Pet Ferret Grooming Guide

Ferrets need very little grooming. Since they do not shed all year long, you do not have to brush them to remove shedding hair.

However, ferrets do shed their fur twice a year: once in the spring and once in the fall, when they shed much of their fur during about a three-week period. The old fur is replaced by new shorter fur which will eventually grow out. They can make a mess on your furniture during this “molting” period. Ferret hair gets all over the place. A remedy for this is to pick up the ferret over a garbage can or take him outside during this period and pluck him like a chicken. The old hairs come out easily in clumps. That way you can remove much of the old hair before it gets on your sofa. The ferret doesn’t mind too much except when you pull on some new hair which does not come out so easily.  Don’t pull too hard and don’t pluck your ferret so there is no hair. Just remove the loose ones.

Ferrets need their nails clipped every three to five weeks. Ferret nails are not retractable like a cat. Furthermore, as a ferret’s nails get long, they can split or crack and get caught in carpeting or blankets. This could make for a very painful experience for your ferret. Pick up some nail clippers for a small animal at your pet store. Ferrets do not sit still for nail clipping so you will need to distract him while you cut his nails. Put some ferretone or similar treat in front of him. A liquid which he cannot scamper off with is preferable. While he is eating and licking, cut each nail, paying most attention to the front nails. Carefully examine each nail before you cut. You can see a small vein in each nail. Make sure you cut below the vein in the nail and not the vein. Otherwise your ferret will experience pain and may bleed for a while. But if you do cut the nail too close, it is not the end of the world. Your ferret will be fine in a few minutes.

Ferret ears should also be cleaned a few times a year. Use a soft cotton swab soaked in hydrogen peroxide diluted with water and gently wipe the inside of your ferrets ears. There is a slot inside the ear near the bottom of the lob which accumulates a lot of dirt and grease. Make sure you hit this spot. Slide the swab in the slot, and gently turn the swab a few time. You may notice dark brown/red or blackish and yellow stuff stuck to the swab. Continue using new swabs until the ear is clean. Never try to put anything inside of the ear canal. Ferrets hate to have their ears cleaned no matter how much you bribe them. You will have to hold your ferret securely. You will probably need to scruff your ferret, which is the grabbing and holding of the loose skin behind the ferrets head around his neck. When this area is securely held, either by you or another ferret, your ferret will submit and become lame. It may even yawn as a sign of its submission. This is an instict left over from when the mother ferret would grab and hold her babies.

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