Friday, 9 November 2012

Out and about with ferrets: Woodland

The woods we visited a week or so ago.

The woods can be a great place to go with your fuzzies as long as you are sensible about it.
Many people visit woodland to appreciate the flora and fauna or to simply enjoy the peace and quiet of the countryside and the fresh air. They won't be able to do this with you trampling through the woods with about a hundred ferrets in tow shouting and generally making a ruckus! I think it's important to think of others when out in public, especially with your animals. People in the woods who think they don't like ferrets or are not too sure about them are more likely to approach someone who is treating their surroundings with respect as opposed to someone who is loud, garish and has too many ferrets with them to control. That's not going to look good for the ferret community as a whole! I see myself and my ferrets as a billboard if you like for ferrets as pets. I see every outing as a chance to show people how great these little guys are! Just something to bear in mind...

Alfie facing the wintry light 

Alfie and Lola 
As I mentioned earlier it's probably a good idea to take ferrets in small groups if you have a number of them. We only have three which is fairly manageable, but we have the carrier to lug around too. It's going to be far more relaxing and enjoyable for you and the ferrets if you're not constantly having to untangle leads and stop because they all want to go in different directions (it happens!). I also feel that you will have less of a negative impact on wildlife if you have small groups at a time rather than a whole business of them! 
My ferrets love the  woods, it's probably their favourite place out of everywhere we've been with them so far. After all, there's plenty of leaf litter to snuffle in, soft earth for digging, fallen trees to climb on and investigate and hollow logs to explore! The gorgeous Autumn light we're getting is perfect for photographs (In my mind anyway) and walking with your ferrets is a great way to keep warm!

Shiro standing still for once!
Please don't be tempted to let your ferrets off the lead, one tunnel and they'll be gone! They can also move pretty fast when they want to, which you may not have encountered in your home, so you may have a nasty shock when it comes to it! Also, please remember that they cannot survive in the wild, so letting your ferrets loose for any length of time really isn't a laughing matter!

Please keep an eye out for dog walkers, who are probably the main visitors in woods such as the one we visited in these photos. Not all dogs will tolerate ferrets and some may be off the lead so please keep and eye and an ear out for signs of dogs and pick your ferrets up out of harms way. And just remember that even if the owner says that their dog is friendly, it's unlikely that it has come into contact with ferrets before so it could act very differently! Always have your guys safety in mind. One bite in the wrong place from a dog could spell paralysis or even death.

As long as your ferrets stay on the lead, you stay in control and you respect others and the environment around you, the woods can make a great day out for you and your ferrets!

The woods can be a very stimulating place.
Some things you may want to consider taking with you...

  • A carrier or two for problematic or sleepy fuzzies
  • A spare harness and lead in case one breaks (unlikely but you never know!)
  • Food and water for you and your ferrets
  • Doggy poop bags in case your guys leave any packages...
  • Sensitive baby wipes for wiping down mucky paws (or in some cases the whole ferret!)

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