Ferret News
Pet Ferret Care Tips
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Ferret News Issue #38: How To Redirect Ferret Digging Behavior
February 25, 2003

contact: marymodernferret.com

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The Pet Ferret Care Tips E-Newsletter

Ferret News Mailing List #38
February 25, 2003

by Mary R. Shefferman and Eric Shefferman
contact: marymodernferret.com



Welcome to the first Ferret News e-newsletter from our new mailing service!

You will be able to enjoy this newsletter much more with our enhanced HTML graphics. If you are reading this newsletter in a "plain text" format, please see the ferretnews.com web site for what the newsletter looks like in HTML (with all the extra pictures).

As we get the hang of this, we'll be able to offer more and more helpful illustrations to go along with our ferret care tips.

This newletter contains an article by Mary on digging and a special $5 coupon towards our Ferret Designs store.


- Eric

In This Newsletter...

==> Can You Dig It? Your Ferrets Sure Can!

==> Savings at Ferret Designs store

==> Update on Modern Ferret Things

Ferret Faces Calendar

$5 Savings on the FerretFaces.com 2003 Calendar

From now until the Ides of March (March 15, 2003) you can save $5 when you purchase the FerretFaces.com 2003 calendar or the FerretFaces.com 2003 calendar & address book set at the Ferret Trading Post.

You'll love the adorable up-close and personal ferret photos taken by this newsletter's Eric Shefferman!

Just enter the following code in the shopping cart when you check out:



Trixie in the Digging Box (Rice Box)

Can You Dig It? Your Ferrets Sure Can!

How to redirect digging behavior

By Mary R. Shefferman

Ferrets dig. It's a natural behavior. They are, after all, descendants of burrowing animals (polecats). But many people don't realize when they bring home their cute little ball of fur that she's going to scratch at the carpet or dig all the litter out of the box. For some people, it's no big deal. For others, it can make or break the human-ferret relationship.

If you have a digger, understand that you can't stop the behavior, but you can redirect it. It's like taking a little kid who is drawing on the walls and giving him a coloring book instead.

If there's a particular spot your ferret digs (by a doorway, for example), you can get some plastic runner material at Home Depot or Wal-Mart (usually you can get it cut to any size) and put it over the carpet in that spot. The plastic runner is thin, so if your ferret is digging in a doorway, you can still open and close the door with the runner in place. The runner will protect your carpet and likely discourage your ferret from digging.

Deterring your ferret's digging is not enough. You need to provide an appropriate place for your ferret to dig. Like I said: Ferrets dig. The best way to redirect digging behavior is to make a digging box for your ferret. We did an article on this in Issue #27 of Modern Ferret Magazine.

Get a plastic storage bin (fairly large, with a lid that snaps on) and cut a hole in the top of it so the ferret can get in and out. We used a hot knife to cut the hole because it leaves the edges smooth, but you can use a box cutter and then use duct tape to cover the sharp edges (make sure your ferret doesn't chew on the duct tape). We put uncooked rice (not minute rice, but regular rice -- 10 pound bags are very cheap at Costco or other places like that) in our digging box, but you can use potting soil if you're not afraid of the mess, or sand (get sandbox sand like for a child's sandbox so it's clean). Generally, ferrets don't eat the rice, but if your ferret eats a grain or two, it shouldn't harm her at all (this is why it’s important to use regular rice, not minute rice). Of course, if she starts eating a bunch of it, you'll have to find something else to fill the box. As for getting into the ears or eyes, ferrets are burrowers, so they're designed to keep dirt and other things out of their ears and eyes (if you blow gently on your ferret's face, you might get her to fold back her ears -- you'll see that they're pretty well sealed). Whenever your ferret starts digging at the carpet or in the litter box or anywhere else you'd prefer she didn't dig, put her in the digging box instead.

The photo at the top of this article is Trixie in our digging box (rice box) next to the couch.

Remember, your ferret needs to dig, but she doesn't need to wreck your carpet or make a big mess.

Issue #27 of Modern Ferret magazine is available in the Super Monster Pack of back issues

Ask Me About My Grandferrets! One of our many great gift designs.

Save $5 on a purchase of $40 or more at FerretDesigns.com

We sure had a lot of snow here this Presidents' Day! So we decided to have our Presidents' Day sale now instead!

Shop from the comfort of your own home! Browse with your browser! Don't even get your feet wet... we'll deliver!

We have all your old favorites like our line of "Ask Me About My Grandferrets" items as well as great new items like clocks, picture frames, and bumper stickers.

Spend $40 or more (not including shipping, tax, or gift services) and use the coupon code below to save $5 on your order.

Use the following coupon code when you check out:


Hurry! This coupon expires on February 28, 2003!


Update on Modern Ferret Things

We're getting close to getting our computer problems ironed out. That will be very exciting!

Right now we're very happy that we're able to send out this newsletter with our new service.

More good stuff to come as we get everything working again.

Stay Tuned! - Mary and Eric and the fuzzies: Trixie, Koosh, and Gabrielle

As always, you can keep up with the latest that we're up to by reading Mary's blog:


Ferret News: www.FerretNews.com

Please let your ferret friends know about this newsletter and encourage them to join.


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You can provide feedback about this issue by sending email to: marymodernferret.com

The shortened version of the disclaimer is: If your ferret is ill or you think your ferret is ill, bring your ferret to a ferret knowledgeable veterinarian.

Copyright 2003 Modern Ferret magazine.
All rights reserved.



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