Can Ferrets Swim? All You Need To Know

The quirky attitudes and naughty brains of ferrets make them an appealing little companion for many households. Can ferrets swim now that Summer is here, and if they can, join you and your family for a swim? Do ferrets have the ability to swim? Is it possible to swim-train ferrets? Is it even possible that ferrets enjoy swimming? And how can you keep your ferret safe when it’s in the water? What do you think? Yes, they can, in a word. Continue reading to learn more.

What is a Ferret?

Ferrets are tiny animals widely kept as pets in various cultures, particularly in the United States.

They are little hairy animals that are generally black, brown, or white or mix those colors. They are also known as shrews.

Can Ferrets swim

The average domesticated ferret may grow to reach up to 2 feet in length and weigh up to 4 1/2 pounds, depending on the breed.

Male ferrets are generally more prominent than female ferrets in terms of size. Ferrets have a unique odor at different stages of their lives and might replicate their owner’s sleeping patterns when they are young.

The lifespan of a domesticated pet ferret can range from 8 to 10 years, depending on genetics and environmental conditions.

Can Ferrets Swim?

The majority of ferrets are capable of swimming!

Ferrets in the wild may have to swim across rivers to get to food or avoid being eaten if they want to stay safe.

The majority of ferrets are born with the ability to swim; they don’t need to be taught or trained.

If you watch closely, you’ll notice that they swim and glide through the water like an otter by utilizing their rear paws as paddles and sticking their noses out of the water.

can pet ferrets swim?

To answer this question succinctly, the answer is “yes.”

Despite popular belief, ferrets are capable swimmers, as evidenced by their physical and biological capacity to do so.

Unlike domesticated ferrets, a cousin of today’s domesticated ferrets may not necessarily swim for pure fun in a natural setting, but they may quickly take to the water out of necessity. For example, to get away from a predator or to catch a delicious piece of food.

Do Ferrets Like to Swim?

It’s safe to assume that ferrets have individual preferences, as not all of them love swimming. Others may be scared of water or perhaps entirely oblivious to its presence.

It’s amazing how many tales you’ll find online of ferrets that walked right into the water since they’d never seen it before.

Ferret going to swim

While most ferrets are excellent swimmers, it’s reasonable that many domestic ferrets have never been in or near a body of water before. To protect the safety of your pet ferret in these situations, it is crucial to follow the necessary recommendations.

Lucky for us, the vast majority of ferrets like the water, and there are several videos available online that record the joy and frolics that most ferrets engage in when they see water when your ferrets are having fun, just as with any other pet, you should keep a close eye on them.

Do Ferret Like Water?

The majority of ferrets are used to being around water; however, others are not. Ferrets that are not fond of wet things will typically strive to avoid it at all means and may even shake off after taking a bath or shower!

Swimming in water can be pretty enjoyable for them, but it is vital to remember that they can only swim for a limited period before they begin to sink.

Ferret on land

Ferret owners should use caution while allowing their pets to be near water since some ferrets may don’t like the sensation of being wet and will do anything (even jumping out of a window) to get away from any liquid!

Do Ferrets like Baths?

Ferrets have natural oils in their skin that does not have the greatest of scents since they do not eat them.

Many owners attempt to alleviate the odor by washing, but this can make the situation worse. It is possible to minimize the odor by following several different tips and methods.

If you do decide to bathe your ferret, make sure to do it properly. Otherwise, you will remove the natural oils from the skin and increase the intensity of the scent.

When your ferret’s excretions are removed from its fur, its gland systems go into overdrive to compensate for the loss of excretions.

So that you can maintain greater control over your ferret, you may bathe him in a kitchen sink or other small basin of water.

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Your best bet is to gently cover their fur with a ferret-safe, fragrance-free shampoo to keep them clean. It should be cleaned appropriately, with no residue left behind.

Just remember to keep it light and avoid overindulging. It would be best if you bathed your ferret not more than once a month at the most.

Can Swimming be Dangerous for your Ferret?

Your ferret should never be left alone or unsupervised at any point during the day. Anywhere from your bathtub to the sink, a pool to the ocean, whatever the case may be.

They may get reckless near water, which may result in them getting into danger. If your ferret is not a good swimmer, it may be better to keep him away from the ocean and confine him to swimming pools or your bathtub.

