I have spoken with my friend who has very lively cinnamon jill Dizzy . They are going to the sea cost and he was not sure if it was a good idea to bring his ferret near water, even though she likes playing in the bathtub with shallow water but it is not the same as on the beach.
So first do ferrets likes to swim? The answer is yes, most of them like it and you can have a great time with them in the water. Besides this question there is a lot of things you need to know before you take your ferret to the beach or let it by the pool.
I have done extensive research about this topic to help my friend and his Dizzy and i am sharing all i could find on this topic to help you and your pet prepare for the summer.
Can Ferrets Swim?
The answer is yes, they are natural swimmers . Of course in wild ferrets would never come into the water for enjoyment but would if they need to chase some food or escape from dangerous situations.
Nowadays there are no wild ferrets ( the ones we know as pets do not live in wild ) so we have a bit changed type of domesticated ferrets.
These ferrets do not have to chase for prey, they usually do not fall in any dangerous situation. Pet ferrets get used to their human friends so they picked up some different social and cognitive skills.
Now you can see a lot of pet ferrets which will go into the water just for fun and amusement , same as dogs for example .
Do Ferrets Like To Swim?
Some of them yes, some of them no. OK, better to say , most of them,yes , they like to swim. The thing is that a great deal of pet ferrets do not live around the water so they do not know if they like to swim, same as their owners.
If you go to Youtube you will find a bunch of videos on which pet ferrets enjoy water so if you are not sure, you should definitely give your pet a chance.
Teach Your Ferret to Swim (useful tip)
You can assume that ability to swim will come to your ferret naturally,as swimming is in its nature. But do not forget that your ferret is growing up with you, in the safety and comfort of your home.
Your furball did not learn how to chase the prey in the water and its mum wasn’t there to teach it how to swim. So you have to be the teacher and start with lessons as early as possible! Baby ferret will accept your idea much better then the older one.
First you should try to animate it to go into the bathtub with a very small amount of water in it. Observe its reaction, does it like it or it is trying to avoid playing there?
You have to be there as much as play with water lasts, always keep your eye on your pet , talk to it , you can put some favourite toy near water or some floating objects or give it some small food treat in order to encourage your fur friend.
The most important thing is your patience and support. It is also a good idea to put your baby ferret in the water and let it float but supported with your hands so it can feel safe.
Your role in this is to show your pet water and to be there, you do not have to teach it swimming techniques as they are already written in its genes.
Step by step, always bear that on your mind. Do not rush and if your ferret does not like the water, do not force it. Maybe you can try the same thing in a week or so. Do not give up but also avoid being pushy.
How Often Can You Let Your Ferret to Swim?
I found that this question is very often . People mix swimming and bathing .
The thing is that ferrets shouldn’t be washed too often as they can suffer from different skin problems ( dry and itchy skin ) and their odour become even stronger .
Unlike swimming , bathing involves usage of soap or shampoos and it is their fault if ferrets get unpleasant skin issue .Some sources say that the ferrets should be bathed 1-3 times per year ,some other say once a month… Of course when your ferret is dirty after good outdoor play ,you can wash it with water only just to remove mud ,dirt.
However the topic of this post is swimming and not bathing. I have just needed to compare those two so you can understand that swimming or simply playing in water can be more often. Experienced owners say that you can arrange water play 2-3 times per week but if you notice dry and itchy skin possible with dandruff maybe you should limit that play to once per week.
Should Your Ferret Swim in Sea Water ?
Yes, it is safe for a ferret to swim in the sea (salt) water and ferrets adore sand and seaside. Sand is their favourite material as they can dig the tunnels.
Remember not to expose your pet to direct sunlight . High temperatures and direct sunlight can affect them very badly ,causing a stroke.
Another issue is that water reflects the sunlight which can lead to eye problems. So early morning or late afternoon would be perfect time for your ferret to enjoy on the beach.
You should always keep an eye on your pet, especially if dogs are around. Dogs can hurt it accidentally or with intention if they are hunting breeds .
Also try to keep away your pet from the crowd as it can be scary for your little buddy. After swimming in the sea, ferrets are usually tired so that would be a perfect moment for the nap.
Do not forget to wash away sand and salt from its fur after play and always use towel to dry it.
Should You Let Your Ferret Swim in the Pool ?
Pools are equally funny for the ferrets. You can let your pet explore the pool area , jumping around on the sun deck provides good exercise and fun . If your ferret has not been in the water yet, do not leave it unsupervised.
The best option is your own pool and if you can provide sea water in it ,even better .If not then pay attention at chlorine level.
The best time for letting your pet in the poll is 2-3 days before pool man is coming, as at the point chlorine level is very low.
What is the problem with chlorine ? If chlorine level is high that can cause problems with skin and eyes .
Watch carefully the water temperature, ideal is around 55-70F. Below 50F is too cold and above 75F is too hot . Same as with the time when you let your fur ball to use the pool , it should be early morning or early evening , as direct sun exposure can be dangerous for it .
Also it can burn its paws standing on the heated sun deck or ground around pool.
Good advise is to get screened enclosure which surrounds the whole pool or pool area . Depends on where you live but as far as I know in Florida all pools have these enclosures.
If you do not have it then additional supervision is needed. Same as after swimming in sea , you should rinse your ferret with water only to remove any chemicals from the pool but always bear in mind that you should do not let your ferret swim in the pool if the chlorine level is high. After that use the towel to dry it
Keep your ferret away from public pools, first of all In most of the places, bringing pets is not allowed due to sanitary reasons and second of all, public pools can be overcrowded which ferrets do not like.
Anyhow – swimming is fun for ferrets in most of the case but you should always take precautions and think about the safety of your pet. Never ever let it alone.