If you own a ferret you will already be aware that they are sensitive to extreme temperatures. If it’s too hot they can begin suffering with heat stress so they require lots of shade. During the winter when the temperatures drop they rely on you to provide them with the extra warmth the need to remain happy, healthy and comfortable. The reactions to both hot and cold temperatures can make it difficult to find the right balance, especially during the colder months as the central heating is turned on. We have a few tips that will help you to provide the best environment possible for your furry friend.
- Position the ferret cage in a room that allows you to have good control of the temperature.
- Look for a spot that has no draughts or cold spots to stop your ferret from catching a chill. Against an inside wall is best.
- Don’t place the cage next to any heating appliances, choose to add extra bedding if the temperatures in the room drop.
- It’s better to keep the room cool and provide extra blankets and cosy hammocks than to blast the heating up. Central heating dries out the air in the home so it’s a good idea to use a humidifier.
- Don’t forget to give your ferret exercise. If you use a ferret harness and lead you can still take them outdoors for walks if the weather is suitable. Keep the length of the walk short (a couple of minutes) and dry them off once you come indoors.
- If it’s freezing outside or there’s a cold wind it’s better to exercise your ferret indoors instead. You can always fill a cat litter tray with some snow and bring it indoors for them to play in for a short time. Do keep an eye on your ferret the whole time and if you see he is shivering, pick him up straight away and pop him inside your jacket. Remember ferrets can get colds, frostbite and the flu.
- Ferrets don’t need to go out for walks providing they have a good cage with an exercise area and a safe space to play in the home.
- Vaccinate your ferret to protect against Canine Distemper if you do take him out for walks or exercise him outdoors.
- Give your ferret lots of toys to play with, climb on and explore. Change the toys often to stop them getting bored and encourage interaction with a suitable ferret food. Tubes, hammocks and ramps are fantastic and they love cardboard boxes and cardboard rolls too.
Do your ferrets enjoy the winter? We’d love to see your photos, please come and share them with us on the Just for Pets Facebook page.