Instead, use a clean litter box that has been filled with water as a temporary solution. The result will be that your ferret will be able to swim without being in any danger!

How to teach your ferret to swim?

Unlike wild ferrets, your pet ferrets have no one to keep an eye on them or study. Consequently, it is preferable in this scenario to introduce them to water at the earliest opportunity.

Any young species, much like human people, can be prone to taking new experiences very seriously. Baby ferrets may jump at the chance to go swimming and may even like the experience.

Take your time and learn how to train your ferret to swim so that you don’t end up in trouble.

Step 1: Introduce them to the concept of water.

It is not possible to place a newborn ferret in a large bathtub filled with water. As the owner, you must persuade her that this is only a training session and secure in your company.

Please don’t put her in a scenario where swimming is the only choice she has left for survival. If she appears to be afraid, give her some space to settle down.

2. Using a small and shallow bathing tub, fill the tub halfway with water.

If she is unable to obtain any assistance or land on dry land, she may become fearful. Don’t make her feel threatened.

Ferret inside tub

Find a bathtub, sink, or basin that is shallow yet large enough for her to comfortably slip in and out of. A clean cat litter box will serve as an enormous ‘first swim container for your ferret if you can arrange for it to be available.

Step 3: Boost Your Ferret’s Morale

Don’t forget to smile in her direction and engage in conversation with her. Make direct eye contact with her and vocally encourage her. She needs to hear your exuberant voice to become involved in this new activity as fast as possible.

If she is still reluctant or afraid, reward her with a favorite food treat to make her feel more comfortable. You may also try placing her favorite toy nearby to the tub to encourage her to come closer.

Step 4: Make a motion with your hands.

You should provide a detailed description of what you would like her to perform. Using your fingers, gesture to the bathing basin and instruct her to jump into it.

You may also use some floating things to demonstrate how she should try her hand at swimming. Make her interested in learning about this new swimming sport.

Step 5: Take everything one step at a time

The ability to be patient is crucial while training your furry companion how to swim. Don’t be in a hurry! You may also try submerging her in water and allowing her to float while being held by your hands.

This exercise will provide your ferret with their first experience with water. Remove your hands gently from her face when she appears secure and comfortable in the water.

Can Ferrets Swim in Any Water?

Ferrets may enjoy swimming and play in a variety of different sorts of water. Each form of water has its own set of advantages and disadvantages.

Bathtub:

Swimming and splashing around in water is something that your ferret enjoys doing, and there are several methods you may let them do at home.

If you want to let your ferret splash around in the water, you may use a sink or bathtub.

Additionally, you may get a tiny inflatable kiddie pool, which you can inflate whenever they desire to swim comes.

Fill it with water and let your ferrets swim about in it for a few minutes, splashing around.

Swimming Pools:

If your ferret enjoys swimming, they will almost certainly like swimming in a swimming pool.

If it is your ferret’s first visit to the pool, let them explore the area around the pool while keeping them on a leash at all times.

clean swimming pool

Once your ferret has been used to their new environment, they will go into the pool independently. Never put them in a pool against their will!

A private pool is preferable to a public one since you won’t know what’s in it until your ferret gets into it, and not everything in a pool is safe for ferrets.

Beach/Ocean:

Some ferret owners may even take their pets to the water or the beach to enjoy the fresh air.

When the weather is not too hot, ferrets might be found enjoying themselves on the beach. Keep in mind to take your ferret for a swim when the weather is not too hot.

The sand at the beach has tiny grains and is cold and damp, making it an ideal environment for ferrets to build tunnels in.

Some ferrets enjoy chasing tiny waves, but they must be careful that the waves are not too large.

Allowing them to travel too far, on the other hand, may result in their being swept away by the larger waves.

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Therefore, when at the beach, it is critical that you keep your ferret on a leash at all times.

Bring your ferret indoors when it’s too hot to be at the beach; the salt and sand will stick to their fur.

can ferrets swim underwater?

Ferrets are more likely than other animals to stick their heads underwater, as seen in the video above. There have been stories of ferrets swimming successfully underwater, but we have not personally witnessed this.

Do not force your ferret into swimming underwater; instead, let it do what it wants. It will go underwater if it desires to do so.

Can ferrets swim in the ocean or saltwater pools?

