Know all about the ferret swimming and things to take care of.
As I was taking a stroll along the beachside, watching people bring in their dogs, a thought crossed my mind, “Can Ferrets Swim”? I was really missing my goofy ferret.
The first thing I did after reaching home was to hug my pet ferret and then I took out several books to get my answer.
My joy knew no bounds when I found out that indeed, my pet ferret could swim.
However, there are few things that we need to take care of and few considerations that need to be made while taking your ferret out for a swim.
Let’s take a detailed look at all the aspects of ferret swimming.
Can Ferrets Swim?
A simple answer to can ferrets swim is a BIG YES! Isn’t that great? Ferrets, due to their physical and biological ability, can swim fine.
Earlier, wild ferrets used to swim, not just for their enjoyment, but it was as a way to hunt and escape their predator or simply to hunt their prey.
The younger ferret would usually learn to swim by observing older ferrets like their moms or dads.
However, you need to train your pet domestic ferret to swim. Ferrets are extremely accommodating creatures. Hence, they will get used to the swimming activity quickly and they will enjoy all the water splash!
You should introduce swimming to your domesticated ferret at an early age. They will adapt to this fun activity quickly.
Does Your Ferret Like Swimming?
The answer to the above question varies from ferret to ferret. You might hear one ferret owner say how much his fluffy pet likes the water splash, whereas the other might say how his pet hates the water.
Since your ferret has a natural ability to swim, he might love swimming. After all, when the sun is hot, who doesn’t like to enjoy it in the cold water?
Ferrets have a peculiar style of swimming. They appear similar to an otter swimming. You will be amazed at how adorable they look as glide through the water.
If you want to know whether your cute little pet loves to swim or not, just try to put him in a warm shallow tub of water!
Check out this video of cute little baby ferret swimming for the first time:
3 Best Places for Your Ferret to Swim
Are you confused as to where you can take your ferret swimming? To help you make an informed decision, we discuss the pros and cons of all the water types.
1. Be at Home and Let Your Ferret Enjoy in Bathtub
This can be considered the most convenient option. You can convert your sink or your bathtub into a swimming space for your baby ferret.
All you have to do is fill in some lukewarm water into the sink or tub, and your ferret’s own private swimming pool is ready.
Another great idea is to use an inflatable kids pool for your ferret. Those are big enough for your ferrets to enjoy their swimming sessions and even take a few laps!
Check out this great pool for your ferret.
2. Let Your Ferret Enjoy in Your Private Swimming Pool
If you have a private pool, you can definitely take your dear ferret to swim in it. However, you need to make sure that your furry friend is first accustomed to the pool.
It is advisable that you first let him inspect the pool area. If your ferret wants to explore the surroundings and the chairs, let him do that at his own pace. You should NEVER FORCE your ferret into the pool.
Once your ferret is ready, you can slowly release him in the water and let him relax. Initially, you should put a leash on him, as ferrets tend to get tired easily and may drown. You can use this leash for your ferret.
It is extremely important to follow the below cautions in case you want to use the swimming pool:
- You should not take your ferret to a public pool. You may not be aware of what chemicals are being added to the water, or how your pet would react with strangers around.
- DO NOT ADD CHLORINE to the pool water. Chlorine is extremely harmful to ferrets. It may lead to irritation on his skin. This might cause your ferret to excessively lick and bite himself.
3. Take Your Ferret at a Beach
Do you fancy taking your ferret along with you to the beach while you enjoy those summer days? It is okay if your ferret accompanies you!
The beach sands would be a delight for your ferret as they usually enjoy digging up. Your ferret is bound to enjoy those small waves.
However, you should keep a lease on your little friend, and make sure he remains nearby, as the huge waves might wash him off. Have a look at our leash recommendations here.
Also, keep an eye on stray dogs, so that they do not harm your pet.
Once your beach fun has ended, make sure you clean your ferret properly to remove the sand particles and other dirt. Make use of a suitable ferret shampoo and soap for this.
Teach Your Ferret How to Swim
Ferrets usually know how to swim. However, pet ferrets may need some help, guidance, and training for swimming.
If you are unsure regarding your ferret’s ability to swim, you can try out training him first. Follow the steps below to teach your ferret how to swim.
- Arrange for a Small Make-shift Pool
You can use your bathtub or sink for this. As a suggestion, you can also use a small box initially. However, you need to ensure that your ferret can get out of this make-shift pool whenever he wants to. This will boost their confidence.
- Ensure Water is Perfect For Your Ferret
Fill in the water in the tub, ensuring that the water is at the right temperature. It should neither be too hot or too cold. The water level should be maintained in a manner that your ferret can swim, but also able to rest his legs at the bottom.
- Lure Your Ferret Into the Pool
Once your pool is ready, sit beside it and call your ferret lovingly to enter the pool. You can also try and lure him with his favorite food to come near the pool.
- Give Time To Your Ferret to Get Accustomed
Let your ferret inspect the pool and get accustomed to it.
- Gently Release Your Ferret in the Water
You can now slowly put your ferret in the water, hind legs in the water, and then gently releasing him if he is comfortable. If your ferret is uncomfortable, you should remove him immediately.
Your ferret will try to learn and will always look out for positive signs from your end. Hence, you should always make eye contact and encourage your ferret when he is learning this new activity.
You may also contact your veterinarian with any queries or concerns that you have.
Can My Ferret Swim Underwater?
