How To Take Your Ferret For a Walk Without Escaping

ferret trying to escape from a busy office

Can you take your ferret for a walk?

The answer depends on how well-trained it is since ferrets aren’t as obedient as other domestic pets. These little explorers will love roaming around and might slip away if given the chance. It’s why you need to learn how to take your ferret for a walk without escaping.  I am going to tell you how to take your ferret for a walk without escaping.

You should start leash training your ferret before taking it outside. Once they get used to the equipment they will enjoy the exercise and fresh air.  With proper leash training, your ferret can go to the park, walk around the neighborhood, and play in the backyard too.

How great is that?

Here’s everything you need to know about How To Take Your Ferret For a Walk Without Escaping

The Basics: How to Choose the Best Equipment?

Your first task is to find a suitable harness for your ferret.

Most pet shops sell harnesses designed specifically for ferrets. You should preferably purchase an H-style harness made from nylon. The harness style is easy to put on and remove with minimum effort. It also fits perfectly well around your pet’s torso without making it feel restrictive. 

In our experience, opting for metal buckles could cause problems for your pet. That’s because the metal tends to dig into the pet’s skin if it is tied too tightly. Plus, it gets very hot during the summer which would make your ferret feel uncomfortable. Therefore, you should consider getting a harness that has Velcro straps or plastic buckles for attachment. 

Apart from this, you’ve got to get a high-quality leash. We suggest selecting a length that gives your ferret ample space to move freely. Some pet owners prefer getting a retractable leash, as it offers more control.

 Also, the adjustable length means that you don’t have to fiddle with the leash all the time.

What if you can’t find a harness for ferrets at your nearest retailers? Then try searching online, since harnesses designed for other pets don’t usually work. Your ferret could easily wriggle out of a collar, and other harness styles might be too loose or tight for your pet. 

Always remember that the wrong harness style could cause trouble during the training session.

The Training: How to Take Your Ferret for a Walk without Escaping?

Typically, pet parents start leash training very young so that leash training is easier for the pet. The preferable age of the kit is (10 weeks-6 months). If you have an older ferret, then start leash training once it settles down and forms a bond with you. 

Here’s a step-by-step guide to get started:

1. Slow and Steady

First and foremost, you should begin leash training a ferret indoors. Let them get adjusted to a harness before bringing in the leash. These first two steps ensure that your furry friend gets used to the idea of having something tied to their body before you take them out.

Begin the training by getting the harness fitted, and then let your pet wear the harness for a few minutes (max 5 minutes). Once you remove the harness you should reward your pet. It will ensure that they understand that this harness is not a punishment.

Repeat the action the next day but increase the time duration. You should continue this until your pet stops fussing and trying to escape when you bring out the harness.

2. Follow the Leash 

The next step is to introduce the leash. You should get a regular one for the training session. That’s because you want your ferret to get a feel for the leash before you move onto a retractable version. As the first step, you should keep the leash attached for a few minutes before removing it.

During the first few instances, you should not hold onto the leash. The main idea is to allow your ferret to play with it and get used to it before the next phase.

Once your ferret has gotten used to the leash, you can pick it up and hold onto it while your little friend moves around. All of this has to happen inside the house until your ferret is completely trained. That’s because there is a chance that your ferret might try to escape if you take it outside.

Apart from this, make sure not to pull or yank on the leash in the beginning. 

Pro tip: You should always have a handful of treats at hand to reward your ferret. Alternatively, you can give them a toy to play with during leash training. That will make them associate the leash with playtime.

3. Venturing the Great Outdoors

After a few weeks of leash training, you can step outside with your ferret. Like the previous steps, take things slowly by sticking to the backyard in the beginning. Then observe how your ferret reacts to the situation and let it explore the outdoors by going wherever it wants.

Within a few days, you can go out of the house. Make sure to cover a short distance at first before you take your furball to a park. 

If you want it to follow your lead then gently tug it towards that direction. Try not to lose your temper if your ferret doesn’t obey. Your patience and consistent insistence for them to move will be enough for them to comply. Additionally, give your ferret a treat whenever it obeys, so that it goes where directed without resistance. 

Rules and Regulations: Tips for Ferret Outings

Here are a few tips and tricks on how to take your ferret for a walk without escaping

The DOs: What Should You Do?

Here are a few safety tips to follow during and after leash training:

  • DO avoid interaction with larger animals (e.g. cats, dogs, and birds of prey) during the walk. Some of them may think of your ferret as prey instead of a friend, so it is better to pick it up if a bigger animal approaches you. 
  • DO check the rules and regulations in your area before taking your ferret out. Some local animal control organizations don’t allow ferrets in public places. 
  • DO keep things slow and steady in the beginning so that your pet gets used to the walks.
  • DO remember to take your ferret to a vet for vaccination. It will ensure that your ferret doesn’t contract any diseases while it plays outside.
  • DO take great care of hygiene and grooming when you walk your ferret. You need to comb your ferret’s fur after the walk to prevent ticks and fleas from harming it. Also, give it a proper bath to remove dirt and mud from its feet. 

Besides this, learn to understand your ferret’s body language. It will struggle and try to escape from the harness if it doesn’t like the leash. In that case, you should give up and play with it indoors. 

The DON’TS: What Should You Avoid?

Here are some precautionary measures for walking outside with a ferret:

  • Don’t go for long walks without water and ferret food. Otherwise, your pet may start feeling dehydrated and exhausted during the outing.
  • Don’t leave the harness on after you come home. Your little companion could get tangled up in the equipment if it’s left to its own devices.
  • Don’t pull on the leash while you are walking. Restraining your ferret’s movement will cause him to see the leash as a punishment.
  • Don’t shout on the ferret if it doesn’t accept the harness. Your furry friend may feel stressed or distressed by your aggressive attitude.
  • Don’t take your ferret out during extreme conditions such as rain, snow, or when the temperature gets higher than 25ºC.

Lastly, never remove the leash when you go outside. Ferrets have no sense of direction, which is why you can lose them easily. Plus, their small size makes it difficult to find them when they manage to escape.

In a Nutshell

On the whole, leash training a ferret is slightly challenging, but not impossible. 

Most ferrets learn quickly and would love to go out and play with you. The leash ensures that they don’t run off during the walk, and remain within sight. That way you’ll know what it’s up to, and can prevent it from getting into trouble while it’s out.

That’s it! Follow these easy steps and watch your ferret become a pro at outdoor play and walking on a leash. 

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