How Often Should you Bathe a Guinea Pig?


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Guinea pigs are known to indulge in self-grooming, meaning they like to clean themselves. So, you need not give a regular bath to your pet piggy. However, some ailments can make a bath for them essential. Else, you can bathe it when its long coat is soiled. Alternatively, a bath may be necessary when the pet is being shown for conformation.

Did you know that bathing can pose health-related issues for your rodent? As such, special care should be taken to make sure that it is not stressed or chilled. Using proper bath products for your piggy is also important.

You are possibly fond of snuggling and cuddling your guinea pig. However, you could be wondering how often should you bathe a guinea pig and the proper way to give it a bathe successfully. Read on to know more!

How often should you bathe a guinea pig?

Make sure to keep its bathing to a minimum. To be more specific, it is recommended to bathe your guinea pig just once a month. A majority of short-haired breeds need only 1-2 baths a year. Similar to cats, these piggies are great self-cleaners. So, you do not have to keep bathing them regularly.

Also, if baths are not given properly, they can pose a risk as your cavy is prone to dry skin and colds. These tiny creatures also find bathing stressful. Instead, try keeping their habitat clean.

Several guinea pig owners bathe their pets usually in the summer once a month and after every 2 months during the winter. The only exception is in case they require an anti-parasite bath. It is also possible that the vet has instructed you to bathe it more often.

How do you know when your guinea pig needs a bath?

Now that you know baths should not be regular, how do you know when your pet needs a bath? You may give it a gentle bath if its hair has become soiled and greasy or it is stinking.

Guinea pigs with long hair are particularly susceptible to getting waste and dirt stuck in the locks. It means the pet requires a bath urgently. However, in case your piggy has dirt on just a single spit say on its bum, you may simply use a clean towel to wipe it clean.

Make sure to bathe them if it is suffering from a parasite or fungal infection. Your pet can also catch mango mites and rodent lice. It can also suffer from rodents, dog, and cat fleas. While it is possible to spot fleas, most fungal infestations, mites, and lice require diagnosis by a vet.

In case your pet has been diagnosed with any of the above-mentioned pests, the vet will recommend or prescribe medicated shampoos. They may also instruct you on the bathing process and prescribe injected, oral, or topical medication to your piggy.

When should you not give a bath to your guinea pig?

You should not give a bath to your guinea pig at all on certain occasions. Guinea pigs under 6–month-old and pregnant ones should not be administered a bath at all. Also, refrain from giving the rodent a bath when it is suffering from respiratory infections or a cold.

Things required for bathing a guinea pig

You need the following items to bathe your guinea pig:

· A towel

· Shampoo-Should be a guinea pig shampoo or a baby shampoo

· A hairdryer

· A big bowl or a sink with 2-3 cm of warm water

· Guinea pig brush

How to bathe a guinea pig?-Smart tips

While giving a bath to the guinea pig, you need to remember that their skin is extremely sensitive. Washing can dry the skin and cause hot spots and painful itchiness. These little creatures are vulnerable to respiratory infections as mentioned above. As they have small bodies, such infections can easily cause pneumonia. As such, you have to be very cautious that they are warm during the wash.

Do not use hot water but mildly warm water for their bath. Also, towel dry them properly after it finishes the bath. It is safe to be in a warm room while administering the bath to your guinea pig. Keep it close to your body and you until it is entirely dry.

Washing the guinea pig

1. Make sure your guinea pig is calm before bathing it

Your piggy could be scared or anxious in case you abruptly put it in a container filled with water. Make sure it feels relaxed by holding it close to your body. Speak to it in a gentle voice while stroking its fur. You may also give the guinea pig a treat such as a slice of cucumber or a lettuce leaf to get it distracted.

· In case you are planning to bathe multiple guinea pigs, you should clean them one by one. This is to ensure that they do not aggravate or hurt one another. Also, you can pay more attention while bathing them individually.

· Put your guinea pig in a tiny box and carry it to the bathing room in case it is skittish.

2. Use a damp cloth to wipe its soiled fur

Even before giving a full bath to your piggy, first, remove the dirt on the surface using a damp cloth. A clean cloth should be dipped in warm water first before wringing it out. Wipe the dirt on its soiled portion of the fur. You do not need to give your guinea pig a full bath if the fur gets clean.

