Useful Information About the Black Foot Ferret

black-footed-ferretIn recent times, ferrets have been much talked about in North America and that too for all the right reasons.

There are many wonderful things for a person to know about ferrets which includes the distinctive hues of their foot or fur or even their behavioral patterns.

It is very rare that people miss seeing a ferret as it has a buff coat that has a shade of yellow that becomes somewhat brownish at the top of its head and along its back. Also, it has black feet, which makes spotting it even easier. Male ferrets tend to be bigger than females and ferrets are nocturnal mammals.

Another important thing that people should know is that the black foot ferret has now been classified as an endangered species.

This is a direct result of the human destruction of the population of prairie dogs and their habitat.

The black foot ferrets of North America tend to get hinged on this particular environment, without which they would become extinct.

If people have a ferret as a pet, then that animal for sure would like an outdoor environment, which of course, might not make the owners ecstatic, unless they themselves are not the kind who like being outdoors.

The good news is that there are a number of conservation efforts taking place on a large scale to increase the number of black foot ferrets. Aside from the loss of such beautiful creatures, their extinction also poses a grave threat to the ecological balances of the areas in North America.

Their numbers are a worrying figure and this time human interventions are aimed at beefing up their numbers rather than dwindling them any further.

The natural colors of the black foot ferret blend well with the environment and hence provide them camouflage. Their black stripes, yellow colored belly and tiny feet give them camouflage by blending into the natural environment and hence gives them leverage over the enemy as they can hide within the environment.

black-foot-ferretMoreover, these mammals are becoming extinct as their natural habitat and environment is becoming more and more fragile and endangered.

If their natural environment and habitat is endangered any more than it already is, these species of ferrets could easily die their way out to extinction.

No wonder people living in North America are doing everything that is within their capabilities to save this beautiful species of ferret from getting eliminated from the face of the Earth or in other words succumb to extinction.

Ferrets are very well known fro their scent producing glands that are used in the production of musk. When they are faced by any danger, they have a tendency to stink. Judging from this characteristic of theirs, their nearest cousin could be a skunk.

They are able to identify people or other ferrets whenever they enter into an unidentified areas because of their scent glands. If people are going for the option of taking in a ferret as a pet, then they can do without having a medical degree when it comes to taking care of their ferret’s health.

A few of the most common diseases that ferrets contract are mentioned below:

• Rabies- When ferrets contract Rabies, their hind leg tends to get paralyzed. Most ferrets get rabies when they are bitten by another ferret or any such animal. However, there are a few chemicals which when given to ferrets will not make them secrete the rabies virus. However, people need to be careful to get this chemical given to the ferret while it is still a kit.

• Neural Tube Defects- The neural defects of the tube normally are an endemic condition that has a profound effect on the ferret’s skull, damaging the spinal column and the brain tissue. This followed by imminent retardation and in some cases there may also be some growth defects.

• Helicobacter Mustilae and Gastric Ulcers-This condition is mostly seen to occur in ferrets who are four years of age or above. In normal terms they are also referred to as gastric ulcers and pet owners must take into account this condition while making their decision to get a ferret as a pet. When left untreated for a long period of time, this condition may also cause peptic ulcers.

• Megaesophagus- The dilation for the esophagus of a ferret may lead to the condition of bronchopneumonia. Like in the cases of dogs and cats who have this condition, ferrets also run the risk of getting the candido infection if this condition aggravates.

• Enteritis and Intestinal Parasites- Ferrets run the risk of getting parasites in their intestines, which is exactly what happens when ferrets contract enteritis. This condition mainly occurs when ferrets end up getting parasites of the eosiniphilic variant. This condition can prove to be fatal if ferrets who are young or are less than a year old suffer from it.

• Canine Distemper- Canine distemper is characterized by lesions and a fatal virus. Ferrets who contract this disease, are sure to suffer badly and may eventually die as well. There is a staring lack of treatment options when it comes to treating canine distemper as most of the options available are the ones that one has to take before the ferret contracts this disease, that is they are more of preventive in nature. Pet owners should therefore get their ferrets vaccinated so that they do not secrete any rabies virus.

• Colic- Irregular bowel movements may also hamper the health of a pet ferret. In this condition, the epithelial tissues tend to thicken thereby altering the entire body mechanism of the ferret. In this condition the stool of the ferret is accompanied by blood and mucous. The only good thing about this disease is that only a few ferrets seem to suffer from it.

• Dental Diseases- Like humans, ferrets also suffer from certain dental diseases. The tips of the canines are at maximum risk, since they are the teeth that are most exposed and also undergo a lot of rough use. Other dental problems include broken teeth, malformations in the dental structure of the ferrets and discoloration of their teeth.

Fun Facts about Ferrets

Ferrets of late are being seen largely as a potential choice for a pet. This being said, obviously people find themselves stumped for more and more information about these furry creatures as keeping ferrets as pets is a relatively newer trend, one that didn’t find much audience until the late 1980’s.

Whether people are considering a ferret for themselves or are living with someone who is doing so, they need to have some knowledge about ferrets to know the pros and cons of such a situation.

