Do you know how to bath a guinea pig? Are you doing it the best way? This article will provide you with step-by-step details on bathing guinea pigs with ease and minimal stress.
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You might have read some interesting facts about guinea pigs in my last post but how much do you know about bathing guinea pigs?
Guinea pigs are generally clean animals as they groom themselves. However, sometimes they may become muddy from being outdoors or their fur may become less shiny or they may need bathing for medical reasons. If they need to be washed, it is recommended to bath your guinea pig only once every 6 months to avoid damage to their skin and fur.
The most important thing to remember is to plan ahead. Get everything you will need ready beforehand to speed up the process and reduce stress for your piggy.
Here is a list of everything you will need to bath your guinea pig:
- Washing-up bowl
- Lots of towels
- Shampoo – I like to use Johnsons Small Animal Shampoo as it is easy to use and smells lovely
- Jug to hold shampoo/water mix
- Veg to keep them happy
- Warm indoor run
- Hairdryer (optional)
Make sure you have everything ready and in the right place for the entire process.
You will need the bowl, jug, shampoo and some towels for drying in the area you’ll bathe your guinea pigs. I choose to use the bathtub so they can’t escape or fall and hurt themselves. It’s a good idea to place a towel on the bottom so they don’t slip.
The hairdryer and more towels should be placed in the indoor run to dry the guinea pigs and keep them warm afterwards.
Put an inch or two of lukewarm water in your washing-up bowl. Too hot and it will burn them, too cold and they will get chills.
Make sure the water level is okay for your guinea pig. They should be able to stand on the bottom easily without their face in the water as they may drown.
Get your shampoo ready to use. Johnsons Small Animal Shampoo needs to be mixed with water before use which is in my jug.
Transport your guinea pigs to your chosen bathing area. Here are my three piggies huddled together waiting for bathtime.
Carefully place your guinea pig in the water. They may wriggle a lot so be sure you have control of them. All three of mine like to stand with their front feet on my hand.
Gently scoop water over their body until they are wet enough to shampoo. Take care with the water around their face and ears.
Be aware that guinea pigs shake like dogs when they are wet!
Apply your shampoo to the body of your guinea pig. Lather it up until you’ve washed all of their body and legs including their stomach.
Take extra care when washing your guinea pig’s head and face. Avoid getting water and shampoo in their ears, eyes, nose and mouth. It can be useful to use a cotton bud to wash their faces as it gives you more control with the water.
Now you need to scoop water over your guinea pig to rinse off all the shampoo.
Again, take care around the face and ears. You could use a damp cloth to remove the shampoo from these areas if you find it difficult.
Make sure to rinse off all of the shampoo before removing your guinea pig from the bath.
Remove your guinea pig from the washing-up bowl and use a towel to remove as much excess water as you can.
Remember, guinea pigs like to shake so this will help to remove some of the water.
It’s handy to wrap your guinea pig in a second dry towel to keep them warm while they wait to be taken to their indoor run.
Rinse and repeat! It’s time for your other piggies to have their turns in the bath.
It’s time to transport your guinea pigs to their indoor run. Make sure that it’s in a room where it is warm and free from drafts. They will have to stay here until they are fully dry.
Once in the indoor run, use another dry towel to rub your guinea pig dry again as they will still be very wet.
It’s a good idea to use a hairdryer on its coolest and lowest setting to dry your guinea pig. However, many guinea pigs will be afraid of the hairdryer so it may be too difficult to hold them still.
Leave them to play in their indoor run until fully dry especially if they are housed outdoors.
You should now have clean piggies! I hope this guide has given you in-depth details on how to bath a guinea pig. If you’re interested in purchasing the shampoo I use, you can find it here.