Ferret Care Guide

Little Critters Veterinary Hospital

1525 N Gilbert Road Suite #C-101
Gilbert, AZ 85234



Ferret Care Guide



What Are Ferrets?

Ferrets are domestic animals believed to have originated from European polecats. They are closely related to weasels, skunks, and otters.

Lifespan: Over 6 years


Ferrets are usually sold as neutered and descented pets. Males can be identified by their mid-abdominal area where they have a penis.


Ferrets should be caged when not under direct supervision. They are curious creatures and may ingest items that require surgical removal. The cage should be spacious, equipped with a hammock bed and a litter pan. Metal mesh cages are commonly used.


For Ferrets Under 1 Year:

  • They should receive three distemper vaccines 2-3 weeks apart and one rabies vaccine at 3 months of age. Subsequently, a yearly distemper booster and a rabies vaccine every 3 years are recommended.

For Ferrets Over 1 Year:

  • They should receive two distemper boosters 3 weeks apart, followed by yearly distemper shots, with rabies vaccination every 3 years.

Assessment for Risk of Exposure:

Before determining the vaccination schedule, it's crucial to assess your ferret's risk of exposure to diseases. Factors such as the ferret's living environment, contact with other animals, and local disease prevalence should be considered when making vaccination decisions.

Allergic Reactions:

Ferrets have a higher risk of severe allergic reactions to vaccines. Therefore, the risk of exposure and need of vaccine is discussed at your pet's exam. If determined necessary, based on exposure, we will administrator one vaccine is administered at a time, with a 15-minute observation period before departure.


Feed a commercial diet specifically designed for ferrets. Avoid cat food (low in protein) and dog food (deficient in taurine, which can lead to heart disease).


Provide fresh, clean water at all times.


If your ferret is on a balanced diet, supplementation is generally unnecessary.

Medical Concerns:

Ferrets have various medical concerns, so maintaining a good relationship with your veterinarian is essential. Common issues include adrenal gland disease, foreign body ingestion, pancreatic tumors, dental problems, GI issues, cardiac disease, and viruses. Ferrets can contract canine distemper from dogs and can transmit and contract Covid and Influenza from humans.

For More Information:

Provided by:

Little Critters Veterinary Hospital
1525 N. Gilbert Rd., Ste. C-101, Gilbert, AZ 85234
Phone: (480) 696-7744
Website: www.littlecrittersvet.com