Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Training Your Pet Ferret

Although they have become more popular over the years, ferrets are not your typical pet and many people think these exotic creatures are more like wild animals than companion pets. While they may look like they belong in the woods instead of in your living room, the ferrets you buy in the pet store are really quite domesticated and can be trained to do many things.

Even though ferrets are strong willed they are also very intelligent and can be easy to train. As long as you use patience and consistency, you can train any ferret. Just like with any pet, you need to adapt your training techniques to the specific personality of the ferret, but there are some basic ferret training tips to follow.

The best way to train a ferret is to use positive reinforcement. This form of training allows you to shape the behavior that you desire by giving them a positive reward when they perform a specific behavior. At first, you should reward them for behavior that is close to the desired behavior and then gradually work to exact behavior. The most effective reward for this training is food and treats are good as long as they are giving in small amounts. Positive reinforcement is much better for training than punishment since you will teach them what you want them to do rather than something you don't want them to do.

If the ferret does something you don't want them to do then the best thing to do is take your attention away from them. This way the ferret doesn't get attention for doing some sort of bad behavior. The reason for this is that for some animals any attention is good attention even if you are angry with them. Therefore, if you must punish your ferret for bad behavior then a time out may be the best option. Never hit or yell at your ferret for doing something bad.

These ferret training tips can work for the large issues such as litter box training and training your ferret not to nip while playing. However, at the same time these training tips can be used for smaller things such as simple tricks and how to walk on a leash. Regardless of what you are, training your ferret to do always remember that persistence, patient and consistency is the key.

Your pet ferret can be trained to do the necessities like using a litter box and walking on a leash, but he can also be trained to do tricks if you want to take the time. You can train him to stand up and even to stay on your shoulder without trying to run down every time he sees something that catches his interest.

When starting a training program for your ferret, it's probably best to start with the simple things like litter box training and you can eventually move on to bigger and better tricks - use your imagination and you will have a great time bonding with your pet.

By : Lee Dobbins

Ferrets The Ideal Pet

If you love pets that are quiet and cute, then ferrets will be the right choice. Because by their very appearance, many people tend to mistake them for rodents but they are actually more like a cross between a cat and a dog.

During earlier times ferrets were used to hunt down, or dig out rabbits from their burrows. But nowadays they are mostly kept as pets. If you are thinking of buying a ferret, you should buy one from reputable shelters or breeders or from the Humane Society.

Before taking your ferret home, make sure that your ferret has been given the necessary vaccinations. It is also a good idea to consult a local veterinarian for information on common ferret diseases and their cure. Ferrets live roughly for about 7 to 10 years. A ferret costs around $75 to $120, depending on its age and from where you buy.

Contrary to common belief, ferrets can be trained effectively though it may not be as easy as training cats or dogs. Training ferrets to learn the rules of the house will be a gradual process. The best way to reward a ferret for positive behavior is by giving it food. For behaviors that are not acceptable, paying no attention to the ferret or confining it in the cage will work wonders. As ferrets move around a lot, they tend to mess up the rooms. Nipping is also a major problem associated with ferrets. Nevertheless they can be trained to use the litter and not to nip.

Good ferret care is important for raising a healthy and happy ferret. Frequent interaction with their owners help ferrets get used to their new homes. It is also a good idea to spend a lot of time with your new pet ferret especially during the early days of domesticating. Ferrets that are used to playing with people since their baby days tend to be more friendly and playful. Though ferrets sleep almost 15 to 16 hours a day, they are very active the rest of the time and love to play with toys and frolic around.

Ferrets are carnivores by nature and require a diet rich in animal protein and low in fiber. Ferrets were generally given cat or dog dry foods before, but nowadays specially packed ferret foods are available in pet shops. Totally Ferret, Ferrotone and Zupreem are the most common ferret food brands among ferret owners.

