What’s Special About Pet Ferrets?

Ferrets are a domesticated animal that is often found as pets in many homes across the country. What makes them so special?

They are furry, cuddly, and social animals that can be trained to do tricks for you!

Special Ferret Facts

Their Smell is Very Special

Many people find the ferret’s scent appealing. They have a musky, earthy smell that is very different from other animals. The males tend to be more pungent than females because they produce stronger-smelling oils.

Ferrets can seem to emit an unpleasant odor for those who are not used to them or people with heightened sensitivities, but it does not necessarily mean something is wrong with your pet.

The most common cause of this problem is general body odors coming from their glands. Ferrets will also sometimes develop what appears as a ‘wet dog’ smell after grooming themselves in water; this usually goes away within hours if you dry out your ferret afterward using towels or blow.

Go and visit someone that has ferrets before adopting one yourself. Check out the smell before you adopt it to see if it’s something that will bother you.

Bathing them to get rid of the smell may have the opposite effect. The glands in their skin will increase oil production to make up for the washed away oils.

This can make your ferret smell worse.

If you are looking for a hypoallergenic pet, then a ferret may not be your best choice. However, if you don’t have any sensitivities to particular smells and want an adorable furry companion, then you should consider getting a pet ferret!

Ferrets Need a Special Diet

Ferrets are obligate carnivores.This means that they eat only meat. Or better said: They should eat meat only.

Ferrets have a particular diet consisting of raw meats and animal flesh or organ tissues.

They need meat. Fresh and raw. Daily. So if you are not ok with handling raw meat – a ferret might not be the best choice.

Yes, you can feed dry foods, but it has to be especially for ferrets. A ferret’s digestive system is designed to consume raw meat, not processed foods.

But like I said before: a ferret cannot digest plant matter which means that giving them anything other than meat will lead to health problems.

Foods to avoid:

  • fruits
  • anything with sugar in it
  • anything with wheat, corn in it
  • vegetables
  • dog food
  • cat food (mots of it)

What your Ferret loves:

  • chicken wings (whole)
  • turkey neck
  • chicken breast
  • rabbit
  • game bird
  • beef
  • bones
  • whole mice (buy at reptile store)

Basically, every quality and fresh meat is ok for your ferret!

Ferrets are Very Social Animals

Ferrets love the companion of other ferrets. It would be best if you got a pair to feel lonely when you are not around.

You should spent plenty of time with your ferrets, so they become socialized and confident.

In fact, Ferrets can even get depressed if you do not provide enough company. One of the things that ferrets love to do is play. They act like kittens, and they will happily spend hours playing with you.

It’s important to provide your Ferret with many toys so that they can entertain themselves when you are not there. You need to be mindful of the amount of space that you provide for your Ferrets.

Their natural habitat in the wild is extensive, but as pets, they don’t require a lot of living space and can live quite happily in an apartment or small home.

Fun Fact: You can walk your ferret on a leash

Ferrets do a Special Weasel War Dance

Ferrets perform a special Dance when they are excited and want to play. They will stagger around, growl, leap up on their back legs and do the “weasel war dance.

Here is a video

Ferreting? What´s that?

Ferrets were domesticated around 2500 years ago. They were used as pest control to keep the rat and mice population low.

They were used for hunting rabbits – the correct term for this is ferreting.

In England, “Ferreting” is still allowed. Not everybody can hunt with ferrets (you need a special permit), but the basic principles are the same as hundreds of years ago.

The Ferret goes inside the rabbit hole and chases the rabbit out. The hunter then catches the rabbit with a net.

Female Ferrets are Constantly in Heat

Female ferrets are basically always in heat. Female Ferret Reproduction is a complex process that begins with females releasing hormones called Proestrus when she has not mated or been spayed yet.

If the female does not mate during this stage, her hormone levels will increase and reach Estrus, which can be harmful to the animal’s health – so it is best if they are sterilized before reaching that point!

Make sure to talk to a vet that has a history with ferrets.

No Wild Ferrets

The Black-Footed-Ferrets in North America are the only “real” wild population of ferrets in the world. They are found in the Black-Footed-Ferrets Reserve on Grasslands National Park.

Black-footed ferret numbers have plummeted to just 300 due to their habitat being destroyed – which is why they need our help!

To learn more about what you can do to support black-footed ferrets, go here (WWF)

Summary

Ferrets have a special smell to them, and they should eat meat only. Ferrets are very social animals. It would be best if you keep them in pairs. Ferrets are adorable creatures. The typical ferret lives 5-8 years on average, but some have lived up to 11 years. If you buy a ferret, try to do so from a reputable breeder and not a pet store.

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