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Are Ferrets Better Pets Than Guinea Pigs?

Which is the pet to get, a ferret or a guinea pig?

By Ailigh Vanderbush
Posted: March 1, 2010, 5 a.m. EST

Q: We have had guinea pigs and would like to try a new small animal pet. We have considered a ferret, but know nothing about them. Are ferrets any more social than guinea pigs?

A: While ferrets are certainly more social than guinea pigs, I wouldn't say they are better pets. Each type of pet has good and bad points.

Ferrets require a large cage, time each day for out-of-cage play, food that is more expensive than a rodent’s, expensive veterinary visits with an exotic veterinarian for vaccinations and health issues, and lots of enrichment to keep them stimulated. Ferrets can also be quite messy with regard to elimination habits, so they require a dedicated cleanup time.

See all Ferret FAQ questions and answers>>

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Are Ferrets Better Pets Than Guinea Pigs?

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Reader Comments
I started with one ferret and soon had 3. All were litter box trained and they were all very intelligent. Each had its own personality and were very social because I took them for daily walks even in the winter. They loved the food mix I made for them and I gave them flaxseed oil and soy milk as a treat daily and their coats were softer and denser because of it. Also don't use those water bottles. They are lapping animals get a very large ceramic water bowl and fill it half way . They do like to splash water so create a wall around the food dish to protect it from the splashers (not all mine were. I loved my nightly walks and window shopping I did with them.
Jen, Detroit, MI
Posted: 2/21/2012 8:05:14 AM
Ferrets are natural predators of guinea pigs, so you will NOT want to have them in the same house.

I find guinea pigs to be more gentle than ferrets, and for me, that is a priority.
Amanda, Urbana, IL
Posted: 5/9/2011 2:34:56 AM
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