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Can Ferrets Swim? – Know the Real Truth About Ferret Swimming

If you think where you want to go to relax your body or mind, beaches and swimming pools can come to your account. Isn’t it? For me, water is my all time favorite therapy. Swimming is a popular sport and the most prefered one during summers. It can help us to get fit, to have fun, or naturally cooling down our temperament. We have talked about us, but do you know that we are not the only species who often love to spend our time in the water? Dogs, few birds, and sometimes even cats do that. But in a surprising twist, many pet ferrets also prefer swimmings over anything else. So if you are here to know “do ferrets swim?” – Yes they swim. In this article, we will take a close look of the swimming ferrets.

Can Ferrets Swim?

Do Ferrets Swim?

Evidence of ferrets swimming has existed since 18th century. Wild relatives of domesticated ferrets take help of water places. They hunt, escape predation, or change their locations. Swimming is easy for wild ferrets as they learn it at an early age by observing their mothers. If you think that there is a lot of difference between wild and pet ferrets, you are right. But not in this case! Pet ferrets love swimming. You may not be aware that your baby ferrets might enjoy taking a dip, if you let them. They will do it again and again. You just have to give them that freedom, safety, and opportunity to swim.

Do Ferrets Like to Swim?

Ferrets have the physical and biological ability to swim. Swimming is in their nature. It is a different scenario that they are not bound, but yes, ferrets do like swimming! Talking about the wild ones, they may not enjoy swimming because of the water pollutions. But, they may readily take the water to seek help or catch prey. Young ferrets always want to imitate their mothers with a feeling of safety. Initially, they go to the water and start with the paddling.

Even after knowing that the ferrets can swim, you may think about whether they want to do it voluntarily or not! The answer to this question depends on the environment provided to the ferrets. Wild ferrets have no other option than swimming when it comes to hunger or safety. But pet ferrets have a privilege to deny. They are indeed open to the activity if you, being an owner, have a desire to offer them an opportunity to swim at any age!

How to Teach Your Ferret to Swim?

Your pet ferrets have no one to watch or observe like the wild ferrets. So in this situation, it is better to introduce them to waters as early as possible. Just like human beings, any young species can take new experiences very seriously. Baby ferret may accept this opportunity with open arms and love swimming. Take care about the process and know how to teach your ferret to swim.

Step 1: Get them familiar with water

Get them familiar with water

You can’t put a baby ferret in a big filled bathtub. Being owner, you have to make her believe that this is just a training and she is safe with you. Don’t create a situation where swimming is the only option left for her to survive. If she is scared, allow some time to calm her down.

Step 2: Fill a small and shallow bathing tub with water

Fill a small and shallow bathing tub

She may get frightened if she is unable to get any support or dry land. Don’t make her fearful. Find a shallow but roomy bathtub, sink, or basin where she can easily sneak in and out. If you can arrange a clean cat litter box, then it will be an enormous ‘first-swim’ container for your ferret.

Step 3: Encourage Your Ferret

Encourage Your Ferret

Don’t forget to smile in front of her and talking with her. Make eye contact and encourage her verbally. She must feel your excited voice so that she can get involved quickly to this new activity. If she is still hesitant or scared, bribe her with a favorite food treat. You can also try putting her favorite toy near the tub so that she can come closer.

Step 4: Move Your Hands

Move Your Hands

You should give the exact idea of what you would like her to do. Use your fingers to point out the bathing bowl and ask her to leap. You can also place some floating objects to show how she should try swimming. Make her curious to learn this new swimming activity.

Step 5: One Step at a Time

It is essential to have patience while teaching your fur baby how to swim. Do not rush! You can also try putting her into the water and letting her float, supported by your hands. This activity will give your ferret an experience of water. When she feels safe and comfortable with water, remove your hands gently.

Safety Comes First

Before you start, read these ferret swimming safety tips to avoid unwanted accidents. After all, your ultimate goal is to keep your ferret safe and to make her happy.

  • Supervision is a must when she is swimming. Sometimes ferrets get excited and make a mistake which may harm them.
  • Allow your ferret some time to explore the swimming area. Ferrets have sniffing habits for their safety concern. Don’t stop them.
  • Never take your ferret to public swimming pools. It is risky for them because of the crowd. Also, pets are not allowed in the public pools for sanitation reasons.
  • Find a non-chlorinated swimming pool as your favorite pet cannot tolerate Chlorine. It may irritate the eyes, skin, and tissues of the ferret.
  • Keep your ferret hydrated before and during the time of swimming. This way, you can at least try to stop her from drinking the water of the pool.
  • Don’t forget to check the water temperature before letting her go swimming. 75 – 80°F is too hot for your ferret and 45 – 50°F is too cold. Wait and watch.
  • Avoid direct sunlight. Choose the swim time wisely. Water reflects the sunlight, and it may hurt your ferret’s eyes.  Dawn and dusk are the best times to take your ferret swimming.
  • Train your ferrets the way that they can come out without the help of others. Don’t keep the water too deep and keep an easy exit point.
  • If your ferret does not like swimming, don’t force her to swim. Some ferrets just don’t like swimming, and it is absolutely fine. It is normal.

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