|One of the most frequent comments that ferret owners hear is "I'd never get a ferret; they smell really bad." The truth of the matter is this: if you have come in contact with a very smelly ferret, it is because their owner just didn't know how to
|control the odor. With the use of the right methods and supplies, a ferret smells no worse than a dog or a cat. Though ferrets do have a slight musk to them, it's very easy to keep under control with proper cleaning techniques and the use of a few choice odor control products.|
The best and easiest way to keep your ferret smelling sweet is to keep her cage clean. A ferret is only going to smell as good as her environment, and if her litter box hasn't been cleaned out in a week, both she and her cage are going to smell like feces and urine. Make sure you scoop the litter box daily and empty and clean the box thoroughly at least once a week. You can also use a product like Cage & Litter Deodorizers to absorb and eliminate noxious litter box smells.
Another cleaning necessity is wiping down the cage. We recommend that you use a product like Nature's Miracle Cage Scrubbing Wipes or Kaytee Clean Cage Spray. Both of these products will remove oils deposited on the bars and neutralize any odors. This should be done once a week.
The last thing you will need to do is wash all bedding, including hammocks, sleep sacks, and other items, at least once a week. This will go a long way towards keeping odors at bay. Not only will it eliminate any odors that have been building up on the bedding while your ferret sleeps and plays in them, but the clean bedding will give your ferret a fresh scent.
Grooming Products & Practices
There are a number of ferret grooming products and practices that you can utilize to keep your ferret's odor to a minimum.
The first thing that will help combat odors is keeping your ferret's ears clean. Ferret ear wax builds up quickly and has an unpleasant odor. You should clean your ferret's ears with an ear cleaning solution at least once every two weeks. Some ferrets will need more frequent cleanings. In addition to eliminating ear odors, this will also help protect your ferret against ear mites.
Another grooming practice that can be used to control odors is bathing. However, it is important to note that over-bathing your ferret will actually cause odors. Every time you bathe a ferret, you strip oils from her skin and coat. This is fine to do every once in a while, but if you do it too much, she starts to overproduce oils in an attempt to correct the imbalance. So what you end up with is a smellier, itchier ferret than when you started! Therefore, you should bathe your ferret no more than once a month.
When you do bathe your ferret, there is a large selection of ferret shampoos for you to choose from. You can also use a ferret conditioner if you are bathing your ferret during the dryer winter months or if she already has dry skin. Avoid using shampoos not made for ferrets, as they may not have a proper pH.
If you don't like to bathe your ferret or your ferret cannot be bathed, you can use a waterless shampoo or an instant shampoo instead. These safe, no-rinse shampoos control odors by gently loosening dirt and dissolving oils. They deodorize your ferret's skin and coat and eliminate the need for bathing.
There are a variety of ferret deodorizing sprays that you can use to control odors between baths as well. Many are also conditioning sprays that will help to give your ferret a softer coat, and they are all safe to use daily if you need to. They come in a range of different scents, from cucumber melon to baby powder. They are also helpful in freshening up your ferret's bedding between washes.
You can also add products to your ferret's drinking water that help control waste and body odors. Marshall GoodBye Odor for Ferrets is a very effective product. Made from completely natural ingredients, it eliminates odors from the inside to help you control odors in your ferret's cage.
As you can see, there are a wide variety of products and methods you can use to control your ferret's odors. With just a little effort, your ferret's odors will be no more noticeable than that of a dog or cat!