Being new ferret parents, we are learning the ins and outs of our little fuzzy wuzzies. They are so much fun to play with, to watch them sleep, and to snuggle with. They are generally easy animals to take care of, but what exactly to do is a bit more complicated.
We got a lot of our knowledge from the local pet store, the manager is a former ferret owner and she gave some great tips. Or at least so I thought. As I am networking online with various ferret communities, I’m finding a lot of the general knowledge that is out there about ferrets isn’t very accurate. Including the idea that you need to wash your ferret.
When we first got our furry friends, they stank. We cleaned the litter box regularly, and still, the whole house smelled of ferret. That wasn’t going to work for us. Luckily, I found out how to reduce ferret smell and within a week or two the smell was under control.
The biggest culprit, in my opinion? How often Kody and Shiro were getting washed.
What Happens When You Over Bathe Your Ferret
When we picked them from their home, we found out that they were getting bathed once a week. This is way too much! If you do decide to wash your ferret, do not bathe them more than once a month.
If you over wash your furry friends, their skin will get dry. Naturally, they will produce more oils, and they will smell worse. It was shocking how much they stank the first week. It wasn’t a bad smell per say, it was a ferret smell. It was strong.
Now, they still have their unique, musky smell, but it is not as strong. I can even put my face on them when they are curled up sleeping in a little ball 🙂
If you do over wash them, not only will they smell worse, but their dry skin will cause itching. You don’t want your fuzzy babies to be uncomfortable, do you?
I also think that Kody and Shiro’s fur isn’t that soft because they were over washed. They are also starting to get softer as they get further and further away from their last bath.
When Do You Give Your Ferrets a Bath?
Well, from what I hear from passionate ferret parents? Never! Or only when they are very dirty, like if they roll in dirt or poo. If your ferrets like to play in water, then let them play in water from time to time. Just water. Some may not like water very much though.
They don’t recommend the shampoo that they sell. It seems more like a selling gimmick than anything else.
Use This To Bathe Your Dirty Ferret:
- Coconut Oil – It has been recommended to add a little bit of coconut oil into their water. Not only will it make them soft, but they will smell great!
- Baby Shampoo – I have seen passionate ferret moms recommend baby shampoo for washing their dirty ferrets.
- Plain Water – Some don’t use anything to wash their ferrets except water.
I’m so glad that I’ve done my research and haven’t listened to main stream ideology when it comes to ferret care. If you think about it, they didn’t get bathed in the wild with Marshall’s Ferret. If you can’t stand your ferret’s smell, think about changing their litter, cleaning their litter box more, washing their items, or changing their diet.
As always, I would love to hear your thoughts on washing your ferrets! Please comment below.