Ferret Odor

Some people are more sensitive to the musky smell of ferrets than others. If the smell of a ferret bothers you, then this is not the right pet for you. It will not get better.

Nearly all ferrets available in the US have already been de-scented, so the main musk gland has been removed. There are other musk glands that don’t give off as much musk, but the ferret will always have a musky smell to it.

Ways to keep the smell down:

  • Do not bathe the ferret more than every few months. Bathing too much makes the body give off more musky oil to protect the skin and fur.
  • When bathing, use a good quality shampoo that doesn’t dry out the skin and coat. It is preferable to use a shampoo that does not have alcohol, sulphate or soap in it.
  • Feed a good high protein food. A lower quality food can make the ferret smell worse.
  • Keep everything clean that the ferret sleeps in. The bedding absorbs musk oil from the ferret. Bedding should be washed at least every two weeks.
  • Add Bi-Odor or something like that to the water.
  • Don’t let animals or children scare or stress the ferret. Fear and stress can cause the glands to give off the musky oil.
  • Don’t let the ferret be near other pets like small animals, birds or reptiles. The instinct to hunt can cause the glands to give off the musky oil.
  • Scoop litter boxes twice a day. Completely empty, wash and refill them once a week.
  • Thoroughly clean any areas where there are accidents and spray with a deodorizer that breaks down germs that cause odors.