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How to Stop Ferret Biting

How to Stop Ferret Biting

how to stop ferret biting

Most ferrets are loving, playful, social animals. As with any pet, however, there are a few who seem to be biters. There is hope for the biter, however. Most aggressive ferrets can be turned into gentle pets if given the correct amount of training and patience.

Ferrets can bite for many reasons–most are not due to aggressiveness. Before you address how to stop ferret biting, you need to identify the reason why your ferret is biting.

First of all, not all ferret bites should be considered attacks–most are not. Biting is sometimes the way a ferret tries to communicate. She may want to play and give you a nip to get your attention. If your ferret bites and holds on, or bites so hard that she draws blood, it is not a friendly nip. Both types of biting can be corrected.

Some reasons why a ferret may bite:

Baby ferrets

Young ferrets are natural nippers. They explore the world with their mouths and they also go through teething. If this is the case, it really should not be a concern, as they will grow out of it with a little training.

Untrained

Ferrets need to be trained not to nip when they are young. Ferrets play hard with littermates and playmates. They need to have limits set so they know how hard they can play with you.

Sick or injured

If your ferret isn’t feeling well or is hurt she can’t tell you. She may be in pain and want to be left alone. If this is a sudden change in behavior, it may be the case. Be sure to have her checked by a vet.

Unneutered

Unneutered ferrets can be more aggressive than neutered ones. Hormones can cause a male ferret to assert his dominance over others–including you. The solution is to get him neutered.

Change

Change, whether good or bad can be scary. A ferret in a strange situation or environment may be frightened and confused. When a ferret is under stress, she may bite. Give her time to adjust to the new situation, person or environment before you consider her biting a problem.

Displaced aggression

Some ferrets react aggressively to particular sounds, smells or objects. There may be no apparent reason–only your ferret knows why. With a little observation, you can identify what the smell, sound or object is. Common triggers are vacuum cleaners, brooms, loud music, and strong smells. You can keep your ferret away from the trigger–or at least keep her in her cage while doing household chores if this is the cause.

Trained to bite

If your ferret was cared for by someone else before you brought him into your home, he may have been inadvertently taught to bite. For example, if the person picked up the ferret and he nipped and then put him down to run around, the ferret may have associated nipping with getting the run of the house.

Mistrust

The main cause of ferret biting is mistrust. Your ferret may have had a bad experience with a person that traumatized him. Or, he may have been mistreated repeatedly. Ferrets can associate people with pain and react to protect themselves.

When you have identified the cause, you can address how to stop ferret biting.

There are right ways and wrong ways to teach your ferret not to bite. You will probably make the problem worse if you try any of the following:

  • Mist a bitter spray or another so called deterrent in your ferret’s face
  • Flick her on her nose or head when she bites
  • Hit her
  • Put her in solitary confinement for long periods of time
  • Bite her back
  • Use her regular cage for a time-out

How to stop ferret biting

Depending on your ferret’s personality and past experiences, she may or may not respond to certain methods of reconditioning. There are several techniques you can try. Don’t give up on one tactic right away. It takes patience and consistency to stop ferret biting. However, if the biting gets worse after much consistency and patience, then you should probably move on to another method.

This list provides some obvious solutions and some more creative techniques. You may combine some of these tactics together, as well.

  • Neuter an unaltered male
  • Take your ferret to the vet to rule out any medical reasons
  • If you know your ferret reacts to a particular trigger, keep him away from it
  • If your ferret is young, visually or hearing impaired, take care not to startle her
  • Make sure your ferret is well fed with a proper diet
  • Spend more quality time with your ferret and get her more accustomed to being handled
  • Put a bitter spray  on your hands so they don’t taste good
  • Yell “NO!” or “STOP” very loudly when she bites
  • Say a firm “NO” or “STOP” and flip her on her back in a submissive position and hold her there for a few minutes when she bites
  • Give him a 15-20 minute “time-out” in a small cage (not his regular cage) with no toys, bed or food immediately after biting
  • Wrap him firmly in a towel and hold him or carry him around for 10-20 minutes and talk to him gently and pet his head
  • Immediately substitute a toy for your hand or whatever was bitten and allow him to only bite that
  • Add another ferret to your home as a playmate, so he has someone to play rough with

how to stop ferret biting

Remember if you want to stop a ferret from biting, you need to be consistent and firm, but gentle. Reward your ferret for good behavior. In time your ferret will learn to respond to kindness and gentleness with like behavior.

