Keeping ferrets outdoors? (Heat intolerance?)

Discussion in 'Cat and Pet Forum' started by *blackrose, Apr 2, 2014.

  1. *blackrose

    *blackrose "I'm kupo for kupo nuts!"

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    I am really chomping at the bit to get ferrets again. I don't want a pair right this second (well, I do, but my gut says the time isn't right), but in the next year I'm really hoping the time will be right. However, when I was discussing it with Mike, he raised a valid point of not really wanting ferrets caged in the house since it is a rental and he's 1.) not sure how our landlord would appreciate ferrets and 2.) ferrets + destruction kind of goes hand and hand. However, I think he's remembering what my bedroom looked like after 6 years of having ferrets free roam except for when I was sleeping...I know it won't be that bad when they're not allowed to free roam without supervision, but he doesn't quite understand that. LOL

    We have a very nice garden shed in our backyard and I was just toying with the idea today of maybe keeping a cage in the shed? I know ferrets are heat sensitive, but I also know keeping them outdoors is pretty common in Europe, so that it can be done...? I just wasn't sure how significant their heat sensitivity is. Are we talking along the lines of an average coated dog's heat sensitivity (be smart, provide artificial methods of cooling, bring in on super hot days) or like...'no matter what measures are taken, if the air temperature is above X degrees, regardless of shade/cool spots/breeze, death is imminent' heat sensitivity?

    They obviously wouldn't be kept outside in their cage all day long with no playtime/interactions....I've owned ferrets before. ;) Fully anticipate on spoiling any future fuzzbutt the same as my past, just having their cage in a different location to appease DH. Would totally be open to bringing the cage indoors/into the garage (natural lighting, don't worry - the dogs' crates are in there) during really hot icky months.

    In the end, I'm going to go with what my gut says and what I think would be best for everyone involved...and if that means not getting ferrets, that means not getting ferrets. Or if that means getting ferrets and being smart about the weather, that means getting ferrets and being smart about the weather. However, I want to make the most informed decision possible, so...anybody have any experience with keeping ferrets outdoors?
     
  2. -bogart-

    -bogart- Member of WHODAT Nation.

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    If it was me I would put the cage in an air conditioned garage. just wait until you drink august air down here . It is brutal. Now during the winter i would do an outdoor shed , but what kind of critters do you have around that may try to break in and eat them. Think raccoon and armadillos and coyotes.
     
  3. AllieMackie

    AllieMackie Wookie Collie

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    The UK doesn't deal with the extremes of heat that you'd have to deal with in MI, and more importantly they don't have the same heat + humidity combo. In North America in general, the extremes of hot and cold and the dampness of many climates here would be too much for a ferret IMO.
     
  4. *blackrose

    *blackrose "I'm kupo for kupo nuts!"

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    The more I think about it, the more I think having the cage in the garage would be better anyway, simply because they'd be closer and that would make me feel better.

    As for critters, I'm not at all worried about it. We have a 6' privacy fence so no coyotes or armadillos (I actually have yet to see a single armadillo - kind of disappointed!) and considering our outdoor trash hasn't been touched, I don't think we have a coon problem, either. Having the dogs also probably helps, as even the squirrels have decided neighbor trees are better than ours.

    The humidity is something I didn't think about. I'll be interested to spend this summer down here and see exactly how it compares to Indiana. I've heard countless times, "Oh my gosh, the heat is BRUTAL", but when I look at average temperatures for the area I just think...."Those temperatures seem like normal summer temperatures to me, including the humidity level?" LOL I remember quite a few summers of 85*-95* heat with 60-90% humidity. Regardless, ferrets wouldn't be happening until this winter, so I'll be able to experience a summer for myself and see what I think about it.

    I think I'm still liking the garage idea the best.
     
  5. GoingPostal

    GoingPostal Member

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    I live in northern MN and my ferrets have an air conditioner in their room for the summer days, anything over 75 you are at risk of heat stroke, we have low humidity, I imagine it would be worse with that added in. I think a shed would get pretty toasty, stick a thermometer out there and see over the summer to get an idea of what you are dealing with.
     
  6. JessLough

    JessLough Love My Mutt

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    Yep. Honestly, during the summer months, if I have the ferrets outside for more than 15 minutes, even in the shade and constantly given water, they start open-mouth panting, which is bad.
     
  7. *blackrose

    *blackrose "I'm kupo for kupo nuts!"

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    Very good to know, thanks!
     
  8. *blackrose

    *blackrose "I'm kupo for kupo nuts!"

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    Another question

    What heartworm preventives are available for ferrets? Revolution is what I've used in the past (to treat fleas), but I wasn't sure if there were other alternatives.

    I never gave my past ferrets heartworm prevention, but they were also very low risk. I'm not sure what the mosquito population is going to be like around our house.
     

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