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Ferrets are inquisitive, intelligent, amusing and, of course, adorable! As cute as these increasingly popular, petite-size pets are before you bring one home, you should be aware that ferret care is a bit specialized and requires specific ferret supplies. True, ferrets don’t need to be walked in all kinds of weather like a dog, but there’s still plenty you need to know about how to care for ferrets as pets. One of the most important aspects of ferret care is grooming. Stephanie Kegel, director at the American Ferret Association, breaks down the process, so you can keep your ferret healthy and happy.
Be careful not to cut the quick, a red vein inside the nail that will bleed if nicked.
” Just note that if any debris is extremely dark, almost black, it may be a sign of ear mites or infection,” Kegel says. “It would be worth having a veterinarian take a look.”.
” Bathing too much can strip protective oils from their coats, and cause more of a funky odor as their bodies make even more oil to replenish what has washed away,” Kegel explains.
– Lay your ferret on her back in your lap.
Now that you know the best ferret supplies for grooming and the basics of ferret care, keeping your ferret healthy and clean won’t seem hard at all. Have fun with the new ferret in your family!
– Place her favorite liquid treat (perhaps salmon oil or Furo-tone) on her belly.
It’s important to rinse thoroughly since shampoo residue will itch and irritate her. And while it’s not a must, “I like using a conditioner to help keep their coats lush,” says Kegel. The moisturizing, coat-conditioning formula of Marshall Ferret Daily Spritz leaves your little wiggler smelling like baby powder.
Marshall Mint Dental Gel With Baking Soda leaves mini mouths smelling fresh. Use a rubber finger-brush to go over each little tooth. This is a part of ferret care that can’t be neglected.
Of course, if your ferret has gotten into something yucky and is truly dirty, bathe her, but otherwise, even once every six or 12 months is OK. (If ferrets’ natural scent bothers you, changing bedding twice a week and keeping litter boxes clean will cut down on the smell as much as possible.).
” Use a ferret-friendly toothpaste; never use human toothpaste as it’s not safe for pets,” Kegel says.
” Especially go over their coats to make sure there are no patchy areas,” Kegel says. “That can be a sign of a health issue going on, such as parasites.”
Additionally, Kegel notes, making this a regular practice keeps your ferret completely comfortable with being examined and groomed. This helps with veterinarian exams or even being judged in shows. (Yes, there are ferret shows, which Kegel says are a “blast! The ferrets have a great time, and it’s interesting meeting folks who have been involved for decades.”).
Use warm water– test it first as you would when bathing a baby– and shampoo made for ferrets when you do bathe your ferret. (Marshall Tea Tree Shampoo for Ferrets has spearmint to reduce odor.) Avoid washing the head and eyes, and focus on the abdomen and tail area. Using a massaging brush made for small animals, such as the Glandex Furbliss Short Hair Dog, Cat & Small Animal Brush, is an easy way to pamper your fur baby.
Clean your ferret’s ears once every two weeks, at least.
To clean a ferret’s ears, dampen a cotton ball or swab with a ferret ear cleaning solution recommended by your vet. (One to ask about is Bodhi Dog Aloe Vera Dog, Cat & Small Animal Ear Cleanser). With it, gently loosen debris from the outer ear. Be extra careful not to push it too far into the ear if you’re using a swab.
Check your ferret daily for any grooming needs.
It will make ferret care that much easier in the long run if you make this a habit. Simply look over your ferret when you handle and play with her.
Once every two weeks, clean your ferret’s teeth at least.
To prevent plaque build-up, especially in ferrets who have a kibble-based diet, it’s ideal to brush them more often.
If the debris is extra tough to get out, putting a couple of drops of the ferret ear cleaning solution directly into the ear and gently massaging will help loosen the wax.
Clip your ferret’s nails once a week.
If her nails grow fast, you may need to trim your ferret’s nails even more often. Here’s an easy way to get the job done, according to Kegel:
” Ferrets are very good on keeping up appearances themselves, being a lot like cats in that way,” Kegel says.
– Let her lick it off as you trim away.
Even the cleanest, healthiest ferrets have a slightly earthy, musky scent about them. It’s perfectly normal, and excessive bathing will make it worse.
Bath your ferret once every three months at most.
As far as bathing goes, it should be done infrequently
Ferrets are inquisitive, intelligent, amusing and, of course, adorable! As cute as these increasingly popular, petite-size pets are before you bring one home, you should be aware that ferret care is a bit specialized and requires specific ferret supplies.