Water Deprivation

Note: This needs to be converted to a Google doc and put in the Log Table with an Expiration Date

Water Deprivation Checklist

When water depriving animals, please follow the following steps:

  1. Remove the water bottle AND the wet food from the cage. Wet food is in a ceramic dish inside the cage. Dump excess wet food into the trash, rinse out dish, and place next to sink to dry. Dry food (in the feeders attached to cage wall) can remain.

  2. Fill out the orange “Water Deprivation” cage cards with start date/time, end date/time, and your contact information. The cards are found on the cart that holds the ferret log next to the weigh station. If there are none on the cart, email Debbie (dgoodwin@brandeis.edu) and she will replenish the pile. Place the filled out card on the cage of the ferret you are working with, ensuring that it is clearly visible.

  3. In the main ferret log, write down the ferret’s weight and note that water deprivation has begun.

  4. Print and fill out water deprivation log found here: https://docs.google.com/document/d/1lVPUrwGUHiGqmTF6-QZcu0exz7W2ohSX/edit. “Base weight” is the weight of the animal right before water is removed from the cage, “pull weight” is 80% of the base weight. If the animal reaches this weight, water deprivation must be stopped.

  5. Every time a ferret leaves the room (training, surgery, etc) it needs to be logged out and back in. Write if water was given in this entry.

  6. Ferrets may be water deprived for 3 consecutive weeks (if training is not happening on weekends they should be given water freely on those days). After that, they should have one week of free water to recover before continuing water deprivation training.

  7. You must fill out a new orange cage card and start a new water deprivation log (linked above in step 4) for each new water deprivation week.

  8. When a water deprivation period is over, orange cage cards should be removed and water and wet food should be returned to cages.


  • Orange cage card- visible and filled out

  • Remove water bottle

  • Remove wet food

  • Fill out main ferret log

  • Fill out water deprivation form

Water Deprivation Log: linked here