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Ferrets Nip Dog

Why would two ferrets lick and then bite the family dog’s legs?

By Ailigh Vanderbush
Posted: March 1, 2012, 12 p.m. EST

Q: I have two adopted ferrets, Flip and Flop, that get along great with my dog except for one thing. The ferrets like to go up to my dog’s feet/legs while she is lying there, lick them and eventually bite down on her ankles. My dog ends up just whimpering, and I pull my ferrets off. Why do they lick and then bite? Is it meant to be playful, or is there something on my dog’s legs they want to ‘eat’?

A: The lick and bite the ferrets are doing is neither playful nor because of taste; it is simply a way for the ferrets to try out an “item” before biting. Do not allow your ferrets to be alone with the dog. Because you will always be there to supervise, always stop your ferrets from licking or biting your dog. If you notice your ferrets licking your dog, move them. Your dog may take this licking and biting for now, but she may eventually decide that it is too much and act to stop it.

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