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A ferret can make a great pet. The ferret is essentially a clean animal. However, it does start becoming dirty and may start stinking. This is why you should give your pet ferret a bath at least once a month. The bath will help you clean the ferret. It is the best way to groom the ferret and ensure it is maintained well. Regular baths also help in getting rid of any parasites. This will help you keep your pet ferret in good health. The article tells you how to how to give a ferret a bath in the most effective way.
Does a ferret need a bath?
A ferret is essentially a wild animal that has been domesticated. You may wonder if there is really a need to give it a bath. Before discussing how to give a ferret a bath, it is important to understand the need for giving it a bath. The ferret is an inquisitive animal and if you allow it free is likely to get dirty. In dry weather, the ferret’s skin becomes dry due to loss of moisture. This can cause itching. Giving a bath will be helpful in this situation.
In extremely hot weather, your pet ferret will start to feel discomfort due to the heat. A bath using cold water can help your pet cool down. The ferret’s scent glands produce scent, which not everyone likes. Giving a bath can help eliminate the scent. The primary reason for bathing a ferret is to prevent infections. Parasites and other organisms can settle on your ferret’s skin. A bath can help get rid of all these organisms.
How often to give a bath
The first thing to know how to give a ferret a bath is knowing the frequency of bathing your ferret. You now know that giving a bath to your ferret is a good idea. But it is not a good idea to bathe it very frequently. Too frequent baths can remove the oil from the oil glands on your pet’s skin. This can make it smell even worse. Too much bathing can cause itching as it can dry the skin. You should bathe your ferret once a month. You can even bathe it once in two months. This depends on the skin condition of your ferret and the way you take care of it regularly.
What all do you need to give your ferret a bath?
There are certain supplies that you need to give your ferret a bath. You need to keep all these things ready before the bath. Here are the things you need:
- Oatmeal: An oatmeal bath is excellent if your pet’s skin is dry and is itching. An oatmeal bath will provide relief from itching. Avoid using instant oatmeal. The best thing is to get raw oats and put them in a cloth and soak it in the water.
- Shampoo: You need shampoo to ensure that your ferret’s skin gets a thorough cleaning. Don’t use regular shampoos, they may be too strong for your pet. Choose a shampoo that is gentle on the skin. Baby shampoo is ideal. There are special shampoos available for ferrets, you can buy it at pet stores or online. If your ferret has fleas, then you need to get a special shampoo that has an anti-flea formula in it.
- Bucket: You need a bucket or tub with water. Use warm water for the bath, unless it is summer. You can skip the bucket and bath the ferret in the sink if this is comfortable.
- Brush: You can rub your pet’s skin with your hand. Getting a soft brush ensures better cleaning. It also ensures any parasites on its body are properly removed. Get a brush with soft bristles.
- Towel: You need a towel to wipe your ferret dry. Unlike dogs, your ferret won’t like getting wet. So keep a thick towel to dry it quickly. If required, you can use a blow dryer.
- Toys and treats: You can keep your ferret’s favorite toy nearby in case it does not co-operate during the bath. Offering a treat is helpful if your ferret tries to avoid the bath.
Keep everything ready
The first step in how to give a ferret a bath is to keep everything ready before starting the process. Make sure all the supplies are ready. While you are giving your ferret a bath, it is a good idea if someone can clean the ferret’s cage or living space. Take your ferret with you to the bathroom. Talk to it softly and cuddle it so it is in a relaxed mood. Some ferrets enjoy a bath, so you will not face any problem.
Unfortunately, there are ferrets who just hate taking a bath. Handling such ferrets can be difficult. This is where the toy and treats will help. You can keep the toy in the water to make the ferret take to the weather. Use treats to divert its attention. Your ferret’s body temperature is around 103 Fahrenheit (39 degrees Celsius). What is warm for you may be cold for the ferret. Use hot water (water that is hot for you but doesn’t scald).
Bathing your ferret (using a tub)
The first method of bathing a ferret is to fill the bucket or tub with water. Don’t fill it to the brim as your ferret may drown in it. Gently lower the ferret into the water. Take care not to dunk it into the water as it may get scared. Divert its attention by talking to it and offering a treat as you lower it into the water. Allow the ferret to get a feel of the water. Most ferrets will enjoy the experience. There are those that will desperately try to get out. You need to use your skills to manage the ferret. Get assistance from someone to finish the bath quickly.
Take a few drops of the shampoo on your left hand and rub your hands to create the lather. Rub the lather all over the ferret’s body. Do this gently. Treat this like a game or as a grooming exercise so your ferret likes this. If you have a tear-free shampoo, use it on the face. Don’t forget to lather the tail and belly area, as they can be very dirty.
Use your hands or a brush to rub the lather off in the water. Else drain the soapy water and replace it with clean water. Now rub vigorously yet gently using your hand or the brush. Make sure the soap is completely removed. If your ferret loves the water, allow it to enjoy for some more time. If your ferret is too dirty, you may need to refill the tub two or three times with clean water. Then keep rinsing until your ferret is clean.
Bathing in a sink
You can even bathe your ferret in the sink if you get warm water from the tap. You can even bath it in your shower with running water. First, play with the ferret before running the water. Put little water on its body and then lather it up with the shampoo, as described above. Once it is soaped fully, turn on the tap and allow running water over the ferret. Use a shower extension on the tap so your pet is comfortable.
As the water runs over the ferret, rub it thoroughly with a brush (or your hand). Keep the water running until your ferret is clean. Some ferret may not like a shower bath. In such a case, you can fill the sink and bath it in the sink. Once all the dirt and soap residue is gone, you can take your ferret out of the bath.
Dry it quickly
Dry your ferret quickly. Use a towel and rub it gently but firmly to dry the ferret. Most ferrets don’t like being wet and will be desperate to get dry. They may even try to run from you. Your ferret can dry itself, so just dry it for a minute or so and then release it. You can use a hairdryer if you wish but it is really not needed unless the weather is too cold.
Tips on bathing a ferret
- Avoid using soap on the face unless you have a good anti-tear shampoo. Even then, wash the face immediately to avoid the soap getting into its mouth and eyes.
- You need patience to handle your pet if it doesn’t like getting a bath. Don’t lose your temper.
- Try to treat the bathing and the drying as a game, this will make your work easier.
- You can get a conditioner to renew oils lost during bathing. Use one recommended by your vet and safe for ferrets.
The article told you how to give a ferret a bath. The step-by-step instructions given in the article would have helped you understand how to bathe your pet ferret. Following all the guidelines in this article will help you keep your ferret smelling good, feeling good, and healthy.