Summer is on the way! At this time of year, I often focus our attention on caring for pets in the heat. There’s plenty of tips and information on keeping dogs and cats cool, but what about other animals? Ferrets also need some extra TLC in hot weather. You’ll read some helpful summer ferret care tips in this article from me, your Marion, IA area veterinarian.
That sweltering summer heat can be very dangerous to ferrets. Because they don’t pant or sweat, these guys don’t have any good ways to cool themselves off if they get too hot. Your tiny pal will be at risk of overheating any time the temperature is over 80 Fahrenheit. If their cage is in direct sunlight, whether for all or part of the day, move it to a different spot. Fans also help. Just don’t point the fan right at the cage. Speaking of fans, if you use standing fans or desk fans, make sure the blades are protected and that your cute pet can’t reach it, climb it, or pull it down by tugging on the cord.
There are a few other things you can do to keep your pint-sized pal cool and comfy this summer. On hot days, offer them a shallow bowl of water to splash and play in. (Bonus: this can be pretty cute to watch.) You can also put ice in their water bottle or drinking bowl. It’s not a bad idea to get an extra water bottle or two. Keep one in the freezer at all times. Then, just swap them out as one melts, so your pet always has cold water in addition to their regular water. This works with combination bottle/bowls as well.
It’s important to know the signs that your ferret is getting too hot. Lethargy is a key one. Ferrets are pretty active and alert, so if your little buddy is just lying around listlessly, something may be wrong. Other red flags include distressed breathing, an open mouth, drooling, vomiting, red feet, and glassy eyes. If you see any of these things, immediately take steps to cool your furry friend down, and then contact your veterinarian for further instructions.
If you have questions about ferret care, please do not hesitate to reach out. As your local Marion, IA area veterinarian, I’m happy to answer questions.