Ferrets and children - match made in heaven? Or hell?
Can ferrets and children coexist? Purchasing any pet is a big decision, particularly when there are children involved.
Many people think
ferrets are a great pet
for their children; they are small, easy to take care of, don’t require much attention or grooming, easy to feed, and are not very messy.Now that we got the BS out of the way, here’s the real story on how your ferrets and children will interact with each other.
First of all, there is definitely an age bracket that is too young to be responsible for a ferret. If your children are to young or too active to learn to play gentle with a ferret, then there will be issues...for both ferrets and children!!!
Nipping is part of a ferrets nature (although I have known ferrets that don't nip...but unfortunately the majority of them do!); it is how they interact, communicate and play with each other.
The younger the ferret, the more likely they are to nip. They are also less likely to want to cuddle at a young age, which can be very frustrating for parent and child, considering they are sooooooooooooooooooooo cute!!!!!
Here are a couple of tips that have been learned through experience:
- Your children must move slowly around ferrets; This prevents two things: firstly the ferret will be more tempted to nip if a childs hands are moving quickly around or pulling back, this can result in a much stronger than intended nip from the ferret.
Secondly this can prevent a very unfortunate accident where the child can squish your ferret (no one wants a ferret pancake...the ferret in particular!). You would be surprised how many ferrets have met their demise from a wandering foot or bottom!!!
- Train the ferret from a young age; Most Ferrets will always nip but they can be taught not to bite. This must be done from a young age, maintained for the life of the ferret, and enforced by everybody in the family...especially the children!!! If you would like to know more about training a ferret not to bite go to
- Don’t be rough with your ferret; Ferrets will imitate your behavior...if you are rough with them, they will be rough with you. The only difference is, you will hate having bite marks all over you, whereas they will keep coming back for more!!!!!!
- SUPERVISE 100% OF THE TIME; This cannot be stressed enough!!!! Ferrets must be supervised during playtime ALL THE TIME. Even if your child is not with them they still need to be supervised if out of their cage or living area. This will benefit both ferrets and children, while protecting themselves from each other at the same time!!
- Keep your ferrets is a spacious cage when unable to supervise; Watching ferrets and children at the same time is a hard job so when your tired of doing so put the ferrets in a spacious
where they are safe from your child/children. After all everyone needs a bit of a break from time to time.
Introducing a ferret into your family can be a wonderful experience for everyone, but only if its planned and prepared for. Please watch out for both ferrets and children as playtime can potentially cause tears. If you have any hesitation as to whether a ferret would be an appropriate companion for your child...THEN DON'T GET ONE!!!
If you think it appropriate, your ferret (or ferrets!!!) will provide hours of entertainment for your children, and you will find you will be surprised by the bond that will develop between you, your child/children and your little fuzzbutts.
Just be careful, one ferret normally leads to more!! After all, how many people do you know that only have one ferret??
They are not called little thief's for no reason...they will steal your heart...they may even take first priority over your child.
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