Is the ferret suitable for children as a pet?

We can sometimes dream of a harmonious life with animals. The purity that one grants to the children seems favorable to install this ideal life. But what is it actually? Animals can represent a real danger for children and vice versa. Among domestic animals, the ferret ranks third in France, behind cats and dogs. But is it a suitable pet for children?

Education above all else

Ferrets are attractive because they are very cuddly animals. They have a playful and playful temperament. This appetite for play is served by a beautiful energy which can place the animal in borderline situations for its safety, even frankly risky. So how could an animal with little awareness of its own safety have it for other species around it, including humans?

The ferret has a nature that must be framed. With good intelligence, the priority when welcoming the animal into the home is therefore to educate him. Its education requires patience as it can take several months. You have to know how to do it and favor positive education because the ferret responds poorly to punishments and can even redouble aggressiveness, or on the contrary become very fearful, if it undergoes too violent corrections.

The priorities of ferret education are: name recognition, cleanliness, and bite prevention. Education will be all the easier when the animal has been socialized slowly and early enough in its life.

The behavior of a young ferret

Like all babies, young ferrets learn while having fun. They simulate fights and bite each other easily. They don’t differentiate between their brothers and sisters and us. If we play with them, then the bite can easily occur. But their skin is thicker than ours. The consequences of their bites for us are therefore more important. Since they do not measure their strength, they can bite us until we bleed.

To make a young ferret understand that he must stop this behavior, the technique consists in adopting the same attitude as the mother of the ferret: when it has just bitten you, you must react immediately and catch it. by the scruff of the neck to shake it lightly, held in the air. You accompany the gesture with an energetic “No”. Then you put it back in a corner and ignore it for several minutes. You can then resume play and react the same if he bites again. By dint of repetitions and patience, the ferret should eventually integrate the ban.

The maintenance of ferret claws

The ferret’s claws are not retractable. You should therefore watch your pet’s claws to cut them when they are too long. As the wear is not uniform, it is important to inspect all the legs: in fact, the claws of the front legs wear less quickly than those of the rear legs.
You have to buy a nail clipper, nail clippers suitable for humans are not suitable for them. There is a technique to acquire because the claws are small and by cutting them a little too short you can cause the claw to bleed. This is not serious in itself but annoying. Demonstration by a veterinarian can facilitate learning.

How does the ferret behave with a child?

Your ferret is educated and you regularly cut its claws. Is it therefore safe for a child? It all depends on the age of the latter.

Whatever the animal, and its level of education, do not never leave a child under three alone with him. An infant has a peculiar smell that can change the behavior of animals, and not necessarily in a good way. It should not be imagined that the ferret is sensitive to the fragility of a baby. In addition, a baby, it cries, it chirps, and above all it does not control his gestures. Ferrets may feel assaulted and hurt them in return.

Growing up, until the age of 3, children remain clumsy and impulsive. They too need education! Even if the child evolves since birth under the same roof as the ferret, it can happen that the animal scares him. It is therefore important not to force or rush him. A few caresses under close surveillance can be attempted for a mutual and progressive taming. Make sure this is done at a time when the ferret has had his exercise count and is calm.

Each child and each ferret is unique. You must see them each for what they are in reality and not with a distorted and idealized vision. In the presence of a ferret, a four-year-old may be calm while another eight-year-old may be restless and unable to follow any instructions that may have been prescribed.

It is necessary to make the child integrate as soon as possible the concept of respect for the animal and the prohibition of certain behaviors such as that of pulling the hair. Very early on the child must understand that it is not a living stuffed animal with which it would be possible to play at will. Especially since the ferret is an animal that needs a lot of rest. Also, it can be frustrating for a child to see the animal sleeping so much, and trying to wake it up.

Depending on your child and your ferret, between 4 and 8 years old, it is possible to involve the child more in the maintenance of the ferret. You can offer to feed the animal, change its water, or even brush it. But this must remain proposals and not become obligations, because the child could not do the tasks correctly, and be done under the responsibility of an adult, vigilant to the slightest slippage on one side or the other. other.

From the age of 9, children must show that they know how to respect an animal and know how to handle the ferret. He must also know that he must not leave his toys lying around, so that the ferret does not damage them, but also so that the animal, which tends to nibble a lot of things, does not choke. But it is still a young age and he cannot yet have the responsibility of looking after it.

In general, always stay alert. Even for teenagers, taking care of an animal is very demanding, and faced with the constraints, weariness can quickly win.

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