Biologically, ferrets are part of the Mustelidae family. Though the closest relative to be marked to them was a weasel, they have properties that are similar to those of wolverines, badgers and skunks, which makes it clear that a ferret is a carnivorous animal.

This automatically implies that a pet ferret must get its fair share of meats and poultry products. While pet owners are shopping for groceries, they should be careful to choose only those foods for ferrets which have high protein content and a low fat content.

To avoid any health problems later, people should avoid foods that are rich in carbohydrates and sugar along with those foods that are meant for other animals.

Another thing that people should keep in mind while going for a ferret as a pet is that they demand a lot of time, patience and effort on the part of their owners in their maintenance. They don’t like to remain trapped in their cage like a guinea pig or a hamster.

facts-about-ferretsSo, if people do not have much time to spare, they should probably think of getting something else.

Also, if people have children in their family who are under six years of age, then also they should not go for a ferret as ferrets have sharp teeth and have a tendency to attack whenever they are hurt or are aggressive.

Most ferrets tend to sleep between eighteen to twenty hours in a day and whenever they wake up, they must be let out in the open. Also, to the dismay of many owners, ferrets can chew almost everything that comes in sight and is within their reach. Probably, the only way out would be to make one’s home ferret proof.

This can be done by enclosing all electrical cords in a house with a metal coiling, screening the windows to ensure that ferrets do not escape out of the house, block those areas where people wouldn’t want their ferrets to roam around and cleaning the floor of the house so that the ferrets do not eat the dirt in the house. If people are looking for the ideal dimensions for a cage for a ferret, then should make sure that the dimensions are at least, 18 x 18 x 30.

These dimensions are in inches. This makes sure that there is ample space for toys, and other utilities that a ferret may require. There should also be ample space for a litter box, so that it can be taken out for cleaning and then kept back in the cage without any problem.

This being said, people would have to toilet train their ferret, so that it can answer nature’s call without creating a mess in the cage. If one goes by the statistics, then a ferret is considered to be the third most popular pet in U.S.A. So if people have what it takes to look after a ferret, then by all means they should go ahead with their decision to own a pet ferret.

Biological Structure- As ferrets are a cousin to the Skunk family; hence they are able to produce musk from their glands. There are countries that have a rule wherein, these glands be removed so that the ferrets do not stink as much as they normally do, however, there is no such rule in Australia and United Kingdom.

These furry creatures have bodies that have the presence of natural oils which makes them shiny and smooth. Due to frequent showers, they may lose some of those oils. Moreover, ferrets tend to grow their nails pretty fast so owners may have to cut their nails regularly.

ferretsColor, Type and Age- As far as the colors go, people can get them in shades like black, white, brown, yellow or even a mixed color fur.

Ferrets may require more or less care depending on their age. For, the younger these ferrets are, the more delicate they are and hence require more care than their older counterparts.

As they get older, they seek the company of other ferrets. Also, once they form a group with another ferret or ferrets they do not always welcome a new addition to their circle.

Behavior and Habits- By nature, ferrets are usually curious and adventurous. Most owners have to let them out either at dusk or dawn to give them an opportunity to satiate their curiosity.

Whenever they get excited or happy, they like to dance in quite an aggressive manner, which might make it look that they are going to attack, while reality they are just elated.

Some Facts about Ferrets- As mentioned earlier, people have not always been as open to adopting ferrets as pets as they are now. This trend only picked pace in the 1980′s, before which they were mainly used for hunting purposes by the ancient Romans, as they could squeeze into small spaces. It was their flair for adventure and curious nature that made them so useful or almost indispensable for hunting purposes.

Things to Consider Before Buying a Pet Ferret

cute-ferretFerrets are pretty different form the usual choices of domestic pets like cats and dogs that most people like to go for. If people own a ferret or are considering buying one as a pet, the following information can be useful to them.

The more research that people do in this field, the better care they will be able to take of their ferrets. Depending on the care that is given to a ferret, typically a ferret can live up to ten years.

The first thing that ferret owners need to know is that ferrets are nocturnal creatures i.e. they sleep during the day. Once they are awake during the night, people shouldn’t tap their cages, but let them out and let them play or move around freely.

While this happens, owners need to make sure that at night, all the cords and lines are secured, there are no small spaces in the room, where these little devils can squeeze into and that all delicate items are hidden.

This avoids any incidence where the ferrets may get hurt or get lost. Moreover, one of the first things that people need to consider before they bring in a ferret as a pet, is whether their home is pet friendly or rather, ferret friendly or not. Given the age up to which ferrets can live, bringing them home is a long term commitment.

Also, there is also a lot of care involved in raising a pet, as they are very small in size and hence need extra care. There have been many instances, where people or their family members have stepped on, squeezed too hard or dropped a ferret too hard, which ended up in killing the ferret.

This underlines the importance of the fact that all members of the family need to understand that a ferret is a very delicate animal and it needs a very careful handling.