You shouldn’t have any difficulties taking your ferret to the beach with you. Simply ensuring that the pet remains on a leash at all times and that no other pets come too close to yours is all that is required.

Although ferrets enjoy following little waves, you should watch them running after large ones, as this is an invitation to drowning if they do. Never turn your back on your swimming ferret, even for a fraction of a second, since this can have disastrous repercussions.

Apart from the water, ferrets are fascinated with the sand on the beach, and they will frequently attempt to dig tunnels through it. Please keep an eye cleaner on hand at all times since sand can get into their eyes and cause significant problems.

The ferret should never be allowed to drink ocean water since it might get sick. Before and after swimming, always provide your pet with fresh water to ensure that they do not become enticed to drink from the ocean or pool.

Can ferrets swim in saltwater?

Yes, ferrets can swim, and because it is an instinct for them to do so, they can swim in salty, chlorinated, or just freshwater. It is your responsibility to allow your ferret to become acclimated to all sorts of water.

Can ferrets swim in chlorine pools?

A large number of ferret owners allow their ferrets to swim in pools that contain chlorine. If you own the pool and can adjust the chlorine levels, try to maintain them as low as you can manage.

The chlorinated water may create difficulties with your ferret’s skin, resulting in severe scratching and biting. If this occurs, you might find our article on how to persuade your ferret to quit scratching itself to be of use to you.

Is Saltwater Safe for My Ferret to Swim?

Ferrets are capable of swimming in saltwater in the same manner as they can swim in freshwater or pool water. However, there is a possibility that your tiny pet will consume an excessive amount of saltwater.

Excessive consumption of saltwater may result in the development of salt toxicity. Hypernatremia, salt poisoning, and sodium-ion intoxication are all possible outcomes.

Because of this, it is always recommended that you keep an eye on your ferret while you are enjoying your beach excursion with family and friends. Ferrets are entirely indifferent to the difference between saltwater and drinking water, as previously stated.

You should also clean up after your ferret and wash him in order to remove all of the sand and grime from his coat.

Caring for your ferret after a swim

Even if your ferret just swims for a few minutes, he or she will spend a significant amount of energy throughout the activity.

Given the fact that ferrets are not “opportunistic feeders” (i.e., they will only eat as much as they believe they will require in terms of calories in the next hour or two), your ferret will not have any additional energy stores to draw from when you feed her.

As a result, after she is through swimming, she will very certainly be more exhausted than the typical cat or dog – or even the average human being.

It is best to take the initiative and towel dry her as soon as possible to dry off as rapidly as possible. Otherwise, she may end up depleting her energy reserves by drying herself after swimming.

You’ll also want to provide her with some freshwater, healthy food, and some downtime once she’s finished swimming. There’s a strong chance she’ll appreciate all three of your gifts!

Ferrets Get Tired Easily When Swimming

Can ferrets swim for an extended period of time? No! Ferrets have to put forth a lot of effort to swim.

However, despite the fact that your ferret appears to be a “natural” swimmer, ferrets must paddle quite hard to stay above the water’s surface.

This problem is exacerbated in domestic ferrets since they frequently paddle just with their front paws or only with their rear feet, depending on the situation. If your ferret is left unattended in the water, they may become exhausted very fast and may even drown due to exhaustion.

  • Maintain an external water supply with a specific departure point.
  • Keep an eye on your ferret to ensure that he can escape the pool on his own.
  • Some ferrets are not fond of swimming.

Which water is best For Ferrets To Swim In?

The wonderful thing about utilizing swimming as a form of exercise for your ferret is that you are not restricted to the area where your pet may be exercised.

Of course, you’ll want to make sure that the water is pure and safe before you drink it. If you wouldn’t get into it yourself, there’s no way you can expect your ferret to do so either. As long as you follow this guideline, everything should run quite well.

Whichever option you choose, whether you want to fill the bathtub with water and let your ferret frolic or take them outside and let them swim in a more natural situation, any of these options are suitable.

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It doesn’t matter where you take your pet; they will have a great time swimming about and playing.

If you own a swimming pool on your property, this may appear to be a fantastic area for your ferret to enjoy himself while playing.

Swimming in these pools, however, may irritate your ferret’s eyes and skin since they contain chemicals such as chlorine. We would advise against utilizing a swimming pool as a result of this situation.

