Water Tips for a Healthy Ferret

Mar_2014_5

While a nutritious diet is a top priority, clean water is also essential to your ferret’s health. Dehydration from a lack of clean water can cause serious issues, including heart and kidney damage. Here are some tips to keep your ferret hydrated and happy…

Tap or filtered?

In many cases, household tap water has fluoride, chlorine and other additives. Your ferret may be fine with it, but filtered water or spring water are the safest options in general.

Cleaning tips

Just like you would pour yourself a new glass of water each day, your ferret would appreciate a fresh bowl or bottle daily. Since bacteria or even algae aren’t always visible, it’s best to wash his bowl with soap and water each morning (bleach can leave residue) and rinse it thoroughly. Consider wide-necked water bottles for easier bottle cleaning.

Bowl or bottle?

There are pros and cons to each and your ferret may prefer one over the other. Bowls are easier to clean, but collect more dust and debris. They can also be tipped over if they’re not heavy enough. A bottle protects water from debris, but is harder to clean and can collect algae. Offer both or try each one to see which works best for you and your ferret.

Avoid Giardia

The giardia parasite can cause an intestinal infection called giardiasis. This keeps ferrets from absorbing nutrients and leads to diarrhea and weight loss. It can be picked up from water contaminated by feces from infected animals, including dogs and cats who share water bowls with ferrets.