With a name derived from the word “thief” in Latin, ferrets often act like playful thieves who love hiding things. They’re known for being playful, curious and smart.
They’re also known for having a musky odor, although most ferrets sold in the U.S. are now descented at a young age. They may still have an odor, but if you learn how to groom and care for your ferret, it shouldn’t be an issue. Follow these tips for grooming and odor control to enjoy playtime with your ferret.
- Bathing your ferret too often will increase the odor as his skin will produce more oil. A bath every 4 to 6 weeks is fine, unless he gets into something dirty.
- If you do give him a bath, use a shampoo made for ferrets or kittens or a no-tears baby shampoo. (Don’t use dishwashing soap. Also, flea shampoo for dogs or cats can be poisonous to ferrets.)
- Change your ferret’s litter every day and clean the litter box once a week.
- Changing or washing the bedding once a week can do more to curb odor than bathing the ferret.
- Clean his ears with some ear cleaning solution and check for ear mites, which can create wax with a strong odor. This can be treated by your vet.
- Trim his nails every two weeks, being careful not to cut into the vein or “quick.” Use ferret or cat clippers and have styptic powder handy.
- Dental issues for ferrets are similar to those of dogs and cats. Have his teeth and gums checked by a vet and try to brush his teeth weekly.
- What kind of food is he eating? Food with fish ingredients may cause more odor.
It may take a little time for your ferret to get used to a grooming routine, but consistency and careful handling can go a long way. Visit your local Pet Supermarket for more information about ferret care or ferret supplies.