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Ferrets Can Be Furry Family Too

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Fragile Ferrets Entertain Families and Friends

Your new family pet will provide you with entertainment and laughs as he or she climbs and crawls through tubes, hoses, boxes, clothing and pipes.

Keeping your ferret safe and secure in your home is easy with a bit of advanced planning.

Create or purchase a cage, bedding, toys and preliminary food choices before you bring your new ferret home.  Your veterinarian can make suggestions as to appropriate long-term foods for your new pet.  During your visit, you'll want to talk about future wellness visits.

Your veterinarian will also help you determine if your ferret is prone to allergies or has sensitivities you should be aware of.

When thinking about bringing home a ferret as a family pet there are a number of considerations you will want to make.  Some of the top items to think about before deciding on this pet are related to housing and safety for you and your new ferret.

Safety first, so remember ferrets are fragile.  Pick them up by the scruff of their neck with one hand under their bottom, or with hands supporting both chest and hip areas.  When making sharp or fast gestures, or pointing, know that you may get a quick nip because you startled them or prompted them to think of you as a food source.

Just like dogs are historically pack animals and prefer to live in cave type shelter with other dogs - or you - your ferret's long-lost relatives lived in dens and he or she will want to live in that environment also.  Setting up a new home will be easy when you plan in advance.

Avoid glass or plastic aquariums that do not provide adequate ventilation.  Instead, choose wire or mesh caging that measures a minimum of 30 inches wide, 18 inches long and 18 inches deep.  You will find that your ferret will probably prefer a multi-level home.  Steps, stairs, shelves and climbing blocks can be used to create this effect.  Check your cage to ensure that openings are smaller than 1x2 inches and make sure your furry friend's cage locks securely so you don't fast find out that you have an escape artist in your home!

Place a washable, flat surface over the cage's mesh floor.  Vinyl, linoleum or disposable carpet pieces will provide them comfort and still be easy to sanitize.  You'll want to locate your ferret's cage in an area that's very cool in your home and away from direct sunlight.  When cleaning use mild detergent for hard surfaces, launder bedding and always sanitize all materials used by your ferret.

"You can save time cleaning a ferret's cage by simply teaching the animal to use a litter pan," suggests the Humane Society of the United States.  "Find a small cardboard or plastic tray that is three to five inches high to serve as a litter box, and secure it to one side of the cage, away from sleeping and eating areas."

Cats are fastidious with their hygiene, ferrets are not.  Expect to empty their litter box often and rest assured that you will know they've made a deposit.  Ferrets don't cover their bowel movement as cats do.

Plan to provide regular care for your ferret's ears because they will be susceptible to ear mites.  Flea prevention, a continuous problem for dog and cat owners, will be an issue to discuss with your family veterinarian.  You'll also want to talk with your vet about possible respiratory problems that can be caused when using clumping litter and wood chips made of cedar or pine.

Play time will be enjoyable for you and your ferret when you provide interesting items for your ferret to use for entertainment.  They are masters of climbing and crawling, and will enjoy paper bags, tubes, boxes, clothing items, hoses and other hidey-hole environments.

"Ferrets are social creatures who enjoy visiting with people, so let them roam frequently in a secure area outside of their cages. Although they have a great sense of smell and acute hearing, ferrets have limited vision, which means you should avoid sudden movements and speak in a gentle voice before approaching," advises the Humane Society of the United States.

Exclusive Offer

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Clinic Hours

Day
Monday8:00am5:30pm
Tuesday8:00am5:30pm
Wednesday8:00am5:30pm
Thursday8:00am5:30pm
Friday8:00am5:30pm
Saturday8:00am12:00pm
SundayClosedClosed
Day
Monday Tuesday Wednesday Thursday Friday Saturday Sunday
8:00am 8:00am 8:00am 8:00am 8:00am 8:00am Closed
5:30pm 5:30pm 5:30pm 5:30pm 5:30pm 12:00pm Closed


 

After Hours Emergency & Urgent Care

Northside Animal Clinic is an affiliate of the Jackson Pet Emergency Clinic.

JPEC is located at 2815 N. Highland Ave., Ste E. We have a veterinarian and personnel on duty 7 days a week who are trained and equipped to handle any urgent care your pet has. Usually an emergency team consists of at least one veterinarian and several technicians working together to save a pet's life.

Emergencies can be things such as snail bait poisoning, hit by car, and chocolate ingestion. If you ever feel that your pet needs emergency treatment do not hesitate to call or come in immediately. If possible it is best to call before coming in so that a team member can advise you on your particular emergency. JPEC is open all holidays, weekends, and after regular business hours. The phone number is: 731-660-4343.

Testimonial

Dr. Kenneth Edwards and his Team at Northside Animal Clinic have been our veterinary care group for at least 12 years. The longevity of the relationship is due solely to the extraordinarily capable and conscientious care our pets have received.

Mona and Ivy Scarborough
Jackson, TN