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Ferrets and Children

You want to get your child a pet, or bring a pet into the home with a child, but is a ferret the right pet to get if you have children? Are the children safe with a ferret in the house? The bigger question you should ask is if the ferret is safe in the house with a child!

Children have gentle souls but they are not gentle creatures. Ferrets may have strong jaws, but the rest of them can be damaged by small hands or feet. So, should you avoid getting a ferret if you have a child? Not necessarily.

It is recommended that you not get a ferret if you have a child under the age of seven in the house. Some experts recommend not having one if the child is under the age of ten, however in the end, how responsible the child is really determines whether or not a ferret will be safe with them.

A ferret will see a child as a playmate just as they see you or other animals as a playmate. They don’t understand that the child may not know his own strength. They do not distinguish adults from children, and if the child hurts them, they will react to that with their teeth.

You can’t blame the ferret. The ferret is an animal that has very strong survival instincts. You can’t blame the child either, they don’t know any better. The thing is that you will have a better chance of helping the child to know better than trying to make the ferret understand that the child is just a child.

Introduce the ferret to the child. Teach the child how to gently hold the ferret, and how to play with the ferret. Make sure that he or she understands how delicate the ferret is, and that if they get too rough, it could hurt the ferret and that the ferret will hurt back.

Also teach your child that the ferret may hide itself a way and nap and they always need to be on the lookout for the ferret. The ferret may climb into a toy box, an open drawer, a pile of clothes, or anything else that looks inviting. Ferrets are often injured because someone did not know that they were there. For instance, if your child plops down on the sofa, they may hurt the ferret if the ferret decided to nap under the seat cushion which is not unusual.

Children easily spread germs to other children and adults. Ferrets can catch illnesses from humans, such as colds and the flu. Make sure that any child who will be handling your ferret washes their hands thoroughly before and after.

Children and ferrets can get along just fine, but you really need to watch small children when a ferret is around. Ferrets are not safe in a home with small children, and if small children will be in the home even briefly, it is in the ferret’s best interest to put it inside of a locked cage.

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