Things You'll Need
Cold air humidifier
Emollient skin spray
Fatty acid supplements
Like cats, ferrets clean themselves constantly and don’t need to be bathed on a regular basis. They have natural oils in their skin and fur that help maintain a smooth, healthy coat. If a ferret is lacking moisture and oils, it is likely to develop dry, flaky skin. This condition that can be extremely uncomfortable for your pet. The two most common causes of dry skin are poor diet and over bathing. If your ferret has dry skin, you should consider the possible causes and take steps to improve your pet’s condition.
Inspect the ferret’s environment for possible causes of dry skin. If the ferret’s environment is particularly dry (a common problem in the winter months) place a cold air humidifier in the animal’s room. This will help maintain healthy humidity levels so your ferret will be less likely to have dry skin.
Use an emollient skin spray to add moisture to the ferret’s skin and fur. These are especially useful when the air is quite dry. Make sure that the product you are using is safe to use on ferrets and never use products intended for human use unless directed by your ferret’s vet.
Assess your pet’s diet to make sure it’s getting all the necessary nutrients for healthy skin. According to Veterinarypartner.com, the ideal ferret diet consists of high quality animal protein and fat. Too much carbohydrate, too little protein, or insufficient intake of fat can contribute to poor skin health and loss of natural oils. If your ferret’s diet is too low in fat, consider feeding it fatty acid supplements.
Bathe your ferret with a mild ferret or cat shampoo only when absolutely necessary. Ferrets clean themselves and you only need to bathe them if they are unable to do so efficiently. Never use human shampoos (particularly dandruff shampoos) on a ferret.
Monitor your pet’s condition closely and see if any changes occur. Consult your vet if the condition becomes severe and the animal exhibits other symptoms or unusual behaviors.
Don’t worry if you notice your ferret scratching himself. In most cases, this is perfectly normal, especially when the ferret is shedding.
Consult your vet about the use of fatty acid supplements. These often contain high levels of vitamin A, and too much vitamin A can be toxic for a ferret. Never exceed 500 IU of Vitamin A in a day.
Charlie Higgins is journalist, editor and translator based in Buenos Aires, Argentina. He has written for a variety of lifestyle and niche market websites, including International Food Trader, The Olive Oil Times, microDINERO, Sounds and Colours, Connecting Worlds and The Buenos Aires Reader.