Like cats, guinea pigs clean themselves. This means that you don’t need to take time out of your busy schedule to wash them.
It’s even better if you have more than one guinea pig. This way, they’ll groom each other as well as themselves.
Guinea pigs are generally clean creatures. So, there’s no real reason to bathe your small pet unless required to do so.
If you have to wash your pet for whatever reason, be cautious throughout the process.
Guinea pigs can get sick if you don’t bathe them correctly.
Your Guinea Pigs Don’t Need a Bath Often
If you still think that you should give them a bath, you should speak to your vet about how often to wash them.
Some say that you can bathe your pet every 3 to 4 months or once every month.
Bathing your guinea pig is not necessary. However, if needed, don’t bathe it more than once a month if you do plan to wash it.
Which Situations Warrant a Bath
Here are a few situations in which you should absolutely give your guinea pig a bath:
Tick and Flea Infestations
If your little pet is unfortunate enough to catch ticks or fleas you may need to give it a wash.
In most cases of such infestations, you will have to bathe it more than once over the course of a few weeks.
That is why it is best to prevent this from happening. Excessive washes make your pet more susceptible to illnesses and skin problems.
However, before you do anything, it’s best to visit your vet and have them diagnose the problem.
Your piggy can also have a case of fungal, lice, and mite infestations. In that case, your vet may prescribe medicated shampoos or oral medicine.
They’ll also tell you what steps you must take for the best recovery for your pet.
Do note that in some cases of mite infestations, giving it a bath can cause the parasites to get deeper into your pet’s hair.
This will cause it to have great skin irritation.
Thus, for the sake of your pet, it’s best to consult a vet before you take matters into your own hands.
In some cases, washing your guinea pig when ill can help prevent the infection from spreading.
However, most illnesses get worse through bathing.
Have your vet diagnose the problem and recommend a solution first.
Preparing Your Pet for a Show
If you’ve got your little piggy signed up for a show, you’ll want it looking its best. In this case, you can give your pet a bath so it looks clean and fresh.
You must, in any case, adhere to the same bathing precautions discussed throughout this article.
However, even then, don’t wash it more than once a month. You’ll increase the chances of it getting sick.
If you’re unsure about trimming its hair or nails yourself, have a professional do it.
It’s best to take as much care as possible when it comes to handling your pets.
Inspect Your Pets before You Wash Them
Guinea pigs are rather delicate animals.
That is why you have to take utmost care when handling them. Baths for guinea pigs can be very dangerous if you bathe them incorrectly.
It’s easy for them to get chills and ill if the weather is cold or if they’re used to going outdoors in cold weather.
Keep your guinea pig away from water if it has a respiratory illness.
Do the same if it shows any signs of illness like lethargy or irritability.
Guinea pigs are more susceptible to catching an illness when they’re wet or damp. If they already have a sickness, it can worsen by giving them a bath.
Inspect your pet beforehand for any rashes, redness, or swelling on its body.
Avoid giving it a wash if you notice any unusual marks on its skin. The shampoo and water can worsen its skin condition, agitating it through itchy patches.
Also read: Can You Bathe a Guinea Pig With Baby Shampoo?
What You Should Use to Wash Them
Take extreme caution with what materials you use and how you go about the entire bathing process. Guinea pigs have sensitive skin.
So, it’s important to use a good-quality shampoo that is made for them and similar animals.
Use a shallow pan or washing bowls with warm water to clean your pet.
The water depth should be as high as its belly level.
Don’t go over this limit because bath-times are stressful for guinea pigs as it is. Deeper water is likely to make it feel even more overwhelmed.
When washing your piggy, keep its eyes and ears dry and away from shampoo.
Stick to washing just its body to avoid causing it any irritation.
How Long the Bath Should Be
Try to keep your guinea pigs in the water for as little time as possible. Be careful, however, not to hurt them by hurrying through the process.
They’re delicate little creatures so be wary of that when handling them.
Apply the shampoo by rubbing it on its body, and wash it off right after. After your pet is completely rinsed, dry it off with a towel.
Focus all of your attention on keeping your pet warm at this point.
Stay at your pet’s side until it’s completely dry. Guinea pigs can get sick more easily when wet.
Keep Your Guinea Pigs Warm during and after Bathing
You have to keep the small creature warm throughout the process. Use warm water for bathing it and not hot or cold water.
You can cause skin burns or cause it to catch a cold with the wrong temperature. Don’t keep it in the water for long so as to avoid risking it from getting sick.
Be quick but gentle when washing it, and dry it with a towel soon after.
Your small pet needs to stay warm after the process. That’s why you should cuddle it to keep it warm with your body heat.
Show your pet some love after the wash.
Baths are generally a stressful process for them. It’s good if you give it care after the process. Let them relax with you after so that they can keep calm and happy.
You must also avoid letting it go outdoors soon after the bath.
Cool winds can cause it to catch respiratory diseases like pneumonia – which can be fatal for the little pet.
Groom Your Pet as an Alternative to Baths
Cleanliness is a common concern when it comes to pet health. However, you have to be careful not to overdo the cleaning.
It can do more harm than good for your pets. Guinea pigs are delicate little animals that can become ill easily if proper precaution is not taken.
Giving your guinea pig a wash is a risk.
You can avoid it by replacing that cleaning technique with another: grooming. Your short-haired little cavies need brushing less often than long-haired ones do.
Get yourself a high-quality grooming kit for your pet.
This will ensure that you can keep it comfortable while you groom it. Guinea pigs have sensitive skin so be gentle when brushing.
Also, be sure not to pull on any of its hairs – doing so can damage its skin and cause it pain.
Brush your short-haired piggy about once a week and your long-haired one every day.
Brushing—along with trimming—can prevent your long-haired pet from getting its hair tangled and matted.
Get rid of your piggy’s loose hairs. There is a greater chance of them ingesting those hairs and developing digestive issues due to hairballs.
In addition to this, brushing and trimming regularly help with keeping your pet’s odor to a minimum.
Keep Your Pet’s Surrounding Space Clean
You must clean the space you keep your little piggy in regularly.
Bathing your pet is a stressful situation for them. That is why it’s best that you bathe it only about twice a year— that too if need be.
Start with keeping the areas around it clean. This will help prevent it from picking up on the dirt around it.
This is difficult to manage when your guinea pig is allowed to go outdoors. Even then, try and avoid giving it a bath too often.
Stick to grooming it so that you can get rid of loose dirt and keep your pet healthy.
Last Few Words
You can trust your guinea pigs to be independent at cleaning themselves.
This means that if they’re kept in clean environments, they’ll rarely need a bath.
This is actually good for them. Guinea pigs are sensitive creatures and can catch an illness with ease.
Being wet or damp makes this worse.
Thus, it is incumbent upon you to clean the space they inhabit regularly. Even if you do that diligently, there are situations in which they’ll need a bath.
In those or other cases, be sure not to bathe more than once a month. A bath every 3 to 4 months or even twice a year is good enough.
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