by Kyrstie Waters
(last updated May 4, 2009)
Having a ferret for a pet is more difficult than owning almost any other pet. For example, ferrets cannot control their body temperature. If they get too hot, they will most likely die. To avoid this, keep your ferret's cage out of direct sunlight. Provide cold water for the ferret. Do not leave your ferret in the car for any reason. Even taking a ferret outside is a big no-no. Not only is the temperature a problem, but they are very vulnerable to catching diseases.
A ferret will shed their coat twice a year, in the fall and spring. However, they could develop a hairball, especially during these times. Unlike cats, ferrets cannot "cough up" their hairball. It is very important to give your ferret laxatives, as having a hairball could be fatal.
Keep your ferret groomed regularly by cleaning its ears and clipping its nails once every couple of weeks. You may need to do this more often, depending on how fast the nails grow or how much wax builds up in the ears. Because they are a member of the skunk family, they can be quite malodorous. To eliminate odors clean up their litter box daily and keep their ears maintained.
Ferrets like to play and roam, so every day you should let them out of their cage for awhile. Just like children, they are curious and want to get into everything. Beware of anything that can be harmful for your ferret.
A ferret's cage is their home; be sure to provide them with everything they need to be happy and healthy. They need a place to sleep in their cage, usually an old T-shirt. There must be food and water in the cage, as well as a litter box. Avoid the cat litter that clumps up, because it can cause infections in your ferret, especially if it is female.
Feed your ferret a variety of fruits and vegetables along with their traditional food. They love it, and it gives them a variety of vitamins and minerals that will keep them very healthy and happy.
Owning a ferret is not for everyone, as it requires a lot more work than a lot of other pets. If you have a friend or neighbor who owns a ferret, you may want to talk with them to discover some of the care that is required. That should help you get a feel for what will be in store for you if you decide to buy one Ferrets do require a lot more of your attention, and a lot more work, but with the proper care of your ferret, he or she will be very happy and healthy.
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