I’m going to do my best to answer your question “Where to buy ferrets”. But considering people from all over the world visit this site it may be difficult to go into specifics.
Let me first tell you where I bought my 2 furrballs; from a local breeder. The pet stores where I live had ferrets, but they didn’t look too healthy. And even a complete newbie like me could tell they weren’t used to being handled. So I decided to look for ferret lovers who had a litter of kits. After going over a number of online ads, I contacted one of them and made an appointment to come over and take a look and sniff (I wanted to make sure I wasn’t allergic before bringing home a fuzzy).
The garage was transformed into a ferret palace, I think she had at least 10 adult fuzzies and 2 or 3 litters at the time. 30 minutes later, not a sneeze or wheeze in sight, I decided to go for it. I ‘ordered’ 2 hobs, 1 week apart in age. And we agreed I could come pick them up in about 3 weeks when they were old enough to leave the mother.
All in all, I like how it went. The ‘breeder’ knew a lot about ferrets, could answer all the questions I had and gave some great advice on training and handling ferrets. She clearly cared about where her kits went, making sure I knew what I was getting myself into ;-)
First of all, the most obvious one, the pet shop. I’m not a huge fan of pet shop pets, except for maybe fish, but that has a lot to do with the pet shops (and the laws) here in Belgium. Thankfully the law will change/has changed and the shops aren’t allowed to sell dogs and cats anymore (you have to start somewhere, right?).
If you plan on buying a ferret from a pet store, try to find out as much as you can about the fuzzy, where did the shop get him, what’s the medical history (vaccinations, age, descenting, sterilization,…). Try to determine how much time the employees spend with the fuzzies each day. Have they started house training, nip training,…
Secondly, you can adopt a ferret from a shelter. Most of the time, the fuzzies in a shelter will be a little (or a lot) older. They most likely already had some training. And the people from the shelter will be able to fix you up with a fuzzy that fits your needs and lifestyle. I looked for a rescue ferret first, but there were none available (ferrets weren’t all that popular back then), which is why I ended up with a private breeder. I would definitely recommend you check out the local shelters and rescues first to see if you can save a little fuzzy.
The third place where to buy ferrets is a breeder. This could be a professional breeder, who’s in it purely for the money (I wouldn’t recommend this one). They usually have rows of cages full of ferrets. And they wouldn’t even dream of taking a fuzzy out of their cage without wearing thick gloves. If that’s the case, run, don’t walk, and find a more ferret friendly place.
Like a ferret lover who has an occasional litter and won’t ask much more than to cover the veterinary costs. Which is where I went. You can easily tell by the amount of toys on the floor and apparent ignorance of this type of breeder to the mayhem surrounding them J No gloves necessary. And no hesitation to shove a fuzzy in your arms for a quick cuddle ;-)