It is almost impossible to raise a pet like a ferret without having sufficient knowledge about it. Ferrets tend to sleep a lot, almost up to twenty hours in a day and also they are very active and playful.

Further, they have high levels of energy whenever they are awake and playing around. While sleeping, ferrets usually prefer darker areas. So people shouldn’t be surprised to find their pet ferret either curled up under their sweater or inside their laundry basket.

cute-little-ferretsFerrets are mammals and are carnivorous when it comes to their diets. In order to fulfill their need for protein they need to be fed on loads of meat and poultry products.

Many people make the mistake of feeding their ferret cat food. There are ample numbers of brands that sell ferret food, so people should stock up sufficiently on ferret food so as to avoid feeding their ferret cat food.

However, if people own a baby ferret, then it is better if they stick to kitten food for the first three years and then graduate to ferret food as their pet grows up. Along with food, ferrets also need their fair share of water which can be given to them wither in a bowl or in a bottle. Going for a bottle is more advisable as there is no danger of spilling the water as in the case of a water bowl.

There are times, when people may have to get out of their houses. This is an everyday story for those who work every day and ferrets cannot be left alone to look after themselves. It is for this reason that people should keep their ferrets in cages. Ideally, an 18 x 18 x 30 size of a cage is sufficient for a ferret. It should be noted that all these dimensions are in inches. It should be big enough to have enough room for the ferrets to move about in that cage.

People can also keep few toys for their ferret in their cages to keep the ferrets busy while they are not there. Another thing that ferret owners should remember to do is to take their ferrets for regular visit to the vet and be regular with the vaccinations. If people go ahead with following the above mentioned directives, they can ensure one of the best growing environments for their pet ferrets.

Keeping Ferrets as Pets

ferretArguably, one of the most irresistible sights for a person is to have a ferret curled in that person’s lap while they are peacefully resting on a couch.

Though, cats and dogs are popular choices for pets, there are a few people who know the benefits of keeping a ferret as a pet. If people need some pointers in this direction or for convincing someone else, they would find the following information useful.

The good news about getting a ferret is that they can either be bought form a professional breeder or from a shelter van, even if they are very young. Baby ferrets are called kits, while a female baby ferret is called a Jill and a baby male ferret is called a hob. When people acquire ferrets, they have already been weaned and now need some nourishment for their growing up phase.

Another thing to keep in mind is that as ferrets do not have teeth and hence cannot chew anything, it is best if the food to be given to be them is first soaked in a bowl of warm water for about five to ten minutes. Also, studies have shown that cat food causes health problems in ferrets, thus people should make it a point to not give it to their pet ferret.


However, for the first three years, people should give their kits kitten food and then move on to ferret food.

This should be done in a gradual manner with small portions of meats and vegetables.

In order to avoid any obstruction in the urinary tract of the ferret later, baby ferrets should be given ample portions of meat and poultry products in their meals.

Further, kits should be given water at regular intervals either using a dish or a bottle. As kits grow older they should be given snacks occasionally like crackers, bananas and raisins.

Needless to say, having a ferret as a pet requires commitment of time, money and resources. While ferrets are very cute as they scurry their way and make a place for them in their owner’s heart in almost time, they are certainly not low on maintenance.

Another thing that people need to take care of, while keeping a ferret is the environment. The environment, needless to say, should be safe, as ferrets are very small, weighing between 1.5 pounds and 4 pounds.

They have a tendency to taste almost anything, so people need to make sure that they make everything eatable in the house ferret proof just like they do for babies.

Moreover, all poisonous or harmful food and chemicals should either be kept at a safe place or best kept locked away. Also, ferrets should never be left alone with small children as they usually tend to handle ferrets in a manner that is too rough.

They just might squeeze them, step on them and drop them in a manner which is too hard and may end up killing the ferret.

ferets-as-petThe thing with ferrets is that they cannot be left in an open environment and they need to be kept in a cage.

In more ways than one, a ferret is just like a baby. People have to make a lot of preparations before its coming just like a baby.

If people are game for all this, then before they bring a ferret in their house, they need to make sure that they get a cage, supplies and toys ready so that a ferret has all that it may need in its new owner’s house.

In order to teach a ferret new things and tricks, people need to be patient and consistent. A good way is to reward the ferret each time it gets a thing right with a snack.

There are loads of tricks that people can teach their ferrets. For instance, people can teach their ferrets to come to them using a squeaky toy.

They can also be taught to fetch their toys. Further, while picking a cage for their pet, ferret people should be careful to select a cage that is not only big enough for their ferret but also is easy for them to clean.

Also, the spacing between the bars should be such that a ferret may not escape. It would help to keep at the bottom of the cage a plastic bottom, which can be changed and cleaned easily at the owner’s convenience.

If people think that it is too expensive, then people can make one at home by sewing together scraps of old cloths and then attaching a plastic sheet.

Moreover while selecting toys for heir ferret, owners should keep in mind that the toys should be hard enough to withstand the pressure from the sharp teeth of the ferret. Also, people should keep up with the vaccinations required for a baby ferret.