We've decided against a dog for now - instead

Discussion in 'The Fire Hydrant' started by ravennr, Mar 8, 2012.

  1. ravennr

    ravennr ಥ⌣ಥ

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    We are going for a ferret. :)
    I feel this will be just as well for me as a psych dog.

    I'm really excited about this, just intimidated about where to go. Naturally, I would like a kit, but I cannot in good conscience pay for a marshall kit and don't know where else to go.


    I'm already on the hunt for a nice single-ferret cage.

    Even my dad said this would be good for me. He knows how attached I was to my first ferret, which he bought for me.


    I want a dog, still, so bad, but I understand this needs to wait. A ferret is much more acceptable and logical.


    Jess, I will be after you lots. :eek: Also looking to connect with other ferret owners.
     
  2. JessLough

    JessLough Love My Mutt

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    LOL I was about to say, bug me as much as you need! Look on kijiji, lots of rehomes, a lot of times with a cage :)

    AllieMackie has ferrets, too! Someone else to bug ;)

    Stay away from ferret.com forums. They have such bad advice >__>. Most ferret forums are pretty bad... They are all big supporters of Marshalls

    ETA: does this mean you, your bf and roommates worked some stuff out? :)
     
  3. AllieMackie

    AllieMackie Wookie Collie

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    Even for a single, a Ferret Nation cage is the best bet. No such thing as too much space, and if you luck out you can get one on Kijiji - Flower Town Chinchillas sells them cheapest otherwise.

    Kits are indeed hard to come by. Keep an eye on Craigslist/Kijiji. Lots of people get overwhelmed when they realize a ferret is difficult to care for. ;) Rescues often have young ferrets - you have Ferret Aid Society nearish to you.

    Get this book before ever getting a ferret, and read it end to end. Every ferret owner should have this book.

    Remember: Ferrets have short lifespans. They get sick after several years, require vet care that's as costly as a dog if not more, need a lot of time and attention, and have their own quirks that take getting used to. That said, if you can handle all of that, they are richly rewarding. :)

    Jess is better at writing novels, I just toss resources your way. ;)
     
  4. ravennr

    ravennr ಥ⌣ಥ

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    Thanks for the resources, and warnings.

    I wish I had the literature I had when I had my first ferret, but it's all been tossed unfortunately. I intend to go grab some more.


    We've pretty much decided, since this will be my responsibility, and my space, that, considering they brought in animals and never asked, that this is something we're doing. Any issues they have with it are fine, but it's not going to change anything. However, it will be brought up. But, it's been decided between us already. I don't foresee any true problems.


    I can't lie, I am so ridiculously excited about buying toys. My favourite part of having ferrets is buying toys. WEEEEE, fun for everyone really hahaha.
     
  5. ~Dixie's_Mom~

    ~Dixie's_Mom~ ♥Chloe & Violet♥

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    So excited for you! Please post TONS of pictures! I'm not a ferret owner, but have been obsessed since I was a little girl, and met my first ferret. I've always wanted one, but my parent's won't allow it, so I'm unable to get one until I have my own place. I hope to own several someday lol!

    Good luck, you'll get tons of good advice here. :) Go to the "Cats and other pets" section and read the sticky by Jess called "So you think you want a ferret". It was really informative for me. :)
     
  6. JessLough

    JessLough Love My Mutt

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    ^^that! Sorry, I'm being short cause I'm at work.. On my iPod... Not supposed to have Internet :p

    Also, unrelated -- 3 SLEEPS TIL WIDGET IS HOME!
     
  7. ravennr

    ravennr ಥ⌣ಥ

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    I'm also looking into building my own cage.
     
  8. JessLough

    JessLough Love My Mutt

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    I just looked on your kijiji and wow, there is nothing :eek:
     
  9. Lossalfling

    Lossalfling Ferret Keeper

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    did I hear ferrets? Im down to 2 now of 7. I have had 17 over the last 12 years ( i rescued in holland) they can have the same life span as a dog though Im not sure that applies to marshall ferrets, as they seem to have mor issues. My oldest girl was almost 11 when she passed.
     
