Can you bathe a ferret with dish soap?

  • By: belly
  • Date: September 15, 2022
  • Time to read: 4 min.
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Although ferrets keep themselves clean there can be times when they need some help to deal with dirt, mud, fleas and overall smelliness.

Ferrets do not normally need to be bathed often but, when they do you may wonder just what do you use to bathe a ferret?

You must never use dish soap or any similar type of detergent to bathe your ferret. These types of soaps are too severe for a ferret’s skin and could cause dryness and other problems. Always use proper shampoos that are suitable for ferrets and other small animals.

What can I bathe my ferret with?

There are a couple of different types of shampoos that can be used to bathe your ferret with.

They come in powder, liquid and shampoo bars. The powder form is the most economical choice for bathing ferrets.

Using shampoo bars may take some getting used to if you have never used them before but they should not be any more difficult than regular bar soap.

You only need a small amount as they tend to lather very well.

Most quality pet stores will carry suitable shampoos for ferrets and other animals like cats, rabbits etc…or look on line at Amazon where you’ll find suitable ferret shampoo such as this product from PetPost.

can you bathe a ferret with dish soap
Not a good idea. Dish soap is for dishes, not ferrets.

Some things you’ll need for ferret bathtime

You will want to purchase a high quality ferret shampoo. If you can’t find this in your local pet store, there are several places online that sell these shampoos and other items for ferrets.

In addition to the shampoo, pick up some cotton balls or cotton swabs and some ear cleaner.

Bathtime ‘tools’

In order to bathe a ferret you will need a place for them to sit in the water.

You can use your tub, or fill up your sink with about two and half inches of warm water or even try a small paddling pool for added fun.

You will want to add some shampoo to this water so that the smell is not overwhelming when it comes time to rinse your ferret.

Make sure the water is not hot as you don’t want anything other than warm water.

Place a towel at the bottom of the sink or tub where your ferret will stand to keep them safe and comfortable while being bathed.

You may also want to add some rubber ducky or other items that are found in most children’s bathrooms as this will give your ferret something new to explore while in its’ “bath”.

How to bathe your ferret

Now it’s time for some fun! First get your ferret familiar with the bath area and what he/she can expect during their upcoming shampooing.

Place your ferret in the running water ensuring that it is not too hot or too cold for your fuzzy friend to handle comfortably.

Using a cup, begin pouring small amounts of water over their body while talking quietly to them soothingly.

Add some shampoo to the water and then pour another small amount of water over their body again being careful not to get any shampoo their eyes or ears and rinse thoroughly.

Using your cotton swabs or cotton balls, gently dab the shampoo from their body while still under the running water. Be sure to clean around the whiskers and snout of your ferret with these items as well.

After bathtime

With bath time finally over, use a towel (if needed) and dry off your now sweet smelling ferret friend.

You might also choose to do a full grooming session for them giving them another reason to love being bathed.

**Note: If your ferret is especially frightened of being bathed, try bathing just the front half of its body to start with.

As you and your ferret become more familiar with your bath time process, feel free to expand on what you do giving him/her an enjoyable experience each time they get a new bath.

Final Words

Bathing ferrets may take some getting used to at first but if done properly can be a very rewarding bonding experience for both you and your fuzzy friend.

If at any point during the bathing process or after bathing your ferret he/she begins acting in an aggressive manner or seems as though something hurts them let go immediately.

It’s better to have a wet ferret that is happy than a wet ferret that needs to see a veterinarian.

Remember to have fun and enjoy your time with your friend.