Thursday, June 9, 2011

Summer Heat and other dangers


     It isn’t officially summer yet but the heat has already arrived. Heat is an animal’s worst nightmare. Unlike us they can’t strip down to bare skin. That fur retains the heat and depending on the color of the fur can intensify the temperature. I still see news reports of people leaving their pets in locked cars when they run into a store for an errand only to come back to an animal that is having heat stroke and most often dies.

     Ferrets don’t tolerate the heat well they like it best when it is about 68 degrees. So when the heat soars into the 80s and 90s they are at risk for heat exhaustion and stroke.

     To help these little guys beat the heat keep their water bottle/bowl filled with water. Even we drink more during liquids during the heat.

     If you have air-conditioning in only one room you can move their cage into that room but not in front of it.

     I don’t have air-conditioning so I take empty bottles and fill them about half full of water and freeze them. I then cover the frozen bottle with a sock or old tee-shirt depending on the size of the bottle and place it in the boy’s cage. This gives them something to lie next to when they feel they are too hot.

Caution: If you use fans make sure your ferret can’t get any part of his body near the rotating blades or best yet don’t use it unless they are in their cage. Ferrets are inquisitive creatures and will try to get anything that moves.

     It is a blast to watch ferrets play with ice cubes but either place them in a tub of water or take them away when they are small enough to swallow whole and cause a choking issue.

Not my boys but other ferrets enjoying ice cubes

      Not all ferrets like to swim but if the temperature has soared into the 90s dipping them in a bowl of luke warm to almost no warmth water will help them cool off.

    Don’t take them in the car if you don’t have to. Many ferrets travel in their carriers and many are made of plastic that doesn’t breathe so the heat of the car is doubled and it only takes a few moments of extreme heat to kill a ferret.

     Other dangers of summer include threat of heart worms  and fleas.

     There is a misconception that ferrets don’t get fleas. They do get fleas and it only takes a few to make a ferret anemic. Fleas can kill a ferret by feasting on them. Fleas can be prevented by using 1 drop of Kitten Advantage® once a month. I only re-drop if I have given my boys baths or they have been swimming a lot.

     Hot pavement or sidewalks can burn a ferret’s feet fast. If you must go outside for walks stick to grassy areas or wait until you can place your hand on the pavement or sidewalk without it heating up your hand.

     By thinking how you respond to the high temperatures and apply to your pet to help keep him/her safe and alive.

Have a Chittering Good Day,


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