Ferrets have gained popularity as household pets in recent years and there are many people that truly love and adequately care for these long and furry animals. They give them attention with playtime and time for affection and calm interaction. They provide them with the vet care that is necessary for them to thrive and live healthy lives. These are wonderful people who are well-suited to owning ferrets.
There are other people, however, who may be equally wonderful in many ways, but are not ideal owners for this particular pet. Ferrets require a great deal of attention from their human owners as they are extremely social animals. They tend to be quite curious and rambunctious, particularly when they are young, so they also must be supervised well. A ferret that is not given the time and attention it truly needs can become very stressed and this can have a variety of negative effects on him or her. The following are some of the consequences of keeping a ferret that is allowed to become stressed.
*Stress induced ulcers
Stress ulcers are one of the more common problems that ferrets will have if they are not properly cared for. This is a terrible intestinal problem for the little animal to endure, as it causes them terrible discomfort, and even pain, in the stomach. Many people use slippery elm bark to treat this malady, but if it is very bad, the ferret can even be given Pepto Bismol to gain some fast relief.
*Stress induced odors
A ferret that is under stress will release an odor from the scent glands that is musky, but in the most unpleasant of ways. In the United States, ferrets that are sold as pets must have at least one of their scent glands removed prior to the sale. However, that still leaves one gland that they can use with fairly awful results for the owner. Even a ferret with both scent glands removed will be able to produce a nasty smell if he or she is under stress.
*Stress induced behavioral problems
A ferret that is not given enough attention is especially prone to developing behavioral traits that are not at all desirable. They may become destructive, scream loudly in their cages, even become quite aggressive and mean, which is not their standard nature if well cared for. These behaviors will often result in not only stress for the ferret, but in the owner getting rid of the animal by surrendering it to a rescue or some other facility.
Ferrets are cute in the pet store window as they frolic about, but they are not for everyone. Be sure and do your research before buying any pet, and especially one that requires the level of care that these do. It is not fair to you or to the ferret to bring them home only to realize that you far preferred to just watch them in the window.