I am an avid hiker with my dog and would like to look into bringing my ferret along safely (with proper immunizations and security measures taken of course).
Does anyone else take their ferret for walks or hikes? I have a harness, and was also looking into one of those fancy cat backpacks with the windows so my girl can look around from the safety of it. Maybe someone else has advice on this or a brand they recommend?
Last Edit: Dec 29, 2020 11:41:47 GMT -5 by twiggim
Hi. I have a smaller back pack that was recommended for ferrets but it's actually too small. Idk how long your hikes are but I would start off with short trips to see how she handles it. Depending on where you go, a stroller might be an option. We've had several ferrets that would go for walks with us, but if you're expecting to get any aerobic benefit while walking a ferret, you may be disappointed, because they are usually just just too busy sniffing around to move quick. I had one guy named Eddie when I was in FL that was great walking with me in the evening. He got to know the area and we would sometimes walk off the leash but it took some time for me to trust him. Any time we were in a different place he was on the lead. The stroller we have has a detachable carrier, but it has a few things I don't like and i wouldn't recommend it for ferrets
I used to take my ferret Tavi on walks. I found that a 30 minute walk in the park was enough to enrich her brain and she would sleep the rest of the day. When she was younger she enjoyed the walks, but as she got older she got somewhat anxious and preferred climbing back into her backpack. I think there was just too much going on for her brain to process (she was the smartest ferret I had, and got overstimulated by all the sounds and smells and sights.)
If you're going out for only an hour, it would probably be fine. I'd be reluctant to take a ferret out for longer than that, because they'd need potty breaks and possibly some food/water.
If I were walking with a ferret, I'd be doing it for their enjoyment/enrichment, and be prepared to dawdle along as they sniff and dig. You could take them along in a backpack to a spot, let them explore and dig, then walk back with them in the backpack.
Current duo: Females Nefertiti and Valandris (Vivi) DIP: Claudius, Tavi, Cleo, Marcus, and Nile
all good points. Ferrets are crepuscular, meaning they are naturally active dawn and dusk. Long day trips require bringing supplies and realizing that they sleep a lot. Anytime I take a ferret for a ride in the car, they are asleep within 20 minutes. If I take one into a store, guaranteed they will need to poop, even if it's close to home.. If they start acting nervous or antsy, they need to go. I've had a couple poop in a shopping cart because I was slow to recognize the signs. They are not like dogs or kats. Even short-term Travel requires planning. An overnight in a motel is a project we spent a long weekend in a pet friendly resort in FL and cleaned often, there were no accidents we found, and the resort told us the ferrets weren't welcomed again. The place was very casual, and our room was not ready when we got there, and had several hygiene issues. not properly cleaned, nasty bath tub, thick dust on picture frames, fridge not even turned on so we lost $100 worth of food. But they said they had to deep clean the place because the ferrets stank it up after 3 days. I sent a 2 page reply to the owner and posted it on yelp. Just so you know. Red Roof Inn is good with ferrets, but make reservations for pet friendly room. Not 5 star, but Never had issues any there and it was good enough. We stayed at Red Roof in Columbus for the Buckeye Bash once or twice and others.
Last Edit: Dec 29, 2020 20:32:02 GMT -5 by unclejoe
Thank you all! Most hikes with my dog are about an hour, I usually focus on training, enrichment, and photography with her (plus I bring supplies including food, water, bags, toys, first aid, etc...). I have no problem with allowing my ferret to explore certain spots, and allow her to retire to the backpack when she needs to I'm glad to hear it's not a far-fetched idea!
Post by cockneyferret on Jan 5, 2021 16:01:14 GMT -5
I often take our girls for walks on their leashes, and have also pondered the idea of hiking with them. They certainly don't walk besides you like a dog, and tend to spend most of the time stripping the willow and getting tangled up in anything they can get into....lol