Ferret News
Pet Ferret Care Tips
and Information.



Ferret News #70: How To Find a Lost Ferret - Ferret Squeak Toys
July 8, 2004

by Mary R. Shefferman and Eric Shefferman
along with Gabrielle (the lone ferret)

contact: marymodernferret.com

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Ferret Designs


Greetings Ferret Friends!

  It happens. You're bringing in groceries or moving out old furniture, or someone leaves the door ajar -- next thing, you're looking all over the house for your ferret. In this newsletter we tell you how to find a lost ferret. Time is of the essence!

  This week's "Did You Know That..." gives you tips on training your ferret to come to a squeak toy or clicker. This training can help save your ferret's life if she get out of the house.

  Also in this newsletter -- don't miss the sale going on now at FerretDesigns.com and AmysDesigns.com! Save on select merchandise.

-- Mary


In this newsletter:

  • Sale at FerretDesigns.com and AmysDesigns.com!
  • How To Find A Lost Ferret
  • Did You Know That ... (Squeak Toys)

Purchases from these stores help support this newsletter:

Amy's Designs Unique Graphics

Ferrets, Dogs, Cats, Rabbits, Guinea Pigs, Hamsters, Penguins, Elephants, and Horses!

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I've Been Struck By Ferret Math - Baseball Jersey. Now On Sale! $3.00 Off!

Dog T-Shirts!

Bunny Rabbit Journal

Cat Merchandise

Penguin Merchandise

Elephant Merchandise

Purchases from Amy's Designs help support this newsletter.

All-Star Sale at FerretDesigns.com and AmysDesigns.com

  From July 6 to July 18, 2004, you'll save $3.00 on all Baseball Jerseys and Junior Raglan Shirts. You'll also save $3.00 on all Caps. Don't miss this chance to save on great baseball merchandise.

  Baseball Jerseys are available in black/white, blue/white, or red/white. Raglan Shirts are available in black/white, pink/white, or light blue/white. Caps are available in white, khaki, or gray. This sale ends on July 18, 2004.

  The sale is going on now at:


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The Super Monster Pack of Modern Ferret Magazine back issues has all kinds of valuable ferret information written by ferret owning experts -- the ones who know what's what with ferrets.

Information on finding a lost ferret can be found in Modern Ferret Magazine back issues: #6, #16 (nose counting) and #17 -- available in the Super Monster Pack.

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How To Find A Lost Ferret

By Mary R. Shefferman

  We've all experienced the panic of thinking one of our ferrets is missing. Often, we find the little guy or girl sleeping somewhere new. But what if your ferret is really missing? What should you do to find him as quickly as possible?

  Obviously, the best defense against ferret escapes is good ferret-proofing. But even in the most secure homes a door latch can break or a visitor can leave a door ajar. You might get distracted while bringing in groceries or your ferret might just figure out an escape route. Ferrets' intelligence tends toward problem solving, and some ferrets are very smart.

  However it happens, the key to getting your ferret back unharmed is finding him as quickly as you can. Ferrets are poorly equipped to deal with the outside world. Although they can be taught to hunt, most ferrets think of food as a crunchy tidbit in a bowl, not as a little mouse scurrying across a field. Instinct does not kick in. There's also the concern of the elements. Ferrets don't handle heat well. They're also very social and might not run from danger like strange dogs, feral cats, or humans who don't know what ferrets are.

Search Parties

  The first thing to do when you notice your ferret is missing is to get together a bunch of people and start looking. The more eyes looking, the better the chances of finding your ferret. Get family, friends, and neighbors to help you look.

  Search inside your home as well as outside unless you know for certain your ferret has gotten out of the house. Look in areas of your house you think your ferret can't possibly be. Check inside and under appliances, cabinets, and furniture (ferrets have been known to get inside couches and box springs).

  If your ferret knows his name, call him. Even if your ferret doesn't know his name, he might be drawn to the sound of your voice, so call him anyway. Use any words your ferret knows (for example, our ferrets always knew, "Treat! Treat!").

Squeak A Squeak Toy

  If you've trained your ferret to come to a squeak toy or a clicker (training your ferret to come to a squeak can save her life -- see this newsletter's Did You Know That...), go around your house and neighborhood squeaking the squeak toy or clicking the clicker. Even if you haven't trained your ferret to come to a squeak toy, she might come to the squeak toy anyway. Some ferrets are just drawn to the sound of a squeak toy. If you have several search teams, each team should have a squeak toy.

Make Flyers -- Offer A Reward

  Make a Lost Ferret flyer to put in vet offices, local businesses, and to put up around your neighborhood. It's best to put a picture of your ferret on the flyer. A picture will help people know exactly what a ferret looks like, in case they've never seen one. Include all your contact information and the day/time and area where your ferret went missing.

