Wednesday, October 24, 2018

What to Do When FERRETS Bite Hard

English: A picture of a ferret's teeth, very w...
A picture of a ferret's teeth, very white and in good condition
(Photo credit: 
Ferrets bite hard. That’s not an option, but it’s a sad risk ferret owners have to consider. It can happen to anybody at any time with a nearby ferret. But there’s no need to panic. Most bites are not as harmful but still, precautionary measures must be taken properly. 

A Quick Look on Ferret’s Teeth Structure

Ferrets’ teeth are in many ways synonymous to human teeth. But the lethal part in the ferret’s dentures would have to be the tip of their canines. That is the sharp part that some owners decide to cut off at the outset of its growth to avoid ferret bits from plaguing the whole ferret experience.

The good thing is that ferrets’ canine tips can naturally break off from excessive biting of objects. Giving them hard toys they can chew, for example, can help eliminate the threat of its sharp canines.  

Ferret Bite Quick Tip 1: Assess the extent of the damage. If bitten, the very first thing to do would be to assess the depth of the bite. If it is just a minor scratch, clean the wounds but do not make any dismissive presumptions. In the case where you are confronted with a major bite, you need to have it checked immediately. 

Ferret Bite Quick Tip 2: Clean the wound immediately with your first aid kit. Cover it afterward. Having a first aid kit would be very beneficial for both you and your pet ferret. Wash with soap and water, clean it with peroxide, cover it with gauze and if all else fails to proceed to the next step. Note the color of the wound and make sure that the blood flows for a considerable amount of time before cleaning it up. 

Ferret Bite Quick Tip 3: Go to the nearest doctor. Seeking the help of a medical professional will help you have the objective assessment of the wound. It will also ensure that you did not acquire any infections from the ferret bite.  

Ferret Bite Quick Tip 4: Have the ferret checked by the veterinarian. It is not just you who needs to be checked but you also need the help of your veterinarian to have your ferret checked. You also have to have the dentures of your ferret checked to see if there are any remnants of the skin or anything unusual that came from the bite. This is to ensure that both your health and the ferret’s health remain uncompromised.     

Ferret Bite Quick Tip 5: In the case where one ferret bites another, have them both checked and keep them in separate cages until the tension dissipates. In the case of a ferret to ferret bites, you will have to have both of them checked with a veterinarian. If at all possible, analyze the causes of hostile behavior. Eventually, you may have to combine them in a single place again but make sure that this is done with utmost care and in a gradual manner.  

Ferret Bite Quick Tip 6: Furnish your first aid kit immediately for both humans and ferrets. 
Your ferrets must also have their own first aid kit, furnished with pretty much the same thing that the human first aid kit has except that all the objects are downsized to suit your furry creatures.

Exert caution in treating wounds of your ferrets, otherwise, they will see it as an attack and bite you as you treat it.  

Monday, October 8, 2018

How To Re-home Your CHINCHILLA

Domestic chinchillas (Chinchilla lanigera x ch...
Domestic chinchillas (Chinchilla lanigera x chinchilla brevicaudata)
(Photo credit: 
Re-homing your chinchilla is not necessarily a delight to accomplish.  However, if you are in a situation where you can no longer properly care for your chinchilla, the best thing to do is to seek out someone who can give it the love and care that they need.  It will break your heart to let your pet go, especially if you've become bonded to it.  It's also better if you let someone else handle it rather than let it suffer and die.  

You can start your search by placing classified advertisements in the section designated for exotic animals or chinchillas.  Make sure you let them know that there is an adoption fee attached.  You should set the fee at a starting price of $50.00.  It has been advised that you should set it higher than that.  This way, you will weed out the freebie seekers or cheapos.  These types of people are usually not interested in taking care of a chinchilla; they just want to purchase it for their own corrupt whims.

The purpose of the adoption fees is to see if the candidate can properly and is financially able to take care of an exotic pet such as a chinchilla.  Chinchillas need routine care not only from you, but also from a specialized veterinarian.  When you're dealing with specialties, that usually costs more than general things.  If the interested person has an adverse reaction to the fees, then that's a strike against him.  You'll know that they're not interested in the chinchilla's well being.  You want to make sure that the person getting your pet is the most qualified.

Find out how long this person has been taking care of chinchillas.  Did they keep them healthy and active?  Ask them what kind of food did they feed them.  Let them know what brand of pellets and hay you used, in the event, it's different from what they use for their pets.  If they already have a chinchilla, will they try to get them together as mates?

Find out more information about trying to have more than one chinchilla in the same household.  Find out about their veterinarian and how he or she takes care of their chinchilla(s).  Does he or she have the best interest of the pet in mind?  If the person were to go on vacation or had an emergency, is there someone available who is knowledgeable in taking care of chinchillas?