Do not use dust treatments, which are advertised for keeping guinea pigs clean. Guinea pigs do not use dust for cleaning themselves. These products can make them suffer from respiratory infections.

3. The container should be filled with 2 inches or 5.1 cm of water

The quantity of water you are pouring into the container is important to stop your piggy from slipping in. Place a tiny cloth in the container’s bottom and then pour warm water into it.

4. Place it gently into the water

After the piggy becomes calm, place its lower body in the warm, shallow water gradually. Its hindquarters should be put into the water first. Ensure that its mouth and nose are not below the water.

Give it some time for adjusting to the temperature and be comfortable in the water. Pour water over it gently and use one hand for covering its face. After it is fully wet, lift it from the water. Do not walk away when the piggy is put in the container.

Next, place it on a soft towel. Use a little shampoo and create lather over the piggy’s body. Use a finger for its head and make sure that the shampoo does not get in its eyes.

· Do not use hot water as it can irritate or dry the animal’s sensitive skin. These creatures are also not fond of cold water as that can reduce their body temperature.

· The guinea pig should be comfortable while standing up in the water.

· Stay close so that you can cajole it if it feels distressed or afraid in the water. Give it a treat and it will associate it positively with its bath time.

5. Use warm water for rinsing your guinea pig

Use your hands or a small cup to take warm water. Pour the water over your pet’s body until the fur is wet. Do not pour water in its ears or on its face.

· To make sure that water does not run into your guinea pig’s face, you should cup a hand behind its face. It would prevent water from getting into its mouth and eyes.

· In case its face is too dirty, you can use a damp cloth for wiping off the dirt. However, avoid its mouth, ears, nose, and eyes.

· Try to put a rolled towel under the container at a 15-30 degree angle. Doing so will help moving water away from its face.

Guinea Pig, Rodent, Mammal, Nager, Smooth Hair, Fur

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6. Take out some drops of shampoo and rub them into its fur

Select a shampoo meant specifically for guinea pigs and also pour a few drops into your palms. Massage the shampoo gently into the piggy’s fur. You should be as gentle as possible as it has sensitive skin and you have to keep it calm.

· Make sure the shampoo does not get near its ears and face.

· In case you simply have to spot clean it, put some drops of dish soap (liquid) into a tiny container filled with lukewarm water. Now, rub this soapy water onto its fur using cotton balls.

· Do not use dog or human shampoos on your piggy as these products can irritate its skin.

7. Use warm water to rinse the guinea pig-

Pour adequate warm water over your pet guinea pig’s fur. Use your hands to rinse away the shampoo completely. Make sure you remove every trace of the shampoo used so that the residue will not irritate your piggy’s skin.

8. Now, place the guinea pig on a towel

Your guinea pig should be gently wrapped up using a clean towel. That will enable absorbing most of the moisture. The towel will also help it keeping warm after the bath. Do not be afraid if you see your pet shivering. It is normal and it should stop after getting dried up. In case the towel is too damp, you can use a fresh towel to soak more moisture from its body.

9. Dry your pet’s fur using the towel

A soft towel should be used for absorbing moisture from your piggy’s body. Ensure that the towel is gently pressed to its fur until the guinea pig is fully dry. Just wipe around its nose, ears, or eyes if it is still dirty. You should be gentle while toweling it, particularly near its face. Avoid scrubbing or rubbing the fur too much.

10. Brush your piggy’s fur

Doing this is particularly crucial if your guinea pig has long hair. You may use a guinea pig or soft-bristled brush to prevent matting and remove tangles. You should not be in a hurry while brushing the guinea pig as it will enjoy the attention and soothing feeling.


Now, you are familiar with how often should you bathe a guinea pig. You have also learned some smart tips for bathing your piggy if it needs a wash. It is suitable to bathe it on a day when it is not very cold outside as drying up can be slow in wet weather. If you do not dry guinea pigs properly, they can have chills and feel miserable.

Towel dry your little piggy after its bath is complete and hold it close to your body. Doing so can make it feel warm and cozy. Choose a warm room to give it a bath. Make sure to use only guinea pig shampoos for washing them as they have sensitive skin.

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