Your comments are welcome.

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Wild Alaskan Salmon Oil–Good For Ferrets?

wild alaskan salmon oil--Good For Ferrets?Wild Alaskan Salmon Oil–Good For Ferrets?

Salmon, in general, is an excellent source of vitamin B12, vitamin D, selenium and a good source of niacin, omega-3 fatty acids, protein, phosphorus and vitamin B6. It is also a good source of choline, pantothenic acid, biotin, and potassium.

When used in moderation and sourced from reputable brands, salmon oil is a beneficial addition to a ferret’s balanced diet. Not only is it good for a ferrets’ skin and coat–helping with dry skin, itching and adding shine– but it is also beneficial for their heart, eyes and joint health.

Salmon oil is a great treat that can be used for distracting your ferret when clipping nails or cleaning ears.

The benefits of salmon oil have influenced many pet owners, including ferret parents, to incorporate salmon oil into their fur babies’ diets. Overall, supplementing with salmon oil is good for pet health; however, too much of a good thing may have adverse effects. Continue reading Wild Alaskan Salmon Oil–Good For Ferrets?

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How To Trim Ferrets Nails – Step By Step Guide

How To Trim Ferrets Nails - Step By Step GuideHow To Trim Ferrets Nails – Step By Step Guide

I have been often asked how I keep my ferret’s nails so neatly cut and trimmed. 

Many ferret parents leave it to the Vet to take care of this grooming necessity. However, it’s not that difficult if you know a few tricks.

Ferrets cannot keep their nails at the proper length on their own. They don’t get worn down much naturally and grow quickly. If left untrimmed too long, a ferret’s nails will start to curl and grow under her paw and even into it.

When your ferret’s nails are too long, they can have tears, sharp points, and ragged edges. She can easily catch them on bedding, furniture or carpets. This could break the nail, tear it, or rip it off completely. Your ferret could further injure herself from trying to free her paw.

I know of a ferret mom who found one of her ferrets dangling from her cage hammock by one nail! She caught her nail in the fabric when she tried to get out of the hammock. I can’t imagine how much that must have hurt. She was lucky no permanent damage was done. Continue reading How To Trim Ferrets Nails – Step By Step Guide

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How to Clean Ferrets’ Ears Safely

How to Clean Ferret's Ears

How to Clean Ferrets’ Ears Safely

Cleaning your ferret’s ears should be a regular part of caring for your ferret. To keep your ferret healthy, it is important to make sure her ears are free of debris and discharge.

Ferrets’ ear wax should be red, brown, or gold-colored. If you notice very dark brown or black debris or discharge, be sure to take your ferret to your Vet. Your ferret may have an ear infection or ear mites. Left untreated, these conditions can turn into severe health problems for your ferret. Continue reading How to Clean Ferrets’ Ears Safely

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Hazardous Plants For Pets–These Plants Can Be Toxic

Hazardous Plants For Pets–These Plants Can Be Toxic

I have compiled a list of 57 hazardous plants for pets–Dogs, Cats, Ferrets…

Some of these plants can be toxic.

Some of these hazardous plants are indoor plants, others are outdoor plants. Many can grow indoors or out. Some of these plants are more harmful than others, and some can be toxic. Plants, such as Poinsettias and Firesticks secrete a liquid that can be toxic. Other plants, such as Philodendron and Devil’s Ivy, if eaten, can cause swelling and burning of the mouth and tongue as well as digestive issues, spasms, and even seizures. While some parts of these plants are often more hazardous than others, every part of some plants are toxic. With the Sago Palm, for example, every single part of the plant is poisonous—including the seeds, roots and leaves. Eating any part of the plant can cause vomiting, diarrhea, and in some cases, liver failure. Continue reading Hazardous Plants For Pets–These Plants Can Be Toxic

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Why is My Ferret Losing Hair? Causes and Treatments

why is my ferret losing hairWhy is My Ferret Losing Hair?

Causes and Treatments

 

Ferret Alopecia

Alopecia is the complete or partial loss of hair in areas where it normally grows. This is a common disorder in ferrets.  Ferrets between the ages of 3 and 7, and ferrets that are neutered or spayed are most prone to hair loss.