If they can answer your concerns and you feel comfortable with them, then your chinchilla may have a new owner and a new home.  Before the prospect signs on the dotted line, take your chinchilla over there to see if they will adapt to their new environment.

The place should be clean and free from a lot of noise.  Chinchillas aren't comfortable with excessive noise in their domain and it's easy for them to get infections.  See how your pet interacts with them.  If they do well and pass the test, then you probably have a winner.  If your pet clams up and doesn't get comfortable, then you may have to continue looking.

Monday, August 20, 2018

MICE As Pets - The Perfect Low Maintenance Pet That Will Even Learn Tricks

A female fancy mouse with her litter
A female fancy mouse with her litter (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
Mice are a popular choice of pet and unlike their generally bad reputation can be very sociable, intelligent and clean. The most popular type of mouse to have as a pet is the regular domestic mouse which is available at almost any pet store. More specialized types of mice are also available. Pet mice owners believe mice to make the perfect pets because they are fairly low-maintenance, do not make a loud noise and are sociable animals. 

When you purchase a mouse you will obviously have to choose a suitable home for it. The most popular type of housing for mice is the metal cage with a solid floor. This will allow your mouse to grip and climb up and down the walls of the cage. You will need to put a soft layer of hay, shavings or shredded paper on the floor of your mouse's cage. This will have to be cleared out at least once a week to prevent the cage turning smelly. You can equip your mouse's home with toys and play objects fairly cheaply, by adding decorations like pipes, through which they can tunnel, blocks, running wheels and empty cartons. Mice are nocturnal animals and so love to run around and play at night.

While the best type of food that you can feed your mouse will be available at your local pet store, you can also give your pet other alternatives like, leafy vegetables, carrots, celery, cereal and even certain types of worms. Beware that there are some foods that you should never feed your mouse. These include; peanuts, uncooked meat, citrus fruits, such as lemons and oranges, as well as garlic. If you feed your mouse a new type of food product and notice that it develops diarrhoea or skin irritations you should seek veterinary advice as soon as possible.

Much like a cat or dog your pet mouse can also be taught tricks like coming when it is called. After exercising a little patience and trial and error, you will see that your mouse will quickly dispel those rumours that they are un-intelligent animals.

Wednesday, August 1, 2018

The Origins and History of RATS

English: Spotted a white rat at Karni Mata's t...
Spotted a white rat at Karni Mata's temple.
(Photo credit: 
Rats have not always been the fun, multi-coloured, patterned little pets that we see or own today. There are many different species and they can be found more or less all over the world. They play a major part in history and religions worldwide, as well as in today's modern society. This article aims to explore the history of rats in various different cultures.

Let's begin with the origins. Rats are rodents of the Muroidea family. As rodents, their teeth grow continuously and they need to gnaw things on a regular basis to prevent their teeth from overgrowing and causing painful damage to their heads. They are not picky in what the gnaw, they can even gnaw through concrete and steel and are reputed to have a biting pressure of up to 7000lbs per square inch.

Many rodents and small mammals are described as rats although they are not 'True rats', an example of these include the North American Pack Rat and the Kangaroo Rat. 'True Rats' are rats which fall into the Latin genus Rattus, the most common of these being the Black Rat - Rattus Rattus and the Brown Rat - Rattus Norvegicus. These two rats are the best known and most important to humans. The Black Rat is timider and less seen compared to the Brown Rat. This is mainly due to the Brown Rat driving out the Black rat, taking over its habitat and competing for its food. Many other species have also become endangered through competition with both the Black and Brown Rat. Fancy Rats are of the Rattus Norvegicus species, the same as sewer rats!

Rats are distinguished from mice by their size, mice generally being smaller and lighter. This is not an entirely accurate way to determine the class, as some rats can have the characteristics of mice and vice versa. As new species are being discovered the standard classifications can be confusing.

Brown Rats originated in Asia in the grasslands of China. They began to spread across Europe in 1553 and arrived in the US in 1775 after hiding away and travelling on cargo ships. Black Rats arrived in Britain long before the Brown Rat although there is no specific record of an exact time. Reports of bones found in London indicate that the Black Rat lived there as early as the mid-third century A.D and in York in the 5th Century A.D.

Today's rat is opportunistic and lives near to humans, quite often in their houses! This has caused them to become classed as pests. Since one pair of rats can produce up to 300 young per year, many places have become overrun with the mischievous little critters.

Most people don't realize that rats are a lot more complicated and interesting than they are portrayed. They live in colonies which contain complex hierarchies, where they form deep bonds, often risking their own lives to save family and friends. They are highly social, very intelligent and possess psychological traits very similar to humans.