  Offer a reward, but don't specify what the reward is until you have your ferret back. You can give the finder money (even $5 or $10 is a reward) or you can offer services (car wash, cookies -- be creative) if you're short on cash.

  Even if your ferret isn't ill, you might say that the ferret needs medication on the flyer. If someone is thinking of keeping your ferret, they'll think twice if they think the ferret is ill.

Ask Around

  Go door to door in your neighborhood to ask if anyone has seen your ferret. Give each neighbor a copy of the flyer you made. Also ask if they have heard a dog barking or some other kind of disturbance that could mean your ferret has been there. Make sure you check with kids in the neighborhood, too. Ask your neighbors to look in garages, sheds, and basements, or ask if you can look in these places.

  Call any shelters or humane associations in your area to ask if someone turned in a ferret. Call nearby vets to see if anyone brought in a ferret. Let shelters and vets know that your ferret is missing and give them all your phone numbers in case someone comes in with a ferret. You can even drop off some Lost Ferret flyers at all the local shelters and vet offices, this way they'll know what your ferret looks like (if you have a picture of her on the flyer) and they'll have your contact information all in one place.

  Many local businesses or pet shops will let you put up your Lost Ferret flyer. Don't be shy about asking -- the worst they can do is say no. You may find a lot of pet-friendly people out there who are willing to help by putting up your Lost Ferret flyer.

Put Out Food and Shelter

  Put a carrier or small cage outside your home with food, water, and blankets for your ferret. You should choose sleeping material that your ferret has already used, so it smells like "home." Try putting your ferret's favorite food or treat in the food dish. Check the carrier several times a day to see if anyone's used it. If it looks like your ferret has been there, start actively searching around your home again. Many people have put out a cage and found their ferret curled up sleeping in it.

  Since a ferret can only survive a few days on her own outside, leaving out food and water increases your ferret's chance of survival. If you can get a neighbor to leave out food and water for your ferret, that can help, too.

  Another option is to leave your garage or shed open for your ferret with food and water inside. Some people have even used a Have-A-Heart trap to catch a roaming ferret. Have-A-Heart traps trap the ferret without harming him.

When You Find Your Ferret

  When you find your ferret or someone brings him to you, check him all over for any wounds or bites. A flea bath is a good idea, too. You'll want to keep him separate from your other ferrets for a week or so to make sure he doesn't pass any illness on to your other ferrets.

  If your ferret is injured, take him to the vet. If your ferret has been gone a few days, and he seems dehydrated (see the "Did You Know That..." in Ferret News #68 for more on dehydration), take him to the vet for fluids and a checkup. It's always better to be err on the side of caution.

  Finally, go through your home to double-check all windows, doors, and possible escape routes to help prevent future escapes.

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Purchases from FerretDesigns help support this newsletter.

Did You Know That...

  You can train your ferret to come to a squeak toy -- and you should. If your ferret ever gets lost in the house or outside the house, having him trained to come to a squeak toy can help you find him faster. We even trained our ferrets to come to a dog clicker.

  It's easy to train a ferret to come to a squeak toy or clicker. Many ferrets naturally come to investigate the noise. When they do, give them a treat. Every time you squeak the toy (or click the clicker) and the ferret comes to you, give him a treat.

  If your ferret gets outside, he'll want to come to the squeak toy/clicker because he knows he'll get a treat. Food is a great motivator for ferrets.

  Deaf ferrets present a difficulty because they can't hear the squeak toy or clicker. If you have a deaf ferret, try training him to come to thumping on the floor (the ferret can feel the vibration). Thump on the floor until your ferret comes over to you (or wanders over to you) then give him a treat. Do this often, so your ferret learns to associate the thumping with a treat. Of course, this won't work outside, but it does help if a deaf ferret gets lost in the house.

  The best way to keep your ferrets safe is to ferret-proof, ferret-proof, ferret-proof. But if one does get lost, a squeak toy or clicker can help save the day.

Note: Squeak toys for dogs are usually fairly sturdy, but you should always supervise a ferret playing with a squeak toy. We only get sturdy squeak toys and we keep them out of ferret reach.

Get a Squeak Toy or Clicker Online!

Castor & Pollux Red Rover Plush Dog Toys Bear
Dog Squeak Toy (bear)
(not for ferret play)

 Castor & Pollux Red Rover Plush Dog Toys Fox
Dog Squeak Toy (fox)
(not for ferret play)

 Triple Crown Click & Play Squid Dog Training Toy
Dog Training Clicker

  Thanks for reading! Keep those fuzzies cool and safe!

-- Mary, Eric & Gabby

  Stay tuned for more. You can always get updates by reading my blog (a blog is an online journal). I keep it sporadically and it usually runs to the more personal stuff. But you might like it. It's at


Ferret News

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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 2004 Modern Ferret magazine.
All rights reserved.




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