Similar to cats, ferrets do not really need to take baths. However, if your ferret gets particularly dirty, it could be useful to wash them yourself.
How useful is it to give ferrets a bath?
Since ferrets wash themselves, it's not necessary to give them a bath. Moreover, giving ferrets a bath when they don't need one could actually be harmful because their skin is fragile. Ideally, you should not give them a bath more than once a month.
If your goal was to reduce your ferret's body odor, it's actually pretty counterproductive! When ferrets take baths, their skin becomes drier, causing their sebaceous glands to work harder. This makes them produce more sebum, ultimately worsening the smell.
What do I need to be careful about when giving my ferret a bath?
To begin with, it's important to use shampoo specifically made for ferrets. You can easily find this type of shampoo at pet stores or at a vet clinic. If you do not use products that are clearly intended for ferrets, it could cause their skin to dry out.
Regarding the temperature, it should be lukewarm. This is because ferrets are sensitive to temperature changes. For this reason, it's important to dry your ferret right after.
What should I do after the bath?
When drying your ferret after the bath, remember to rub their ears, belly, and the base of their tail with a dry towel. You can also use a hair dryer as long as the air coming out of it is not hot. It's best to keep your hands close to your ferret's coat when drying them with a hair dryer to ensure that the hair dryer is not burning their skin.
Typically, in order to finish drying themselves, ferrets tend to roll around in an overexcited way! When they do this, you can take the opportunity to play with them! They will really enjoy it!
Have you ever given a ferret a bath? Share your tips in the comments!
Photo credits: Irina Vasilevskaia on iStock