Have you recently gotten a new pet? If it’s a ferret, then get ready to fall in love with the energetic and endearing little carnivore. Some loving? Sure, you can handle that. But, the strong musky scent your ferret gives off will need some getting used to. If you’re sensitive to it, then you’ll always want to dip your pet into the water and give it a good scrubbing. But wait, can you bathe a ferret?
Here’s what you need to know:
Yes, you can bathe a ferret. We agree that this is often a subject of controversy. Some wonder if it is possible or safe to do so. It is safe when done the proper way. This starts with the frequency of baths. Constant baths for your pet is a bad idea. This is because it can lead to dryness of its skin and coat. Hence, you need to learn when and how to bathe a ferret. Let’s give you a hint. If you bathe a ferret once every month, then you might be doing it too much.
By now, you must be curious. You probably want to know when to give your pet a nice scrubbing. But you’d also like to know the right way to go about it. This article will furnish you with every detail on these aspects and more. Let’s get to it.
Further Reading: “Can Ferret Eat Bananas?“
How Often Do You Bathe Your Ferrets?
Experts recommend that you should bathe a ferret every 2-3 months. Let’s see why. People consider bathing their ferret because of their strong and unique scent. Of course, it sounds reasonable that regular baths will keep this in check. But, this isn’t the case. The scent is a natural one that comes from oils produced on their skin. When you bathe a ferret, you will get most of the oil off. But, this stimulates increased production of the natural oils. Why? The ferrets always need these oils on their skin. Increased production also means more odor and you have the scent worse than before.
Another reason is that they don’t need a lot of exposure even to the best of ferret shampoos. This is because excess exposure can cause drying and crackling of their skin and coat. This can lead to the development of skin infections and conditions.
If your pet were to land in mud or poop, then it is okay to break the 2-3 months rule. Of course, we don’t expect that this will happen very often.
Further Reading: “How To Tell How Old A Ferret Is?“
How Do You Wash Your Ferret [5 Important Bathing Tips]
Your pet might find its first experience of bathing an unpleasant one. Hence, you need to be gentle and patient. Offer the shy ones some treats and toys to play with.
When you bathe a ferret, we expect that you will follow these guidelines:
Use warm water
Ferrets have a body temperature higher than that of humans. Hence, warm water for us could be cold to them. Keep this in mind. You can bathe them in any convenient place- a bathtub, sink, or plastic bucket. It’s best to use your hand to hold them in the water.
Wash body with a ferret shampoo
The shampoo product should be ferret shampoo. There are such products specifically suited to them. Baby shampoo is another safe option. All you need is a little shampoo. Use this to lather it up quickly. Do not apply shampoo to the head and face. Use a soft, wet cloth to dab the face and head gently instead.
Wash your pet with plenty of water.
You will need to rinse it over and over again. This is to ensure you’ve gotten all the shampoos out of its coat. Double-check their armpits for shampoo. There’s a tendency for the collection of shampoo in the region. Failure to rinse properly can lead to dryness, itching, and other skin conditions.
Further Reading: “Can Ferrets Eat Canned Tuna?“
Pat dry with a towel
Using a small towel is your best bet as it gets them dry quickly. Some say you can use a hairdryer. You’ll have to keep this at a safe distance from the pet. Even then, a towel is safer and easier. A damp pet can get cold easily. Putting them into their cage while they’re still wet can also be counterproductive. They might get dirty again.
Brush your pet’s teeth occasionally
Consider brushing its teeth once every 1/2 weeks to prevent the build-up of plaques and cavities. Clean their ears regularly as they tend to have waxy ears. This is also good as you can check for ear mites frequently. A cotton-tipped swab moistened with a mild ear cleaning solution will do the job. Trimming their nails is a good idea too. Do all these once a week.
Further Reading: “How To Tell If A Ferret Is Scared?“
Can you Bathe a Ferret with Dish Soap?
No. The only reason you could try this is on a pet covered in fleas. Even then, it’s best to consult a veterinarian on what works. Dish soap will be harsh on their skin and can strip all the oil off their skin and coat. The fur can harden over time and the skin will start to itch. It also increases the risk of skin conditions.
Can I use Baby Shampoo on my Ferret?
Yes, you can. Ferret shampoo is the ideal option to bathe a ferret. One made for kittens works well too. There’s also the option of tearless baby shampoo. The important thing about shampoo used on your pet is that it should moisturize its skin. Any shampoo containing harsh chemicals can leave it dry and likely to crack.
Is It Safe To Use Dog Shampoo On Ferrets?
While some say they use dog shampoo on their pets, we tell against it. Dog shampoo is likely to be harsh on your ferret’s skin and fur. It’s best to stick with ferret shampoo, kitten shampoo, or baby shampoo. This way, you’re confident that you’re doing the right thing and not just anything.
Further Reading: “Different Types Of ferrets“
Bathing your ferret is an activity that you should reserve for every 2 or 3 months. The only exception should be in cases where they fall into mud or poop. It’s best not to go beyond once a month. This way, you can avoid skin problems that result from the dryness of their skin and coat. Use ferret shampoo, kitten shampoo, or baby shampoo. When washing, remember to follow our five tips. They’ll help you to give your pet the best wash it can get.