English: Rattus norvegicus, the Brown Rat. Deu...
Rattus norvegicus, the Brown Rat.
(Photo credit: 

A group of rats are known as a pack, or more aptly a 'mischief'. The males are referred to as bucks, females as does and the young as pups or kittens. Domesticated rats differ greatly to their wild counterparts, with smaller hearts, brains, livers, kidneys and adrenal glands. They are also more prone to illness, possibly due to inbreeding.

These animals are usually portrayed as being dirty and diseased, though it is not true. Rats are constantly cleaning and grooming themselves and other pack members. Wild rats are generally robust and healthy, though city dwelling rats have poor diets and can have internal parasites. These cannot be passed on to humans. In fact, rats have very few zoonotic conditions. The most well known of these is Leptospirosis which is also known as Weil's disease and infects the liver, although this is very rare.

Rats have spread all over the world and are worshipped in many cultures. Though in the Western world they are still frowned upon, possibly because of their association with the Black Plague which I will talk about later on.

First, let's look at India, where rats are treated like royalty. In the North West Indian city of Deshnoke, there stands an ornate temple dedicated to Karni Mata, the rat Goddess. Many people in our society would describe the interior of the temple as horrifying, but to a rat lover such as myself, the contents are both wondrous and beautiful.

Thousands of furry brown bodies writhe across the floor and scurry up the intricate gold and silver work that lines the walls. The temple is overrun with rats, there are well over 20,000. It is the duty of the attending to put out bowls of milk and grain for the swarm of rats because they believe that eventually, these furry brown souls will be reincarnated as Sadhus, Hindi holy men. People pilgrimage to this temple, travelling miles just to sit and share food with the rats, or Kabbas, their name for the holy animal. They often eat and drink from the same bowls as the rats, believing that food touched by a Kabbas is a blessing from God.

Many people in our culture would find this temple to be strange or revolting, but it cannot be denied that all religions practise customs that may seem strange to an outsider. The rat loving Hindu temple was constructed in the 1900's by the Maharaja Ganga as a tribute to the rat Goddess Karni Mata. Kings often constructed temples to Goddesses more than Gods, believing the Goddesses to be more sympathetic and likely to help them achieve their goals.

The legend goes that Karni Mata was a mystic matriarch from the 14th century. It was said that she was an incarnation of Durga, the Goddess of power and victory. At some point during her life, the child of one of her clansmen died. She tried in vain to bring the child back to life, only to be told by Yama, the God of death, that the child had already been reincarnated. Karni Mata then cut a deal with Yama: From that point onwards, all of her tribe's people would be reborn as rats until they could be reborn into her clan once more.

The rat is also recognized in India as the vehicle of Lord Ganesh and pictures often depict him riding on the back of a rat. There are always statues of rats in the temple of Ganesh. In Curzon Park, Calcutta, India there is an attraction simply named 'Rat Park', where hundreds of rats scurry around inside a huge wire enclosure.

In Imperial Chinese culture the rat is the first animal of the Chinese zodiac. Rats are revered for their quick wit, ability to hold on to items of value, friendliness, natural charm and loyalty to their friends and family. The year of the rat falls in 1948, 1960, 1972, 1984, 1996 and 2008. People who are born in the year of the rat are said to possess the rat-like qualities of creativity, honesty, generosity and ambition, but also a quick temper and wastefulness.

The rat is the first animal of the Chinese zodiac and the story goes that the twelve animals were stood on the bank of a river arguing about who should head the cycle of years. The Gods were asked to decide and they held a contest, whoever reached the opposite side of the river first would win and the rest would receive their years in the order that they finished. They all jumped into the river, but what the ox didn't realize is that the rat was travelling on his back. So the rat jumped off first and won. The pig was very lazy and finished last. That is why the rat appears first, with the ox second and the pig has the last year.

In old Japan, white rats were seen as the messenger of one of the seven Gods of luck, Daikoku. It is because of this reason that rats are not killed. There is an old story about rats in the Japanese culture: An elderly rat coup0le wanted the strongest husband in the world for their daughter. They asked the sun, who declined, saying that the clouds were stronger than him as they could cover him up. They asked a cloud who said, 'The wind is stronger than I because he can blow me away.' The wind could not make the grade either, 'The wall stops me cold,' he said. Even though the wall was honoured by the offer, he wailed 'The rat is stronger than I! He can bore a hole right through me!' So the couple wisely gave their daughter in marriage to another rat, who was indeed the strongest creature of them all. At New year, the Japanese leave rice cakes out to honour the rats.

In Ancient Rome there was no classification between rats and mice, they were simply referred to as 'big mouse' and 'little mouse'. The Romans saw rats as omens, seeing a white rat was considered auspicious, though black ones had unfortunate significance. It was said that if a rat had gnawed your personal possessions, you should postpone any business you may have been considering that day.

