Chances are if you are a pet owner, it is hard to stop at just one! However, it is always important to keep in mind how your resident animal may react to the new animal that you may want to bring into your home. You may be wondering if a ferret is a good match and a friend for your dog. Unfortunately, the answer isn’t clear cut.
One of the first things to consider is the temperament of your dog. Ferrets are small creatures, generally never tipping the scale at more than 3 pounds- and that’s a big ferret! Even if a ferret does not want to be around your dog, chances are, your ferret will simply avoid your dog or hide if in the same vicinity. Unfortunately, since dogs are significantly bigger than ferrets, a dog that is not fond of ferrets could lead to tragic endings. Make sure that your dog does not snap at small or quick moving animals.
It is also important to consider your dog’s breed. Terriers were specifically bred to hunt rats and other rodents. While ferrets are not rodents, the prey drive in these dogs would not be able to distinguish the two. Additionally, dogs such as huskies and other similar breeds may have high prey drives as well that would not mesh well with ferrets.
On the other hand, many retriever owners have found that their dogs do well with ferrets. Of course, labradors love almost everyone, so it’s not hard to see why they do well with ferrets.
No matter the temperament or breed of your dog, your best bet to successful cohabitation with ferrets is slow introductions and carefully supervised playdates to ensure that both parties are safe. Additionally, a dog that is raised with ferrets from puppyhood will likely be better trained to respect a ferret’s boundaries and limitations, so it is not a bad idea to get your ferret first and then bring home a dog, or get both when they are juveniles.