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Ferret Care Tips
October 1, 2023

Are you interested in adopting a very cute pet? A ferret may be a great option for you. These little balls of fur are very fun. However, they need lots of TLC. A local Las Vegas, NV vet offers a few tips on this below.


Ferrets are most likely the world’s most adorable thieves. They’re notorious for taking off with anything and everything they can carry. That includes things you may actually need, like cell phones, car keys, inhalers … you name it. Pay attention to where your pet likes to stash things. If you can’t find something, that’s the first place you should look.


Ferrets have very specific nutritional needs: they need frequent small meals, and their diets should be based mostly on meat, with a specific percentages of protein and fat. Ask your vet for a very specific list of safe and unsafe foods. Another thing to be aware of? Ferrets tend to get very, very fixated on their favorite foods. This may sound cute, but could  actually cause big problems if your little buddy’s favorite food were ever to become hard to find. Offer a variety of things when your pet is still a kit.


Ferrets are very curious, and they’ll get into absolutely everything. That can be quite dangerous, as the average household contains many things that are unsafe for them. Keep anything that isn’t safe out of reach of those tiny (red) paws. That list includes anything small and sharp, plastic wraps and ties, anything with ropes and cords, chemicals, medication, and toxic plants. You’ll want to seal off openings behind and beneath furniture and appliances, as these little guys can get through small openings. (Fun fact, they’ve been used to run wires through pipes).


Ferrets need regular grooming. That includes brushing and bathing your tiny pal. It may take some training—and perhaps a bit of bribery—to get your furry friend onboard. Ear cleaning and nail trims are important as well. It’s worth noting that hairballs are a common hazard concern. Ask your vet about hairball preventative products.


Ferrets are susceptible to a few health issues. These include cancer, parasites, heart disease, particularly dilated cardiomyopathy; and tumors. They’re also a bit prone to eating things they shouldn’t. Keep an eye out for signs of sickness, such as behavioral changes, lack of appetite, weight loss, respiratory issues, lethargy, and diarrhea. Contact your vet right away if you notice anything amiss.

Our Advice on Mischief in 2024

Why might a ferret be a good pet choice?

Ferrets make excellent pets for those seeking an energetic and affectionate companion. Known for their playful and curious nature, they provide endless entertainment with their mischievous antics. Ferrets are intelligent animals capable of forming strong bonds with their owners, responding to training, and even learning tricks. They require moderate care, making them suitable for individuals or families willing to invest time in regular interaction and enrichment. Their small size makes them a good choice for pet lovers living in smaller spaces. However, potential owners should be prepared for their specific dietary, housing, and veterinary needs to ensure their ferret friend’s healthy and happy life.

What are some common behaviors of ferrets that owners should be aware of?

Ferrets are known for their playful and inquisitive nature, often displaying endearing and challenging behaviors for owners. A hallmark of ferret behavior is their love for exploration, squeezing into small spaces and investigating every corner of their environment. They are also playful thieves, known to hide and stash away small objects, so owners need to keep valuables out of reach. Ferrets enjoy engaging in rough-and-tumble play, including chasing and pouncing. Despite their energetic antics, they also have periods of deep sleep and can be cuddly when in a restful mood. Understanding and accommodating these behaviors are crucial to providing a stimulating and safe environment for these unique pets.

What regular grooming tasks do ferrets require?

Ferrets require a few regular grooming tasks to maintain their health and well-being. Brushing is essential to reduce shedding and prevent hairballs, especially during seasonal changes when they shed their coat. Bathing should be done sparingly, as frequent baths can strip their skin of natural oils, leading to dryness and irritation. Ear cleaning is necessary to prevent wax buildup and infections, and nail trimming is essential to avoid overgrowth that can cause discomfort or injury. Utilizing the techniques and products specifically designed for ferrets will ensure these grooming tasks contribute positively to their overall health.

What health issues are common in ferrets, and how can owners spot them?

Ferrets are susceptible to several health issues, including adrenal gland disease, insulinoma (a form of pancreatic cancer), and gastrointestinal conditions like foreign body obstruction due to their tendency to ingest inappropriate items. Signs of sickness in ferrets can be subtle but may include lethargy, changes in eating or bathroom habits, hair loss, difficulty urinating, or a swollen abdomen. Owners should also watch for coughing, sneezing, or difficulty breathing, indicating respiratory issues. Early detection is crucial, so observing your ferret’s behavior and physical condition daily and consulting a veterinarian at any sign of abnormality can ensure timely and effective treatment.

When should a ferret owner contact a veterinarian regarding their pet’s health?

A ferret owner should contact a veterinarian if they notice any signs of illness or abnormal behavior in their pet. This includes changes in appetite or drinking habits, unusual lethargy, difficulty breathing, coughing, sneezing, vomiting, diarrhea, hair loss, skin lesions, urination or defecation patterns, or any signs of pain or discomfort. Additionally, preventive care appointments should be scheduled at least once a year for wellness checks and vaccinations and to discuss any concerns about the ferret’s health, diet, or behavior. Early veterinary intervention can address health issues effectively and maintain the ferret’s overall well-being.

Please reach out to us with questions about ferret care. As your Las Vegas, NV animal clinic, we’re here to help!