It is unclear as to whether or not rats held any significance in Ancient Egypt. There are pictures which show anthropomorphic rats, but there appears to be no rat deity. It is believed that rats were pests in Egypt, destroying crops and belongings, which is probably why the cat is held in high favour.

Perhaps the most memorable event in British history concerning rats is undoubtedly the Black Plague. It is possibly because of this that the Western world has such a negative association with the rat.

It is often said that the rats were the actual cause of the Black Plague. This is not true, the rats themselves were also victims. The plague was caused by the microorganism, Yersinia Pestis, which was carried by the Tropical Rat Flea. The bacteria blocked the flea's stomach causing an insatiable hunger. So the fleas fed on the rats. During the feeding process, the flea would regurgitate some of the bacteria into the open would, infecting its victim. After a while, the victim died and very soon the starving flea had less and less to prey on, so it moved on to another victim, humans.

The disease itself flared up in Mongolia in the Gobi desert around 1320 and rapidly spread along the trade route, infecting much of Asia before moving through Europe. The plague eventually arrived in Britain in 1348, and by 1349 every town and village in Britain had been infected.

The disease became known as the Bubonic Plague, as it caused painful swelling of the lymph nodes - buboes. Throughout the years there were many cases as the plague came and went through areas of Britain. But in 1665 the great plague hit London, killing half of its population. The disease was spread from person to person via airborne water droplets, mainly coughs and sneezes. Due to the lack of medical knowledge at the time, it raged through the city. An epidemic was upon us.

It started as an acute fever with headaches, exhaustion, chills and delirium. The lymph nodes swelled up and became hot and painful to touch. The final stages were septicaemia, coughing up blood and a lung infection. Four or five days later, death arrived.

No one really knows how the plague eventually came to an end. Reasons could have been lack of food sources, the bacterium becoming weaker or simply the fact that the surviving humans were becoming immune. Frighteningly enough, the Bubonic plague is still common in parts of the world today, though it can be treated and does not have the same devastating effects.

During the Victorian ages, London was swarming with rats. Rats being the cheeky, opportunistic creatures that they are, realized that there was plenty of food and places to live instead of having to struggle for survival. The abundance of rats leads to a cruel new blood sport, which although is ghastly and gory, is one of the reasons we have Fancy Rats today.

Rat baiting was seen as an entertaining way to keep the pests under control. Men caught large amounts of live rodents and brought them in sacks to public sporting houses. The rats were then dumped into a pit with a dog, or sometimes even a grown man. The dog (or man) was then timed as it tore through the pack. Whichever dog killed the most rats in the shortest time was declared the winner.

Jimmy Shaw managed one of the largest public sporting houses in London. After a while, he began collecting and breeding oddly coloured rats to create more colours and patterns. He then sold these 'new' rats to the public as pets.

But the man who can be credited as the originator of the first true domestic rats, was the Royal rat catcher, Jack Black. The rise of the rat population meant that many men had found new employment as exterminators, or rat-catchers as they were known at the time. It was often these men who supplied to sporting houses. In his line of work, Black came across many rats and after a while, he too began to collect and breed the odd coloured ones he found. After a while he had quite the collection; albinos, fawns, greys and marked rodents, which he then sold as pets. Between them, Jack Black and Jimmy Shaw sold hundreds of pet rats, laying down the foundations from which today's Fancy Rats originate.

In the 1800's, coloured or 'Fancy' mice became popular pets. People began to realize that these furry little critters made delightful and entertaining companions. They were very easy to keep, only needing small housing as well as food and water, and with the different varieties in colour and pattern, they were also pleasing to the eye. Interest in mice continued to rise until in 1895 the National Mouse Club was founded in the UK. The NMC set up the different standards and varieties and also held shows.

Meanwhile, dwelling in the background was a very special lady, Mary Douglas. In 1901, Ms Douglas wrote to the NMC concerning Fancy Rats and asked if their club would consider expanding their interests to include the Fancy Rat. After much debate, the NMC agreed and that same year, the classes for Fancy Rats were staged.

By 1912 the interest in Fancy Rats had exploded and was so high that the NMC decided to change their name to 'The National Mouse and Rat Club'. It was during this time that the scientific community discovered the benefits of rats in research. In 1921 Mary Douglas passed away and the interest in rats began to wane again. The NMC returned to their old name.

Over the following years, the rat lovers longed for an official club of some description, but the interest in rats as pets was still too low and there were not enough rat fanciers to make a decent club or society. The rat fanciers were left wanting until 1976 when interest was high enough again to start up the National Fancy Rat Society, the first ever rat only organization.

Interest in having rats as pets grew rapidly and very soon new varieties were founded and standardized. The National Fancy Rat Society is still active today and remains the UK's number one rat club.

