3 top tips for new ferret owners

December 22, 2015
Tracey Ritzman, DVM, DABVP

Those furry, floppy, fun-loving ferrets can heap tons of trouble on their nearly shoulderless bodies without meaning to. Help new ferret owners protect their furry little friends with these quick tips from Tracey Ritzman, DVM, DABVP.

1. Ferrets, like cats and dogs, have regular vaccine and wellness requirements. So just like dogs or cats, ferrets need regular visits to the veterinarian for vaccinations and wellness care. It is recommended ferrets have regular rabies and canine distemper vaccination. Ideally ferrets should receive only monovalent, or single agent, vaccines that are specifically licensed and labeled for use in ferrets. 

Ferret owners should check with their local veterinarian for vaccine recommendation.

2. Ferrets as pets also have specific diet requirements, and a variety of commercial diets are available. Like cats, ferrets are carnivores, but they need to be fed differently. So feed them diets specifically designed for ferrets. A warning: Feeding your ferret a cat food can have health consequences. So talk to your veterinarian about nutrition recommendations for your ferret.

3. Ferrets are mischievous. They love to play and run and find things around your home that they shouldn't. They're also prone to eating things they shouldn't. So make sure you ferret-proof your new ferret's habitat. For example, you want to keep a sharp eye out for wires the ferret might chew or small toys, especially plastic and rubber, that could be swallowed.