Ferrets are lovely playful, and friendly animals and can make the best pets. Having a pet that is fun to live with is a dream of every pet owner. However, the decision on which pet to own is determined by many factors, and the cost is one of them. You could have read about ferrets and developed an affection for them, or you saw a friend with one and wished to own one. But the main question you could have is, how much does it cost to own a ferret?
Of course, this is a very important question. It’s only after knowing the expenses incurred that you could decide whether to have a ferret or not. And since you want to ensure your ferret is happy even when you are away or busy, you may think of having two or more. Having two or more ferrets is recommended since they like playing with one another. However, this is going to increase the costs.
Buying a ferret can cost $100-400, depending on where you will buy it. You could think that’s manageable, right? But have you thought about grooming costs, vets, food, cage, litter box, toys, treats, etc.? Remember, your ferret will need all this and more throughout its lifetime, and it can live up to 12 years. By the time you are through with this article, you will know how much it costs to own a ferret.
1. Cost of buying
You can get a ferret from a shelter, pet store, breeder, facebook or Cragslist
You can get a ferret for free from people who no longer want them. Some people buy ferrets because of pressure from other people or due to impulse buying, but they later realize they didn’t make a wise decision. Such people can give ferrets free of charge to those willing. You can get a free ferret from Facebook or Craigslist.
The downside of such ferrets is that they could come with more expenses than buying one since they could have serious health issues that will be costly to treat. If you plan to get a free ferret, consult a friend or relative. They could refer you to a person giving away a healthy ferret. Also, know where the ferret came from or where it was bought.
Some ferret rescue centers give ferrets for adoption at a small cost. With these rescue centers, you can get a ferret at $100-200, which is much cheaper than buying from a professional breeder. The good thing about buying such ferrets is that they are already familiar with people and hence easy to live with.
A ferret from a pet store will be cheaper than a breeder but more expensive than buying from rescue centers. However, it’s the riskiest way of getting a ferret since they may not be vaccinated and may have many illnesses that will raise the cost of owning a ferret. You may buy ferrets with problems because the sellers in a pet store don’t have good knowledge of ferrets and so can’t understand their emotional or physical behaviors.
This is the best option to buy a ferret but the most expensive. Ferrets from breeders are vaccinated for all illnesses, neutered, trained, dewormed, and bred in a good environment, and their parents are carefully chosen. A ferret from a professional breeder can cost up to $500, depending on the breeder you choose. It’s essential to go for a reputable breeder since several are in the market.
2. The cost of food
First, you need to know that ferrets are carnivores; hence, they will only consume meat. However, there are different contents in the food you will get in different stores. The ingredients in the food sold will determine their costs. You already know ferrets are carnivores, right? That means you need to feed it more meat than plant matter. You must always check the content of the food before you buy, and you must ensure the meat content is more than any other ingredient for a healthy ferret. Ferret food will basically cost you around $30-100 per month.
3. Veterinary costs
Ferrets vets’ costs are among the most expensive costs. Even though you think your ferret doesn’t have health issues, you must call a vet once a year for checkups and booster vaccinations. This will ensure health problems are identified early enough. Your veterinary expenses will be determined by age and where you buy the ferret since this will determine its overall health. Smaller ferrets are prone to health issues, and you will need to vaccinate them against canine distemper at the age of 8, 12, and 16 weeks. Ferrets are also vaccinated against rabies, which will affect the cost to own a ferret.
It’s essential to note that every state has rules and regulations on the vaccines that the ferrets require, and the cost of veterinary depends on the state. If you buy a mature ferret from a pet store or shelter with no vaccination history, you must give it a distemper booster. After these distemper shots, ferrets are vaccinated again after 3 to 4 years. Some common ferrets’ diseases are diarrhea, heart disease, intestinal foreign bodies, and parasites. You will spend about $7000 on veterinary services for the entire life of a ferret with an annual cost of $120-450.
4. Ferrets Cages and Carriers Costs
Ferrets are supposed to be housed, so you first need to get a cage before purchasing a ferret. When buying a cage, ensure it is spacious and safe for your pet. These animals need enough space to play and move around, so a big space is needed. The cage should be secured enough to ensure it won’t run away.
A carrier is equally important if you want to own a ferret. The carrier will help you transport your pet to and from the veterinarian. Suppose you have more than one ferret, you must have an extra cage to ensure you can put aside any ferret with a health problem. Cages will cost up to $300, and carriers up to $60.
5. Litter and Litter Boxes Expenses
You want your ferrets to maintain a high hygienic level, hence the need for litter and litter boxes. You should buy large litter boxes and train your ferrets to use them. You will need one for the cage and another one outside the cage. But if you want more than one ferret, you will need more than one litter box. You must clean these litters every day to protect your ferret from diseases. Throughout your ferret’s lifetime, you will spend a maximum of approximately $2000.
6. Toys Expenses
Like human beings, pets also need to be engaged to prevent boredom-related mental health problems. Toys will keep your ferret busy, and it will find life fun. You need a variety of toys to ensure the ferret won’t get bored playing with only one type of toy. When buying toys, ensure you buy healthy ones that will not affect its health, so avoid latex rubber toys. The toys will cost about $500 for the entire life.
7. Bedding Costs
Ferrets need good sleep for good health. So, you have to buy comfortable bedding for your ferrets. You need to purchase warm beddings that are free from allergens and comfortable. The bedding should be cleaned after a week and ensure your ferret sleeps in a dry environment. Therefore, you will need more than one bedding pair to give them time to dry. Bedding total expenditure for the whole of its life will be like $500. This is one of the expenses that will make the cost to own a ferret high.
8. Grooming Expenses
Ferrets need high maintenance. You will need to brush it regularly, bathe it, clip its nails, and so on. Most of these grooming services will need the services of a professional. You will also need to buy these grooming necessities for the services you can do on your own. Grooming can take $30-65 per year.
The cost to own a ferret is high; therefore, if you plan to own one, you need to calculate the total expense to see whether you are ready. Besides the cost, there are other problems associated with ferrets, like aggressiveness, bad odor, stealing and eating everything, and so on. Also, it’s hard to stay with just one ferret since it’s playful and will need the company of others. Ferrets are also prohibited in some regions, so you must first determine whether the law allows their adoption. But if you are ready to cater to ferrets’ needs, you should not hesitate to have one.