    By Stacey Silver
    Stacey Silver has kept and bred rats for twelve years, caring for around 200 rats in this time. She has also owned an Exotic Pet shop and studied courses in animal husbandry.

    You can find out more about The National Fancy Rat Society by visiting their website at

    Article Source: EzineArticles

Wednesday, February 21, 2018

What To Expect And Prepare For When Keeping FERRETS As Pets

English: A picture of a ferret's teeth, very w...
A picture of a ferret's teeth, very white and in good condition
 (Photo credit: 
If you are going to keep a ferret as a pet, then there are a few things you need to keep in mind so that you and your new friend can both lead healthy and happy lives.

First of all, know what you are getting into. Yes, ferrets are quite cuddly and cute, but they have certain needs that must be met and they have personalities that can get them into trouble and possibly hurt. You need to be one hundred percent sure that you are capable of meeting these needs so to provide for a happy and healthy environment for your ferret and you need to also be sure that you can have the patience that may be needed when they become mischievous.

So let's take a look at all of the needs of your new ferret, and what you will have to do to provide these needs for them.

It is an absolute necessity that you take the proper measures to make your home a safe environment for your new pet ferret. By this, you will need to take appropriate action to "ferret proof" your home to the greatest extent possible. You will need to ensure that even the smallest opening that you would think be impossible for your ferret to squeeze into, be sealed. You will actually be very surprised and even shocked at times, the small places they tend to find themselves getting into. After all, you wouldn't want to lose your new ferret in the wall of your home, or in your kitchen stove and other appliances would you? Make sure to seal or attach some type of barrier that will not allow them access to places like under your refrigerator, the kitchen stove, your laundry washing machine, and dryer. In the case of the clothes dryer, make sure that the vent hose is securely attached to the wall properly so to not allow them access to inside the vent. Just remember, think small and seal it all. All of these little precautions taken before you bring your ferret to its new home, will be well worth the effort and keep your ferret safe and out of harm's way.

Ferret Cages
Though many people let their ferrets have run of the house, there will almost assuredly come a time when you may have to leave your home even if it is just for a short period of time. It is this situation where having a ferret kennel or ferret cage will not only come in handy but also provide protection for your ferret if from nothing else; themselves.

When you choose a ferret habitat, it does not necessarily have to be a ferret McMansion but it should be sizable enough to offer enough room for bursts of playful energy that will most certainly erupt when they are not sleeping. The ferret cage should also be made comfortable and an enjoyable place for them to call home when you are not.

There should be small and dark places for them to squeeze into since this is one of their favorite things to do. You can provide for this need in several ways. An old box of cereal can make for days upon days of comfortable "hiding" places for your little ferret buddy. An old backpack that you may not be using will also make a good ferret hiding place just so long as it is presented in a way that will allow easy entry and escape, and also made so that there is no way for them to suffocate. You can also make a tube for your ferret to hide and crawl in out of old PVC pipe material or even an old clothes dryer vent hose.

Many ferret cages already come equipped with everything your ferret needs to be comfortable and happy. With tubes, ladders, and little ferret hammocks there will not be too much else that you will need to provide for entertainment. Save some toys. One of the best things you can get to add to your ferret's habitat is people baby toy sets. You know, those sets that have rattles and shiny big bells that make noise. Just be sure that the bells are large enough so that your ferret does not run the risk of ingesting it. That will be another topic covered later in this reading, the ingesting of objects topic.

Once you have their new habitat all set up and they seemed pleased with it, you will need to make sure that you provide a litter box for your ferret and you will also need to make sure that you keep the litter box away from where their food and water are kept in their cage. Just like us humans, they don't want to eat where they do. You will also need to keep the litter box cleaned on a regular basis, preferably at least once a day, since they can be pretty picky about this topic. It is also advisable to use the pelleted type of ferret litter over the clumping kind, as the clumping kind can cause the ferret's nasal passageways to become irritated.

Once you take all of these steps, you will be well on your way to providing your ferret with a decent and healthy environment they will be glad to call home.

Food and Water
Now we can move on to the topic of your new ferret's diet and nutritional needs. Overall it is pretty simple as far as their diet goes, but I will expound on the subject to include other nutritional factors and some sources to help you find them.

Water, of course, is an absolute must and it must be clean. Rather than just a regular water dish (though that will do), it might be advisable to get your ferret used to taking water from a small animal water bottle. The same style used for both rabbits and guinea pigs. This will allow for easy access to clean fresh water at all times and will also provide a spill free way for your ferret to drink without having to worry about messes and "extra" play time that they might engage in.

