Owning a Pet Ferret | PCH.com

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Owning a Pet Ferret

September 16th, 2011 Pets

If you're looking for a new pet and want to think outside of the dog or cat box, a ferret can be a great companion. You may have seen them snoozing in piles in pet store cages or even walking around on leashes, but you may not have considered how fun it is to own one.

Ferrets are intelligent animals who love to play and explore their surroundings. They grow to be about 15 inches long, according to Petco, and typically live for about eight years if they're properly cared for. They sleep up to 18 hours per day, which could be perfect if you're not always around - however, they do need daily attention. It's important to give your ferret plenty of playtime outside of his cage, just be sure to ferret-proof the area by getting rid of items he could chew and blocking off any dangerous places he could get into.

Ferrets need a relatively large cage with a secure door, as they tend to be escape artists. A hammock, a litter box, food, water and toys should also be provided. Change the bedding at the bottom of the cage once a week and clean the cage with mild soap and water.

You may have heard that ferrets smell bad, but really it's just a natural musky odor. Many of these furry pals like taking baths, and there are plenty of ferret shampoos available to keep your frisky companion fresh and clean. Cut your little friends' nails every two or three weeks and brush his fur daily to help with shedding - which Petco says occurs every year.

Ferrets are wonderful companions who will make you laugh and keep you company whenever you need it. They love to investigate their surroundings, so make sure you supervise your animal when you let him out to stop him from getting into mischief.