In this article, we will be taking a look at how to teach your ferret to swim. Although most ferrets do have the natural ability to swim it is usually only used for short distances to hunt or cross water obstacles such as streams.
Just because of your ferret making their swimming activities look effortless, it doesn’t mean that they are enjoying it. Swimming can be exhausting for ferrets as they have to put so much effort into just staying afloat. Some ferrets hate swimming and aren’t shy about showing it. They will thrash around as soon as they are put in water and start to panic looking for an exit to the water.
Getting Floaties And Swim Rings For Ferrets
Although they are actually designed as an accessory for Barbie dolls, they have proven very effective as a flotation device for ferrets. This report from a ferret owner and this report from a ferret owner both say that the product works perfectly as a ferret floatie.
As these products are not designed for use with ferrets, be sure that they are not too tight around your ferret’s neck and will not restrict their ability to breath. The video below also shows how much ferrets love playing in the water with their floaties on.
How To Teach Your Ferret To Swim
Although you can get your ferret to swim or paddle without a floatation aid, in our opinion, it is best to invest in one as it makes the whole process easier. While swimming, your ferret should be supervised at all times. They are prone to getting tired and beginning to sink, if you see any signs of this, lift them out of the water instantly.
Before you let your ferret swim in a pool or pond, always try to get them to drink from a fresh water source. This will reduce the chance of them drinking either the dirty water in the pond or the chlorinated water from the pool.
Once your ferret has its floatation aid on, simply place it in the water. It should start swimming around and with the benefit of the swimming ring, it will also be able to use its front paws for propulsion rather than to help it stay afloat.
If your ferret shows signs of distress and starts panicking, it might be a better idea to start their swimming lessons in the bath rather than in a pool.
How Often Can I Let My Ferret Swim
Although watching your ferret’s swimming can be fun it can be a problem for their skin. Ferrets are prone to a number of skin issues with some that are brought on due to their skin being wet too often.
It is advised that you only let your ferrets swim once a month and then bath them afterward and thoroughly dry them. This will let you get their monthly bath out the way on the same day as they swim and keep the says they get their fur wet to an absolute minimum. Some ferret owners report doing the above process twice a month without issue but it is not recommended.
Can Ferrets Swim Underwater
Ferrets are more likely to stick their head underwater as shown in the video below. There are reports of ferrets doing fine swimming underwater but we have never seen it ourself. Never try to force your ferret to swim underwater under any circumstance, just let it do as it pleases. If it wants to go underwater it will.
Can Ferrets Swim In Chlorine Pools
Many ferret owners let their ferrets swim in pools with chlorine in it. If you own the pool and are able to control the chlorine levels, keep them as low as possible. The chlorinated water can cause issues with your ferret’s skin that will end up in excessive itching and biteing itself. If this does happen then our article on getting your ferret to stop itching itself may be helpful to you.