Posted: August 1, 2009, 10:15 p.m. EDT
Q: My ferret won't let us put a harness on her to take her out walking. What should I do?
A: Getting a ferret to wear a harness takes time and patience.
First, make sure the harness fits well so the ferret can’t easily escape from it. There is always a chance that a ferret can escape from any harness, no matter how well fitted, so always supervise a ferret closely when outside on harness.
Next, spend a little time each day getting the ferret used to the harness by placing it within your ferret’s reach and allowing your ferret to investigate it. Once your ferret loses interest in the harness, begin to place it loosely over your ferret’s head. This process is called desensitization — it gets the ferret used to the harness slowly over time.
Eventually, the harness will be on your ferret for a few minutes before you take it off again. At this point, offer a treat to your ferret when you take off the harness.
Once you can put your ferret in and out of the harness and your ferret keeps it on long enough to go for a walk, it is time to take your ferret outside for a short time. Gradually build up the amount of time outside.
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