What you need to know

Tips to Reduce a Ferret's Odor

Josie F. Turner
By Josie F. Turner, Journalist specialized in Animal Welfare. Updated: November 29, 2016
Tips to Reduce a Ferret's Odor

If you have decided to adopt a ferret as a pet you might be asking yourself if this is really the right animal for you. How to deal with a ferret's bad smell always seems to be one of the most frequently asked questions about these pets and their care.

Inform yourself properly with this AnimalWised article to know all about how to reduce a ferret's odor and what you can do to prevent it and feel more comfortable with it.

  1. Neutering a ferret
  2. Anal gland blockages
  3. How to prevent a ferret's odor
  4. Want to know more about ferrets?

Neutering a ferret

Most ferrets that live in shelters and are available and ready to be adopted are neutered. Is it just to prevent reproduction? Have you ever wondered whether it has to do with the bad smell?

A male ferret begins to develop glands at one year old to attract individuals of the opposite sex or to mark territory and scare away those of the same sex. Neutering a male can prevent:

  • Bad smell
  • Territoriality
  • Tumors

Neutering a female ferret also has certain advantages as they undergo hormonal changes to attract a male, also involving the use of their glands. Neutering a female can prevent:

  • Bad smell
  • Hormonal problems
  • Hyperestrogenism
  • Anaemia
  • Alopecia
  • Reproduction
  • Tumors
Tips to Reduce a Ferret's Odor - Neutering a ferret

Anal gland blockages

Ferrets have two perianal glands; they are located inside the anus, and they are connected by two small channels.

We know that a neutered ferret is no longer sexually aroused and will no longer be in heat, therefore it won't regularly give off an odor. However, it may still do so if it is scared, excited or distressed.

The removal of perianal glands must always be carried out by a professional experienced in this procedure. However, your little pet may suffer from incontinence, prolapse or other diseases caused by the operation. It is optional, and it must be the owner who decides.

As the owner of the ferret you should ask yourself if you want to go ahead with this operation or not. You should weigh up whether the problems caused by surgery outweigh the bad odor that is produced every now and again, but you should know that you will never 100% eliminate the bad smell. AnimalWised doesn't recommend the removal of perianal glands in ferrets.

Perianal glands are not the only glands that ferrets have; they have others throughout their body that can also produce a bad smell. The uses of these are diverse, and they allow them to defecate and protect them against predators, among other functions.

Tips to Reduce a Ferret's Odor - Anal gland blockages

How to prevent a ferret's odor

The best option is certainly not to remove the perianal glands, therefore, at AnimalWised we will offer some helpful tips to prevent your ferret's odor.

  • Clean its cage daily or every other day - including the bars - with wet wipes, for example. Use a neutral disinfectant wipe that does not harm the skin or contaminate food.
  • Take the time to clean the area of the cage or the living space where your ferret performs its needs. By doing so you can avoid diseases, infections, etc.
  • As with other pets, clean the ferret's ears, removing wax weekly or fortnightly. This process reduces the risk of infection and also reduces odor.
  • Bathe your ferret once a month at most, as there is grease found on its skin that protects it from the elements. In addition, just like with dogs, bathing in excess actually produces odor.
  • Finally, it is important to give your ferret quiet time during the day and try to avoid scaring, exciting or startling it. This way, you can reduce the chances of a bad smell being emitted.
Tips to Reduce a Ferret's Odor - How to prevent a ferret's odor

Want to know more about ferrets?

If you want to read similar articles to Tips to Reduce a Ferret's Odor, we recommend you visit our What you need to know category.

Write a comment
Add an image
Click to attach a photo related to your comment
What did you think of this article?
1 of 4
Tips to Reduce a Ferret's Odor