3 Apr 2023

Do Guinea Pigs Need Baths?

Have you been searching for info on bathing your guinea pig? Look no further, as this article contains all the answers you’re looking for on guinea pig hygiene.

Do Guinea Pigs Need Baths?

Keeping pets clean and healthy is a priority when you own them.

To ensure your guinea pigs don’t face health issues, bathing them is the obvious choice. But this doesn’t mean guinea pigs require frequent baths to be clean. You should only bathe your guinea pig once every two months, with occasional bum baths if and when needed.

To know more about bathing a guinea pig, keep reading the article!

How Often To Bathe A Guinea Pig?

Unlike other pets, guinea pigs do not need to be bathed frequently. The only situations that call for a guinea pig bath are if they are filthy or if the vet recommends giving them baths for medical purposes.

On average, bathing your guinea pigs once every month or once in two months would be more than sufficient. However, if you own long-haired pigs, you might have to bathe them more frequently than short-haired guinea pigs. Their long hair can trap filth, such as urine stains, dirt, and other unwanted substances.

Usually, guinea pig owners give their pets a bum bath once every month so that their rear remains clean. To reduce the need for frequent baths, brushing your guinea pig regularly can help. This helps detangle and groom their fur coat while the brush pulls out any dirt or food particles hiding inside the thick fur layer.

Guinea Pig Getting Brushed Bath

You can use the FURminator fur deshedder from Planet Pet to groom your guinea pig.

However, male guinea pigs need more frequent cleaning of their grease gland as grease build-up can cause unpleasant odours. This won’t be a problem if you own a pup, which is a female guinea pig.

But a smelly guinea pig doesn’t always mean it’s dirty or requires a full body bath. There are several reasons why your guinea pig may smell bad. Long-haired guinea pigs can have unwanted substances stuck inside their hair that make them smell, or you could have an unclean cage and dirty guinea pig bedding.

Fleece and aspen, in particular, work extremely well in combating odour and keeping your little fur buddies happy.

When To Bathe Your Guinea Pig?

Generally, a veterinary doctor might recommend giving your guinea pig more frequent baths if they suffer from sensitive skin, diseases, mites etc.

If that is not the case with your guinea pig, it is best to stick to a routine and give them a bum bath to keep their bottoms clean. To prevent them from getting filthy and stinking, give them a proper bath only once every few months.

But remember, these little guys get pretty stressed and eventually fall ill if bathed too often. So, do not rush them to the bath when they become smelly, especially since being slightly smelly is their usual scent and a guinea pig trait.

Cleaned Guinea Pig After Bath

If your pet is sick, avoid cleaning them under all circumstances until your vet recommends you do so. Like humans, these animals can develop other health issues if they are sick if given a bath, such as a cold or respiratory infection.

So, ensure you do not stress them out and only bathe your guinea pigs when necessary. Before you bathe them, have all the essentials, like baby shampoo and a towel, and teach yourself how to bathe a guinea pig correctly.

Can You Bathe Guinea Pigs In Cold Water?

Bathing guinea pigs in cold water can result in a sudden drop in body temperature. But this does not necessarily imply that they enjoy a hot steam bath. If the guinea pig bath water is too hot, it can lead to skin issues like extremely dry and irritated skin.

A guinea pig’s ideal water temperature should be bathed in is lukewarm or warm water. This makes them less stressed during bath time since the water is not too cold or hot to irritate their skin.

Many pet owners assume that a cold bath during a hot summer day would be as refreshing for the guinea pig as it is for us. However, that is far from reality, as these pets have far less control or regulation over their body temperature.

So, when you bathe them in water that is too cold, it can cause them to feel extremely uncomfortable and might make them ill.

Wet Cleaned Guinea Pig

What You’ll Need To Bathe A Guinea Pig

Bathing a guinea pig is the most simple yet satisfying of all pets. Furthermore, you don’t need many fancy products, but you need to be prepared with some essentials to draw a comfortable guinea pig bath.

The supplies that you would need are:

  • Lukewarm water
  • A plastic container
  • Guinea pig shampoo
  • A towel
  • A blow dryer

Once you have everything in place in a clean environment, you can get started with the bath.

Place the plastic container on your sink so that your guinea pigs have a hard, solid surface to stand on. Next, use the guinea pig safe or small pet shampoo instead of any random product to guarantee their safety.

However, it is recommended that you use a shampoo meant explicitly for cleaning a guinea pig. The Origins Fluffy Bath small animal shampoo is effective for small pets. This ensures that the shampoo is gentle and does not suck the natural oils on their skin.

Since guinea pigs can easily catch a cold, you will need to keep a set of towels beside you. After the bath, wrap them in a towel to keep them warm and towel dry. Ensure that you do not leave them wet under any circumstances before towel drying them.

To further speed up the towel drying process, use a pet-safe hair dryer to dry your guinea pigs. Once they’re completely dry, you’re good to go and make sure you play with them a little longer to compensate for that much-detested bath time.

Frequently Asked Questions

1. Why is my guinea pig shivering after a bath?

Sometimes, a bath can make a guinea pig feel too cold, which leaves them shivering. If you notice your guinea pig shivering, moving them to a dry and warm area is best so they don’t fall ill.

However, do not move your guinea pigs with damp hair into direct sunlight, which can harm their health. The best way to keep them cosy is to blow dry their fur.

2. Can guinea pigs die from a bath?

If you are reckless while bathing your guinea pigs and don’t heed the instructions, it may lead to even a healthy guinea pig dying. There can be two reasons that might cause a guinea pig to die from a bath:

The first instance is if the water level is above their head. This leads to water entering their lungs via their nose and ears, which causes severe health issues like pneumonia. Another reason could be if the animal was sick before the bath, and the bath elevated the symptoms to a severe extent.

Hence, avoid frequent baths and only bathe a guinea pig when necessary.

Taking Care of Your Guinea Pig

Guinea pigs are fun little animals to have around, but their small size makes them quite vulnerable and sensitive, besides being adorable.

To ensure your fur buddy has a fulfilling and long life span, taking care of them correctly is essential. We hope you learned about the dos and don’ts of bathing a guinea pig, so follow all the instructions, and read our guide to keep your guinea pig healthy.

You can consult a vet for expert advice about the right small animal shampoo for the guinea pig’s bathing process.

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