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Can You Bathe Your Ferrets?

There have been some misconceptions on how often should ferrets take their bath. In as much as ferrets are spruce animals, do they still need bathing?

If they do, how often should that be done? We all know that ferrets always like keeping themselves clean.

As much as they clean up themselves, they still smell awful due to the oil they produce from their skin. So, does bathing take away the smell?

The truth is bathing will make the skin produce more oil. So, their musky scent may increase a few days after bathing them.

So, can you give ferrets baths? Yes, ferrets need bathing.

In as much as ferrets are spruce animals, they also need a bath sometimes. However, it now goes down to the frequency at which you bath them.

Well, the rule of thumb says a maximum of 1 bath per month. That goes well as ferrets have sensitive skins, and regular bathing could make their skin dry-out. 

Now, let us get down to knowing more about ferrets and bathing. More information needed to keep your ferret clean will be presented. Stay with us.

Why Do You Need To Bathe A Ferret?

It is no news that anyone would love to bath their ferrets, especially new ferret owners. Even though you have been in the business, you would be tempted to bath them at some point in time. 

Well, if you have taken that leap to adopt a ferret, one thing you need to get used to is their scent. This scent might seem awful to many, especially if that is your first time.

But you cannot help it because it does not go away. The Scents can either be from their anal scent sac or from the musk gland.

Their musk gland is located around their face and somewhere around the body, and it is the major contributor to ferrets odor

The anal scent sac does not contribute to ferret’s odor; however, the musk gland does. Mere smelling the face of the ferret will give the best idea of how your ferret smells naturally.

For some, this might be an awful smell. Some other people do like the scent and regard it as a sweet musk smell. Well, people get along with the smell with time. 

Come to think of it, every animal has its natural funny-smelling scent−Whether nice or bad. The same applies to ferrets too.

All ferrets smell unique depending on the ferret’s age and health status. Sadly, bathing does not help

In fact, as much as bathing seems like an appropriate choice, it could worsen the issue. Bathing could act as a booster to the musk gland in producing more oil.

And the more the oil, the more they smell.

While in the short term, bathing may seem like an appropriate method but not effective in the long run. However, this should not stop you from bathing your ferret if she got herself into something slimy.

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Why You Will Be Tempted To Bathe Your Ferret And Possible Alternative

bathe your ferrets

You are faced with so many reasons why you need to bathe your ferret. Well, before we proceed, I would like to advise not to be tempted to do that often.

Like earlier said, your ferret should not bathe your ferret more than once a month. They are not like humans or dogs, and regular bathing could cause complications in their health.

Apart from the major contributor of ferret odor, the anal scent sac, and a musk gland. What other things could make you be tempted to bathe your ferret?

You are probably aware that when your ferret gets slimy. Well, there is more to that. Stay with me!

Another major contributor to ferret odor is their hormone. If your ferret is not spayed or neutered, it smells worse than the oil-producing musk gland.

When a male ferret has reached his breeding season, it stinks badly. Not only do they produce more oil this time, but they also rub themselves with their urine to make them more attractive. 

At this point, you might be tempted to bath them. But how long will the ferret continue bathing?

The more you bath, the more you cause damage to their health. So, the best bet is to neuter or spay at the point of adoption. This will take care of 90% of the odor. 

What To Bathe Your Ferret With

Proper care of your ferret determines her health. When it comes to bathing your ferret, you would need a special shampoo formulated for ferrets or kittens.

Avoid using a dishwasher or human soap as these products are harsh and could result in an allergic or pH imbalance of your ferret.

Also, avoid shampoos with added chemicals or scent. Ferrets are sensitive to substances, and harsh shampoos are substances that could cause some respiratory disorders.

Make sure you rinse the body of your ferret thoroughly to remove every soap. You can also use a ferret-specific conditioner but must again be rinsed out properly.

Avoid using leave-in conditioners on your ferret. 

Once you are done, apply a few drops of baby oil on your palm with a little water quantity for a final touch on the body. Some ferret owners may apply apple-cider vinegar (Avoid the white vinegar) to their rinse water to restore the body’s natural pH. 

Things To Consider When Bathing Your Ferret

If you are new to keeping pets, like a ferret, it is high time you got to know the best way to bathe your little buddy. One thing to know about animals is that they do not feel well taking a bath the first few times.

So, you might experience some rejection when you pour water on their body. Well, this applies to almost all animals.

Here are the few ways to bathe your ferret:

Monitor the water temperature: The temperature of the water you planned using to bathe your ferret should be of priority. Ferret’s body temperature is between 38oC-39oC, so what feels warm to humans might not be warm to your ferret.

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You would need to balance the temperature accordingly. Use water that is close to when you are taking a hot bath.

Ferret Bathing Product: As mentioned earlier, do not bath your ferrets with shampoos or bathing products meant for humans. This is because those products are harsh and contain strong chemicals that your ferret may be allergic to.

Also, the pH level of those products does not match the pH of your ferret.

The Body of Your Ferret: After bathing your ferret, ensure thoroughly cleaning the body with clean water. Shampoo can reside in hidden corners, such as the armpit.

Ensure you properly check and rinse them off. Failing to do so can cause irritation or dryness on the skin. Once you are done bathing, make sure you wipe their body with a towel.

This is to ensure they are dry to avoid them getting cold.

Brush Their Teeth: Teeth brushing is another routine you would need to carry out every 1-2 weeks to avoid teeth damage due to tooth decay. They are varieties of toothbrushes you can purchase to make the process a whole lot easier.

Brush Their Teeth

Clean Their Ear: A routine cleaning of their ear should occur every 1-2 weeks. They are safe solutions for the cleaning you can easily purchase online.

Deep a cotton swab in the solution and clean slightly and gently.

Above all, do not bath regularly.

Frequently Asked Questions

What Happens If I Bathe My Ferret Too Frequently?

Bathing strips your ferret of the ability to produce oil, and when this happens, the skin dries out. When they dry out, the body becomes itchy, causing cracks, which makes your ferret uncomfortable.

The dry skin becomes brittle and porous, thus opening holes for infections to get in. At this point, your ferret would want to compensate for the dry skin by producing more oil, and the more oil they produce, the smellier they become.

So, it would be necessary you stick to the standard of bathing once a month.

What Type Of Shampoo Should I Use For My Ferret?

You would need shampoos formulated explicitly for ferrets. They are very much available in the market or online stores.

If you can get any, you could also use one for kittens. It works well too.

Can Ferrets Get Cold After Bath

Can Ferrets Get Cold After Bath

Yes, Ferrets can be cold after a bath. That is why it is recommended you use a towel to wipe them dry before keeping them back in the cage.


In as much as you cannot keep those odors down, you can help manage them. Well, I have ferrets, and I am used to their scent.

It does not feel weird to me, but I also learn how to manage them by keeping them in a clean environment. However, all my ferrets are neutered and spayed.

So, the scent is not so strong that I cannot manage. 

Nevertheless, avoid bathing regularly at all cost and learn