A ferrets diet is relatively simple, protein and fat. The ferret's digestive tract is not made to handle the fiber of fruits and vegetables, it is specifically designed for the consumption and digestion of meat. Your little cute ferret buddy is a ravenous carnivore and will always be. So even if you are a stark vegetarian, there is no converting your ferret to your lifestyle. Otherwise, you may have a very uncomfortable and sick ferret on your hands and you would not want that. Once you understand that, providing a food source is easy.

So let's examine some good sources of protein-rich high-fat food sources. As a rule of thumb, the ratio between protein content and fat content for your ferret should be about thirty-five (35) to thirty-eight (38) percent protein and about twenty-two (22) to twenty five(25) percent fat. Both of these need to be from high-quality sources as some ferret foods contain proteins made from vegetable matter which will cause your ferret to have some digestive problems.

You should take great care and the time to actually read the ingredients on any container of ferret food you are considering purchasing. It is also important to note that while it may be tempting to purchase a cheaper brand of ferret food, the protein content of these items is generally much less than those that are higher in price. So you would be basically spending the same or even more in the long run as your ferret would require more food intake from these inferior products. This too would lead to the necessity of cleaning the litter box more often than if you feed them the proper protein ratios, to begin with since they cannot digest it, they get rid of it. This will lead to using more litter adding to your expense.

Always look for food that has a meat product listed as the number one ingredient. This should be poultry or some other type of poultry protein variant. Fish meal based products are ok, but they are going to have a strong fish smell to them, so it is advisable to stick with poultry proteins and poultry by-products.

Ferrets require at a minimum, thirty(30) percent protein intake every day, just to lead a healthy life. If you are feeding your ferret the properly balanced diet of protein and fat, then there should be no need for any type of dietary supplement. However; that said, some ferret owners give their ferrets fatty acid supplements like ferretone or linatone. These two products should be used in strict moderation as it can lead to your ferret becoming obese. With the proper diet, these types of products should only be used for rewards and special treats.

Proteins and fats are essential for your ferrets well being and health. The high protein part of their diet aids in strong muscle growth and development while the fat portion of the diet gives them the energy they need to be the rambunctious critters that they are.

Though fiber, as a rule, is a substance that should be avoided, some fiber is necessary for proper intestinal function. Carbohydrates, like those found in the binders of their food(rice, soy, and corn), can be sources of energy for your ferret but not as good a source as that of fat.

Speaking of the binders that make up part of your ferret's food, it is rice that is perhaps the best and most tolerable of all as it is easily digested and has enough fiber to aid your ferret's bowel movements. Some veterinarians recommend that you limit your ferret's intake of soy, another filler used, as it may cause hormonal problems later in your ferret's life. Though that has neither been formally proven or dis-proven, soy is still tolerated very well by the ferret's digestive system. Corn, on the other hand, is one filler that you have to watch out for as some ferrets can develop a food allergy to it.

Some of the signs that your ferret may be allergic to the corn bound food it may be eating are irregular or soft stools, stools with a mucus, gas and bloating, and pawing at the mouth because of stomach upset. If you suspect that your ferret is having an allergic reaction to the food it is eating, then it is highly advisable to get them to your veterinarian as quickly as possible. The long-term effects of this food allergy can lead to the hardening of the bowels and ulcerations.

Vitamins are essential for ferret health as well, but it would be advisable to consult with a veterinarian or other ferret specialist before starting some regime of vitamin supplementation as they can develop a toxicity when given too much or too often.

Minerals are important for ferret health as well, there again, as stated above it would do your ferret best to consult an expert before starting a mineral supplement program on your own as this too could become life-threatening to your ferret if the doses are not administered properly.

If you are using a high-quality ferret food, to begin with, almost every vitamin and mineral needed by your ferret is provided in the food they eat.

Grooming your ferret is also important. Though it is not a good idea to bathe them often, they will need a bath, a brushing, and claw clipping on occasion. Let's take a look at the best practices for these chores.

Bathing your ferret will become a ritual, to say the least. Some ferrets take to the water pretty well and actually enjoy swimming around and having fun, while others will need your absolute patience and assistance in the bathing ritual.
(Not too often.)

You should only give your ferret a bath a maximum of one bath each month. The reason being that frequent bathing washes away the essential oils needed for healthy ferret skin and coat. Some say that a bath every two to three months is best, but that's up to you just as long as you are aware that bathing too often is bad for your ferret.

The water temperature should be should be warm to touch but definitely not too hot. You should use a very gentle shampoo like baby shampoo and lather the fuzzy up real good. You need to take great care as to not get any soap into the eyes or ears of your ferret. If you do, try to rinse it out as quickly as possible. Also, make sure that when you are rinsing off your ferret to not leave any soap residue on them because it will dry out their skin and also try to not let them get chilled.

When drying, try to get it done as soon as possible.

