Ferrets are naturally good swimmers and they absolutely love playing around in the bathtub or a pool. In the wilderness, they often have to cross rivers to get away from predators or reach new prey. There are some ferrets that don’t like water as well and it’s up to you to figure out whether they would like to swim or not. In this article, we’ll help you introduce your ferret to swimming slowly and safely.
Can ferrets swim? Do they like to play in the water?
Most ferrets love to play in the water and they’re pretty good swimmers. But you should also keep an eye on the ferrets that absolutely love water but are terrible swimmers. You will need to teach them how to swim slowly and in a safe environment. But don’t worry, they’re natural swimmers. You only have to keep an eye on them to make sure there’s no accident that could scare them for good.
A ferret will move its paws in the front and keep its little nose out of the water. Then it will start swimming using its back legs and using its tail as a rudder. It will look very similar to an otter swimming and gliding through the water. Once they master swimming they are very entertaining to observe while they play. It’s also even better if you add lots of waterproof and ferret-safe toys to the tub. This will turn baths into playtime as well.
It’s not impossible to have a ferret that absolutely hates water and you should try your best to figure out why. Your ferret might simply not like the idea of getting wet and it doesn’t know what swimming even is. Slowly introducing it to a bigger bowl of water might help get used to water and figure out that it’s not actually dangerous. Many ferrets will start swimming if they are introduced to water properly.
But if your ferret just absolutely hates water, especially if it had a terrible water-related accident in the past, you should never force it into the water. Instead of helping, the ferret will get terrified and it will be scared of you as well. It’s OK if your ferret won’t swim. All you have to do is find a different way to keep it entertained. A big container filled with rice can be a great replacement.
Do ferrets like baths?
Since they love swimming, there’s a very big chance your ferret will like baths as well. And if you’re letting your ferret swim in the tub, it won’t see much of a difference between playtime and bath time. Having lots of waterproof toys around is highly recommended. Just make sure they’re not easy to chew as the ferret could swallow some small pieces and get hurt.
The way you’re introducing your pet to the bath is extremely important, especially for the very first time. This can easily determine whether the ferret will love or hate baths for the rest of its life. Be very gentle, use a cooing voice, and have lots of patience. It’s always best to let the ferret check the surroundings before placing it in the tub. And if it likes it, it might actually get into the bath all by itself.
Ferrets are very energetic and keeping them in place for a bath will be impossible for a longer period of time. So learn to work quickly and make sure all the shampoo was rinsed out. When everything is done, you can place a few towels in the tub and let the pet burrow in them. This will help it dry up very fast and without being bothered by you.
Can ferrets swim in a pool?
If you have a swimming pool, your ferrets might see it as their heaven. And if you fill it with toys and easy ways to get out, they will try to spend as much time as possible in the pool. But you should never go to a public pool as you never know what’s in the water. You should only let the pet swim in your own swimming pool, and a good replacement is an inflatable kiddie pool.
For pools that have skimmers make sure you get safety grates as some pets can get sucked into the skimmer. Always keep an eye on the ferrets and always be ready to help them out. It’s also important to make sure the water doesn’t contain chlorine as it can be very harmful to them. A simple swim can turn their skin very red and it will start itching worse and worse.
Bathing the ferret with a ferret shampoo after they swim is ideal so you can be sure all the bad chemicals are off their bodies. If your ferret roams free around the house, keep the pool closed or empty in case it might fall into the water without knowing to swim properly.
Can ferrets swim in the ocean or in saltwater pools?
You can take your ferret to the beach without any problems. All you need to make sure is that the pet is always leashed and that no other pets make it too close to yours. Ferrets love chasing small waves but you should make sure they won’t run after the big ones as that’s a drowning accident waiting to happen. Never turn your back to your swimming ferret as even a minute can have serious consequences.
Besides the water, ferrets absolutely love the beach sand and they will often try to make tunnels. Have an eye cleaner with you all the time as sand can get into their eyes and create serious issues. And when it comes to drinking water from the ocean, stop the ferret from attempting to do it immediately. Always give your pet water before and after swimming to make sure they’re not tempted to drink from the ocean or pool.
How often can I let my ferret swim?
Wild ferrets might have to swim daily and they can be very good swimmers. But you should keep in mind that ferrets have special oils that help maintain the skin and coat healthy. If these oils keep getting washed out, the ferret’s skin will become itchier and itchier and the coat might fall in some areas as well.
This means that letting your ferret swim once a week is already enough, regardless of how much they love it, especially if they have sensitive skin. Dry the ferret with a towel and ignore the bad smell in the next few days. These are their glands working overtime to provide oils for their skin and coat so the ferret won’t get itchy skin.