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Ferret Bathing



Ferret Bathing

By:

Judith A. Bell, DVM, PhD

There may be times when it is necessary to give your ferret a bath. Prior to the bath, place a small dab of Vaseline around the eyes and at the entrance to the ears. This will prevent water and soap from entering. Then, fill a basin or sink half full of warm water, wet the ferret, which may alarm it, put a generous stream of shampoo down its back, and lather the whole body.

Ferrets that are frightened by being wet the first time may bite - get a good firm hold on the scruff of the neck before proceeding. Be sure to rinse thoroughly, or the residual shampoo may cause itchy skin. It is easiest just to hold the ferret under the warm running water, or have an assistant use a hand sprayer. After rinsing, wrap the ferret in a towel to remove the excess water. Ferrets dry very quickly. Unless the ferret is very young or old or is sick, there is no need to put it in an extra warm place to dry. Most ferrets like to run around after their bath and dry themselves on rugs and furniture. One of the many enchanting things about a ferret is that after emerging ruffled and disheveled from a damp towel, it can give one quick shake of its body, and like magic, every hair springs back into place.


When giving a flea bath, thoroughly treat the head and face, or the fleas that escape the body will congregate there. A flea dip must also be applied to the face and ears, preferably using a sponge to control the amount of liquid flowing over the face. Be careful not to have the dip enter the eyes or ears. Any dip that is safe for a cat is safe for a ferret when mixed according to the directions on the container. Flea dips labeled for dogs only are not safe for cats and may not be safe for ferrets.

The dip should be the final rinse: it should not be followed by a rinse of clear water or most of the residual action will be lost. There are many products that will control fleas on ferrets, but a dip will quickly and safely remove all adult fleas from a heavily infested ferret, and can be used as the first step of any flea control program.

This article was adapted from the "The Pet Ferret Owner's Manual" for PetEducation.com and is used with permission from Judith Bell, DVM, PhD.

Planet Pets is not responsible for content or opinions of contributing writers .

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