Guinea pigs are a true delight to keep as pets.
They are tiny, adorable creatures that do the silliest of things that never fail to bring a smile to their owner’s face.
One of the main reasons why people love keeping guinea pigs is because they are low maintenance.
You don’t need to walk them daily, and they won’t shed all over your favorite couch.
However, you should know that guinea pigs do need to be groomed occasionally.
Although your guinea pig will handle most of the grooming itself, every few weeks, you should lend in a helping hand to keep them looking clean, healthy, and happy!
How to Clean Your Guinea Pig
When it comes to cleaning their pets, most pet owners automatically think it’s time for a bath.
This shouldn’t be applied to your guinea pigs, as they aren’t too fond of water. Only bathe them when truly necessary!
Here is how you can keep your guinea pig clean on a day-to-day basis.
Cleaning Your Guinea Pig Day-to-Day
Since guinea pigs shouldn’t be bathed regularly, here are two ways to clean your pet if you notice it looking a little dirty:
- Buy some guinea pig dusting powder and sprinkle it across your pet’s fur. Let it soak in for a few minutes, then brush out your guinea pig’s coat using a grooming brush. This will clean your pet and make them super happy since guinea pigs love dusting powders!
- Use pet-friendly wipes to spot clean any areas that look particularly dirty. You can also use a damp washcloth to wipe dirt off the face and ears.
Bathing Your Guinea Pig
If your guinea pig has gotten absolutely filthy and you can’t clean it up using wipes, or through spot cleaning, it is time to give it a bath.
Here are the things you should collect before bathing your guinea pig;
- Guinea pig shampoo or baby shampoo
- A grooming brush
- A washcloth
- A big bowl of warm water
- A towel
- A hairdryer with a low setting
Now that you have everything ready, here are the steps to follow for bathing your guinea pig:
- Place a washcloth at the bottom of the sink to ensure that your guinea pig won’t end up slipping and hurting itself.
- Make sure your guinea pig is calm before placing it in the sink.
- Gently pour warm water on its back using a slow flow to ensure it doesn’t get scared or alarmed. The water shouldn’t touch its face or get inside the ears.
- Once your guinea pig is wet, work a small dollop of shampoo into its fur and lather it up.
- Massage gently across your pet’s body using a finger and avoid getting any shampoo on its face as it can sting.
- When your guinea pig has been thoroughly shampooed, rinse it twice or thrice using a gentle flow of warm water.
- Have a good look at its body to ensure no shampoo is still left on it. When all of the shampoo suds are washed off, you can take your guinea pig out of the sink.
- Wrap your pet in a warm towel with their head poking out and rub their body gently.
- Once most of the water has been absorbed by the towel, you can use a hairdryer on the gentle setting to dry off your pet.
- Keep your guinea pig in a warm, cozy place for the next few hours to make sure they don’t get sick or feel cold after the bath.
Brushing Your Guinea Pig’s Coat
Brushing your guinea pig’s coat is especially important if you have a longhaired breed.
It prevents the formation of painful matting, stimulates the skin, makes the coat shiny, and even redistributes oil.
When you’re brushing your guinea pig’s coat, use a soft-bristled brush or a grooming glove.
You can try both out and see what your pet prefers. The more comfortable your guinea pig is during the grooming process, the easier it will be for you.
Brush your pet in gentle, slow movements to avoid hurting its delicate body.
Also, be sure to feel around the body when brushing so you can notice any lumps or abnormal developments.
Contact your vet ASAP if you notice something different with your pet.
Shorthaired breeds only need to be brushed twice a week, whereas longhaired breeds should be brushed daily.
Treat brushing as a form of petting and ensure that your pet enjoys it so it can be a great bonding experience.
Trimming Guinea Pig’s Nails
How often have you been on the receiving end of your guinea pig’s nail prick? Nearly all guinea pig owners can relate to how painful it can be!
Your guinea pig’s nails grow constantly and therefore can easily become overgrown.
This isn’t just painful for you if you get pricked, but it also makes it difficult for your guinea pig to walk about. They could be in pain too.
That is why it is important to trim your guinea pig’s nails at least once every two months.
You can either learn to do it yourself or hire a professional groomer if your pet is fussy about nail trimming.
If you’re trimming your pet’s nails yourself, start by holding them still.
You can bring in a helper to do this, but make sure it is a person with who your pet feels comfortable.
Use grooming scissors to cut the nails one by one, giving your guinea pig some time to relax after each nail. Don’t use paper scissors or nail cutters, as they can damage your pet’s nails.
Also, be careful not to cut into the quick.
This is the blood vessel in your guinea pig’s nail, and you can see it quite well if your guinea pig has light-colored nails.
For darker colored nails, use a flashlight to identify the quick and cut just above it.
You can end the nail trimming with a little bit of filing to smoothen the tip of the nail.
But remember, you are trimming your guinea pig’s nails, and they certainly don’t need a manicure! Just a slight trimming is enough.
P.S. If you do end up cutting into the quick, you will probably notice your guinea pig’s nails bleeding.
Don’t freak out! Just apply a pinch of septic powder or corn starch to minimize the bleeding and show your guinea pig lots of love.
Cleaning Your Guinea Pig’s Ears
You’re probably wondering why you would need to clean a guinea pig’s ears, right?
Well, ears are actually one of the most ignored areas when it comes to pet owners grooming their guinea pigs.
This can lead to ear wax build-up and even cause your pet to get painful ear mites.
Therefore, it is important to include ear cleaning in the weekly grooming routine for your guinea pig.
Be sure to clean the outer folds of your pet’s ears every 2 weeks.
You can add a drop of mineral oil to each ear, spread it out, and wait for a few minutes before cleaning it off.
It softens the wax so you can then remove it without applying any pressure.
Use a soft, clean cloth when cleaning out your guinea pig’s ears. Also, remember to clean the outer ear only.
You shouldn’t insert anything into the ear. If you suspect that your guinea pig needs a more thorough clean, hire a professional groomer to do it!
Keeping Your Guinea Pig’s Cage Clean
You have done a great job of bathing and brushing your guinea pig.
But if you’re placing it back into a dirty cage, your pet will hardly stay clean for long.
Here are some tips to keep your guinea pig’s cage clean:
- Replace the bedding every day.
- Disinfect the cage at least once a week.
- Clean the food and water bowls before each meal.
- Spot clean the cage to remove soiled bedding.
Wrapping It Up
Your guinea pig’s cleanliness and hygiene will help it live a better, happier, and healthier life with you.
While you are ensuring proper care for his coat, nails, and ears, be sure to keep an eye on two more areas of its body – the teeth and butt.
Your guinea pig’s teeth don’t need to be brushed daily, and their butt doesn’t require regular cleaning either.
However, it is important to inspect these two areas at least weekly.
This is because guinea pig teeth grow continuously throughout their lives. So, you will need to monitor any overgrowth, misalignment, or breaks.
If something doesn’t look right, it is best to consult your vet to ensure your pet isn’t in any pain.
Moreover, your guinea pig’s butt can alert you about several health problems.
If you notice any strange discharge, runny poop that gets stuck on the hair, impacted feces, etc., reach out to your vet ASAP.
The sooner any health issues are diagnosed and treated, the higher chances your precious little guinea pig has of making a full recovery.
All the best in keeping your pet clean and happy!
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