Bathing ferrets: make an adventure for you and your ferrets
Bathing ferrets is a basic part of ferret’s hygiene, but there are some questions every ferret owner should ask before doing it. For example, how often to bathe a ferret? What shampoo is good for ferrets? How about the water temperature? Most ferrets don’t like water so you have to make bathing as much positive for them as you can. Make an adventure out of it, use toys, treats, play with your ferret in the water and your fuzzy will love going to the bath. 🙂
FERRETS ARE VERY CLEAN ANIMALS
Ferrets are clean animals and most of the time they are grooming, they are similar to cats wen it comes to grooming. They can even wash their face and paws and I can say with zero doubts that their face wash is the cutest thing you can see. <3
But, besides grooming and washing their face and paws, ferrets do need the occasional bath. I really mean it when I say occasionally because bathing ferrets shouldn’t be more than 3 times a year. Ferrets have sensitive skin and if you bathe your ferret too often, the bath can cause an irritation on its skin. If a ferret’s skin is irritated it will produce more oil which can increase the smell of the ferret, but that is the least thing you should worry about. Irritated skin causes itching and scratching, which causes wounds and losing hair.
To avoid any skin irritation, bathe your ferret 3 times a year, or less. You can wash it with water more often, it is a good solution for hot summer days. Wash your ferret only if it is dirty, has fleas or some third option. In every other situation, it is unnecessary to bathe a ferret every month. If you have a ferret inside, in your home and it only goes out about once a month, there isn’t any special reason to bathe a ferret that often.
PREPARE FOR THE BATH
Bathing ferrets can be an adventure because most ferrets don’t like water. So, before you start with bathing your ferret, see what you must have.
To bathe a ferret you will need:
- A ferret
- A few towels
- Ferret shampoo or baby shampoo like Johnson & Johnson
- A warm water
- Few toys
- Hair dryer – if your ferret will allow you to use it
Before giving your ferret a bath, take everything you need and put it near you. When you put a ferret in the water, you won’t be able to go anywhere. Bathing ferrets is a process which usually doesn’t last long, but you will be tired after it, especially if you have more than one ferret. Its main mission will be to get out of the bathtub, so you won’t be able to go anywhere until the bath is done.
Remember, ferret’s body temperature is higher than ours so if you put slightly cold water in the tub, that will be really cold for your ferret. Try to put warm water in the tub, but not too hot. Slowly put your ferret in the water, deep enough so it can move normally. Like I said, most ferrets don’t like bath time and they will try to get away. To avoid that you can use a treat, yummy salmon oil or a Ferretone.
Now that you have satisfied your ferret with a treat, it is shampoo time!
Use a little amount of shampoo and put it on your hands. Rub it between the palms because shampoo is probably very cold and then apply it to your ferret, not directly. Your hand is warmer than the shampoo so your ferret won’t be shocked by the cold shampoo on wet fur. Spread the shampoo on ferret’s body and avoid its head. Rub your ferret’s tummy, tail and back legs first then go to the rest of the body. Massage your ferret under the chin to relax it. Say that it is a good ferret because it really is. Give him a treat or two more. 🙂 You can do all that with a ferret in your arms, or you can grab it by the scruff and gently pick it up, but don’t let it hang. Let it stay on its back legs in the tub or on your hand.
Bathing your ferrets is stressful enough for them, so we don’t have to make it even harder.
To rinse a ferret you can put it under the faucet (you can use a mug or a glass) and pour warm water gently over it. Be careful not to put any shampoo in ferret’s eyes or mouth, so when you are rinsing its head, use only one or two fingers. Or, you can rinse a ferret in the tub with fresh water.
If you see that your ferret doesn’t mind bathing, give it a ball it might play with it for some time, but if you see that it has had enough, finish up. My Frida used to go to the bath plug, dove in the water and pull the plug out. That was her way of saying: OK that’s enough!
You can put a towel on a radiator to make it warm for your fuzzy, but it isn’t absolutely necessary. Grab your ferret out of the water, remove the excessive water from it and wrap it in the towel. Now, the party begins. If you think that bathing your ferrets is fun, you should see what is happening next.
FINAL STEP FOR BATHING FERRETS IS DRYING THEM UP
When you have a ferret wrapped in the towel, dry it as much as you can because the moment you put it down, it will become crazy. It will jump, run, scratch and just act all wild like it has drunk too much coffee. Ferret war dance is nothing compare to “Quick I must dry!“ dance. The best way to let your ferret dry is to sit down, watch and enjoy! 🙂
If you can catch it while it is going crazy try to dry it more with a towel, or even with a hair dryer (use it on lower power) and don’t blow it too close to the ferret. Use it at the distance of about 20 cm, just blow it and your ferret will jump around it. Most ferrets don’t approve hair dryer but you will never know until you try. 🙂
Bathing ferrets shouldn’t be a negative experience for you or your ferrets. If you approach it as some kind of game or adventure, your ferrets will play along, if you give them enough treats. 😛