Essential Ferret Supplies, Part 2

We’ve discussed essential ferret supplies and ferret accessories. Now, where can you find them? There are several options.

Pet store. The most obvious option is to go to your local pet store where you’ll likely find many brands and styles of ferret supplies. These items are all new so you won’t be inheriting someone else’s problem. Store employees can usually advise you on general pet care. The disadvantages are that pet-store items can be expensive, employees may not know much specifically about ferrets, and because ferrets are often considered to be “exotic” pets, the store may not stock many supplies.

Veterinarian’s office. Many vets have taken to selling pet supplies, especially vitamins, supplements, and other health-care items. If you have to visit the vet anyway, you can save yourself some time and gas by buying your ferret supplies at the same time. You’ll also have ready access to expert help: you can ask your vet about the item you are buying. But sometimes vets don’t actually know much about the item(s) in question. Some vets simply agree to stock the item in order to receive a portion of the proceeds.

Discount stores. Many general-merchandise stores have pet departments. Generally, this is fairly convenient. You can by ferret supplies while you buy your family’s weekly groceries. And discount-store prices are often much lower. Still, the store may not stock supplies specifically for ferrets. Further, the store staff also will not be likely to provide much ferret-related help.

Thrift stores. Many people have found pet cages, toys, and other supplies at their local charity thrift store. These stores are also great places to purchase old clothing for ferret bedding.  Prices are low, and items are pre-owned so you won’t fret if something is lost or broken. Also, pre-owned clothing is usually much softer than new. Your ferrets will love the softness. However, you don’t know where the item has been or why the previous owner donated it. Thus, it is essential to thoroughly clean and sanitize each item before providing it to your ferret.

Classified ads. Newspapers, ferret publications, and online classified-advertising sites frequently list items for sale by other owners. As with thrift stores, you can often find good items at excellent prices. You can ask the owner about why they want to sell them and even “pick his or her brain” about various aspects of ferret care. You need to be aware, though, that an unscrupulous seller may choose to not give you the full story about the item.

Rescue organizations. If there is a ferret organization in your area, this may be your best resource.  Many organizations accept donated items and refurbish them to offer to new owners for free or for a nominal donation. Ferret-rescue organizations generally offer many resources to owners. And any donation goes to help make the world a better place for ferrets. Ferret organizations vary in their operations, and not all organizations offer items for sale or donation.

See? With all these options available, you can easily find a way to get all the essential Story about Pet Ferretsupplies for your pet ferrets. Then, the only thing you’ll need to provide is love.

And be sure and check out our new ferret story titled “Danny and Oliver: A Ferret-Rescue Tale.”

Essential Ferret Supplies and Ferret Accessories

New ferret owners are sometimes overwhelmed by the sheer number and variety of ferret supplies and ferret accessories they are often told they need. Still, you will, unfortunately, likely need to make a significant outlay to get everything you need to keep your ferret healthy and happy. So it pays to found exactly what you really must have, what you don’t necessarily need, and ways to save money on the essentials.

The absolute essential ferret supplies and accessories you’ll need are:

  • A wire mesh cage with at least two square feet of floor space per ferret.
  • Pet carrier. Your ferret will need to see a veterinarian at least once a year and probably more often in that critical first year. You’ll need a sturdy pet carrier to transport your fuzzy.
  • Ferret bedding. Because ferrets love to burrow and snuggle up when they sleep, they need cozy bedding. Whether it’s an old blanket or t-shirt or a swinging hammock, comfort is the key here.
  • Ferret food. Whether it’s canned, dry, or even whole prey, it’s best if you choose food specifically intended for ferrets so that it meets their needs for a high-protein, high-fat, low-fiber diet.
  • Food and water containers. These should be heavy and durable to resist tipping. Many ferret owners prefer to use non-drip water bottles.
  • Litter box and non-clumping, dust-free litter. Remember that ferrets love to dig, so choose a corner-fitting box with high sides. Non-clumping litter is essential to protect ferret health as the clumping variety can play havoc with the digestive system.
  • Hygiene items. Shampoo, brushes, combs, nail clippers, toothbrushes, toothpaste, ear washes, vitamins, and supplements are every bit as important for your ferret as they are for your own health.
  • Harness and leash. Your ferret needs to be out of the cage for several hours each day. One way to keep her busy is to take her for a walk in the great outdoors. The harness and leash will help her explore the world safely.
  • Protective devices. Pet gates, electrical-outlet covers, door latches, and similar products are frequently overlooked by new owners, but they are essential for keeping your ferret (and your belongings) safe.
  • Ferret toys. While many new owners consider pet toys frivolous items, they areFerret Toys Book necessary for keeping your ferret entertained and active – and away from your stuff. (Pet ferrets are incorrigible thieves.)