How Frequently Should I Let My Ferret Swim?

The frequency of the swimming sessions is determined by how much your ferret enjoys being in the water. Some ferrets enjoy the splashing of water and would enjoy swimming practically every day if they could.

Ferret in sweatpants

Don’t be shocked if your ferret spends a lot of time in the water and eventually decides to accompany you into the shower.

Some of the ferrets are maybe just uncomfortable in the water. Bathing and swimming pool time might be restricted to once a month in such circumstances.

As a result, the frequency is determined by the ferret’s breed.

10 Tips for Keeping Your Ferret Safe in and Around the Water

1. If you have your pool, you may allow your ferret to have complete access to it, provided that there is an adequate fence in place to prevent your ferret from straying away from home.

2. Never let ferrets that are unable to swim get near your pool.

3. Even so, only take your ferrets to the pool if there isn’t any direct sunshine on them. As much sunlight as possible should be avoided while letting your pets in the pool, as excessive heatstroke, burned ferret paws, and eye injury can all result from too much exposure.

4. Ferrets become extremely fatigued very fast because they use a great deal of energy when swimming. Keep an eye out for indications of tiredness and try to limit your time in the water to short, manageable sessions.

5. Make sure that your ferret can climb out of the pool or that they are always around so that they can come out exactly when they need to.

6. Check that your pool’s chlorine levels are kept to the lowest possible level when your cat is swimming in it. Strong chemicals can cause skin and hair damage in your ferrets.

7. After you’ve finished playing with your ferret, rinse them with warm water to remove any chemicals that may have gotten into their fur.

8. After your ferrets have taken a swim in the pool, make sure they are completely dry. Unless the weather is really hot, your ferret may end up exerting themselves while attempting to dry themselves out.

9. Maintain control of your ferrets at all times if they aren’t strong swimmers or if the pool isn’t entirely contained in any way.

10. Your ferret is likely to be quite hungry after swimming, so make sure there’s plenty of fresh water and some food around for them to re-energize afterward.

Tips For The Best Ferret Swimming

  • Your ferret will have the most fun swimming in the privacy and security of your own home. We recommend getting a kiddie pool that can be inflated and stowed when not in use for your ferret’s safety.
  • Fill the pool to a depth of 3cm with lukewarm, chemical-free water before using it for the first time.
  • You should never leave your ferret alone in the water, even if you give a few tiny stairs to help him get in and out securely.
  • It’s a good idea to get some waterproof toys for the sessions if your ferret enjoys having a variety of toys in the water.
  • The availability of toys may lure your ferret into the water if he appears reluctant to do so otherwise.
  • the fact that they’re curious tiny critters comes as no surprise;
  • As soon as your ferret feels comfortable in the water and gains confidence, you may introduce it to water that is a bit deeper.
  • Your ferret’s preference for swimming will depend on your knowledge of him, but if you find that he prefers to dive in and out of the water, it could be worth it to add a little extra depth so that he can do it more comfortably. A reminder that children must be closely supervised at all times.

Conclusion

Even though ferrets aren’t native to water, they’re excellent swimmers. Allowing your pet to swim is a healthy and enjoyable way to get them some extra exercise.

Make sure that the surroundings are ideal and that your pet is always well-supervised and secure. Happy Swimming!

FAQ

Do ferrets like to go for walks?

Walking a leash is something that some ferrets enjoy, and others dislike. Many ferrets will take brief walks outside if appropriately educated. To their benefit, ferrets do not require a leash for exercise or toilet breaks, unlike most dogs. There’s no need to worry if your ferret is unable to walk.

What kind of things do ferrets like to play with?

Plastic balls, cardboard boxes, rattles, and pipes can run through are some of Ferrets’ favorite toys. They like chasing string in the same manner that a cat does. It’s possible that tracking you around and playing with you will become their favorite thing to do.

How to make my ferret-like water?

The majority of ferrets have a great time in the water! Simply allowing them the freedom, security, and capacity to swim is all that is required on your part. Provide a warm tub of water for them to play in, but keep it shallow enough, so their feet don’t touch the bottom. Place them in the tub by themselves.

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Gulshan
Hi, I am Gulshan, a pet blogger, and author. I've been working with the local pet groups for the past five years. I have been fascinated by our pets and am here to share that wonder with you.