Do ferrets get along with dogs?
Dogs and ferrets have a lot in common. They both need to be walked, they like to chew on things, and they’re both very playful (and sometimes destructive). But what happens when you put the two together? Do dogs and ferrets get along well?
Ferrets and dogs can get along under certain circumstances. Large, docile breeds like Golden Retrievers may do well with ferrets; however, other dogs are more likely to prey on them.
How to introduce a dog to a ferret?
It’s essential for both dogs and ferrets to have an escape route. If they don’t, it will lead to the ferret hiding under the couch or bed, or possibly—if he has no other choice—unleashing his defence mechanism such as a bite.
Apart from having an escape route, your dog should have no problem recognizing the difference between a small animal and one much larger than himself.
What you’ll need to do is let them meet each other on neutral ground first. For at least one week before their meeting, start leaving out toys that are only suitable for during playtime with your ferret.
This will help get the dog accustomed to the ferret’s presence. It is better if you leave out toys with long furry tails because this will help your dog recognize what he’s supposed to do when he sees the actual thing.
When it comes to their first meeting, make sure you are around (preferably on neutral ground) in order to guide them through their introduction process.
For example, if they start getting aggressive towards each other, try picking up one of them and removing him/her from the area for a while before trying again later.
If all goes well during this time (no hissing or growling), feel free to allow your dogs more time together on occasion. Just remember that any fights could mean serious injury or even death for your ferret.
However, if at any time they get too rough with each other, separate them immediately and don’t try to reintroduce them until all of the wounds have healed.
What NOT to do with a dog and a ferret!
Never leave your dogs alone with your ferrets. Dogs are predators by nature which means that if they see something small enough—and fast enough—they may want to catch it. Ferrets, on the other hand, are very elusive and good at hiding under beds and couches—so it is not always easy for dogs to catch them.
However, if they do get caught, there’s a good chance that the ferret will let out a yelp which will make your dog even more excited about hunting his prey. If your dog actually catches your ferret (which isn’t likely but may happen), he’ll most likely shake him/her violently until he kills his prey or is stopped.
Introducing dogs to cats and rabbits
Do not attempt to introduce any cats or rabbits with dogs either; their instincts as predators are solidified in their DNA and no matter how docile they seem outside of their natural environment, there’s really no way of knowing how they’ll behave.
When to play with a dog and a ferret?
For the most part, you should never leave your dogs alone with your ferrets if they are not familiar with one another. If you need to do something where the animals can’t see each other, then give them enough time to calm down before allowing them to play together again.
If there is ever any sign that something may be wrong—such as hissing or growling—then separate them immediately.
In some circumstances, it might actually be okay for them to have supervised playtime while you watch closely so long as all parties involved remain relaxed and playful throughout. There’s nothing wrong with giving a dog a chance to get used to a new friend—just make sure everyone comes out of it happy.
Are ferrets aggressive to other pets?
Ferrets are not naturally aggressive to other pets, but they can be defensive if they’re being attacked for example. Ferrets have a lot of strength in their jaws which makes it difficult for them to let go when biting something—even if that something is part of their owner’s body!
If the ferret feels threatened while playing with another animal he may lash out instinctively, so make sure you supervise playtime to prevent this from happening.
Give your ferrets plenty of toys and safe things to do while supervised (chewsticks work well), and leave out some toys that are only suitable for during playtime. This way, your dog will get used to the idea that the ferret is around even when you can’t see them.
It’s also a good idea to teach your dog what toys are ferret toys when you’re around and which ones are not to be messed with. This will make distance between ferret and dog toys much clearer to your pet.
Although they are not the best choice for pets, dogs are capable of getting along with ferrets if introduced to one another correctly.
However, you need to know what you’re doing in order to determine which interactions between them are okay and which ones aren’t safe for either animal involved. Hope this helped! 🙂
Only allow supervised playtime for dogs and ferrets!