These are the essential ferret supplies and ferret accessories. Soon, we’ll talk about the best places to get said supplies.

If you’ve seen those articles that detail how much it costs to own a ferret, keep in mind that they usually list the top-of-the-line models of each item. As with most things in life, there are ways to get ferret supplies at fairly low cost – yes, even for free.

The Husband’s Top 5 Negative Rules for Owning Pet Ferrets

Guest Post by Michael Hearing

As you know my wife, Karen, has two pet ferrets (or woozles or little fuzzies or fuzzy kids, as she sometimes calls them). I like Rikki and Possum a lot too. I love to watch them play and cut up and do goofy things. But, still, there are drawbacks to wives’ owning pet ferrets – and most of them involve money. That’s why I’ve formulated “The Husband’s TAlbino Ferret Rikkiop 5 Negative Rules for Owning Pet Ferrets.”

Rule 1 – Never let your wife get the mail.
If your wife has pet ferrets, you should never allow her to check the mail box. Why? It’s simple really. Because on any given day – and you can never know for sure when it will happen – a pet-supply or ferret-supply catalogue could arrive. In fact, the Doctor’s Foster and Smith catalogue just came today.

Here’s how it usually goes. I’ve gone to town to run some errand, and my wife checks the mail while I’m gone. So I get home and find her seated at the kitchen table poring over the new catalogue, feverishly marking pages, panting after all the ferret toys and ferret accessories she wants to buy for Rikki and Possum. So, hoping to avoid the inevitable, I go to my desk and pretend to work. But it doesn’t work.

Karen comes skipping in and says, “Oh, Michael, look at this. Rikki would just love one of these.” Or: “Michael, look!” At this point the catalogue is thrust in front of my face. “Possum, really, really, really needs one of these.” And so it goes for awhile.

Eventually, I mutter, “All right, we’ll see. Maybe we’ll get those for Rikki and Possum later.” But I know that, in order to keep a pleasant atmosphere in the house, I’ll soon wind up buying the desired ferret supplies. Last week, it was $33.00 worth of ferret litter. Who knows what it’ll be now that she has the new Doctors Foster and Smith catalogue in her hands.

Fortunately for me, we live in a rural area, and our mail box is about a quarter of a mile from our house

Rule 2 – Never, ever let your wife surf the Internet.
This is related to Rule 1, but the problem becomes hugely magnified, much worse than the mail-box problem. When a ferret-loving wife goes on line, she has scores of ferret catalogues and thousands of ferret accessories available at her fingertips. Seeking out and lusting after new ferret toys for pet ferrets is often called “doing research” around here.

Lately, Karen has been looking at – and making me look at – this Ferret Nation cage. I’m thinking maybe if I buy this ferret cage for her she’ll be satisfied for some time because it’s a large ferret item.  I’m also hoping she’ll be too busy setting up the new cage and watching Rikki and Possum play in it to do much “research” for awhile. We’ll see, I guess.

Rule 3 – Never take your wife to a pet store.
This one should be obvious, but it simply can’t be overemphasized. If you do slip up and take your wife to the pet store, your only recourse is to be as uncommunicative possible and to act as grumpy as possible. The object is to get her angry so she’ll want to go home.

But the best policy is just to never take your wife there in the first place. Not only do pet stores sell ferret toys and ferret cages and ferret clothes and all kinds of other ferret accessories, but they also have . . . ferrets. Baby ferrets. Really cute ones. And this is about as big a danger to a husband’s checkbook as there is. I really do think it was seeing these baby ferrets at our local pet store that made Karen so “persuasive” about getting Rikki a playmate, Possum. At least, I was able to stretch it into a present to cover two gift-giving days. (To do this you need to emphasize both the initial cost AND the ongoing costs.)

Here’s a little trick I’ve learned. If you absolutely can’t avoid going to the pet store with your wife, take her to dinner first. That way she’ll be slightly hesitant about asking you to spend even more money for ferret supplies. Try it – it worked for me last time.

Rule 4 – Never make any promises about purchasing ferret accessories or ferret toys.
There’s a twofold reason for this rule. First wives never forget ANYTHING. Also, if you have a wife you WILL have arguments. And when you have those inevitable arguments, you’ll find out that the wife you’re arguing with has remembered – vividly in every agonizing detail – all the things you promised to do but didn’t – especially the ferret accessories you promised to buy and the ferret toys you promised to make. Count on it.

The simplest solution, of course, is never to make such promises. But that’s not always possible.