A variety of ferret accessories are now also available on the market, which include toys, cages and other innovative items. Large cages should be bought complete with floors, stairs and tunnels. If you have enough space in your backyard, you can also make a natural abode for your pet, including hammocks, hanging bunks, cozy beds and custom litters.

By: Sue Jan

Your Ferret and The Flu

Did you know that you can give your ferret the flu? Did you know it can give you the flu? And this latest version, the swine flu, is no exception. The swine flu variation is, in fact, more of a potential problem than other varieties because it passes so quickly and easily from person to person and animal to person. Right now various countries around the world are tallying their number of sick people and their number of dead from this variation that has come to be called the swine flu.

You can make your ferret sick and it can make you sick, bottom line. It’s worse for your ferret because of the possibility of it turning into ferret pneumonia, which is often fatal.

How do you tell the difference between a cold and the flu? It is often confusing, but here are the basics: a fever accompanies the flu, but not a cold, and the flu grabs you quicker than a cold does. Of course, you don’t want to give your ferret a cold either, so it’s best to play it safe and wash your hands before and after handling ferret items, don’t sneeze or cough around your ferrets, and if you’re sure you have the flu it is best to get someone else to handle your ferret chores.

Another danger to your ferrets is that this flu might become ferret pneumonia. Some of the symptoms of ferret pneumonia are:

• Nasal discharge
• Difficulty breathing
• Increased respiratory rate
• Loss of appetite
• Lethargy
• Cyanosis (blue discoloration of the mucous membranes, such as the gums)
• Fever

Should you see these symptoms in your ferrets, take them to the veterinarian immediately. The prognosis is good if you get your ferret to the vet in time for treatment with antibiotics, to which they usually respond very well.

You have to be as alert and as knowledgeable as you can. The stakes are too high to just shrug it off. You can make your ferret seriously ill, and that can lead to death for your furry little buddy! Get serious: if you have the flu, go to the doctor and stay away from your ferrets. If they have the flu, get them to a vet right away before it turns into pneumonia.

Ferrets react to the flu just like humans do, and they are often used as test subjects for that very reason. The National Institute for Medical Research (NIMR), in north London, is one of only five World Health Organization centers for flu research. These scientists will receive live samples of swine flu that they can analyze and find a way to combat this latest menace. They will do their analyses in a high-level containment lab since it spreads so easily and quickly from person to person, ferret to person, and person to ferret. They will inject the swine flu virus into the ferrets and watch them as they build antibodies, just as humans do.

Hopefully their research will produce a vaccine or an antidote to help combat swine flu before it becomes a pandemic. As the old saying goes, “an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure,” and that certainly applies when trying to keep your ferrets healthy and happy.

By: S Reinheart

Ferrets are Fun Pets but Beware

Ferrets are loveable creatures, fluffy, furry, full of fun and perpetual energy. They are permanently playful as kittens and heart meltingly adorable to look at.

They are always searching for something and in the process of looking are expert wreckers. These guys could move mountains.

They are also thieves and expertly hoard their booty in a variety of places. They know no fear and will go anyway and tackle anything. Having a ferret hopping around your home is the best thing to bring a smile to any face. They're not the third most popular pet for nothing.

As pets ferrets are really lovely creatures but beware because they're difficult pets to keep and their health needs careful watching. They also like to bite, especially ears and toes.

Ferrets are pets you need to research and learn about for your sake and for theirs. They need proper training and care. You can train them with expert advice for things like not biting and in relation to toilet. Diet and health care is very important as it is with most small furry animals, like rats and mice.

You need to allow for vet fees and you need to find a vet specialising in ferrets. For example, a young female ferret needs to be de-sexed at six months old if she is not going to breed, otherwise she could die. Be sure the vet is an expert on ferrets. You don't want to lose your pet because losing a ferret is truly a sad affair.

Don't, please, just buy a ferret and think you can look after it and it will be ok. It probably won't be ok. You need to learn about these lovely but delicate creatures so that you can keep them healthy and alive and enjoy a fun life with them to the full.

By : James Larkin