The month of February means many things to many people; notably, the very beginning of the beginning of Spring. Although Mr. Groundhog steals the spotlight earlier in the month (and not in a good way this year!), February is still a great time to think about our little fuzzy buddies. Or, more specifically, their little teeth! That's because February is National Pet Dental Health Month for pets, as designated by the American Veterinary Medical Association. If you're not already regularly caring for your ferrets' teeth, here are some tips to keep you in the know:
- Although ferrets are generally classified as small pets, their teeth should be cared for in a way that is more similar to dogs. Unlike rodents, ferrets do not need to grind and wear down their teeth to prevent dental problems the way rabbits or guinea pigs do. While those critters eat hay and vegetation, ferrets need a protein-heavy diet. This means they benefit from the regular brushing and scraping that keeps tartar and plaque from building up. Just like we humans!
- It's very important that ferrets are fed crunchy food, because the chewing of this food helps scrape off plaque and tartar. Marshall Premium Ferret Diet is an excellent example of this. After all, it is fed to every ferret that is raised at Marshall Farms. As the world's largest breeder of ferrets, Marshall certainly knows the best way to keep a ferret's teeth clean!
- In much the same way, ferrets benefit from chew treats (like Bandit's Tartar Control Treats) that scrape their teeth and massage their gums - not to mention keep them busy and happy!
- If you already brush your ferret's teeth regularly, more power to you. It is recommended that you brush your ferret's teeth twice a month with a toothbrush and special toothpaste. If your ferret is young, it helps to be gentle, and start out with your finger or a very soft toothbrush. If you haven't been keeping up with your ferret's dental care, or you are noticing bad breath or teeth discoloration, it might be necessary to have a professional cleaning done at your vet's office, possibly under anesthesia.
All the more incentive to keep those choppers clean!