Exotic Pets – Ferret – as part of the expert series by GeoBeats. I am Beth Randall and I am the director at Critter Camp Exotic Pet Sanctuary. And this is a ferret. Ferrets are native to Europe, the ones that we have here as pets, in the United States. The only ferrets in the U.S. are black-footed ferrets and they are highly endangered and not kept as pets. Ferrets are very playful, very friendly, kind of a cross between a kitten and a puppy. For their whole life, which is seven to nine years, they are absolutely adorable and they love people. Ferrets are not bity, as long as they are taken care of well and have appropriate food. They do need a high protein food, a good quality ferret food. Cat food and dog food are not appropriate for them. They do need a very high quality, high protein dry ferret food. That can be supplemented with bits of chicken and other ferret supplements that are on the market. They do need a large cage, and they do need to be out of their cage a lot, several hours a day to play and get a lot of exercise. That will keep your ferret very happy. Ferrets are social and they do need to be with other ferrets, so you need at least a pair of ferrets. There are always ferrets in shelters, there are thousands and thousands of ferrets that need new homes. They do re-home very well. Of all the small animals, they re-home better than most. They are prone to some diseases, like Insulinoma and adrenal cancer and adrenal disease. They do need annual veterinary checkups, veterinary shots, as well, rabies and distemper. Your vet can check and look for early signs of any problems that you can treat really fast and easily so that your ferret has a wonderful, quality, long life. Ferrets are not always fully potty-trainable. So, when you do have them free ranger, you need to keep a close eye on them because they will get into everything and they might poop all over your house. But you just need to clean that up and play with your ferret a lot. They do need their claws clipped often because they are diggers, so they grow very fast. You have to watch that your ferret does not get into things that have latex or other items that they can swallow and cause impaction. That is another high cause of death for ferrets that is completely preventable. Ferrets do have a scent to them. It is a musky odor. It is from oil on their skin. Giving them a bath will not remove that oil, it will only make them make more oil. They will still smell that way. Some people enjoy it, some people do not. You have to know if you like that smell before you get a ferret. They are all de-scented and spayed and neutered before they go to pet stores or the ones in shelters are also spayed, neutered, and de-scented. But that only means that their scent gland is removed and they cannot spray. Because in the wild they can spray like a skunk. They will still have the musky odor, so you have to decide if you like that or not. So, spend some time with a ferret and you will find that they will just wrap themselves right around your heart. You will fall in love with them, but they are a lot of work. So, make sure that you can live up to that work for their entire lifetime before you get a ferret.