For many responsible pet owners, buying their animals from reputable and scrupulous sources is a no-brainer. It’s sad that there are countless scam artists out to steal your money, promising a new or rescue Ferret, but all you receive is an email advising that there are no Ferrets, if you hear from them at all.
If you’re asking, how much do Ferrets cost? and how do I avoid getting scammed? the answer contains variables that require exploration beyond the basic price hikes and crooked pet stores.
How Much Do Ferrets Cost To Adopt?
Like anything for sale, Ferrets have different prices depending on things such as where you’re sourcing them from, if they are a rescue Ferret and how rare they’re said to be. Sellers can range from other pet owners and breeders to pet stores and shelters, however you must shy away from buying pets online.
Animals are living beings like us and to treat them like a commodity or an inanimate object is to denigrate them and reduce them to possessions or lesser creatures in our minds. Always check for reputable sellers or shelters who can provide a lot of information about the care of your Ferret.
Initial Costs Of Buying A Pet Ferret
If you are buying your Ferret, this is just for starters:
From a private seller or pet store: averaging $125 or more
From a rescue shelter: up to $200 or more
That said, you might find other Ferret enthusiasts who are selling kits from a new litter at a cheaper rate, but always remember the Golden Rule: check the sellers’ reputation and make sure that you get documentation regarding the background of your Ferret, care directions and medical history.
The money you will spend before you even bring your Ferret home will depend on where you buy their required items and levels of quality, but the following list gives you a basic idea about other initial costs, most of which you’ll need.
- Cage: $60 – $150
- Litter Pan: $5 – $8
- Feed Bowls: $6 – $10
- Waterers: $6 – $10
- Leash and Harness: $7 – $14
- Pet Carrier: $14 – $30
- Grooming Supplies: $10 – $20
- Toys: $18 – $40
- Hammock and Tube: $10 – $50
Ongoing Costs Of A Ferret
Some of these expenses may not need to be replaced or refreshed as often, but over the years, the bills will add up, so it’s important to make sure that you’ll be able to shoulder the ongoing costs over the life of your pets. Here is a basic list of what you’ll need on an ongoing basis, which will be dependent upon factors such as how many Ferrets you will have in your care, emergencies etc.:
- Litter: $15 – $50
- Food and Treats: $10 – $100
- Vaccinations and routine Vet care: $75 – $150
- Flea and Heartworm control and prevention: $20 – $200
- Supplements and Medications: $12 – $50
How Do I Avoid Getting Scammed?
It goes without saying that knowledge is everything. Do your research and avoid online pet sales if you can. Scammers will try to lure innocent animal lovers via advertising and marketing that’s targeted to tug at the heartstrings, with promises of top-quality specimens that either don’t exist or worse.
You could end up with a different species or an animal in poor condition that could have been treated badly, smuggled or stolen. Some despicable scammers might even disguise your pet, so it appears to be the genuine article, using dangerous dyes to change their color or other terrible practices.
How to Spot a Scam When Buying a Ferret
Scamming by promising the sale of innocent animals is performed by a combination of elements, such as a con artist who is a liar and a thief, who might even threaten or blackmail you when you realize that you have been scammed and demanding your money back.
Here are some red flags to watch out for:
- People on websites like Craigslist or Ebay could be selling stolen Ferrets
- Once you pay the money online, you could be advised that further costs are required
- Online scammers often say that the animal is held up by “authorities” to get more money
- The sellers don’t know much about the Ferret’s history or don’t offer in-depth information
- A high level of urgency when trying to push you into buying
- Nervous, pushy or angry personalities
- Sellers who ask you to send the money to a different destination
- They ask for pet insurance if it needs to be shipped, even though it’s not required
- Scammers threatening to hurt the animal if you don’t pay up
- Emails with poor grammar or broken English
Here are some tips to make sure you’re dealing with a reputable seller:
- Make sure you get legitimate phone numbers, addresses and business names
- Ask for several photos of your Ferret, maybe one with a newspaper to show proof of the date
- Check for the details of the veterinary clinic that has treated the Ferret
- Don’t deal with a seller who does not live in the same country
- If they say they’re a breeder, ask for their registration information, then verify it
- Don’t pay via money order or Western Union – only use a credit/debit card so you can trace it
- Maintain a healthy level of skepticism if they talk about addition charges
- Don’t deal with a pushy seller who says they’re moving and must sell quickly
- Think twice if they offer a drastically reduced price for a good specimen
It’s important to do your research and even a bit of soul-searching before venturing into the world of Ferrets, especially when dealing with the humans who sell them.