The must-know basics of caring for a ferret 0 353

Pet ferret in a cage

Ferrets can be a great alternative to cats and dogs for animal lovers looking for something a little different. They are domesticated animals, with the propensity to develop deep bonds with their owners. However, they are also incredibly energetic animals, often requiring more time and attention than more popular species of pets. To decide whether a ferret is for you, read the following pet care advice every ferret owner should know.

1. Make sure your ferret gets enough play time

Ferrets are very social animals and tend to be happiest when in small groups. In this way, ferret owners are often encouraged to adopt at least a pair of ferrets so that they will have companionship and a partner to play with. In terms of play, ferret owners should be aware of the highly inquisitive nature of ferrets and the need to provide them with playthings to nip and get rough with. If you don’t, you may find your furniture becomes the next best thing. (5 Fun Ways to Play with a Pet Ferret)

2. Invest in a decent cage

Ferret cages tend to be designed with their needs in mind, featuring two levels and a small dark hut for sleeping. Make sure the cage has enough space for your ferret(s) and add enough cosy materials for bedding. The cage and bedding should be washed at regular intervals.

3. Food

Ferrets are carnivores and meat is an absolute must in their diet. There are a number of specialised ferret foods available from pet stores, but make sure they are not too high in vegetable or grain matter as this can lead to health problems down the line. Generally speaking, ferrets can be fussy eaters, so it is best to buy their food little and often to avoid having to waste it. Always ensure that they have fresh water to hand.

4. Ferret-proof your home

As ferrets are so agile and able to wend their way through tight spots, ferret-proofing your home is an absolute necessity. Losing your ferret in the home can lead to them getting injured or even escaping. In this way, make sure any tight spots are kept to a minimum and make sure electrical wires are kept well out of reach.

Previous ArticleNext Article

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

3 surprising behaviours of pet rats 0 358

Pet rat behaviour

Rats have been given a bad name by decades of bad press. Far from the dirty, disease-filled pests that are portrayed on our screens, these sociable, clean animals have a few surprising perks to owning them.

These sociable, friendly pets are highly trainable animals who show affection for their owners and have many cute little quirks that make them great companions. They also have a very strange way of showing they’re happy!

With that in mind, here are three surprising behaviours of pet rats.

1. They are incredibly playful animals

This one will be no surprise to those who will have seen the boxing, chasing and excited jumps with their own eyes, but many are unaware that rats spend lots of time playing with each other and their owners. One scientific study actually showed that rats giggle when they are tickled. It’s highly recommended that you fill your pet rat’s cage with lots of enrichment toys and interact with them daily. Many owners report that their pet rats love being chased or to wrestle their hands!

2. They are incredibly social animals and love to show affection

Rats are incredibly social creatures. While of course every animal has its own personality and there are exceptions to the rule, they need to live with at least one other rat and most enjoy lots of daily interaction with their owners. It is not a rare sight to see pet rats snuggled up in the laps, pockets and sleeves of their humans. They will also nibble and lick them, as they would other rats, in a show of affection.

3. They boggle their eyes when they are happy

Surprising when first witnessed, one of the most peculiar aspects of rats is the way they display their contentment. While cats purr and dogs wag their tails, when a rat is very happy or relaxed they will brux and boggle – which is a sort of teeth grinding and very fast bulging of the eyes.

Rats are brilliant pets for all ages and there are many positives that come from owning these friendly, misunderstood animals.

What can degus eat? 0 481

What can degus eat

When they’re living in the wild, degus focus on dietary fibre. It makes up about 60% of their diet, with the other 40% consisting of natural vegetation. But when they’re kept as pets, you’ll need to keep a close eye on what you feed your degu.

Good quality hay

For the most part, your degu’s diet should consist of good quality hay. There are lots of brands that will suffice, but two of particularly good quality are Timothy Hay and Meadow Hay. Keep an eye on the colour: if it’s pink or white, you should throw this hay away as it’s growing mould. If it’s green, it can cause bloating. Occasionally, you can mix some Alfalfa hay in with your regular hay. It’s high in protein, so great in small doses.

You can top up your degu’s bowl with a little bit of guinea pig or degu-specific food, but don’t go overboard. It’s important that your degu doesn’t start ignoring the hay because it’s got a range of health benefits, including the maintenance of a healthy gut and strong teeth. Around 10g of degu food a day should do the trick.

Human food in moderation

The good news is you can feed your degu some of your human food! Give them to your degu in moderation though, as they can cause gas and bloating. On rotation, you can feed them the following foods around once or twice a week:

• Asparagus
• Carrot tops
• Dandelion leaves
• Broccoli
• Cauliflower
• Fresh herbs
• Brussels sprouts
• Celery
• Cabbage
• Courgette
• Green beans
• Beetroot
• Dried herbs
• Pumpkin
• Butternut squash
• Marigold flowers
• Radish

Some sugary foods can be an occasional treat for your degu. In excess, they carry the risk of diabetes, so we’d only recommend doing this once a month.

• Apple
• Cherry tomatoes
• Peas
• Sweet potato
• Carrots
• Cucumber
• Sweetcorn or corn on the cob

When it’s treat time for your degu, give them a tiny amount (one or two) of:

• Sunflower seeds
• Peanuts
• Pumpkin seeds
• Whole nuts

As a general rule, the main thing to avoid giving your degu is fruit not listed here, rabbit food, hamster food or anything with molasses.

Just like us, degus love food – whether it’s good or bad for them. Bookmark this page to make sure you give your degu a balanced diet, and happy feeding!

Learn more about caring for your degu and other pet care advice here: http://www.nichepets.com/category/mammals/degus/