Keeping your ferret brushed and well groomed also helps prevent the hairball problem and is good for their coat. You can do this as often as you like, but be gentle of course when doing so.

Claw trimming will also be necessary from time to time. It is very important that great care and caution is taken when doing so. Be extra careful not to trim too close to the nail quick, because just like for us humans, it will hurt them as well. You can pick up the tools you need for this at almost any pet store and it would be a good idea, especially if you are completely new to ferrets, to have a professional groomer show you the ropes in the beginning.

Ferrets and disease

Ferrets are susceptible to a number of diseases and other health problems. Knowing this beforehand can prepare you for what is inevitable at some point in your ferret's life.

Here are some of the diseases that your ferret may encounter. Not saying that it is a guarantee that your that your ferret will get a disease, it is just that they have become predisposed to certain illnesses and diseases over the years. So the chance for some type of illness is somewhat greater. Below is a partial list of common ferret diseases that you can use for reference to investigate on your own further. This list is by no means all of the diseases they can get.

Pyogenic Infections:
1. Subcutaneous Abscesses
2. Pyometra and Vaginitis/Vulvar Cellulitis
3. Proliferative Colitis
4. Helicobacter Infections
5. Mastitis
6. Dermatophytosis
7. Salmonellosis
8. Tuberculosis
9. Botulism

1. Hyperadrenocorticism
2. Hypoglycemia
3. Diabetes Mellitus
4. Hyperestrogenism
5. Eclamptogenic Toxemia and Nursing Sickness

Other Types Of Disease:
1. Gastrointestinal Foreign Body
2. Urolithiasis
3. Posterior Paralysis
4. Gastric Ulcers
5. Congestive Heart Disease
6. Dental Disease
7. Heat Stroke
8. Nutritional Diseases

1. Adrenal tumors
2. Insulinoma
3. Lymphosarcoma
4. Chordomas
5. Mast cell tumors, basal cell tumors and sebaceous cell tumors

As you can see, there are quite a few diseases that you will have to stay on the lookout for. This is not even a complete list. They are even prone to catch the human flu virus, so if you ever find yourself with the flu, it might do your ferret well to stay away from you. For more information on that and all of the other diseases they can get, I would suggest doing a search online yourself for all of the different diseases ferrets are prone to. There is no need to constantly be afraid for your ferret's health, but it is a good idea as always to get educated.

Well, we have certainly covered a lot of ground concerning being prepared and what it takes to have a ferret as a pet. It is a responsibility just the same as a dog, a cat, or even a child. There is no one or nothing else to look out for and take care of your ferret but you.

In recap, we talked about ferret-proofing your home so that your new ferret can live safe and sound. We talked about your ferret's diet, grooming, diseases, and habitat.

Ferret Habits
Now let's wrap this up with ferret habits. This should be interesting.

The word ferret partly originated from the Latin word for thief. So that should speak volumes for you. Be prepared for things to come up missing. Especially shiny pretty things. If your car keys come up missing, they probably are not under the couch cushion.

Ferrets are very inquisitive, this, of course, can lead to some serious trouble for them so that is why that it is imperative that you pay attention to what they are doing and what they are getting into.

Ferrets also tend to like to chew on soft rubber objects so it is wise to keep an eye out for chewable electric cords and cables, tennis shoe soles, sponges, and anything else chewable. This habit can cause all sorts of issues, especially if the material is ingested. This can cause intestinal blockage and will most likely require a trip to the animal ER, so make sure to do a walk around of your home a few times a day all the while on the lookout for rubber bands and other chewable things they might swallow.

Be sure that your ferret does not have any access to any of your household cleaning products as common sense should tell you that it will be fatal for your ferret.

If you have other pets, be aware that while ferrets can get along with and live with other animals; however, if you have a pet bird it would do you well to keep your bird out of the reach of your ferret. Can you say free lunch!

As mentioned at the beginning of this article, ferrets love to tunnel and explore. It's in their very nature. That is why you must make sure that every small hole is sealed. That includes where pipes and plumbing come out of walls and electrical outlets too. Give them an inch and they will take a mile. Seriously, all the opening they need is about an inch and they can squeeze themselves through.
Don't be alarmed when your ferret does a war dance in front of you. It is just a sign that they are excited and in a playful mood and that's what you call all that jumping and twisting about. So entertain them just like they entertain you.

I do hope you have found some insight into what to expect if you ever decide to bring a ferret into your home and have taken away some knowledge that you may not have known before otherwise.
Just know that this is by far not all the information to know about ferrets and how to take good care of them. There is still plenty of useful information for you to find for yourself online or at your local library, pet store, and most importantly from other ferret keepers.

