Presentation on theme: "Learning to care for any pet is an exciting experience, yet no pet is as playful and spontaneous as the domesticated ferret. This presentation is designed."— Presentation transcript:
Learning to care for any pet is an exciting experience, yet no pet is as playful and spontaneous as the domesticated ferret. This presentation is designed to teach students how to care for a ferret physically and emotionally.
Having a ferret in the classroom can be a lot of fun, but only in classrooms of students around age 8 & up. Ferrets can hurt little children if not handled properly, and are often prone to scratch or bite. It is safer if ferrets are around children above the age of 8. Students must be reminded that the ferret is not to be handled without supervision. Students should be reminded to ALWAYS keep the ferret cage door shut and locked. A loose ferret is a ferret in danger. The ferret must be updated on its Rabies and Distemper vaccinations. Distemper can be carried from a student’s dog, on his clothes, to school and then to the ferret. Vaccinations are VERY important. Always make students wash their hands before and after handling the ferret. Cold and Flu are contagious to ferrets.
Ferrets are a member of the weasel family, and are ancestors to the European Polecat. Ferrets, like skunks, can spray when agitated or angry. These scent glands can be removed, if desired. The domesticated ferret we see as pets are distantly related to the Black Footed Ferret, however the domesticated ferret CANNOT survive in the wild. Ferrets can slip into tiny spaces, and tend to steal items that seem interesting to them. (Examples: Jewelry, Plastic bottles, Socks, and any kind of treat they enjoy.) They will often hide these in places you’ll never be able to find!
The cage should be large enough to allow your ferret to run around comfortably. Make sure the cage has a plastic bottom (ferrets have tender feet and wire cage bottoms hurt them!) Make sure you place a litter box in one corner of the cage. (Because ferrets like to “go” in corners, there are special ferret litter boxes sold at most pet stores.) Cat litter isn’t recommended because it clumps and ferrets could eat it. Stick to recycled newspaper litter instead. Hang a hammock in a corner of the cage away from the litter area. Ferrets love to sleep in a hammock. Lining the cage with cotton fabric is a good idea, as it makes a great place to hide!
Every ferret must have food. Have a food bowl in the cage away from the litter box. Fill it with a good ferret food (Totally Ferret is a good one.) Have a water bottle hanging on the cage near the food dish. Change water daily. Have a few ferret toys in the cage, such as whiffle balls, a stuffed animal and/or plastic chew toys (no rubber!) It’s also a good idea to have close at hand a bottle of Ferretone (as a treat for your ferret) and a tube of Laxatone. (Ferrets shed twice a year and tend to get hairballs rather easily. Laxatone helps minimize this and keeps your ferret’s digestive system free of hair.)
Ferrets are very different when it comes to treats they prefer. Some love raisins ~ while others would kill for a Fruit Loop! Ferrets love to steal everything from rings (oh what a shiny toy!) to 2-gallon plastic gas cans. You never know what you will find in a ferret hidey-hole! Almost all ferrets are obsessed with human feet. Not only will they attack your ankles while in play, but they will also hide your socks and shoes. (Not a pleasant smelling hobby, but ferrets sure go for those smelly running shoes!) Most of all ~ a ferret wants love. A little rubbing behind the ears and a few ferret kisses will really make their day!
Ferrets are not made to be played with roughly. To make a ferret trust you he must be handled gently. Talk in a soft tone of voice at all times around a ferret. Their ears are very sensitive, and if startled they are impossible to hold. Never, NEVER bend a ferret backwards. Their spines are very delicate and this can cause SERIOUS damage. Always wash your hands before and after handling a ferret. Also, NEVER handle a ferret if you are sick. Ferrets catch colds and the flu from humans!!!
Ferrets should be bathed every 2-4 months. Ferrets tend to have very dry skin if bathed more often than this. If you bathe your ferret more often than this, get a good ferret shampoo with aloe and a good ferret conditioner. Some ferrets hate baths, others love it. If bathing in a tub run water shallow enough that they can still touch the bottom, yet can dive underwater if they wish. Don’t be surprised if your ferret prefers showers ~ with you! Keep the shampoo handy so you can lather him up if he decides to join you. Always keep nails trimmed weekly. Don’t cut too short else you’ll make the ferret’s nail bleed. Take your ferret to the vet regularly to have his teeth cleaned. It’s inexpensive and very necessary.
Ferrets are known to be nippers when upset or even in play. To discipline a ferret from biting you must first remember to do so gently and without losing your temper. The first thing you should do is scruff the ferret as shown in the picture. Do not scruff him too low on his back ~ this will hurt the ferret. The neck area where there is lots of skin is the ONLY place you should scruff a ferret. This does not hurt the ferret, it just makes them immobile. Hold the ferret up to your face, and frown at the ferret ~ to let him know you’re upset. Shake your finger at the ferret and say “NO NO” in a slightly loud tone to get his attention. Repeat each time he nips, until he learns to stop. This will take time ~ be patient!
Never give a ferret chocolate ~ this can kill a ferret. Never give a ferret any corn product ~ they can’t digest corn and this can cause blockages in the intestine. Never give a ferret anything rubber to play with, or allow him to chew on anything rubber. (Computer cords, erasers, toys ~ rubber causes blockages, also.) Never bend a ferret backwards. Don’t give a ferret much sugar. Sugar in fruit is okay, but candy and too many Fruit Loops can really make a ferret sick. Ignore the pleading eyes ~ NO CHOCOLATE. Don’t leave a ferret unattended while he is out of his cage. EVER. An unattended ferret can get hurt very quickly. Never leave a collar on a ferret in the cage. He could get stuck on something and choke.
Avoid speaking too loudly around the ferret Make sure the ferret has fresh food and water Clean the litter box daily. Bathe the ferret once every 2-4 months. Keep ferret nails trimmed. During shedding season give Laxatone weekly. Handle with care ~ ferrets are fragile. Wash hands before and after handling a ferret. Keep the ferret cage clean and tidy. Always keep the ferret cage door closed. Remember to shower the ferret with attention.
Ferret Resource Pages http://my.en.com/~rcmcr/images/nfclogo.GIF http://www.ferretcentral.org/ The Creator The Creator’s Ferrets ~ Trixie and Buddy Trixie (Buddy can be seen on introduction page)