How To Manage Ferret Odors

Written by Pam Hawley in Pets
Viewed by 43 readers since 06-14-2009

When it comes to odors, ferrets have a bad reputation. Almost every ferret owner has had the experience of talking about their weasel-like companion to family and friends and getting the question “but don’t ferrets stink?”

The truth of the matter is that these lively, inquisitive pets do have a natural “ferret odor.” It is sort of a musky smell. It isn’t necessarily a bad odor if the ferret is clean, but it is unique. On top of that, any caged pet’s environment can give off unpleasant odors if not properly cleaned.

In spite of the fact that they do have a natural odor, a ferret who is well cared for and tended to will not smell bad, nor cause his cage or the house he lives in to have unpleasant odors. By following a few guidelines in your ferret care regimen, you can keep your furry friend smelling fine and be able to fully enjoy his curious, fun-loving nature.

To avoid ferret odor, bathe your pet regularly. Bathe your ferret no more than weekly and no less than monthly. Use a shampoo designed for ferrets. Otherwise, your pet’s skin may become dry and irritated. It is also a good idea to trim your pet’s claws regularly and to bathe your ferret shortly after a trimming. That way, if he tries to use your hands and arms as ladders to scramble out of the water, you won’t be scratched by sharp, untended claws!

Even if you keep your pet squeaky clean, you’ll be dealing with ferret odor if you don’t also maintain his surroundings. Changing the litter box regularly is critical if you want to avoid your home being taken over by ferret odor. Wash the litter box weekly, and scoop it out daily. You can also buy ferret-safe deodorizing sprays for your pet’s litter box.

Remove hammocks, blankets and other cloth accessories and wipe down the cage weekly. Make sure you thoroughly rinse the cage and let it dry before putting your ferret back in his home so that he’s not exposed to the cleaner. Also wash your pet’s hammocks and blankets weekly, as ferret odor can get trapped in his bedding. Use a gentle detergent. As with shampoos not made for ferrets, harsher detergents can irritate your ferret’s skin. Make sure his bedding is completely dry before returning it to his cage.

Feeding your pet a high quality food can also help minimize ferret odor. Always buy ferret food. It is not a good idea to make cat food a staple of your ferret’s diet.

In addition to keeping your companion and his home clean, you may want to explore a few items designed to minimize ferret odor. There are deodorizing sprays designed to minimize your ferret’s odor and condition his skin and fur. There are also ferret safe waste deodorizers that can be added to your pet’s water.

Following these guidelines will help keep your ferret and your home smelling fresh and making sure your loveable, lively friend stays healthy and happy.


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