Ferrets are cute and intelligent creatures. It can not be a great pet for everyone. So, there are oodles of things to consider before buying a ferret. Lots of homework is also mandatory to buy a ferret.
Do a Research!
As with any animal, it is important to know what you are getting into before you buy a ferret. While ferrets are small and sleep a lot, they can still be quite high maintenance.
- The amount of exercise they require to remain physically fit and mentally stimulated
- What kind of cage will keep them safe and comfortable
- What injuries and diseases ferrets are prone to and how to spot them
- Understanding ferret behavior
- Ferret-proof your residence to keep your ferret safe
Know about the breeders
Reputable ferret breeders are few and far between. The best ones will breed ferrets that are genetically sound, and they will be able to show you their breeding ferret’s family heredity. They will feed their ferrets an optimal diet, which gives the ferret a great start in life.
A credible ferret breeder will typically request or require that you continue feeding your ferret the diet it was raised on. They should also indicate that if your ferret is not suitable for you for any reason, the ferret should be returned to them.
Examine the ferret
- Age: A lot of bad breeders and pet shops will try to sell ferrets under the age of 8 weeks old to make more of a profit. (Babies are quite cute and can demand a higher price.) Ideally, if you are looking to buy a baby ferret, then you want to make sure they are over the age of 8-10 weeks old.
- Temperament: Pay attention to your potential ferret’s behavior, but know that a ferret that acts tired is not necessarily ill or lazy, since ferrets do sleep for most of the day.
- Health: Take a look at the ferret’s eyes; they should be wide open, inquisitive, and clear. Eyes that are squinting or crusty might indicate that the ferret is in pain or sick. Make sure the ears are clean. A coat should be soft and shiny; if it is dull and bristly, then it could indicate poor health. Take a look at the skin to make sure that there is no dryness or flakiness. You should always have a new ferret checked by a vet for fleas or ear mites, but both of these are easy to treat, so they should not keep you from getting a particular ferret. If all of a breeder’s or pet shop’s ferrets have fleas, however, it indicates that they are not keeping their ferrets in a healthy environment.
Ask about Desexing
Female ferrets when not desexed can suffer from a condition called aplastic anemia if they are not mated when they are in heat. Essentially, it is a build-up of sex hormones that leads to a slow and painful death. Therefore, we recommend desexing your female ferrets if they don’t already come desexed.
Male ferrets can become extremely smelly and aggressive when they go into a rut. So it is advisable that you desex your male ferrets as well.
In some countries around the world, ferrets almost always come desexed when you purchase them. Check with the place you are purchasing from to see if your new addition has been desexed or will need to be desexed.
In some countries, owning a ferret as a pet is illegal. Most states in the United States permit ferret ownership, however, some states, such as California and Hawaii, are still against it.
Other states, such as Rhode Island, require you to acquire a permit for owning a ferret. Check with your local police department or other state animal control agencies to make sure you are following all laws when it comes to ferret ownership.
Ferrets are pricy
Ferrets can cost as much as $200 to buy (though some breeds sell for less than $100). If you are planning on buying a ferret, you need to set aside up to $500 for vaccinations, preliminary medical examinations, and neutering.
Once you bring your ferret home, you will need to spend on a cage, over-the-counter medicines, toys, food, shampoos, leashes, and so on.
Male or female
Male ferrets are called hobs and female ferrets are called jills. Assuming that the location you live in has nothing against either gender, either should be equally easy to raise, provided that they are spayed or neutered.
Unaltered ferrets can be aggressive or uncontrollable. They can also put out mating scents that can get difficult to take after a while.
Know about the health expenses
Ferrets require yearly exams and vaccines, so be prepared for these annual costs for health care, in addition to any health issues that may arise between the annual visits. These costs are on top of purchasing your ferret, setting up their habitat, and providing for your ferret.
- Like dogs, ferrets need yearly distemper and rabies vaccines. Anticipate between $150.00 and $200.00 for these expenditures.
- You should neuter or spay your ferret after you purchase it, and this procedure typically costs between $100.00 and $250.00.
- An animal savings account is highly recommended in case your ferret ever needs emergency surgery or contracts a serious condition like cancer. If you make contributions monthly to an account, set up specifically for your pet, it definitely eases the burden of having to come up with large lump sums when a health issue or vaccinations are required.
You must spend a lot of your time
Ferrets love company. They love to play active games, interact with their owners, and be petted. They are also capable of considerable mischief. They can be uncontrollably active at certain times of the day. This means that they need supervision.
They also need regular visits to the vet. In other words, ferrets are high-maintenance pets. You should not get them unless you have the time and patience. In general, ferrets are not a good idea as first pets.
Things to buy
- Appropriately sized habitat
- High-quality ferret food
- Ferret treats
- Food bowl & water bottle
- Hideaway place
- Litter pan
- Indoor playpen
- Harness and leash
- Soft brush and nail clippers