Ferret is a decorative ferret, adapted for keeping in indoor conditions. The pet is unpretentious, gives a lot of joy and fun, but, like all pets, it needs proper care. Before you become a happy owner of a pet, you need to figure out how to care for a pet ferret, what it eats, what diseases it is susceptible to. This will prevent troubles, health problems, and premature death of the pet.
Is it difficult to care for a ferret
Like any pet, the ferret needs to be cared for. With proper maintenance, pets live for 10 years, and centenarians live up to 15 years. Keeping the animal in the apartment is simple, the care is standard. Main conditions:
- The presence of a secluded place for the life of a ferret. The cage should be spacious, dry, warm, and kept clean.
- Comfortable conditions of detention. In the room where the ferret is located, there should be no drafts, sharp temperature fluctuations.
- Organization of walking and training.
- Selection of the correct diet, adherence to the feeding regimen.
- Constant supervision of the nimble and curious animal, so that it does not damage the owner's property, does not harm himself.
- Annual prophylactic veterinary visits. Vaccination.
Advantages and disadvantages
The decorative ferret is loved for its touching appearance, playful behavior. Before starting a pet, you need to assess the possibilities of content, consider the pros and cons.
interesting, inquisitive behavior;
playful, cheerful disposition;
quick addiction to the owner;
non-aggressive, friendly character, subject to competent upbringing;
quick adaptation to living conditions;
lack of capriciousness in care and nutrition;
loyal, non-aggressive attitude towards other animals, subject to coexistence from an early age.
the playfulness and energy of the ferret tire;
the ferret is curious and stealing, climbs into the wrong places without supervision, spoils and discards things, hides the little thing he likes in secluded corners;
under the tail of the animal there are glands that produce a specific secret, although experienced breeders assure that the ferret smells unpleasant only under stress and uncomfortable conditions of detention;
it is expensive to care for a ferret, tools, hygiene products, food, devices cost a significant amount;
it is difficult to find a veterinarian with experience with exotic animals.
What are the breeds of domestic ferrets?
The ferret is a carnivore belonging to the weasel family. There are 3 wild species: steppe (light), forest (dark), American (black-footed). Ferrets, domesticated representatives of the forest species, are distinguished as a separate species. For many centuries of breeding, ferrets have lost their wild traits of character and behavior, have acquired complaisance, friendliness, and compliance with training.
Domestic species are divided into breeds according to coat color. The natural color of the ferret is dark brown with a light undercoat. The selection resulted in the following colors:
- white (not to be confused with albino, the first type has dark eyes, the second - red);
- sable - deep brown with a white undercoat (the most common);
- blaze - a black ferret with a white undercoat, along the head there is a white stripe, the chest is decorated with a white spot, white "socks" on the paws, the tip of the tail is also white;
- champagne - light chocolate body, the color of the abdomen, limbs and tail is dark, the undercoat is white or yellowish;
- chocolate - rich brown color with a beige undercoat, the muzzle is decorated with a dark mask;
- cinnamon - the color of cinnamon, the undercoat is beige or milky, the color gradually darkens from head to tail;
- Dalmatian - dark color with light spots on the back, tail, limbs;
- Siamese - dark or light beige color, white or milky undercoat, muzzle decorated with a dark mask.
In animals of white color, weakness of immunity and deafness are often noted. Therefore, when buying a pet, you should carefully study the veterinary documents.
Ferrets differ not only in color, but also in the structure of the coat. There are types:
- standard with a dense undercoat and guard hairs 3 cm;
- angora - wool 8-12 cm long;
- semi-Angor - hairs on the back 5 cm long, on the belly - 3 cm.
Requirements for the place of detention
Most often, the ferret lives in a cage, which should be spacious and made of safe material. If the cage is just a resting place, and the rest of the time the pet runs freely around the apartment, then its parameters are: 100 × 100 × 40 cm.If the ferret spends a lot of time in the cage, actively moves in it, then the height should be 100 cm. strong, the gap between the rods is no more than 15 mm. It is advisable to keep several animals in enclosures.
The cage must be equipped with shelves, labyrinths, toys. It is advisable to hang a hammock in the cage, the ferret will willingly rest in it. A fleece or woolen cloth is suitable as a bedding, you can buy a stove bench at a pet store. The litter will have to be changed weekly, as it will absorb the specific smell of the pet.
They always put a house in the cage. The absence of a shelter that imitates a burrow is a strong stress for the animal. In such conditions, the ferret dies from nervous exhaustion. The house in the cage should be spacious so that the ferret can spread out with its legs outstretched. The optimal parameters of the shelter are 50 × 40 × 40 cm.
A tray is fixed in the cage, and cat litter granules are used as filler. The cage is cleaned weekly, the litter in the tray is changed daily.
The ferret must be regularly looked after: bathing, combing, brushing teeth, clipping nails. Ferrets love water, they are not afraid of swimming.
Clean your pet's ears once a month using veterinary ear lotion. A cotton swab is moistened with it, with which the sulfur deposit is carefully removed from the walls of the auricles. Do not stick a stick deeply, otherwise you can injure the organs of the inner ear.
Ferret's claws grow quickly. If they are not trimmed, the ferret will cling to curtains, floor rugs, furniture, until it dislocates a finger or paw.
