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FERRET-PROOFING

Your new ferret needs a truly safeguarded home more than any other pet that you could own, except perhaps a monkey! Insatiably curious and utterly fearless, as well as agile and adept at getting into all the places he is not supposed to be, your ferret relies on you to protect him. He especially loves to check out off-limit places including the inside of your toilet bowl or the contents of the cleaning cupboard. Don't forget that a small ferret can squeeze into a space the size of a quarter! It's also important to make sure your ferret's enclosure is safe and isn't a hazard to his health.

Prior to taking your ferret home, print out this checklist and run through it. Print out and post the Roaming Ferret Checklist above his cage and examine it each time you let him out to make sure your house is ferret-proof. This is an especially good practice for the younger members of the family.

Ferret In The Cage Checklist
  • Check your cage material to ensure it is free of lead
  • Eliminate or cover all-wire flooring so your ferret doesn't injure his delicate paws on the bare wire
  • Ensure the paint on your pet's cage is not anti-rust paint
  • Move your ferret's cage away from direct sunlight
  • Place your ferret's cage away from drafts and air conditioning vents
  • Make sure the room has a constant temperature
  • Use only non-chemically treated wood inside the cage
  • Ensure drinking bottles are secured to the side of the cage or use heavily weighted dishes so your ferret can't tip them over
  • Place your ferret's cage in an area where he won't be frightened or harassed by other pets
  • Disinfect your ferret's cage and regularly discard any wood chip, wood shaving or shredded newspaper bedding as these are breeding grounds for bacteria
  • Provide your ferret with a litter box that's regularly cleaned
Roaming Ferret Checklist
  • Keep any dangerous food, like chocolate, out of the range of your ferret
  • Make sure all the garbage in the house is secure and inaccessible
  • Check that all cleaning supplies are out of reach, including bars of soap which can cause diarrhea
  • Look around the floor and house for dangerous objects
  • Close the lid on the toilet bowl and stop using any sanitizing flush products
  • Put away all sharp objects that could cut your ferret
  • Childproof-latch all doors containing hazardous substances with a latch ferrets can't 'pick'
  • Cover any holes that are more than an inch wide with wire mesh
  • Pick up any hazardous toys, such as string, which can lead to intestinal blockages
  • Cover any water that could be a drowning hazard including tall glasses where your ferret could get stuck
  • Throw out or safety proof any poisonous plants
  • Make sure your ferret can't get into the levers and springs of recliners or sofa-beds as these can lead to severe injury and death
  • Remove everything spongy, springy or foamy such as erasers, insoles, foam rubber, etc. which your ferret could chew on
  • Block the spaces under doors, fridges, stoves and other dangerous areas your ferret could wriggle into
  • Place any pesticides out of reach
  • Always double-check your dishwasher, fridge, washer and dryer before shutting them or turning them on
  • Always watch where you sit or walk as that chair cushion or throw rug could be hiding a napping ferret