A Guide to Training Your Ferret to Use a Harness and a Leash

Ferrets love to explore their surroundings. They can wander far if you let them loose. You may let them go around the yard to have some sunshine, but if there is not any form of restraint, your pet can get easily harmed or may get into trouble any time soon. To make sure that your pet stays safe even while it stays outside for some air, I suggest you train it on how to use a harness and leash for ferrets. This simple guide will teach you how to do it.

NOT all ferrets would like to wear a leash

There are ferrets that enjoy exploring around with their owner and a harness or a leash on. There are those who may not want to wear one at the beginning of the training but will eventually get used to it. In time, they get to tolerate the idea of wearing a harness, so they will just follow what they are told to do to wear either a harness or a leash properly. There are also some ferrets that just won’t wear one, no matter what you do to teach them how. If your ferret is one of those, you can’t just force it to wear a harness. You may find your pet twisting or stretching just to let the harness off its body and legs.

Ferret Harness

Guide to Training a Ferret to Wear a Harness

It will be easier to train your pet ferret while it is still young. You can start training your furry friend as early as on its 10th week. The best way to do the training is within a confined space or at home. Make sure that you introduce the leash to your pet gradually. It will take a while before your ferret will get used to it, so just be patient. Give your pet some time to get adjusted to it. Reward your ferret by giving it food treats every time it shows a positive behavior during the training. Make the training time a fun time that your furry friend will look forward to. (more…)

Our upcoming FABulous sale!

So it’s official, Skate Dog has another exciting FAB sale coming up and we couldn’t be more excited about it! If you missed the last one and are in the market for fantastic deals (especially with Christmas around the corner) this sale is for you! Not sure what FAB is exactly? FAB offers up designer products at prices you can afford giving you spectacular deals on everything from art to clothing and household goods. Needless to say, Skate Dog is flattered to be included on such a site.

With that said, we have been working our tails off getting everything ready for Thursday, October 25th! This time around we are offering some fantastic new designs and more of them! See below for just some of our new deck designs…remember, the sale starts at 7pm on Thursday, October 25th through 7 pm on November 1st, so get your great feeder deals while they last.

A Homemade Dog Food Challenge

A client that was recently referred to me by her veterinarian wanted me to formulate homemade dog food that would help manage her dog’s advanced kidney disease. In preparation for her consultation appointment, I gathered the necessary information over the phone that I needed in order to have some recipes ready for her dog.

Homemade Dog Food

Patients with kidney disease need a protein restricted diet to minimize blood ammonia levels. When protein is broken down by the body it produces ammonia that is changed to a less toxic chemical in the liver called urea. In normal patients, the blood urea is eliminated from the body by the kidneys. Pets with kidney disease cannot eliminate urea effectively and urea levels increase in the blood. This increase results in decreased appetite and activity, vomiting and even painful sores in the mouth that causes drooling and refusal to eat altogether.

By restricting protein levels in the diet, the blood urea can be maintained at more tolerable levels so the pet acts and eats normally. The decreased protein also reduces phosphorus levels in the blood and slows the deterioration of the kidneys. Low protein diets are high in fat and carbohydrates which provide taste and calories without creating any ammonia. It was these types of homemade recipes that I presented to my new client at her consultation. As I explained the rationale of the recipe to the owner, she interrupted to tell me that she forgot to tell me her dog also had frequent bouts of pancreatitis. My jaw dropped and I fell silent for a short period. She had just rendered my recipes worthless for her dog.

 

Pancreatitis is a mysterious inflammation of the pancreas that it often associated with the consumption of high levels of fat. It causes severe abdominal pain and vomiting. Pets require hospitalization with fluid therapy until the episode slowly resolves. Food is generally withheld for 2-3 days. The condition is managed by commercial or homemade diets that have minimal fat in them.

 

My challenge now was to design homemade food that had minimal protein and fat, conflicting needs. The bulk of the calories needed to come from carbohydrates- the ingredient that dogs least prefer. Carbohydrates contain less than half the calories of fat for the same quantity. That means diets low in fat must contain lots of carbohydrates. Like us, dogs quickly tire of carbohydrates as the major portion of their diet. Protein and fats taste better. “Food fatigue” is common with dogs on carbohydrate rich diets. It is not uncommon for these pets to need frequent changes made to recipes to keep them interested in food.

Although these diets are challenging, the abundance of foods available for designing homemade diets makes it possible. Commercial special diets are much more limited in ingredient selection and the main reason owners of pets with special medical needs seek homemade diets. Their dogs simply don’t like the limited commercial choices. And few commercial diets are available for pets with conflicting medical needs.

I re-worked the recipes for my client’s dog. Now, I only await future calls from her for recipes with different ingredients.