur of the animals is thick, it can be plucked. So you make the animal easier to molt, while cleaning yourself. A plucked animal will quickly become overgrown with new hair.
Getting rid of old wool will also help with a soft brush or mitt.
Another way to get rid of hair falling out during molting is to vacuum the animal. If you have a vacuum cleaner with special nozzles for animals and the "consent" of the pet, you will quickly remove excess hair.
Ferrets, like cats, lick themselves and swallow wool. Lumps of swallowed hair accumulate in the gastrointestinal tract, which can lead to intestinal obstruction. To remove lumps of wool from the stomach, during the molting period, the animal is given a paste to remove wool from the stomach of cats (3 times a day for ¼ teaspoon).
Ferret teeth care
Plaque, and then tartar, which with improper care will eventually form on your pet’s teeth, can lead to gum disease, tooth decay, and halitosis. In this case, a veterinarian will help, who will carry out professional toothbrushing and, if necessary, remove broken ones.
But in order to prevent such problems, the ferret’s teeth must be looked after from the first days of its appearance in your house.
First, dental health depends on whether the ferret gets the right nutrition. The diet must include chicken necks and wings, which naturally help cleanse the teeth. A ferret, in whose diet soft foods are predominantly present, has more problems with teeth than an animal that receives solid food. information on what to feed a ferret can be found here.
Secondly, at least once every 2 weeks, the animal needs to brush his teeth. This is done using a children’s brush and paste designed for animals (“human” paste cannot be used). Having squeezed a drop of paste onto the brush, carefully open the pet’s mouth and in a circular motion clean the entire oral cavity, paying particular attention to the chewing teeth. It is impossible to press too hard on the brush, otherwise the gums of the animal may be damaged.
In addition, chewing bones and other special treats for ferrets help to remove plaque and prevent the appearance of tartar. But you should not get carried away with these “snacks”, because they are not intended for frequent use.
It should be noted that ferret teeth problems can also be hereditary. Often such animals have short noses and due to the fact that there is not enough space in the mouth, the teeth grow unevenly.
Carnivore plague and rabies are diseases requiring mandatory preventive vaccination.
Starting from the age of 2.5-3 months, young ferrets begin to lose antibodies obtained with breast milk, respectively, becoming vulnerable to viral diseases. From this age they begin to vaccinate.
At the age of 10-12 weeks, a vaccine against plague is given, and at 14-16 weeks, booster vaccination and rabies vaccination are performed. Further, both vaccinations are made every year.
Vaccinations are given only to absolutely healthy animals. Females during pregnancy, feeding babies, as well as estrus, cannot be vaccinated.
As you can see, caring for domestic ferrets is not so complicated and differs little from caring for “murks” or “bobiks”. At the same time, ferrets, as very mobile and ubiquitous animals, require more attention from the owner. After all, the animal can not always be in the cage, and during walks it needs an eye and an eye.