Did you know that ferrets can become seniors as early as age 3? These cute little balls of fur only live 5 to 7 years on average, so they reach their golden years pretty quickly. A Bucks County, PA veterinarian discusses senior ferret care below.
Proper nutrition will go a long way towards keeping your adorable pet happy and healthy. Senior ferrets should generally eat smaller meals several a day. Your pet’s diet should be high in protein and fat, and limited in treats. Ask your vet for specific advice.
Ferrets will go through some changes as they age, just as we will. You might notice your pet sleeping more, moving more slowly, or becoming less playful. With older pets, comfort is always king. Make your little buddy’s cage more comfortable by adding extra bedding, and making sure the flooring and sleeping areas are soft and comfy. If your ferret’s cage has ramps, adjust the angles so they are easier for him to walk up. You may also want to add extra litter boxes. Choose ones with lower sides, as they’re easier to access. Finally, make sure your pet’s food and water bowls are easily accessible. It’s also worth mentioning that older ferrets become quite sensitive to temperature extremes. Don’t let your furry friend get too hot or too cold!
Your furry pal may need to see their doctor a bit more often. Most senior ferrets should come in at least once every six months. Regular exams are on the agenda, as are lab tests, dental care, and recommended vaccinations. If you notice anything unusual in between appointments, such as stiffness, lethargy, fever, vomiting, or diarrhea, make an emergency appointment right away. It’s also a good idea to look into some of the illnesses that are common in older ferrets, such as heart disease and adrenal gland disease, and learn the warning signs to look for.
Peace And Quiet
Like many older pets, ferrets feel most secure in a familiar environment. Limit your furry buddy’s exposure to things that could distress or frighten him, such as new pets and loud noises, and try to keep him on the same schedule. Pay lots of attention to the little guy, and make sure he feels loved.
Do you have questions about caring for an older ferret? Contact us, your Bucks County, PA veterinary clinic, today!