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Cleaning Ferret Teeth

How do you brush a ferret’s teeth?

By Ailigh Vanderbush
Posted: March 1, 2011, 5 a.m. EST

Q: I have two ferrets; one is Rudyard (3 years old) and the other is Jack (1 year). I hate to admit it, but it wasn't until last summer that I started to even attempt cleaning my boys' teeth. I started this because I read that the older a ferret gets the more important it is to have their teeth cleaned up. I also read that twice a week is a pretty good average for teeth cleaning.

Anywho, it's really hard! First, they lick the "toothpaste," and then when I pry open their lips and attempt to scrub, they have a fit! Additionally, when I get too forceful and scrub at their teeth, their gums also bleed (admittedly, this has only happened once). But if I'm not forceful, how do I brush their teeth?

Rudyard really needs a cleaning, and I will probably end up getting them groomed by someone who knows how, but I would like to do it on my own at home.

A: Make sure you use a ferret-safe toothpaste (a pet toothpaste or baby toothpaste without fluoride). Both of these pastes are enzyme-based and don't require brushing to work. This makes it easier to start.

When I brush my ferrets’ teeth, I put a small amount of toothpaste on the brush and let them lick it a bit. Once they like the taste, they start to chew the toothbrush. I don't often "brush" as much as I move the brush around as the ferret is chewing the toothbrush.

See all Ferret FAQ questions and answers>>

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Reader Comments
I recently started brushing when I adopted a ferret from a woman who ran a shelter. She scraped off the plaque which was bad on my 4 year old (who was also adopted). Then I got the toothpaste and now brush all 3 fuzzies at least once a week. I scruff them when I do it, makes it quite easy.
Alicia, Pittsburgh, PA
Posted: 3/9/2011 3:07:44 PM
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