It is no surprise that, over the last few years, ferrets have become one of the most popular household pets in the UK. Not only are they very cute to look at, ferrets have high levels of energy and are one of the most playful and inquisitive animals to have in your home.
Over time, ferrets can develop a close bond with their owner – think Jennifer Anniston’s sidekick in Along Came Polly. However, welcoming a pet ferret into your home could mean a lifestyle change for you and your family. The below considerations will help you to answer the question: is a ferret the right pet for you?
Do I have sufficient space?
Ferrets are energetic and inquisitive animals, requiring plenty of space to move around and explore. If you are planning to keep your ferret outside, you will need a large enclosure for your ferret to roam. If you prefer to house your ferret indoors, tall cages with solid platforms are recommended. Ferrets naturally love tunnelling and climbing so be sure to equip their home with drainpipes, shelves and hammocks to enrich their environment.
Can I access the supplies I need?
Despite their small size, ferrets require lots of dedication to ensure their living arrangements, diet and healthcare are suitable. Your ferret will need an insulated sleeping area away from rain, wind and direct sunlight, ideally built from a combination of materials such a newspaper, wood shavings and a fleece blanket (or two!). Ferrets require high-protein diets, which include either premium commercial ferret food or raw meat. You will also need to consult your local veterinarian regarding the best approach for vaccinations and neutering.
Will a ferret fit in with my family?
Ferrets are naturally sociable animals and thrive around others. It is possible for ferrets to get along with other household pets such as cats and dogs, however they should be monitored closely when together. Certain pets such as rabbits and rodents may find a ferret’s scent distressing, so ensure that you have researched and considered this if they will be in close proximity. It is also recommended that families are very careful with young children as ferrets can bite if they feel threatened or agitated.
Do I have the time?
Perhaps most importantly of all, ferrets require a lot of time and attention. Several hours of human interaction is needed on a daily basis to ensure your ferret remains stimulated. On top of this, you will need to invest time in preparing food, cleaning their cage and training (ferrets can be litter trained!). Lots of care and attention is vital in order to create a happy and healthy life for your ferret.
If your answer to the above questions is ‘yes’, then it sounds like a ferret could be the right pet for you!
SynergyVets is a dedicated veterinary recruitment agency, with almost 30 years of collective experience supporting the profession with locum and permanent personnel. They have a great blog which, alongside advice for veterinary candidates, includes useful animal care tips for pet owners.