  10. JessLough

    JessLough Love My Mutt

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    Unfortunately, ferrets sold in Canada are all mill ferrets, and don't live nearly as long as they do in the UK. Usually 5-7 years, if your ferret hits 5 without any health issues, you're REALLY lucky. Even with his insulinoma, Rascal was considered a healthy ferret up until 3 days before he died at 7 1/2 years old
     
  11. ravennr

    ravennr ಥ⌣ಥ

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    Yeah, kijiji here is VERY sparse. I want to start bit by bit. Cage first, then some accessories. Move from there. I'll keep looking though.
     
  12. ravennr

    ravennr ಥ⌣ಥ

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    I know bigger is better, but since I intend to have my ferret out of the cage for the vast majority of the time, can I opt for something a bit smaller and more affordable, or is that not a good idea?

    I've found a great one, that is only one level shorter than what my own ferret had. Plenty of space for toys, and I intend to literally turn my bedroom into a ferret playpen (boyfriend rolled his eyes and giggled, but I'm serious, lol).

    The cage would be, primarily, for the rare times I leave the apartment, and for sleeping.
     
  13. Red.Apricot

    Red.Apricot Active Member

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    Please update lots--I've fallen completely in love with ferrets via the internet, but, unfortunately live in California, which means I can't have one. :[
     
  14. ravennr

    ravennr ಥ⌣ಥ

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    I hate that law :(

    It will be a liiiiiittle bit longer before we bring one in, but we're already getting ready for the cage and accessorizing it. Then comes the little man! Or, at least, I'm aiming for a little man. :p

    Then you'll all be bombarded.


    To tide you over, here is my friends new ferret kit, Dillinger:
    [​IMG]
     
  15. Red.Apricot

    Red.Apricot Active Member

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    D: Tube sweater. <3
     
  16. AllieMackie

    AllieMackie Wookie Collie

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    Barrett approves of his fashion sense.

    [​IMG]
     
  17. ravennr

    ravennr ಥ⌣ಥ

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    GOOD LORD!!! Twins!!!!!!!
     
  18. JessLough

    JessLough Love My Mutt

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    OK now that I'm on a computer, just a few major things people really don't normally think about...

    A) Cage - I'd suggest a FN, but other cages can do. Rascal lived in 2 rabbit cages side by side for the first 2 1/2 years of his life, and he was fine. After that, he was moved into a cage similar to this. He lived in a cage like that for about 2 1/2-3 years, I think. As long as you plan on giving plenty out of cage time, a smaller cage is fine :)

    b) Location - Location location location. If at all possible, you want your ferret's cage somewhere where they will get natural sunlight, and as little artificial light at possible. If not possible, putting a cover over the cage, and lots of blankets in sleeping areas will suffice.

    c) Bedding - Ferrets loooooove bedding. Personally, I love cat beds for my guys, and they love them too. Lots and lots of blankets to burrow in -- I use burping blankets for babies, dollar stores usually have fleece blankets for $1.25 that work really well too. I use lots of fleece for the winter, since it's warmer than the cotton burping blankets. HAMMOCKS. I've never had a ferret who dislikes hammocks. Again, I like to get covered ones (cubes, cute designed ones (like I have a monkey one... and a banana one). If they are not covered, I just throw a blanket or two on it so they can hide under it.

    D) Outside the home - Ferrets really do love to be outside. Of course, safety is #1 concern. Keep an eye out for dogs and cats. I highly suggest getting a simple h-harness, like this. Stay away from the jacket harnesses, such as this style unless you can try them on in the store. The sizes are all messed up, and most of them, the "ferret size" is HUGE. You want to get a carrier, as a safe spot for your ferret, and so they can have somewhere to be for vet visits and such. I have both a soft sided one from Costco, and a hard large cat carrier. I also have a front pouch style carrier, meant for small dogs. Each of them has their use.

    E) Veterinary Care! - Ferrets are indeed expensive buggers. Before getting a ferret, you want to find a veterinarian that knows ferrets. Don't take their word that they know ferrets -- a lot of times, knowing ferrets means they learned something about them, in veterinary school. Look for a vet that deals with exotics, and ask them the tough questions... what they do for Insulinoma, Adrenal, how many ferrets they have as clients, etc. You want to get Rabies and Distemper vaccines separate visits, if you get them. I highly suggest at least getting rabies vaccines. Distemper vaccine is important if they go outside a lot (I don't think Allie does Distemper shots since her guys mainly stay in her backyard, but I may be wrong. My guys get it as they are out in the bushes with me a lot) on property other than your own. Rabies vaccine will save your ferrets life if it were to bite somebody. All ferrets will bite. People say "oh yah, my ferret has never bitten before", but they are animals, and it will happen. Renegade has bitten -- not seriously, but he has bitten. Even Harley, who does therapy visits, will bite if provoked or if she is in pain. Annual visits are VERY important. Ferrets will not let you know they are sick until it is too late.

