Bathing

You can make this shampoo yourself and bathe your pet as often as needed. This will help with dry, itchy skin and clogged pores on the tail.

Oatmeal shampoo to help with itching from dry skin or allergies
1 cup oatmeal
1/2 cup baking soda
1 quart warm water

In a food processor or coffee grinder, grind oatmeal until it’s a flour. Pour it into a bowl and stir in the baking soda. Add the warm water and stir until well mixed. When you’re ready to use it, get the pet wet. Lather up the pet with the oatmeal shampoo and allow it to sit for 5 minutes if possible. Rinse off and dry.

If you use a pet shampoo that has NO sulfate, alcohol or soap in it, you can bathe your ferret once a month, if it doesn’t stress the ferret out.

However, if the shampoo has sulfate, alcohol or soap in it, you should not bathe more than every three months. When you bathe the ferret with a shampoo that has these ingredients in it, the natural oils are stripped from the skin and fur. Then the musk glands under the skin produce more oil to make up for that. So, the more you bathe, the more musk oil the ferret gives off, which makes the ferret actually smell worse. It also causes dry skin and can affect the fur.

Do NOT use Dawn dishwashing liquid to bathe the ferret to get rid of fleas unless the ferret is covered in fleas. Dawn strips all the oil from the fur and skin and is very harsh. It can cause the fur to become coarse and cause the ferret’s skin to itch for a long time.

Most ferrets really don’t need to be bathed much. I have a friend who doesn’t bathe her ferrets at all and you cannot tell it. You can rinse them with water and without shampoo as much as they will tolerate it.

Use just a small amount of shampoo, like the size of a dime is enough. Use pet shampoo only.

Try hard not to get water in the ears or eyes. Hold your hand over the ears to wet the back of the head and rest of the body. Use a damp cloth to clean the face, so you don’t have to actually wet the face.

If you’re bathing in the sink or tub, have something in the bottom for the ferret to stand on to keep it from slipping, like a rubber mat or towel. If the ferret’s feet are slipping, it will get scared and is more likely to fight the bath.

Rinse the ferret well when done and dry with a towel. The ferret will try to get out of the towel very fast. Try to get the ferret as dry as you can before letting it go. Put a sheet and towels on the floor that the ferret can burrow under. This is its way of drying off.

Once the ferret is done running around and drying off, use a cotton pad or very soft absorbent cloth to carefully dry any water out of the ears that may have got in them.