A guide for your pet guinea pig to be clean, healthy, and bathed as safely as possible.
Guinea pigs are animals which are one of the top favorite animals to have as a pet. This is probably because Guinea pigs, or Cavys as they are sometimes called, are extremely adorable. Plus, it tends to keep itself clean. This helps make hygiene and maintenance of guinea pigs much easier than other domestic pets.
Domestic guinea pigs tend to have their own cleaning process, much like cats do. If you have seen a guinea pig during their self-grooming process, it often stands on its hind legs and licks its own fur. This is anti-bacterial and helps the guinea pig maintain its own hygiene. Still, even with its own cleaning habits, domestic guinea pigs should be bathed at least twice a year. The maximum bathing times should be once a month, which is more than enough. Additionally, you can wash your little furry pet when you notice a lot of dirt accumulation.
The domestic guinea pigs are animals that are used to living in a dry climate. Most guinea pigs know how to swim for survival. These pets also tend to dislike water. This can make baths feel stressful for your pet. It is essential to bathe them only when necessary, and follow the important points we have provided.
Before starting the process, there are a few things to keep in mind.
1) Guinea Pigs can get stressed from the process, and often wriggle a lot. If you know calming tricks for your pet to feel a little less anxious, use them to make sure the guinea pig is not as scared. Gentle petting, calming noises can help the guinea pig be less afraid.
2) Find a non-slippery surface, such a bath tub, which is low as well. Sinks are higher level surfaces, so it can be tricky and unsafe to wash your pet there. If the sink is the only option, do place a non-slippery towel or cloth on the sink.
3)Try and always be mindful of the fact that guinea pigs have very soft and sensitive skin. Be alert to the pressure you apply at all times during the bath. Make sure you are gentle and use slow-paced strokes, which will not hurt your pet’s skin.
4) Keep all the products with you so that you do not have to leave your pet alone in between. This will help in making the process easier, faster and safer.
5) Try to get one more person to help bathe your guinea pig, especially if it is the first time you are bathing your pet. This will help you keep an eye on the pet at all times.
With these things in mind, let us look at the few things you need to have to bathe your guinea pig.
Products and Materials Needed:
1) Two to three soft washcloths or soft towels
2) A small mug or cup
3) A wipe cloth to remove dirt before bath
4) Pet friendly shampoo
5) A soft brush
6) A bath mat (Optional)
7) Blow Dryer (Optional)
How to bathe your guinea pig?
1st step – Setting up
Get all the products you require and keep them ready in the bathroom. Use a bathtub, bucket or a sink. If you plan to bathe your guinea pig in the sink, make sure you have all the products accessible and ready by your side. Ideally, you should use a bucket or a bathtub, as sinks are slippery and at a height. Your guinea pig will most likely try to wriggle out, so be aware your pet at all times, especially while using a sink.
Place a washcloth or towel on the sink or the bucket. This helps make it less slippery and easier to manage your guinea pig. You can use a bath mat in the bathtub as well.
2nd Step – Preparing the Water for the Guinea Pig.
Pour approximately one to two inches of water for the guinea pig’s bath. Check the temperature of the water by dipping your fingers or your elbow into the water. The water should be neither too hot nor too cold. It should be lukewarm to normal temperature only.
3rd step – Prepping your Little Pet for Bath time.
Use a small wipe cloth to clean your pet’s fur. Doing this before the bath will reduce the dry dirt. At this point the guinea pig may show some anxiety. You can reduce your guinea pig’s anxiety by soothing, holding it close and stroking it gently.
4th step – Time to Bathe!
When your guinea pig is relatively calm, gently put your guinea pig into the water, and be alert of your pet’s behavior. Guinea pigs are usually not fond of water, and may wriggle a lot more. Allow the pet to settle in and get used to the water you prepared for its bath time.
5th step -Wash, Wash, Wash!
Once the guinea pig has settled in, gently pour some water on its back, using a small mug or cup. Light shivering or trembling of the pet is very normal, due to anxiety and sensitivity of your pet.
Do not pour water on the guinea pig’s face or ears. This will probably scare your pet, and the ears are very soft. However, you can clean the guinea pig’s glands. You can use a bit of coconut oil with water and very gently clean its glands. Be careful when you massage this area, as it is also very soft. Once You are able to feel it loosen, gently take off the greasy bits. Keep checking your pet’s behavior and calm your pet whenever required.
6th step – Shampooing the Fur.
Use a pet-friendly, guinea-pig shampoo to gently clean the fur of your guinea pig. You can use a soft brush to gently apply the shampoo evenly throughout its fur. However, using your fingers will be the best option to gently cleanse your pet. This will help you be aware of your fingertips’ pressure and pace, as the guinea pig’s skin is very sensitive. So always make sure you are being very gentle and evenly distributing the shampoo all over your pet’s fur. Do not shampoo the guinea pig’s face or ears, as these are very soft parts. Usually guinea pigs clean their own faces and ears.
In case you do not have any pet shampoo or guinea pig shampoo, you can use the following alternatives. You can simply rinse your guinea pig with water. Use a soft bristled brush and comb through the wet fur to remove any of the trapped dirt. Alternatively, you can also use baby shampoo. Make sure that it is fragrance free and not full of harsh chemicals. Dilute the shampoo with water and use it to gently cleanse the guinea pig’s fur.
7th Step – Rinse and Dry.
Using the small cup, gently rinse off the guinea pig’s fur. Additionally, you can take a damp wash cloth and very gently wipe the face and ears. The wash cloth should be very soft. You can leave this step as guinea pigs can clean their faces in their own grooming process.
Drying your guinea pig is very important. Use a soft dry cloth or towel to dry the fur. Wrap your little pet so that the towel absorbs the moisture and hold your pet in your arms. If the towel feels wet, take another dry towel to soak the moisture off its skin and fur. Your guinea pig might be trembling or shivering, however this is very normal.
Keep an eye and check if the pet continues to shiver later. If so, the guinea pig is probably not yet completely dry. In this case, you can also additionally use a blow-dryer. Keep it at the coolest temperature or the lowest speed setting and blow-dry the fur from a distance. Be alert of your guinea pig’s movements, try to hold your pet as still to avoid mishaps or wriggling.
8th Step – Untangle the Fur.
Once your guinea pig is completely dry, use a soft bristled brush to untangle the fur. Gently comb through the soft fur of your guinea pig. Be mindful of the pace and force with which you brush. Make sure it is gentle, soft and slow paced. If you find knots, try to gently brush them out, or use a wide toothed comb instead.
After the process is complete, check again if your guinea pig is completely dry. Once you are sure your pet is dry, hold and soothe your guinea pig. It was not easy for the pet (or you!) to go through the bath time process, so show your clean little pet some love!
Following these steps for your guinea pig’s bath time is essential for your pet’s health and hygienic maintenance. Keeping the guinea pig’s daily environment and cages clean is essential as well. Maintain these habits and Voila! Your guinea pig is a clean, healthy, and happy pet!