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Well, here you are home, and you have a ferret. Now what happens with this furry little electrified ball of jello?

Hopefully you have been given good instructions and just in case in the excitement you forgot something, we'll go over them.

As excited as you are try not to over do it, let your ferret settle in, everything is new to him also and he may be a little scared. This even applies to a not so young ferret, let them get use to you and their new surroundings.

A visit to the vet should be in order, call and make your appointment. The seller should have supplied you with some medical information. If he has had any shots, rabies and distemper are a must. You should know his approximate age.

When calling a vet make certain they treat ferrets, and are ferret knowledgable. If there is a ferret club or rescue in your area this would be a good place to get veterinarian information from. Also have on hand a 24 hour emergency clinic, which hopefully you will never have to use. Some veterinarians will make themselves available 24/7.

Keep all vaccination records handy, if you ever need to go to an emergency clinic some will not even look at the animal without first seeing these. A lot of young ferrets are sold now a days with health guarantees, and the stores that sell the ferrets usually want you to have them checked out within 72 hours of purchase. Do not hesitate on this, have your baby checked out.

While you are at the veterinarian ask questions, watch how he examines the ferret.

Well you have a busy day and it gets to the time to set up the cage, bedding, food, and all important litter pan.

If you bought a big beautiful cage check it for sharp edges, and make sure none of the openings are large enough to get a paw or other body part stuck. If it's a multi level cage it might be a good idea to get scrap carpeting and adhere it to the ramps.

If your ferret is young I like to restrict him to the first floor, it helps in litter training. Put his food and water to one side of the cage, the litter pan to the other and his bedding in-between.



                                                   
WATER
                                 

Make sure it is changed several times during the day. I personally prefer to use bottled water for drinking as I have a well that is high in minerals. Even though we humans can handle it, it could cause a ferret to get an upset stomach or lead to stomach problems. Many towns have fluoridated waters which can upsets an animals stomach.


FOOD
                                  

                                                    

Get a good grade ferret food such as Totally Ferret..or the Ultra Blend Rice and Chicken. You can use kitten food, but only the better qualities such as Eukanuba or Iams, they do not have all the vitamins and nutrients a ferret needs so only use these kitten foods temporarily.

The key ingredients in any food for ferrets are fat and protein since ferrets' short digestive cycles prevent them from getting enough nutrition from vegetable proteins. Chicken, turkey, beef and lamb are all fine, most ferrets don't like fish. The food needs to have 34-36% protein and 15-20% fat. Animal protein should be the first two or three ingredients listed on the bag.

Never give your ferret milk products, this will cause diarrhea, they are lactose intolerant.

Never give a ferret Chocolate eaten in any quantity it can cause death.

Fish based foods can also increase their body odor as well as the litter pan odor.



BEDDING

Soft rags that are not of the fuzzing type when you pluck at them.

T-shirts and sweatshirts.

Old pillow cases, seem to make a big hit just dumped in pile. They will bury themselves in and under these.

They love hammocks and sleep tubes, but make sure they are attached safely so the ferret can get in and out without getting his leg tangled in the cord. Check them for wear.

When washing the bedding use a mild detergent and do not use fabric softener, it can be irritating to their skin.

Make sure any fabric you give them does not have any fiberglass going through it. Some of the imitation fur fabrics have fiberglass threads.



LITTER

Yes sometimes they find this stuff to be a playtoy, but once they use it they generally stop.

DO NOT use any type of wood chips as litter.

DO NOT use any type of clumping litter or scented litters.

You can use a product called Yesterday News, available at most pet stores it is recycled newspaper.

At your home improvement stores they sell a product called Wood Pellets...it is used for heating in a wood stove, this is a great litter and is very inexpensive, about $3.00-4.00 for a 40lb bag.

Keep the litter clean, it's easy to use a paper towel to clean up, and change it every other day, but always leave a little behind so they get the scent as where to do there potty business.

If you wake up you ferret to play, make sure he uses that pan first. If you are patient he will, otherwise you will have an accident outside the cage to clean up.