Dogs can get along with Ferrets, but you have to follow rules regarding a dog’s personality, breed, and age. If you want to have both animals in your household, you will be glad to hear that it is possible. Here are some criteria you must consider before combining a Ferret with a Dog.
How To Introduce Dogs and Ferrets
The most important thing you can do in a relationship between a ferret and a dog is to gradually introduce them. Their introduction should last a couple of days and they should always be supervised, no matter how well they take to each other.
Their first meeting should be on neutral grounds so that they don’t need to feel like they have to defend their territory. Here are the steps you can do to introduce your ferret and a dog properly:
1.Let Them Be Near One Another
Put your ferret in a cage and let the dog come near the cage so they can smell each other. You can leash your dog for this step since you don’t know how he will react in the first few minutes. Give them time to smell each other and if you see any sign of aggression, stop the introduction and try again later.
If they are relaxed or curious around each other, you can go to the next step. Make sure you keep an eye on the dog since it can do much more damage if triggered.
2. Remove The Cage
This is a step where both animals smell each other without a barrier between them. Ask a family member to hold your dog by the collar and the leash (leave the leash on the dog) and you can grab the ferret. Hold your ferret in your arms and come near the dog so he can see and smell the ferret.
You can start with a 20-inch distance and slowly get closer and closer to the dog. Look at your dog’s reaction every step of the way. If you see any sign of aggression or fear, stop the introduction and try again later. If both parties remain calm, you can stay like that for a minute or so, then go to the next step.
3. Put The Ferret On The Ground
Now it is time to see how your dog reacts with a ferret on the floor. But, before you do that, place a box or a tunnel near the ferret. That can be an escape route for a ferret if things go badly because a dog won’t be able to follow the ferret through a small hole.
Now that the ferret is on the floor, keep the dog leashed and watch his posture. If the dog is alert, keep him under your supervision and react if needed. If the dog is relaxed or playfully curious, still keep him under supervision, but simply observe.
4. Remove The Leash
If your dog and ferret act OK around each other, you can remove the leash from the dog. Keep the tunnel or the box on the floor for the ferret, but you don’t have to intervene in any other way—unless things go very south. The only thing you need to do now is to observe their behavior, keep them under your supervision and let them form their own relationship.
Things To Consider Before Introduce a Ferret With a Dog
1. Avoid Hunting Dogs
Some breeds of dogs and ferrets are not a good match due to the nature of the dog. Hunting dogs like Terriers, Pointers, Setters, etc. they probably won’t get along with a ferret. Also, if you have a dog with a high prey drive, regardless of breed, it’s not a good idea to mix it with a ferret. In those two cases, due to the size of the ferret, a dog may mistake a ferret for prey and attack it.
2. Avoid Introducing Old or Sick Dogs
If there is an old or sick dogs in your home, you should think carefully about this situation. Most of the old dogs are not interested in the younger ones, they tend to ignore them. So if you introduce a young ferret to the old dog and see that the old dog is not interested, stop with the introduction.
What If They Don’t Get Along?
Every pet has a unique personality so there is always a chance that they will not get along. If that happens, no matter how long they coexisted peacefully before, you should keep them apart at all times after any big incident.
If you have space, you can set one room to be a “ferret room” that is forbidden for the dog. If you don’t have a spare room, then you should organize your home that way to keep your ferret safe at all times. What you have to do is remove the dog from the room when a ferret is released from the cage. When a ferret sleeps, you can keep him in the cage and let the dog in the room again.