The claws of the ferret are trimmed with a claw cutter, trying not to touch the living tissue with blood capillaries. The cut line is made parallel to the curvature of the claw.
How to bathe your ferret
The pet is bathed once every half a month, using a pet shampoo with a low alkali content, so that the hair does not fall out and itching does not occur. Shampoo for kittens is suitable, but you should not use dog shampoo for ferret. Wash the animal under a tap or in a basin filled with 20 cm of water. The water temperature should be about 40 ° C. When rinsing the pet shampoo, care must be taken to prevent water from getting into your ears. The bathed pet is wiped off with a towel.
What to feed the animal
The domestic ferret eats either store-bought dry food or natural food. Dry food must be at least premium. If the pet store does not have food for ferrets, it will work for kittens. Fresh water must be available at all times.
The basis of the ferret's diet is protein (40%), fats (25%), vegetable fiber (2%). The ferret should get enough calcium, phosphorus, magnesium, vitamins.
What does a domestic ferret eat:
- lean meat (rabbit, duck, beef, chicken, turkey);
- chicken and quail eggs (boiled and raw);
- fermented milk products (but not milk, it causes diarrhea);
- cereal cereals;
- broccoli cabbage.
The ferret is susceptible to infectious diseases and digestive disorders, so it is important for novice breeders to know how to provide the animal with first aid, what medications should be in the veterinary medicine cabinet.
Pharmacy kit for ferret includes:
- sorbents (activated carbon) that help with poisoning;
- drug "Smecta" for diarrhea;
- 5% glucose solution for intoxication;
- antiparasitic and anthelmintic medicines;
- antiseptic solutions;
- medical glue for wounds;
- eye drops.
After providing first aid, you cannot treat the animal on your own; you must contact a veterinary clinic. The pet receives the first vaccinations against rabies and plague at the age of 3 months. The veterinarian uses the Novibak and Hexadog vaccines for the ferret (one third of the standard dose). Further, vaccination should be annual. 10 days before vaccinations, the ferret receives an anthelmintic drug.
Periodically, the animal is given a means to remove hairballs from the stomach, brush its teeth with a paste for animals. If cleaning is difficult, you should contact your veterinarian to remove plaque with an ultrasound machine.
The ferret loves to walk, after a walk he feels better. The peculiarities of the pet's behavior (curiosity, the desire to sniff out, seek out) do not allow free walking. If the ferret escapes, gets lost, it will die, since it is not adapted to life in the wild.
So that the walk does not turn into troubles for the ferret, the following rules must be observed:
- accustom the animal to a leash in advance;
- do not let your pet off the leash;
- do not walk an unvaccinated animal;
- do not walk in wet, rainy, windy weather;
- walk in a quiet, secluded place.
The ferret needs human attention. Training is not difficult if the ferret trusts the owner. Teaching commands, the animal is interested in a delicacy, which is given after the successful completion of the task. Trainings are carried out 1-2 hours after the ferret has eaten. You cannot train a hungry or gorged pet. A ferret is not the best pet if there is a baby in the house. The predatory animal can react aggressively to squeezing and loud noises.
The little ferret is a bully and a shkodnik, but they start raising him from 3-4 months of age. Previously, it is impossible: the cub is still very small, the severity of the owner will scare him away, make him wild. Education requires patience, you can't shout. They restrain the animal by lightly hitting the nose with your fingers, pinching the skin on the withers.
If you do not show the cub who is in charge of the family, then in adulthood the ferret will become uncontrollable, wayward.
Coexistence of ferrets with other animals
Ferret gets along with relatives and other pets (cats, non-aggressive dogs), if the owner does not create a situation in which the pets begin to be jealous of him. Joint keeping with hunting dogs and small animals (hamsters, decorative rats) is unacceptable, since the ferret has a developed hunting instinct.
Having become the owner of a predatory animal, you need to pay attention to the following nuances:
- The house should not have cracks, holes in which the ferret can get stuck.
- We'll have to remove pots with plants, electrical cables, medicines, cosmetics, household chemicals, fragile items from the ferret's accessibility zone.
- The ferret loves to make hiding places, including grocery. Secret places must be closed, leaving one, from where it is convenient to remove stocks of ferret, otherwise the apartment will smell like rotting food.
- You cannot let a curious pet into the kitchen, bathroom, toilet. In the kitchen, a ferret can throw dishes off the table, dig in flour and sugar, or injure herself with a knife or fork. In the bathroom - swallow washing powder. In the toilet - drown in the toilet.
- Drawers of the table, wardrobe, dressers will have to be locked with a key. The small predator's teeth are strong enough to gnaw on plastic, knitwear, rubber.
- In the room where the ferret is located, windows and doors must be closed. The animal can fall from a height, run away for adventure, become a victim of stray dogs on the street. The mosquito net is not a hindrance, the pet will easily break it with teeth and claws.
- When the ferret is out of the cage, the interior doors must be closed carefully so as not to inadvertently crush him.
- If the house has a fireplace, the chimney should be checked before starting the fire. The ferret loves to climb into burrow-like places.
Only after ensuring safety in the house, a nimble animal can be released from the cage into the wild. Caring for a ferret is not difficult, care and constant monitoring is important.