It is usually unsafe for ferrets to swim underwater. While these playful creatures love to stick their nose underwater, it is highly unlikely that they will swim underwater.
You can give him a small vessel filled with water so that your ferret can enjoy putting his face inside. Your little one might get stunned if put in an extremely large tub or pool.
Is Saltwater Safe for My Ferret to Swim?
Ferrets can swim in saltwater in the same way as they swim in freshwater or pool water. However, a point of concern here is that your little pet might drink excess saltwater.
Excessive intake of saltwater might lead to salt poisoning. This may cause Hypernatremia, Salt toxicity, or Sodium-ion intoxication.
So, it is always advisable that you keep a close eye on your ferret while you are enjoying that beach outing. Ferrets do not know the difference between saltwater and drinking water.
Also, make sure that you clean up your ferret and bathe him to remove all the sand and dirt from his fur.
How Frequently Should I Let My Ferret Swim?
The frequency of the swimming sessions depends upon how much your ferret loves water. Some ferrets like the water splashes and would love to swim almost every day.
If your ferret enjoys his time in the water, you shouldn’t be surprised if one day he just jumps into the shower with you!
Some of the ferrets might just not like being in the water. In such cases, you can limit the bathtime and pool time once a month.
Thus, the frequency depends upon the choice of your ferret. You simply need to make sure that your ferret is not exposed to harmful chemicals such as chlorine, and whatever pool he is in, he should be able to touch his feet to the bottom.
Can Swimming Be Dangerous for My Ferret?
If your ferret swims under proper supervision, there is no danger during swimming. However, since ferrets love swimming, they can be excited and hyper around water. This can be dangerous for them.
Moreover, these little creatures tend to get exhausted quickly. Hence, while swimming, if your ferret is exhausted and unattended, there is a high risk of him drowning in water.
Below are few risk factors that you should consider while your ferret happily swims:
- Cause of Worry in The Bathtub
Below are the scenarios that can be dangerous for your ferret:
- The water temperature is not appropriate. It is too cold or too hot for your ferret.
- There are chemicals in the tub that can be toxic for your ferret. This can be in form of shampoo, soap, or bubble baths.
- The water level is not maintained properly. Hence, if your ferret is unable to escape from the tub, this might be very dangerous.
- Cause of Worry in The Pool
Below are the scenarios that can be dangerous for your ferret while he is swimming in the pool:
- The water temperature is not maintained in the pool.
- There are toxic chemicals like chlorine in the pool. Chlorine can cause extreme irritation and skin issues in your ferret.
- If your pool has skimmers, you should be careful that your ferret is not sucked into it.
- Cause of Worry On The Beach
If you have taken your ferret for swimming on the beach, consider the below points:
- Stray dogs can harm your ferret. Keep a close watch on your ferret.
- The high, strong waves can drown your ferret. You must put a leash on your ferret at all times.
- Your ferret might drink plenty of saltwater causing salt poisoning.
- Your excited ferret may keep on digging the sand on the beach. If this sand enters his eyes, this may cause extreme irritation to your fluffy pet.
If your ferret has an adverse effect on his health due to swimming and the above-mentioned reasons, you should consult your veterinarian at the earliest.
Safety Measures to Consider While Your Ferret Is Swimming
Now that you are aware of the dangers associated with swimming, below are few safety measures that you should follow:
- Always Keep Your Ferret Under Supervision
Supervision is the key. Always keep a close watch on your ferret while he swims. Even if you are at home!
- Don’t Force Your Ferret to Swim
Allow your ferret to explore the swimming area first, and never force your ferret to swim.
- Provide Him with Water at Regular Intervals
To avoid dehydration, offer your ferret water before and after the swimming sessions.
- Maintain an Appropriate Water Temperature
You should take proper care regarding the water temperature and also select a proper time for swimming. It is best to avoid direct sunlight times. You can opt for dawn or dusk for your ferret’s swimming. Ideally, the temperature should be between 37 degrees to 40 degrees Celsius.
- Train your Ferret and Show Him the Exit Points
Train your ferret to come out of the tub. You should train him to use the exit point, so he can come out of the water safely. The exit points should be easily accessible by your ferret.
- Chlorine Free Pool
- Clean Your Ferret After Swimming Session
Bathe your ferret after a swim session at the beach. Use proper ferret shampoo and soap to avoid any itching on your ferret’s skin. Properly tap your ferret dry.
How to Take Care of Your Ferret After His Swimming Session?
Ferrets tend to exhaust quite easily. Hence, you should follow the below tips after his swimming session:
- Offer some fresh water to your ferret.
- Clean him as soon as possible. If possible, clean with a dry towel rather than a bath so his energy is not exhausted.
- Offer food to your ferret.
- Let him rest properly and regain his energy.
FAQs on Can Ferrets Swim?
1. Do Ferrets Like Baths?
Some ferrets love to bathe while some simply are very reluctant when it comes to bathing. You need to figure out your ferret’s behavior by gently making him bathe.
2. Do Ferrets Get Cold Easily?
Ferrets, being such tiny creatures, can get cold easily. In case your ferret has a cold, he will show symptoms like runny nose, coughing, and sneezing.
A straightforward answer to can ferrets swim is a yes. You need to decide what water temperature works best for your ferret and where can you take him for a swimming session.
You must take all the necessary care while your ferret swims. Also, aftercare is equally important for your ferret as those tiny beings get exhausted easily.
Follow the article above and have some fun with your ferret as he swims!