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How To Bathe Your Guinea Pig – 7 Precise Steps For A Safe Wash

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Learning how to bathe your guinea pig can be fun, as long as you are prepared. It is important you take proper care when handling and bathing your guinea pig to avoid any unnecessary injury.  

We’ve compiled a short article giving you all the basic information on how to correctly wash your guinea pig so they can stay happier and healthier for longer!

Question 1: Can you bathe a guinea pig?

Yes. There are rumors across the internet that it may be dangerous, but that is not the case when you know how to bathe a guinea pig.

Question 2: Do you need to bathe your guinea pig? 

No, unless they already have ringworm, mites, or other funguses and parasites. It can also be a good suggestion if your guinea pig is smelling more than usual, or older and struggling more to keep itself clean.  

Question 3: Is it dangerous or unhealthy for them to be bathed? 

No, not when done properly, but they can become sick when cold for too long. When done properly, and regularly (around every 3 months, or at most once a month), as it can help lower their risk of picking up a fungus or parasite. 

Table of Contents

How To Bathe Your Guinea Pig In 6 Steps

Ayana’s guinea pig, Brownie, post-bath.

 Learning how to give a guinea pig a bath is always about preparation and putting safety first. 

Things You Will Need:  

  • Anti-dandruff shampoo (less or no scent) 
  • Towels  
  • Clothes that you do not mind getting wet 
  • Conditioner (optional, unless they have long hair) 
  • A small, soft brush (optional, unless they have long hair) 
  • Small, sink size bin (optional) 
  • Hairdryer with cool option (optional) 
  • Treats (optional) 

Step 1: Prepare the Sink 

You will want to prepare the bathing area before you bring the guinea pig in to be bathed, as they will become stressed and attempt to escape. It is suggested to place a bucket in your sink first, to help their feet be better supported. Place the shampoo and conditioner, if using, in reach from the sink.  

Prepare about two inches of room temperature to slightly warmer water.  If the water is not hot to the touch and you can keep your hand in, you have reached the temperature.

Step 2: Bring the Guinea Pig in

Using your dominant hand, hold the guinea pig from below, either in a sling-type hold or under their front legs in the water. Make sure their head stays well above the water. Use your other hand to dampen the fur. It is safe to get water in their ears but avoid their eyes, nose, and mouth. 

Step 3: Dump the Water

Dump the water and place them either back in the sink or onto the counter. Lather about 2 teaspoons of shampoo in your hands, before massaging it into their fur. It will need to soak for at least two minutes, with a maximum of five minutes.

This would be a good time to use treats to distract them. If the guinea pig is on the counter, you can begin filling the sink or bin again with water.  

Step 4: Rinse the Shampoo Out of Their Fur

Place the guinea pig back into the sink, supporting them as you did before to make sure their face does not get wet and using the other hand to splash it onto their fur. It may take more than one attempt to fully get the shampoo out, so you will have to support them while you replace the water, as the noise of the tap will scare them more.

Step 5: Conditioning the Fur (Optional for Short Hair)

Using the conditioner instead of shampoo, begin massaging it into their fur, making sure to avoid their mouth and eyes. After 2 minutes you can begin rinsing their fur as you did in the step above.

Step 6: Drying Your Guinea Pig

If you are planning on bathing multiple guinea pigs at a time, you can place them in a bathtub with the towel while you bathe the other ones (following steps from above). Do not try to bathe them all in the sink at the same time though, as they would be harder to handle at one time, and will climb on each other.

If you are using a hairdryer you can begin drying their fur, sticking to the cool setting or alternating between the cool setting and the lowest heat temperature available. If you have a brush, run it through their fur during this step. 

Alternatively, use multiple towels until their fur is dry, and if they have longer fur, make sure to brush during this step. 

WARNING: Make sure to fully dry them, as any leftover dampness can cause them to become cold, increasing their risks of getting sick. 

EXTRA: Clean Your Guinea Pig’s Ears

Post-bathing can also be a good time to clean their ears to remove the dead skin cells. To do so, you will need a cotton swab and olive oil, and just rub it around the inside of their ear.  

Learning how to bathe your guinea pig correctly is important for safety and hygiene. To sum up, it is safe and good for your guinea pig to be bathed occasionally, as long as it is done properly. 

 

 
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