Sunday, February 18, 2018

Taming a Skunk Problem On Your Property

Hooded Skunk - Photo: Pixabay
Have you been scratching your head, trying to figure out a way to stop pesky skunks from trespassing onto your property? Has your dog been sprayed one too many times by a skunk that seems to never go away? Are you fed up with that distinct skunk smell outside of your house every day? If you have answered yes to any of these questions, then you need to read this article. Continue reading to learn effective methods for skunk removal and control that you can implement as soon as today!

Skunk Removal and Control
There are certain steps a homeowner can take that will make their property seem undesirable to skunks and other pesky critters. As long as you do the things mentioned in this article, you should have no problem taming a skunk infestation on your property. Keep in mind that the most common area for a skunk to hang out is under the front porch or patio. For some unknown reason, they prefer these dark, cooler areas. Probably a means to protect themselves and their young from being visible to predators; but the problem is, they are usually invisible to us as well.

So now you know that if you cannot figure out where a skunk is on your property, but you smell it, it is most likely underneath the porch or deck. Do not try to take a look or attempt to trap, touch, or harm any skunks. Not only is this illegal without a proper permit, it is wrong. There are several safe and humane ways to get rid of skunks other than killing or harming them.

As for yourself, there are many DIY methods to preventing skunks from living on or around your home, but if you find a colony of baby and mother skunks, you must call a local animal control company for professional assistance. They use sage and humane methods to extract skunks and relocate them to a faraway and safer habitat. Now back to the DIY approach. Here are six DIY skunk-fending tips for your home and property:

1. If you know there are no skunks beneath your porch or patio, go ahead and block off all access point so they cannot make this area their home in the future. Be diligent with this because skunks can surprisingly squeeze through some very small spaces.

2. Never leave pet food or dishes outside. This is a free, easy, and tasty snack for skunks and many other wild animals. If you have bags of pet food in your shed or garage, be sure to lock them up.

3. Remove all other food sources from your property, including bird feeders and squirrel feeders.

4. If you have a garden, always be sure to install fencing around them to prevent skunks from accessing any crops.

5. Never take the trash out the night before garbage pickup day. And always secure the trash can lids to prevent animals from smelling food and enticing them to find it.

6. Eliminate hiding spots for skunks by keeping tall grass and weeds mowed. If they cannot hide, they will not enter the premises at all.

    Call Wildlife Animal Removal at 317-257-2290 for safe and humane skunk removal services in Indianapolis, Indiana. Visit their website at for contact and company information. They are DNR licensed animal control specialists that also provide services for all other types of nuisance wildlife, such as raccoons, moles, bats, squirrels, opossum, snakes, rabbits, and more. Call 317-257-2290 for free information and advice regarding skunk removal and control in Indianapolis, IN today.
    Article Source: EzineArticles

Sunday, February 4, 2018

Spiders Have Special Benefits- But Beware Of That Bite!

Black Widow - Photo: Wikimedia
Many Americans warmly welcome four-legged friends into their homes, but few are comfortable when creatures with eight legs wander in from outside.

Even though they make you shriek, some spiders play a positive role around your home by preying on other pests. For some homeowners, their contributions to reducing unwanted insects far outweigh the fear they evoke.

"Many household spiders are not dangerous to humans," said Orkin, Inc. entomologist Ron Harrison, Ph.D. "However, there are a few species with a venomous bite. The key is distinguishing between those that make harmless houseguests and those that present a threat to your family." 

Several spiders can protect your home from pesky invaders. Cellar spiders-the web-spinning species most common in homes have been known to prey on black widow spiders. Some, like the spiny orb weaver and house spiders, can hunt crickets and small flying insects. Wolf spiders can help rid lawns and gardens of common pests. Even the brown recluse-the most dangerous spider to humans-can assist by eating cockroaches, silverfish, and other soft-bodied insects.

When protecting your family from venomous spiders, it is important to identify key characteristics of harmful species like the black widow, brown recluse and yellow sac spiders, whose bites can cause severe skin irritations.

  • Black Widow: Females are shiny black, with a red hourglass-shaped mark on their abdomen.
  • Brown Recluse: This spider is yellowish to brown in color, with a dark brown violin-shaped back marking; legs are long and thin with fine hair.
  • Yellow Sac: This spider has yellow coloring; its abdomen is often much brighter than its head or legs.

According to a survey conducted by Orkin, Inc., spiders have a noticeable presence in two out of three American households. So when spiders make frequent appearances in your home, trust an experienced professional to identify the species, consider its web-building or hunting behaviors and determine the best way to control the infestation. 

Homeowners can take some steps to prevent spider invasions and reduce potentially harmful encounters, such as removing food sources and discouraging nesting by keeping low-traffic areas, such as cellars or closets, clear. However, a licensed pest control company should be called upon to treat and repel spider infestations.