The sociability and the liveliness of the ferret make it a happy companion animal. Very popular, the mustelid adapts perfectly to life in captivity, whether in an apartment or a house. Do you want to welcome this cheerful luron to your home and are hesitating in your choice: pet shop or specialist breeder? Our recommendations.
Adopt a healthy ferret
During your first contact – and in order to ensure that it is health and his socialization – make sure that the ferret:
- Shows itself lively and player;
- Leaves easily manipulate (he must not bite or gesticulate in all directions);
- Has a shiny coat and clean (and that his bottom does not show any trace of diarrhea);
- Shows no crust or secretion around the eyes and nose;
- Presents teeth white and very pink gums.
Buying a ferret at a pet store
Located near your home, the pet store makes your purchase easier. But before buying a ferret in a store, several criteria are to be taken into account.
- Knowledge of the species. The seller must know the animal perfectly. He must be able to talk to you without hesitation about his behavior, his lifestyle, the necessary veterinary follow-up, his physiological needs, its health: for example, find out about the animal’s predisposition to certain weaknesses or pathologies (such as adrenal diseases);
- Living conditions. The hygiene of the premises must be irreproachable and clean water made available to the small mammal. Males and females having reached sexual maturity must not be together in the same cage in order to avoid consanguineous litters; Likewise for whole males who are likely to fight;
- Traceability. If you don’t know your lineage, it is important to be informed about the origin of the ferret. Animals born in large breeding units should be avoided because breeding methods may lack transparency. Namely that ferretons from consanguinity have health problems and a reduced life expectancy;
- The withdrawal. The ideal age for adoption is around 8 weeks. Below this, a ferret will not have been sufficiently educated by its mother and may develop troubles behavioral after becoming an adult;
- Socialization. It is essential that the ferret has been accustomed to humans and handling. He should feel comfortable and not try to run away when he is in your hands. If he behaves aggressive, its socialization was not achieved;
- Sterilization or castration. Practiced in a way precocious, this operation may in particular lead to adrenal gland dysfunction, obesity, growth arrest, urinary stones in males, and a reduction in life expectancy. It is imperative to know before any purchase;
- Health. It is strongly recommended to observe the general condition of the ferret and that of its mother (and if possible of its father). If you do not have the opportunity to meet its parents, or to inspect the environment in which the mustelid was born and raised, you should only trust its appearance and his behavior.
Pet stores do not bring together all ideal conditions for the acquisition of an animal. This is why we advise you to contact a breeder to adopt your ferret.
Buy your ferret from a specialist breeder
Adopting a ferret directly from a farm is considered the best option. The breeder knows the species and will be able to answer all your questions. A serious and competent professional is supposed to bring together all the conditions essential for the development of the mustelid:
- The animal’s living environment reflects a good hygiene. By visiting the farm, you will be able to check if the cages or pens are clean, in good condition and spacious enough for the ferret to exercise. If a seller refuses to show you their facilities, refer to another;
- The animal is weaned during the sale and evolves until his departure in a context familiar to his mother and the litter;
- A food healthy and adapted has been brought to it and regularly renewed water is made available;
- Newborns are constantly monitored. They have been manipulated, are sold socialized and with an early education. If, moreover, the breeder has dogs or cats, the ferret will have been used to their presence;
- The baby’s genealogy is provided to you and the parents must be visible. You will be able to observe their general condition and discover their character;
- The animals are dewormed and benefit from antiparasitic treatments to avoid infestation by intestinal worms, digestive bacteria or fleas. The breeder gives you a document indicating the products administered, in what quantity and on what date;
- Primary vaccination against distemper is included in the price or with a small supplement. The herd is vaccinated, which eliminates any risk of contamination of babies by adults (after weaning, the ferret is no longer protected by the antibodies contained in breast milk). Distemper is deadly, it is strongly advised to practice this act;
- You benefit from a free tracking after adoption. Some breeders also provide an advice guide aimed at answering the most frequent questions of adopters and guiding them in the care necessary for the ferret to keep it in good shape throughout its life;
- Upon purchase, your ferret is identified by electronic chip.
Third option: adopting a ferret in a refuge
Despite its great qualities, this fun can sometimes be found abandoned in animal protection associations. Of course, the mustelid is often an adult but it has the advantage of having already lived with a family and of having basic education. Within the refuge, a staff specialized in NAC will know how to describe its character and guide you in your wish to offer a Second chance to this mischievous animal.