    I highly suggest having a safety net built up. Medication *is* expensive. It costs me $85 yearly per ferret, just for their annual visit, Rabies and Distemper vaccines. A few other numbers to think about... *Disclaimer: These are off the top of my head, and these are based off vets in Ottawa. May differ by location*

    Deslorelin implant (Implant used for treatment of symptoms of Adrenal Disease): $153, good for 18-24 months depending on Ferret

    Prednisone (used for a variety of diseases, main drug for Insulinoma treatment): $53 for 30 days worth

    Diazoxide (used once Prednisone stops working in Insulinoma treatment): $150 for 100mL (lasts about 3 months)

    Surgery: Depending on what the surgery is for. Ranges from $500 (very basic surgery.. removing non-cancerous growth from tip of tail) to $5000+ (I believe it's around $2000 for Adrenal Disease treatment, $3500 minimum for hairball or object obstruction)

    Metronidazole: $25 for 25mL (for one round of treatment of diarrhea)

    Amoxicillan: $25 for 100mL bottle (Cannot get a smaller amount, as it is made in 100mL batches as needed. For most stomach ailments)

    Those are just the "normal" things. I easily spent $5000 in 3 months attempting to keep Rogue alive... and he ended up dying anyway. I don't even want to think about what I spent on vet bills for Rascal. Renegade got sick once, with salmonella and E. Coli poisoning... easily spent $500 on him then).

    F) Food - The big question. There is a lot of controversy about this one. Ferrets are obligate carnivores. This means that anything that is not meat, is not digested. It comes out the same way it comes in. There is absolutely no nutrients taken from it. Allie and I are both big believers of a grain-free diet. Grain-free lowers the chances of cancers, especially Insulinoma. As far as ferret foods go... there is EVO, and there is Zupreem grain-free. 8 in 1 ULTIMATE (NOT the 8 in 1 you can buy at Walmart) is a good food if you absolutely must feed grains (as well as the original Zupreem). EVO tends to be too rich for ferrets, especially if you get an older ferret that wasn't started on EVO.

    Personally, I feed grain-free kitten or all-stage cat food. It's so important to feed a mix of foods, 1) because nobody really knows WHAT ferrets need and 2) so if a food is unavailable, you will not have a problem getting them to eat another food. Ferrets are imprinted as kits as to what is food and what isn't. It's much more difficult to get an older ferret to transition to another food than a young ferret. Of course, there is always raw feeding, and I can point you to a good forum that will help you start that out if you so wish :) I don't do it because Renegade is allergic to meat -- I have done it before, before I knew he had so many allergies.

    G) Vitamins. There are tons of things on the market for ferrets. Really, the only good thing, is FerreTone. I highly suggest it, it will make life so much easier. FerretVite and FerretLax is good, but only a small amount as a treat every so often. They are filled with sugars, and sugars cause Insulinoma. I highly suggest putting the ferret on a dose of Melatonin from the get-go. It will help prevent Adrenal Disease, and you'll easily get them to take it if they do get sick. It's like $5 for a pack of 30 pills or something like that at Walmart. I have the 3mg pills, and give 0.5mg (1/6 of a pill) per ferret. As a preventative, I'd give it 2 times a week, 7-9 hours after sunrise. I just put a drop of water to dissolve it, put some ferretone, and let them drink it up from a spoon.

    LOL well I've written a novel... and sadly have more to say :p but I'm tired, so I'll leave it at that for now ;)
     
  19. Dizzy

    Dizzy Sit! Good dog.

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    Question. I know most ferret places here will rarely rehome a single ferret alone.

    and 2

    Often feed their ferret chicks, rabbits etc.

    Thoughts??
     
  20. ravennr

    ravennr ಥ⌣ಥ

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    Thank you Jess.

    As a sidenote, in 4th grade I wrote a how-to paper that got published in the paper, it was a school thing. It was How To Walk Your Ferret. :p
    I loved taking my guy for walks.
     

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