Your new ferret is just like any other pet. To keep her looking good (and what ferret doesn't want to look attractive) as well as healthy, she'll need some grooming. It's all part of being a good ferret parent.


Now here, ferret parents finally have a choice. For many years, if a ferret parent, such as yourself, wanted a handsome, healthy pet, we'd have to learn the ins and outs of grooming our own pets. There was no other option. No professional groomer was really interested in grooming a ferret.


Today though, ferrets are so popular as pets, that many professional groomers have reversed themselves on this decision. You may have to make a couple of telephone calls to find a groomer who accepts ferrets, but it is possible.


But, on the flip side of that.


Grooming a ferret is so easy, you just may decide not to take your beloved pet to a groomer. You, instead, may just groom her yourself. If you do decide to go this route, here are some quick and easy steps to follow. (Keep in mind though there is no shame in taking her to a groomer if you find you really don't want to do this!)


Let's start with the ears. This is one of the two hardest parts of taking care of a ferret, so let's get it out of the way early. Her ears.


You can clean her ears, but it's best if you enlist the aid of an unknowing . . . I mean perfectly willing . . . assistant. Firmly, yet gently, your assistant will take one of his hands, grasping the ferret around the shoulders and forelegs.


In his other hand, he'll be holding some type of small treat. He'll use this to distract your fuzzy pal while the actual ear-cleaning procedure is occurring.


If your assistant is having difficulty with this particular pose, if he feels more comfortable give him permission to perform a proper scruff hold.


The first thing you'll notice is that the ferret's ears are small. Plan on cleaning her ears with a cotton tip swab as well as ear-cleaning solutions made specifically for either ferrets or for kittens.


You'll dip the tip of the cotton swab into the solution. Then you'll squeeze off the excess. Carefully place the tip of the cotton into the outer ear area. Gently wipe this.


Be careful to follow the directions on the bottle regarding the number of drops you should be administering to your pet.


The next step is to clean the ear canal itself. The aim here is to get rid of any debris that's already loose. It's not like you're going on a "search and destroy" mission.


Don't go deep into the canal with the cleaning tool, but, instead, gently just swab the folds of the outer ear as well as the base of this organ. Be sure you've removed all the dirt from the ferret's little "pocket" at the back of her ear. She'll thank you for this.


And that's basically all there is to it. Your ferret will "shake out" any excess debris from his or her ears on their own. Just be sure that as part of your ear-cleaning standard you remove any dirt that has formed in the "pocket" area at the back of the ear.


The normal color for ear wax by the way is golden brown or reddish brown. If you discover that your ferret's ear wax resembles coffee grounds, then he probably has ear mites.


These are microscopic parasites that may not only spread to other ferrets, but can also infect your cat or dog before you can get them under control.


The mites cause your poor ferret to be very uncomfortable, to say the least and at its worst leads to even more serious health problems. Any ferret you bring home from anywhere -- even a private breeder, pet stores and shelters, can have ear mites.


While many times, the newest ferret into the home is the culprit of these creatures. When you bring your new ferret home, you should double check to make sure she is mite free. In addition to ear wax the color of coffee grounds, your ferret may have ear mites if she is scratching at her ears excessively.


You may also suspect this tiny creature is causing problems if she is shaking her head a lot or has more ear discharge than is normal.


If you notice any of these symptoms, schedule an appointment with your veterinarian.


Your vet has several options to help get rid of the parasites. First, he may prescribe ear drops for your fuzzy. Have more than one fuzzy? You guessed it, you'll have to treat all of them. And if you have a dog or a cat, your vet will most certainly have you treat these guys at the same time.


While you're doing this, you won't be happy. Not be a long shot. (And yes, I can tell you this from firsthand experience, thank you!)


And treating these creatures is hardly a one shot deal. You'll discover that you'll be treating this "outbreak" or potential outbreak for the better part of a week.


Don't even think about skimping on this either. If you don't do this properly and use the medicine completely, the ear-mite problem is destined to return. It's better to just do it right the first time and have all the pets in the household taken care of.