You may be wondering how to bathe guinea pigs. Don’t worry, we are going to share the detailed procedure to give a bath to a guinea pig in this article. All seven steps are very simple. But, wait! Here’s another question:
Should you bathe them?
Yes, but rarely because most guinea pigs don’t like water. Trying to wash them may frighten them, and their reaction may lead to an injury. You wouldn’t want that to happen, right?
Guinea pigs have susceptible skin, more delicate than a human baby. Constant bathing may fail to maintain the natural oils from the skin.
Just bathe your guinea pig when it gets filthy or has health issues. Okay?
This article will help you know your guinea pigs’ proper bathing and learn more about them.
Keep on scrolling!
Bathing Your Guinea Pigs
Guinea pigs clean themselves, so you may not wash them often. However, when you need to bathe them, here’s what you’ll need:
- Blow dryer with a gentle or low setting
- Shampoo for guinea pigs
Here are the steps on how to bathe guinea pigs:
Step #1. Calm your guinea
If you put it in a container of water, your guinea pig would likely become nervous or scared.
Here’s what you should do:
Keep it close to you in order to comfort your precious pet, speak to it in a calming voice, and softly stroke its hair.
You may also give your guinea pig a treat to distract it, such as a lettuce leaf.
In case you have a lot of guinea pigs at home, and they don’t want to get a bath, try to wash one pet at a time.
Remember, they do not harm or aggravate each other.
Besides, you will be forced to pay a single guinea pig more attention than two at a time.
Step #2. Wipe your guinea pigs soiled fur with a damp cloth
Try scraping surface soil with a wet cloth before giving cavies a complete wash.
In a warm bath, dip a clean cloth and pull it out.
Brush over the soiled patch of fur with the cloth.
You won’t need to wash a guinea pig in water if the fur looks clean.
Step #3. Pour 2 inches of water into the container
To prevent your cavy from slipping in the container, lay a small cloth at the bathing container’s bottom.
Then spill enough hot water to go 2 inches (5.1 cm) up the sides of the container.
Please stop using hot water that can dry or irritate the delicate skin of the guinea pig.
Guinea pigs often hate cold water because their body temperature would be reduced.
Step #4. Put your guinea pig into the water
Put your pet down gently into the water hindquarters-first.
Offer it time to adapt to the water’s temperature and feeling until the guinea pig is in the water.
When your guinea pig is in the container, don’t walk away.
Hang near so your guinea pig can be reassured.
Reward it if the guinea pig looks upset in the shower, which creates a pleasant relationship with bath time.
Step #5. Wet your guinea pig using warm water
To scoop warm water, use a tiny cup or your hands and dump it over the cavy’s body until its fur is damp.
Make sure not to spill water into its face or ears.
Cup your hand behind its face. Why you should do that?
In order to keep water from flowing onto the face of the guinea pig.
You can divert the water to prevent it from touching your pet’s eyes or mouth to prevent eye infection in the guinea pig.
Consider putting a folded towel underneath the container, so it’s at a 15- to a 30-degree angle to help transfer water away from the guinea pig’s ears.
Step #6. Rub the piggy’s hair with a few drops of shampoo
Choose the shampoo for your guinea pig that is safe for them.
Avoid using human hair shampoo as they contain chemicals that can irritate the skin and eyes of your cavy.
Squirt a few drops of it into your hands.
Massage the shampoo onto the hair of the guinea pig softly.
Since your pet’s skin is fragile and you’re trying to keep it calm, be as patient as you can.
Stop shampooing near the ears and face. And make sure you don’t use human or dog shampoos on guinea pigs because they can irritate the cavy’s skin.
Step #7. Rinse the guinea pig with a warm liquid
Using your hands, pour enough hot water over the hair of the guinea pig.
Thoroughly rinse away the shampoo suds.
It’s essential to remove all shampoo traces so the residue doesn’t irritate the guinea pig’s skin.
Guinea pigs are susceptible to health issues needed to be bathed more constantly than once a month, like if they are suffering from lice.
Like what I did with my pet Ginger, I chose to give him an oral treatment to help inhibit mange, a very notably common and painful condition for guinea pigs.
Alternatives To Maintain Daily Hygiene Instead Of Bathing
- Apply an intermediate amount of cavy or rabbit dusting powder to your pet’s fur and then carefully brush it with a stiff brush.
- Look for a specially formulated dusting powder made for rabbits or guinea pigs.
- Use a stiff-bristle brush to brush out the powder.
- Spot clean its fur with warm, soapy water using a washcloth.
- For a dirty rear end, moisten a washcloth with hydrogen peroxide and sponge off the dirty areas with it.
Interesting Facts About Guinea Pigs
Guinea pigs or domestic guinea pigs other name is cavy.
A male guinea pig is often referred to as a boar, and a female is known as a sow. It’s a species of rodents belonging to the family Caviidae and the genus Cavia.
Despite its name guinea pig, they are not native to Guinea.
How guinea pigs got their name is still not clear.
It originated in the Andes, and it is not closely biologically related to pigs. The name ‘Guinea pigs’ is still surprisingly unclear.
Guinea pigs are crepuscular which means they are most active at dawn and dusk.
They are social animals so it is recommended to keep at least two guinea pigs as pets.
Keeping Guinea Pigs Clean And Healthy
Short-hair and long-hair guinea pigs have enormously different grooming needs.
Most short-haired cavies are excellent self-groomers. A short-haired guinea pig whose cage is properly cleaned shouldn’t ever need a bath, while long-haired pigs are another story!
I am a guinea pig owner. I own a Peruvian guinea pig, and its name is Ginger. He has these lovely tresses that can grow up to 20 inches long.
I groomed his hair every single day with a brush and bathed with shampoo, and every three to four months, I detangled his tresses to avoid messy snarls or mats around his butts.
Take note of this:
The gorgeous and fancy long hair or curly hair pigs with fur less than 3 inches long do not frequently need baths but should be brushed and groomed every few days.
Now you know how to bathe guinea pigs. The steps are very easy to execute but just don’t overdo it. Guinea pigs don’t like water.
Guinea pigs need to be washed and cleaned if they catch medical issues such as fungal infections.
Also, watch out for parasite infections; they can get rodent lice and mange mites.
Cat, dog and rodent fleas are some pests that can irritate your guinea pig, so be careful!
Lice, mite, and fungal infestations require a veterinary diagnosis.
If your pet has caught any of these pests, take action, go to your vet for medication. The doctor may give your guinea pig nominal, oral, or injected drug.
Always follow your veterinarian’s advice and keep an eye on your pets to catch any health problems early.
Thank you for reading and enjoy your time with your lovely guinea pig!
Delbert Curtis is a senior writer at Petcosset, a leading online resource for pet care information. With over 10 years of experience in the pet industry, Delbert is passionate about helping pet owners provide the best care possible. He has written extensively on pet health, nutrition, training, and behavior. Delbert is dedicated to staying up-to-date on the latest research and trends in the pet industry to provide the most accurate and helpful information to Petcosset’s readers. Delbert enjoys spending time with his pets and exploring the great outdoors when he’s not writing.