There are many possible causes and treatments of hair loss in ferrets. It is best to take your ferret to a vet experienced with ferrets when you first notice your ferret’s hair loss. The earlier the cause is diagnosed, the sooner the treatment can begin and help prevent the condition from getting worse. Continue reading Why is My Ferret Losing Hair? Causes and Treatments

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Ear Mites and Ferrets–Diagnosis and Treatment

Ear mites and FerretsEar Mites and Ferrets–Diagnosis and Treatment

Unfortunately, ear mite infestation is very common in ferrets. It is also common in cats and dogs.

Otodectes cynotis, or ear mites, live their lives inside an animal’s ears. Otodectes cynotis is contagious and spread by direct contact among ferrets, cats, dogs and other animals.  Many kits already have ear mites before they are brought home. Because of the highly contagious nature of ear mites, if you have more than one ferret, or have other pets, all pets in your home need to be treated.  Even those pets who do not show obvious signs of ear mite infestation need to be treated, because the treated pet may be reinfected immediately after the end of treatment by those pets who were not treated.

Otodectes cynotis is often unnoticed in ferrets.

One reason is that the mites are very tiny and can only be seen under a microscope. Another reason is that ferrets rarely show signs of being infected with ear mites. Ear mites in cats and dogs can often be suspected due to ear scratching and head shaking when they have an ear mite infestation.  Ferrets rarely show these signs. A third reason is that, although a thick, reddish brown to black, waxy discharge is commonly observed in ferrets suffering from ear mite infestation, it is also normal for ferrets to have a brown ear wax.  Therefore, a diagnosis of ear mite infestation cannot be made by merely observing the color of a ferret’s ear wax. The diagnosis must be made by a veterinarian. Continue reading Ear Mites and Ferrets–Diagnosis and Treatment

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How to Bathe a Ferret–Important Steps

How to Bathe a Ferret–Important Steps 

When to Bathe Your Ferrethow to bathe a ferret

Before we get into how to bathe a ferret, it is important to know when to bathe a ferret.

Many ferret owners love their pets but get frustrated by their smell, which can be quite strong. Bathing ferrets can be a good way to combat odor. Ferrets should not be bathed more than once every 3 months. Bathing a ferret too often can actually make the smell worse. Bathing strips oils from a ferret’s skin and oil glands go into overdrive to replace it. This results in even more odor! Ferrets can become itchy and uncomfortable when bathed too often, as well. If your ferret is scratching frequently, you might want to cut back on how often you’re bathing her.

Ferret smells are actually more often related to a ferret’s bedding, cage, and blankets than to the ferret himself. Try washing these items before bathing your ferret to rule them out as the primary cause of odor. For more info on ferret odor, see this article about getting rid of ferret smells.

How to Bathe a Ferret–Important Steps

Before starting the bathing process, you may find it helpful to get her used to water first. If your ferret doesn’t like water, first let her play in the sink or tub without water, so she gets used to being in the place where she will be bathed. When she seems to feel comfortable in the tub or sink, turn the faucet on just a little bit and let her explore the water. Give her licks of Ferretone, or another healthy treat as you gradually get her wet. Many ferrets love to play in the water, and some even like to swim! Continue reading How to Bathe a Ferret–Important Steps

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National Ferret Day–April 2

 

ferretlover.com

Get ready for National Ferret Day!

National Ferret Day is April 2nd in the U.S.

Celebrate ferrets and ferret lovers!

National Ferret Day is the perfect opportunity to spoil your ferret and/or to give a gift or send a card to the ferret lover or ferret parent!

Check out some of the unique ferret themed merchandise in my store-ferret backpacks, ferret jewelry, ferret lawn statues statues…

How are you going to celebrate?

 

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What Not to Feed a Ferret–Ferret Food Can Harm Your Ferret

what not to feed a ferretWhat Not to Feed a Ferret

Ferret Food Can Harm Your Ferret

For some reason, as ferret parents, and pet parents in general, we often take pet food for granted. We assume that if something  is sold as ferret food, it must be healthy for ferrets.

We know that not all human food is good for us, even though it is sold as “food”.  We have learned that many types of foods can, and often do, cause serious heath problems. Some of these unhealthy “food” items are easy to recognize, such as potato chips, soda, candy… but some foods and ingredients are not so obvious. Canned and packaged foods, for example, are often loaded with sugar, salt, fat and chemicals.

So what about pet foods? If we know that human food manufactures do not always have our health in mind, how can we assume that pet food manufactures have our pets’ health in mind? We can’t and we shouldn’t. Continue reading What Not to Feed a Ferret–Ferret Food Can Harm Your Ferret