Kenneling Your Ferret :: Ferret
Are you thinking about boarding your ferret while you are away? Here are some things to consider.
While kennels range from the barebones to the ultra-fancy, keep in mind that the
frills are meant mainly for owners. Your ferret really isn't interested in what
color his enclosure is. What is important is general safety and the friendliness
and competence of the staff.
What to Look For in a Kennel
The first thing you should do when trying to find the right kennel for your
ferret is visit the kennel beforehand. Most kennels welcome these visits, and it
gives you a chance to see their facilities and ask specific questions. Your questions
should be answered to your satisfaction, so that you will feel comfortable leaving
your pet when you are away.
The kennel should be clean inside and out. One of the most important aspects
of preventing the spread of contagious diseases is proper sanitation. The cages
and runs should look and smell clean. Animals that are currently boarding should
be clean and look well cared for.
Indoors, the boarding facility should have adequate cage sizes. Each ferret
should have its own individual cage, and not be too near other animals. In fact,
your ferret should not have any contact with other animals in order to decrease
the potential of aggression and spread of disease. It is usually preferred that
ferrets are not boarded in the same facility as dogs, because dogs tend to bark
and ferrets prefer a quiet environment. The presence alone of some dogs might cause
a great deal of stress in certain ferrets, especially if the dogs are within direct
The general boarding environment should be pleasant and feel comfortable. Natural
lighting from windows is great, but if not available, there should be adequate indoor
lighting. The area should be relatively quite, although some kennels play music
or the radio, which can also be quite soothing. The air should circulate well and
not smell stagnant.
Although your ferret is being boarded he will still need to be provided with
certain stimuli and opportunity for some exercise. Some cages have blankets and
areas that the ferret can burrow or hide. These provide greater comfort, but are
much more difficult to keep clean.
Find out how many animals are routinely boarded at a single time, how much experience
the staff has with ferrets and the number of staff taking care of the animals. More
people and fewer animals may mean more attention for the individual animals.
Some kennels have associations with specific veterinarians either on the premises
or working near by. If your ferret becomes ill while boarding, discuss how this
will be addressed. The kennel's veterinarian may be the one contacted for treatment
to be provided, or it might be your regular veterinarian. If you have a specific
preference, discuss this with the kennel owner.
If your ferret is on medication that is given several times a day, make sure
that the kennel personnel are able to administer it appropriately. Some kennels
may not be able to give medication as often as your ferret requires.
Some facilities offer an added bonus of grooming services. Consider having your
ferret groomed the day he or she is scheduled to go home. It is always nice for
your ferret to come back from the kennel smelling clean, fresh and newly groomed.
All ferrets that are to be boarded should be healthy and free of contagious
diseases. If your ferret has a medical problem that is stable or currently under
treatment, let the kennel know prior to boarding to make sure they will accept him.
A kennel may require a health certificate from your veterinarian and proof of
your ferret’s most recent vaccinations.
If your ferret has fleas or other external or internal parasites, he or she
should be treated prior to arrival or on admission to the kennel.
Certain kennels have very specific requirements regarding vaccinations. Don’t
assume that your ferret has had all of the vaccinations required without checking
with the kennel first. Most of the time, a letter from your veterinarian will be
all that is required. Other times, additional vaccines may need to be given.
What you Should Bring to The Kennel
It is always a good idea to bring your ferret’s own food to the kennel. Abrupt
changes in food may lead to diarrhea in some ferrets, especially when they are in
a more stressful environment away from home. Abrupt dietary changes in ferrets may
also lead to anorexia since most ferrets do not like changes in their routine. If
your ferret is on a special diet or has special dietary needs make sure the kennel
is aware of this and that they follow your specific instructions.
It might be a good idea to bring your ferret’s own litter. He may be reluctant
to use a different type of litter, especially in a strange environment.
If your ferret has a special bed or favorite toy, ask if you can leave it with
your pet. Familiar items from home will make your pet feel more comfortable while
you are away.
The kennel should have several contact numbers available so the appropriate
people can be contacted in the unlikely event of an emergency. First, provide the
number where you can be reached while you are away. If you are unavailable, a friend
or relative's number should be accessible. This person should be able to make any
emergency decisions if needed. Discuss your wishes with this person prior to your
leaving. The kennel should also have your veterinarian's number in case there are
medical problems. This is even more important if there are any on going medical
problems with your pet.
If your ferret typically receives medications at home, they should be continued
while boarding. Bring the medications with you to the kennel, and make sure the
kennel is aware of the specific problem being treated.
If you do not feel that
kenneling is appropriate for your ferret, you may want to consider hiring a pet
sitter. These animal loving people will come to your home to care for your pet.
Some may even spend the night.
Feeding Your Ferret
Caring for Orphaned Ferrets
Breeding Your Ferret