If there is one pet that divides opinion amongst our clients it is probably the ferret. A bit like Marmite , they either love or hate them. However, they are a much underrated companion animal that provide hours of amusement for their owners and are relatively easy to keep.
Derived from the European Polecat, their domestication can be traced back several thousand years for the hunting of rabbits and also for the control of rodents around farms and ships. In more recent times, because of their natural propensity to run through tunnels, they have even assisted in the laying of cables for super fast broadband.
Despite their bad press of being prone to biting, this is highly overstated. With frequent handling they soon become completely trustworthy and enjoy interaction with their owners.
Having said all this, their husbandry requirements have to be met. As a very gregarious animal it is important that they live in groups of at least two and their living quarters (or court) must provide enough space and interest to keep them amused.
Unless you choose to breed these animals they are usually neutered at a young age, or the females cycle controlled by a once a year “jilly jab” at the vets. Once neutered the strong musky smell associated with ferrets soon becomes less marked, but for most people still requires them to live in outside accommodation.
There are many commercial dry food diets available on the market designed specifically for ferrets and of course they must always have access to fresh water. They are big drinkers!
At Donaldson’s Vets we are fortunate to provide a service for Prospect Ferret Rescue, a local charity that provides a safe refuge home to stray and unwanted ferrets. The charity’s founder, Sara Lamming, has developed what only can be described as a holiday park for these creatures, where they are placed in social groups that ensure a contended and enriching lifestyle.
If you feel that you can provide a loving home for at least two of these delightful animals, or wish to assist in any way, then I am sure the charity would be very pleased to hear from you on 07951579146.