Do Ferrets Like Water? An In-Depth Look

Last updated on March 5th, 2023 at 01:18 am

Do ferrets like water? Though small, ferrets are full of energy and have surprisingly varied tastes - including water! Learn whether ferrets like to swim, bathe, and more with this article.
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After managing to own a ferret, you can’t risk allowing it to do things you are unsure whether they are safe. And being a new ferret owner, you are curious to know what is best for your ferret. One of the questions you could be asking is, do ferrets like water? This is a common question from many ferret owners and enthusiasts. To answer your question, ferrets like water and will use every opportunity they get to play with it.

But should you give them the freedom to play with any water around them all the time? Of course not. Like children love water but are not always allowed to play around with it, so it is with ferrets. You must be assured your lovely friend who gives you companionship and a reason to smile is safe. Before you take your ferret to cool its body in that hot summer or exercise through swimming, read this article to the last sentence.

Can Ferrets Swim?

Most ferrets are good swimmers, and they can swim in different water bodies. However, they are not natural swimmers due to their small size, they are not buoyant and can easily tire out. They can also sink quickly and have difficulty getting back to the surface. This means it’s important to keep an eye on your ferret when they are in the water and to make sure that they are safe. 

For ferrets, swimming is usually something that they do out of necessity rather than pleasure. Ferrets can swim out of the water if they fall in and they can cross small bodies of water. For this reason, it is important that ferret owners are aware of their ferret’s swimming ability. If you do decide to let your ferret swim, it is important to keep them in shallow water and watch them closely. 

What Do I Do if My Ferret Isn’t a Good Swimmer?

If your ferret is not a good swimmer, there are a few things you can do to make sure they stay safe. The first and most important thing to do is to never leave your ferret unsupervised in the water. Even if they appear to be a strong swimmer, they can still tire quickly and become disoriented or drown. You can also use a floatation device for your ferret when they are in the water. This can help keep them afloat in case they become tired or lose control. 

There are also water-safe harnesses available that can help keep your ferret from slipping under the surface. If you are near a pool, you can also put a net over the edge to help keep your ferret from slipping or jumping in. This is especially important if your ferret is a strong swimmer, as they may try to jump in without thinking about the consequences. If you have a water-filled bathtub or sink, you can also fill it with only a few inches of water. This will help keep your ferret safe and provide them with a shallow area to move around.

Where Can My Ferret Swim?

Your ferret can swim in many water bodies or water types, but you must be aware of the risks involved in each. Here are some water types and their risks.

1. Bathtub

A bathtub is a good place where your ferret can enjoy swimming. The good thing about using a bathtub is that you can fill it with fresh water that is safe for your ferret. You can even warm water for your ferret to enjoy playing and swimming during winter. Also, you can control the amount of water in a tub for the safety of your ferret. However, your ferret can be at a risk of drowning if the water is much.

2. Swimming Pool

A swimming pool can be an ideal place for your ferret to swim. But you must be cautious of the water level to ensure your ferret won’t drown. Also, your ferret may get poisoned if the pool is treated with chlorine or other chemicals. It is also at risk of drowning if left unsupervised in the pool.

3. Lake or Ocean

Your ferret can enjoy at the beach as it swims at the bank of the ocean or lake. You can leave it to play with waves or sand, but it must be under your supervision since waves might be too powerful and sand can get into its eyes which is dangerous. So, observe weather patterns to ensure strong waves are not driving water to the beach which can sweep it away. You should also keep an eye on it since ferrets like water so it might go where the water is deep.

How Often Can My Ferret Swim?

Your ferret can swim as often as you want it to, and as long as you make sure to supervise it. Swimming can be a great form of exercise for ferrets, and can be a fun activity to do together. With that said, it is important to be aware of any risks associated with swimming, such as drowning and hypothermia. When it comes to the frequency of swimming, it is important to monitor your ferret’s behavior. If your ferret is having difficulty keeping itself afloat or is becoming overly tired, it may be best to take a break and let it rest.

Ferrets are natural-born swimmers and they do not have fur to keep them warm, so it is important to make sure the water temperature is not too cold. Swimming is a great form of exercise for ferrets, and it can help them build muscle, strengthen their cardiovascular system and help them stay active. Besides, you shouldn’t bathe your ferret often since this will strip off natural oil from the body making its skin sensitive and dry. No matter how often you bathe it, the musky smell will not go away, so this shouldn’t be the reason to wash it regularly. So, it is important to be aware of these risks and take preventative measures.

Safety Tips

  • You only want your pet to enjoy swimming and playing in the water. Therefore, avoiding what will put your pet at risk is critical. Here are some safety tips you need to know.
  • The water must not be too deep or too long.
  • Ensure your pet doesn’t swim for too long, which puts them at risk of drowning due to exhaustion.
  • Make sure your ferret is under supervision whenever swimming.
  • Avoid salty waters since if a ferret takes too much of that water, it will get ill.
  • Check the water temperatures to avoid exposing your ferret to high temperatures. Go swimming at dawn or dusk to ensure the water has the right temperature for your ferret.
  • The water must not have chemicals. Chemicals like chlorine can affect the ferrets’ sensitive skin, resulting in dry and itchy skin. You must ensure you haven’t treated your pool with chlorine before letting your ferret into the pool. Avoid public pools with your ferret since they may have chemicals.
  • Provide fresh drinking water so it won’t be tempted to drink the pool, lake, or ocean water.

Benefits of Swimming to Ferrets

There are three main benefits of swimming in ferrets which are:

1. It’s a Form of Exercise

Your ferret needs good exercise, and swimming is an excellent exercise for them. Your ferret shouldn’t spend the whole day in the cage; it needs time to exercise and interact. According to American Ferret Association, ferrets should have a minimum of four hours outside their cages exercising and interacting with other pets, people, and their surroundings. Swimming is one way of exercise you can offer your ferret to keep it fit.

2. Its Entertaining

These pets are playful, so they will enjoy every activity that entertains them. Swimming or playing with water is a fun experience for ferrets

3. To Cool Their Body Temperatures

During summer, these cuties need to cool their body temperatures. Offering them cold water during this period is the best way to cool their body temperatures. When it’s too hot, throw some ice cubes in the water they are swimming in so they can play with them, providing a more conducive environment for them to play. Ferrets like water so they shouldn’t be denied freedom to play around with it.


Ferrets like to play with water, and it is important to provide them with a shallow bowl or tub filled with water to play in. They will often use their paws to splash the water around and can even play fetch with their toys in the water. It is important to supervise your ferret when they are playing in the water in case they accidentally ingest any of it. Additionally, you should change the water frequently to keep it clean and free of bacteria.