Ferrets make exemplary pets. They’re playful, loyal, and loving – but they can be a bit of a handful if you don’t know what you’re doing. Before you commit to getting a ferret for your family, there are a few things to keep in mind.
For starters, you should know how much ferrets cost, not just to buy one, but also for all of the necessary supplies you’ll need to care for one properly (read.. how to take care of a ferret). What’s more, it’s critical to be able to handle medical costs if – or when – they’re needed.
In this article, we’ll discuss all the costs associated with owning a ferret, from supplies to medical costs and everything in between. Let’s get started:
How Much Is A Ferret
The cost to purchase a ferret varies depending on your location and where you buy the animal. If you’re expecting to pay less than you would for a cat or dog, think again. Generally speaking, ferrets cost between 100 and 400 dollars.
The three most common places where you can find ferrets for sale are:
- Pet stores
- Private breeders
For the lowest price, you can try to find a ferret at your local shelter for as little as 65 dollars. However, don’t get fooled by this low price since you will need to factor in other expenses to ensure your new pet’s proper care.
How Much Is A Ferret At Petco?
How much does a ferret cost at Petco: In large pet stores like Petco, you can typically find ferrets between 100 and 200 dollars.
While this may be less expensive than going to a private breeder, you could end up with a ferret that is not in prime condition.
Like with other animals, expect to pay more with a responsible breeder. Of course, this price is often justified since experienced breeders go to great lengths to ensure a healthy gene pool for their animals (read.. grooming your ferret).
What’s more, pet store ferrets typically have their scent glands removed at a very young age, which can lead to potential health problems down the road.
In other words, paying 400 or even 500 dollars for a ferret from a breeder can be worth it if you’re getting a healthier and happier pet.
You may even save money in the long run by avoiding medical expenses in the future.
How Much Do Ferret Supplies Cost?
Ferrets are active animals that need lots of playtime and stimulation. On top of that, there are some essentials you must buy to properly care for your new pet.
For starters, the basic supplies you will need include:
- Ferret cage
- Litter box (and litter)
- Water dish
- Food dish
- Sleep hammock
First, you’ll need a cage for your new companion. The price of ferret cages varies, but expect to pay at least 100 dollars.
Still, given the energy levels of ferrets, you’re going to want to invest in a decently sized cage, which is more likely to cost you between 200 and 300 dollars.
From there, ferrets need a few basic things for their cage. Start with a litter box and litter (10-20 dollars), a water dish and a food dish (10-20 dollars), a ferret hammock (~20 dollars) so that your new pet has a comfortable place to sleep, and some ferret food (~20 dollars).
You may also want to get some bedding besides the litter previously mentioned for the bottom of the cage (another 15-20 dollars).
Paper bedding is a safe bet for ferrets because it’s gentle on their tiny feet and won’t become caught in their paws as wood shavings can.
Lastly, you may want to get a few toys for your ferret. These cute animals are naturally curious and enjoy tunnels, hanging balls, and things they can chew on.
While there’ll be plenty of stimulating things to explore when out of the cage, it’s essential to provide some in-cage entertainment as well (read.. do ferrets love their owners).
You should be able to get some toys for a few extra dollars in your budget.
All told, you could pay around 100 dollars for essentials and another 200 for a decent cage. Depending on what style and brand you choose, expect to pay anywhere from 200 to 500 dollars for a cage and supplies.
How Much Are Ferret Medical Expenses?
You’ll need to leave room in the budget for medical care. Like cats and dogs, ferrets benefit from regular checkups and are required by law to receive vaccinations for rabies and other potentially deadly diseases.
Consider the following:
- Routine veterinary care
- Animal alteration
Routine veterinary care is usually about 60 dollars each year, and ferret vaccinations typically cost about 15 dollars each.
So, you may take your ferret in for an exam, a rabies vaccination, and a distemper vaccination for a total of 90 dollars.
Of course, if you need to have your ferret spayed or neutered, expect to pay between 150 and 300 dollars.
As for licensing, it depends on where you live, but it is usually not very expensive. You may pay between 5 and 15 dollars to register a ferret.
It’s best to take your ferret to the vet for a checkup on an annual basis. This way, your vet can keep an eye on potential problems as they develop, including sudden weight loss, ear mites, problems associated with coughing and sneezing, and anything else that could become a serious problem if left untreated.
For example, adrenal disease is common in ferrets. If your ferret develops this condition, your veterinarian can treat it with a Deslorlin implant that costs around 160 dollars a year.
Other care costs include:
- Over-the-counter medications
- Vitamin supplements
Also, keep in mind that emergency vet visits can be costly.
Depending on the nature of the emergency, you might pay around 1000 dollars, possibly more, if surgery is involved.
Should You Get a Ferret?
If you finished reading this article and thought, “no problem, a ferret is worth it,” then you’ve got the right attitude and may be ready to find a new fuzzy friend to bring home.
Ferrets are fantastic pets, but just like dogs and cats, they require an investment on your part to ensure they’re happy and healthy.