When you are deep into that novel you’ve been just dying to read and your wife begins talking about her pet ferrets and all the ferret goodies she wants to get, you really have only one option at that point. If you want to get back to that action-packed scene in your book and continue reading unmolested, the best way out is to promise to buy some of those ferret things she’s going on about. Just remember what you promised, and make sure to do what you promised before much time goes by.  

Rule 5 – Never, under any circumstance whatsoever, allow your wife to come anywhere near a camera.
Cameras and wives with cameras are in most instances good and necessary things. But that’s definitely not the case when ferrets are involved. Here’s why.

When you turn a wife with pet ferrets loose with a digital camera, you’ll never get any peace again. And that’s because she will be constantly taking ferret pictures and “asking” you to look at them. When I’m deep in thought on a project for work, just on the verge a problem whose solution has been eluding me for days, I often hear a call – well, a summons really – from the other room. “Michael. Michael! Come here! I want you to see something.” I don’t answer hoping it will blow over. But the summons comes again, a little louder this time. So I sigh, push away from my desk, and trudge into the other room. Then I sit down and look at about three hundred and seventy-three pictures . . . of ferrets playing and ferrets chasing and ferrets sleeping and ferrets eating and – well, you get the picture. As I said, no peace.

I don’t know about other wives, but my wife can’t keep track of any of her belongings. So when Karen’s pet ferrets are doing something very cute and she begins frantically searching for her camera, I suddenly lose my memory too. She often says, “Oh, Michael, look at Rikki and Possum. Isn’t that cute! I wish I had my camera. Have you seen my camera?” And of course my response is: “Nooo. I have no idea where it is.”

Of course, my delineation of these rules has been done (mostly) tongue in cheek. But there’s no doubt about: any way you cut it, pet ferrets make for an “interesting” household.

 Be sure and check out Karen’s book on all aspects of owning pet ferrets – everything from adopting a ferret to ferret toys to ferret health to ferret nutrition. Kindle users can go here, Nook users here, and you can get a PDF here.

Our Newest Favorite Ferret Toys

Do you love your pet ferrets? If you really love your fuzzy kids, then you have got to get them a Dig Box and a Super Thru-Way ferret tunnel from Doctors Foster and Smith.

My fuzzy kids absolutely love these new ferret toys! I thought my husband and I were going to rollFerrets Playing in Box on the floor laughing from just watching Rikki and Possum play in the Dig Box – which is a fairly good-sized box filled with starch peanuts. The peanuts are shaped just like the Styrofoam packing peanuts, but these are made of starch and dissolve in water and are ferret safe.

As we watched, Rikki and Possum wrestled, dug down in the peanuts, popped out and over the box, and ran around the room. Then, they raced around the room and dived into the Super Thru-Way flexible tunnel. (This is a slinky-like tunnel covered with clear plastic that expands to 20 feet long! And it is awesome!) Then it was back into the Dig Box to do it all over again.

I can almost guarantee that you will spend several hours watching your woozles playing in and with the tunnel. Possum, for example, will go in one end, Rikki will crawl into the other end, and then they meet in the middle. Then they commence play biting and rolling, each trying to get the other out of way and out of the tunnel.

Since Possum is too fat to turn around inside the tunnel, he has to back out and run over to theFerrets Playing in Ferret Tunnel other end where Rikki entered. With this approach, he tries to push her out from behind. But Rikki, who is definitely much smaller than Possum, sees what he’s up to and turns around inside the tunnel and winds up pushing Possum out.

Now, at this point, Possum is so aggravated he runs and jumps into the Dig Box, where he burrows under the peanuts to wait for Rikki – and, of course, he doesn’t have to wait for long. She hears him digging and rustling around in the peanuts, so she flies out of the tube and jumps into the box herself. (Their dad, my husband, made them a little bench so they can get into the Dig Box easier. He doesn’t like them, does he? LOL)

When Rikki jumps on Possum in the box, he doesn’t realize his rear half is sticking out of the peanuts. And the boxing match begins. It really does look like they are boxing. And since they don’t wear a mouthpiece like boxers do, the little fuzzies bare their teeth. But that’s okay – it’s all in fun.

So if you really love your fuzzy kids, please get them a Dig Box and a Super Thru-Way ferret tunnel from Doctors Foster and Smith. And watch the fun begin with these new favorite ferret toys!   

You can find out more about Doctors Foster and Smith here. I am in no way affiliated with them. I just think they have good ferret accessories and ferret toys and offer great service.

A Husband’s Take on Pet Ferrets

Guest Post by Michael Hearing

As you know, my wife has two pet ferrets, Rikki and Possum. But what you probably don’t know is that I’m involved in their little fuzzy lives almost as much as she is, but in different ways.

