Can My Ferret Swim – Is It Safe for Ferrets to Swim
Can My Ferret Swim – Is It Safe for Ferrets to Swim?
Pools and beaches are great places to relax. Us humans love to swim around in a pool. Ferret owners often wonder if they can bring their companion with them to the pool. But the question is, “Can Ferrets Swim?” or better yet “Is it Safe for Ferrets to Swim?”?
Do Ferrets Swim?
Yes, ferrets are natural swimmers. They do not necessarily need to be taught or trained to swim. As soon as they enter a pool, they will start swimming and chances are they will love it. But, there are still some ferrets that do not like swimming. Just because ferrets have the ability to swim, does not mean they voluntarily want to swim. Whether your ferret likes to swim or not, you’ll have to find out on your own.
Ferrets that were kept as pets thousands of years ago, were taught to swim and that skill has developed and ferrets have evolved as a species since then. Ferrets have learned and developed many different skills during the past two thousand years or so.
Swimming may not always be about enjoyment for ferrets. Wild ferrets find it necessary to take a dip every once in a while. They swim across rivers sometimes to evade predators. Seeing a prey can also lure a ferret into a water body. After all, wild ferrets have to hunt for food.
Ferrets are able to follow instructions just as well as dogs. There are traits that you can teach your ferret. They can maintain eye contact, eat treats straight out of their owner’s hand and also follow commands that are pointing-based. Therefore, you can definitely add swimming as a trait. Your ferret will be able to learn quickly by following you as an example.
How can I teach my Ferret to swim?
Ferrets have biological swimming abilities. Even at a very young age, they are capable of swimming instinctively. Young ferrets primarily learn to swim just by observing their mother’s swimming technique.
However, like every other pet, your ferret will need guidance and support from you. Encouragement will definitely be appreciated by your ferret. Treats can be used as an incentive to lure your ferret into a bathing bowl or a bath-tub.
Try to keep the process as slow as possible because ferrets can be fearful of entering a bathing bowl early on. Do not just place your ferret in the tub that is filled with water. Use a tub or bowl that can be easily escaped by your ferret. A clean litter box made for cats is a perfect size.
Point to the tub while maintaining eye contact with your ferret to lure him into the tub. Sit by the tub while holding it and pointing to it. Verbally ask your ferret to come to you and get in the tub. Using a food treat is helpful if your ferret is hesitating.
Even a shy ferret will be overcome by curiosity and would jump in to explore the tub and experience the activity that is swimming if you keep persisting. Take it slow and let your ferret dictate the pace.
Holding your ferret in the tub for a few seconds while the lower half of his body is submerged in water can be very helpful. It will give your ferret a feel of the tub and the water. After that, the ferret will feel much safer going into the tub. This method is extremely helpful especially in the case of baby ferrets that do not have the energy and coordination required to swim on their own.
Apart from helping your ferret, supervising is also very important. It is dangerous for ferrets to swim by their lonesome. Their curiosity can get the best of them and they may end up drowning themselves.
Do Ferrets like to Swim?
Some ferrets really like to swim. Some swim for other reasons. Ferrets like to spend time with their owners. Your ferret may get into a pool just because you are in it and they want to be with you. Even if their owner doesn’t enter the pool, a ferret might get into the pool to please them when encouraged. Some ferrets may just take part in this activity for the food treat they receive at the end. There is no specific way to determine what the real reason is.
Some ferrets just aren’t swimmers. Rescue ferrets have a past that is traumatic and you may not know all the details of it. They might hesitate because of an incident involving water in their past. Or maybe your ferret just isn’t into swimming.
Observing your ferret during his first swim session is very important. A positive response initially doesn’t mean your ferret enjoys swimming. He might just be exploring the area or trying to please you by swimming. He may not want to swim in the future. It is advisable to always observe or supervise when your ferret is in the water.
Staying by the side of your ferret is essential. If he doesn’t see you, he may start panicking and put himself in danger. Ferrets get tired very easily, too. You need to be there to pull your ferret out of the pool if he seems tired or he may drown. Do not let your ferret enter a pool or tub unless you can supervise the whole session.
If swimming is enjoyable for your ferret, he will start to get more comfortable with each session. You will be able to see the excitement and confidence when he is in and around water. That is how you can find out if your ferret really likes to swim.
Are Ferrets happy around Water?
Most ferrets are usually comfortable around water. Even though that seems like a positive, in some cases it isn’t.
If your ferret is comfortable or happy around water, he may be very careless at times. Let’s say you have drawn a bath for yourself and the door of the bathroom is left open. If your ferret is out of his cage, he may jump into the tub. It is easier to get into the tub than getting out of it.
The water in the tub can cause harm to your ferret if the temperature is a bit extreme for him. The depth of the tub and the water level can also be a problem. If the water level is too high and there is no way for your ferret to escape, he can end up drowning.
Other water features in your home can also be a risk when your ferret is around. Fountains, aquariums, bird baths, etc can prove to be a risk. Proper safety measures are required to keep your ferret safe and your home clean and tidy.
If your ferret is swimming and you are not aware, drowning is always a possibility. Ferrets get tired very quickly. Swimming without supervision can be life-threatening. It is important to empty water features or tubs that do not require to be filled all the time. As for the ones that do need to be full of water all the time, like aquariums, should be properly protected and locked to prevent tampering by your ferret.
Swimming can be very fun and a great exercise for your ferret. It has the potential to enrich the life of a ferret. These practices will make swimming much safer for your ferret.
Can Ferrets Swim in a Bathtub, a Pool or a Beach?
A bathtub or sink can be used to let your ferret splash around in the water. Inflatable pools designed for children can be used to give your ferrets a pool of their own. You can place it anywhere you like and watch your ferret as he splashes. They are even big enough for a ferret to swim a few laps.
If your ferret likes to swim, he will definitely enjoy swimming in a proper pool. Let your ferret explore the area around the pool if it’s his first visit. Keeping them on a leash is important in the first session. Your ferret will enter the pool himself when he is comfortable and if the water temperature is right. As public pools do not allow pets, your only option would be a home pool.
Do not let your ferret swim in a pool that has water with chlorine in it. Chlorine isn’t good for your ferret’s skin. It will make him itchy and he may bite himself in an attempt to stop the itching. Also, make sure your ferret drinks some water before he goes into the pool or he may drink the pool water.
The sand at the beach has small grains and is moist. It’s perfect as your ferret will be able to dig tunnels. Sand is a great playground for ferrets. Ferrets also find chasing waves to be very enjoyable. Small waves are fine and will be fun for a ferret. However, be in close proximity and do not let them go too far or they might get washed away by a big wave. Also, beware of stray dogs in public places like the beach.
Keeping a leash on your ferret while at the beach is very important. Be sure to remove all the sand and salt from your ferret’s skin once you get back home.