Our Privacy/Cookie Policy contains detailed information about the types of cookies & related technology on our site, and some ways to opt out. By using the site, you agree to the uses of cookies and other technology as outlined in our Policy, and to our Terms of Use.


A Dehydrated Ferret

i Jupiterimages/Comstock/Getty Images

Just like with people, fresh and clean H20 is a very important aspect to any ferret diet. Dehydration can bring upon some potentially very hazardous consequences in the wee mammals. Make sure that your pet ferret is never without ample water, as ferrets are especially susceptible to problematic fluid loss.

Ferrets and Dehydration

Since ferrets have very crude and simplistic sweat glands, they are often rather quick to dehydrate, which is a condition that involves excessive salt and water loss from the body. Dehydration is an especially realistic possibility during times of hot weather. The zapping of vital nutrients and electrolytes can serious trigger issues with a ferret's body's normal processes and functioning -- think kidney and heart damage, for example.

Fresh and Clean Water

Always supply your ferret with cool, clean and fresh water to drink, and change it out a minimum of once a day. With your ferret's health and well-being in mind, opt for filtered water, advises SmallAnimalChannel.com. Bottled water that is devoid of additives is also suitable. Although filtered water is free of potentially harmful additives, it also still features beneficial mineral content. Tap water isn't always safe for ferrets, as it quite often includes chlorine and fluoride. Likewise, distilled water also isn't appropriate for ferrets, as it does not have some very vital minerals that are essential for the little guys.

Symptoms of Dehydration

If you have any concerns that your ferret might be dehydrated, be on the lookout for telltale symptoms, like dryness of the gums, stickiness of the gums, weakness, exhaustion, dull eyes, excessive squinting and decreased amounts of urine. You also might want to check for dehydration by gently pinching on the skin of the back of your ferret's neck. If the skin remains up for several seconds after you let go, your pet may indeed be suffering from dehydration. If it goes back to its normal spot almost instantly, he likely is not dehydrated.

Immediate Veterinary Care

If you see any indications of dehydration in your ferret, take him in for emergency veterinary care immediately. Dehydration can bring upon very severe consequences in ferrets, including death, which is why time is of the essence in these situations. Urgent fluid therapy performed by a veterinarian is key to getting a ferret back on the track to health.