Ferrets

Ferret Friends

Ferrets have been domesticated for thousands of years, and can make great companions. However, there are some things you need to consider before having a ferret as a pet.

Health Check

Just like any furry friend, regular health checks at the vet are a vital part of ferret pet care. These checks allow your vet to identify any illnesses or potential illnesses early, which means your ferret can remain healthy and happy- and there are no, potentially costly, major health concerns later down the line.

Vaccinations

Ferrets require two vaccinations for distemper if they are less than 12 weeks old. Then a standard booster is then due every 12 months. We recommend that the annual vaccination be booked in for the same time as an annual health check. Protecting your pet can be simple and convenient!

Why the jab? Vaccinations protect your pocket pet from diseases. We are proud to be able to provide excellence in veterinary care and maintaining a vaccination plan for your pet is one of the best things you can do!

Parasite control – fleas, mites

These pesky parasites can cause huge issues for your pet!

Fleas

Generally picked up from nearby cats or dogs, ferrets can suffer greatly if their fleas go untreated- itching, scratching can lead to skin irritation and infection. Not to mention the fact that they could carry fleas into the house! We are here to help! Don’t hesitate to contact us and we can help you pick the flea product most suitable for your pocket pet.

Mites

Ferrets can easily pick up ear mites from dogs, cats and other ferrets; so keep your eyes peeled (and ears pricked) for any signs of irritation or discomfort around your pet’s ears.  Thankfully mites can be treated by your veterinarian, and tips and tricks to hopefully avoid mites in future will be discussed during the consultation.

Feeding

Ferrets are carnivores, which means they require meat! Your ferret should be fed a cooked meat diet as a raw meat carries risk of salmonella and other harmful bacteria. Ferrets need a diet of meat/animal products that are typically high in protein and fat, and low in carbohydrates and fibre. There are some good quality commercial ferret foods available in Australia but they may be difficult to obtain. An alternative is to offer them a constant supply of high quality commercial kitten food. Please ask your veterinarian for more information before settling on a certain type of food! Our friendly staff can help you decide - contact us today.

Desexing

In Males, if you are not planning to breed from them, desexing is recommended. There are a lot of benefits to de-sexing such as a calmer temperament, elimination of the male odour associated with their breeding season and reduced risk of serious diseases. Males should be desexed at 7-8 months of age.

Mature females will remain in heat until mated. This can lead to Pyometra, a condition of the uterus, which may be fatal. Therefore, unless planning to breed your ferrets, desexing is recommended. The female ferret will commence their first spring (heat) at 6-9 months of age. The best time to spey is before the first heat.

As with cats and dogs, unless an accredited breeder, we do not recommend breeding pets.

Housing

In order to feel comfortable, your ferret will need to be homed in an area that is secure and protected from wind, rain and too much sun.

Your ferret will need a comfortable, enclosed sleeping area with a blanket for bedding. Shredded paper or straw doesn’t provide enough insulation for little bodies!

Exercise is also very important for ferrets, and this should be taken into consideration before bringing your new pet home. Ferrets have continuously growing nails, so regular exercise will help keep nails trimmed.

One option is to place your ferret's sleeping/resting enclosure inside an exercise area. Ferrets can dig- so ensure that the area is secure. Your ferret will enjoy playing and exploring, so a good idea is to incorporate pipes or medium sized rocks for them to climb on. All that exercise can be hard work- so don’t forget to ensure a fresh water bowl is always available!

Toileting

Ferrets are little creatures of habit and will always go to the toilet in the same area.

So your ferret’s home is always clean and comfortable, place a newspaper lined litter tray in a corner of their exercise area. Try and ensure it is placed as far away from the sleeping area as possible! You can use kitty litter for this.

Call us today for more information! Alternatively, fill out a form here and we will be in contact with you.

Serving the pet community of the Hobsons Bay City Council. The purrfect location for pet parents living in Altona North, Altona, Kingsville, Williamstown, Laverton and surrounding areas!