I’m not complaining, though – I’ve become very attached to the little guys. It’s just that I wish I hadFerret Playing on Piano been forewarned. And I also wish ferrets were a little lower maintenance – like my dog, who just needs food and water, shots, many bowls of milk, and a little petting now and then.

First, ferrets require lots of stuff – ferret beds, ferret toys, special ferret food, hammocks, slings, toys, odor reducer, hair-ball preventive, toys, toothpaste, vaccinations, vitamins, toys, and nail clippers. And did I mention ferret toys? I think Rikki and Possum have more toys than our kids (the human ones) ever did when they were small.

And who do you think pays for all these ferret accessories? Yep, me.

For example, we just received our latest order of ferret goodies – 18-pound bag of food, hair-ball preventive, chew sticks, hanging bed, floor bed and hideout, tube system, and box of ferret-safe starch peanuts. It all came to a little over $100. And about two weeks ago we took Rikki and Possum for a vet visit. (I went, of course, so I could help with the ferrets and so I could pay the bill.) The shots and exams came to a total of $169.

When Karen brought in a cold, bedraggled albino ferret one December night, I had no idea such a small critter would run up such a large bill. Still, my attachment to them has grown even as my wallet has gotten noticeably thinner.

The other thing I never knew about pet ferrets is that they can impede your work. I work from home and require large blocks of interrupted time to get my work done. But you can kiss that goodbye when ferrets move in. Here’s why . . .

When I’m deep in thought, just on the cusp of solving a difficult work problem I’ve been struggling with for hours, there comes a call from the other room: “Michael, come here – you’ve just gotta see what Rikki and Possum are doing!” So I leave my computer – and my train of thought – and go see. Or when my Muse is upon me and my fingers are flying across the keyboard, there comes a knock at my door. And then Karen and two ferrets invade my room so that I can see the latest cute thing they’ve learned to do. In either case, when I’m ferret free again, I’ve lost my momentum.

At other times, when I’m reading and researching and trying to concentrate on some dry-as-dust text, I hear: “Michael, Rikki and Possum are out. Watch your chair. Don’t move your feet.” And then in a few minutes: “Michael, I can’t find Possum. Is he in your room?” So I go get a cup of coffee and try to remember what I was doing a few minutes before.

So, ferrets are great fun, and even wives can be enjoyable at times. But I’m convinced they are in collusion to hinder all work-from-home efforts.

And now, as if I didn’t have enough work to do already, I’ve been conscripted to build ferret toys and playgrounds. Karen just presented me yesterday with plans for Rikki’s and Possum’s new jungle gym. This weekend I’ll have to go to Lowe’s to buy the materials and then build the infernal thing. More expense and more interruptions. But – and don’t tell Karen this – I will enjoy building it and watching the woozles pay on it.

This, then, is my first installment of “A Husband’s Take on Pet Ferrets.”

Ferret Beds for Happy Woozles at Sleep Time

We’ve touched on ferret beds before, but there’s a lot more to be said.

First, there are a ton of different styles of beds for ferrets. I have three different beds for Rikki andFerrets in Pirate Ship Bed Possum. One is the pirate-ship bed, one is a bed a friend made for them, and the third is a sleep sack. And, no, I don’t put them all in the cage at the same time. I alternate them – replacing the one in the cage with a clean one when it’s time for the one in use to be washed.  

I think their favorite one in the summertime is the pirate ship. They like to hang out of it when they get hot. The ferret bed my friend made is somewhat like a box bed, with a small opening on the top for Rikki and Possum to get into and out of the bed. It’s darker inside than the pirate-ship bed – and ferrets just love that. The sleep sack is a little too small for both of them together, so I’ll soon get a bigger one.

And here’s something to keep in mind when deciding on ferret sleeping accessories. Ferrets love hammocks!

Possum loves to use his hammock as a jungle gym. You’re probably thinking, “How can ferrets use a ferret hammock as a jungle gym?” But believe you me, they can do it – especially Possum. He jumps in it, climbs on it, jumps out of it, and hangs upside-down from it. He also likes to get in it and then jump on Rikki when she walks underneath. Possum and Rikki also like to take naps in it (but they don’t use it for their serious sleep time).

One thing I have learned about ferrets is that they love dark places when it’s time for sleep. And ferrets sleep 14+ hours a day – because they are so active when they play.

Ferret beds can be almost anything as long as it provides the dark, close space they love and as long as it’s safe for them. Their bed could be anything from a Kleenex box to a plastic milk jug with holes (and plenty of ventilation) cut in it to commercial or homemade sleep sacks and tents.  Even old blankets to hide in will work.

If you use a box or plastic jug or anything else you come up with, just make sure it’s secured somehow in the cage. If you don’t, your ferret will make a play toy out of it. And it may end up in the potty area – not good. I know this from first-hand experience.