How to Bathe a Guinea Pigs? Complete Guide

Last updated on January 22nd, 2023 at 06:49 pm

Guinea pigs are very clean animals that clean themselves by licking, but sometimes we still need to bathe them. Although they don’t like to bathe, we will have to bathe them several times a year.

How to Bathe a Guinea Pig?

Bathing guinea pigs is not difficult, it just takes some time for you and the guinea pig to get used to it.

You need lukewarm water, guinea pig shampoo, a towel and a hairdryer to bathe and dry your guinea pigs, who will then smell nice and clean.

In today’s article, we will learn how to bathe guinea pigs, what to pay attention to, and other issues related to their bathing.

Should you bathe your guinea pigs?

Guinea pigs clean themselves, we can bathe them, but very rarely, when they smell very bad and have dirt on their fur and body that they cannot clean themselves.

There is no need to bathe guinea pigs often because after bathing their fur and skin will be dry for a certain period.

When guinea pigs smell very bad sometimes even bathing does not help, in that case, they should be taken to the vet because they probably smell due to some disease.

Diseases such as intestinal problems can cause their poo to be watery and smell very bad.

It can be similar when the guinea pig has an infection of the urinary tract, then a bad smell will be felt more often, and stones may appear due to the infection of the urinary tract.

Preparing to give a bath to a guinea pig

Before you start bathing your guinea pig, it’s best to have everything ready, so that you don’t have to look for what you need to bathe your pet later.

Here’s what you need to bathe your guinea pig:

  • water bucket – in which you need to put water about 1 inch deep for the guinea pig to bathe.
  • shampoo – special for guinea pigs and safe for their skin and fur. You should never use shampoos for other animals or people, as they can harm your guinea pigs.
  • towels – to wipe off the guinea pig when you’re done bathing.
  • hair dryer – after you wipe the guinea pig, you should also dry it with a hair dryer, but never use the strongest temperature.

We should emphasize that if you keep several guinea pigs, it is necessary to bathe them all on the same day so that they do not differ in their smell.

Bathing your guinea pig

Bathing a guinea pig is not difficult at all, we just need to be careful of our furry friends.

Here’s how to bathe your guinea pig:

  1. Before putting it in the sink, try to calm down the guinea pig, because it’s a bit of a stressful situation for him.
  2. Put about 1 inch of lukewarm water in the sink, and gradually introduce the guinea pig into the water, starting with his toes so he can get used to the water.
  3. Then you can start bathing by putting water on his body, just don’t put water directly in his ears and face. Use the shampoo and water to create a soapy lather and scrub his body.
  4. Finally, rinse him with lukewarm water several times until you are sure that there is no more shampoo on his body.
  5. Wipe the guinea pig with a towel and dry it with a hair dryer at the lowest temperature, the faster you dry it, the better for it so that it does not catch a cold. While drying him, brush his fur to keep it from tangling.
  6. The guinea pig may shiver a little while you wipe it because it will be cold, but that is completely normal.

Do guinea pigs like baths?

Generally, guinea pigs do not like to be bathed, they often want to escape when you put them in the sink.

But not all guinea pigs are the same, some run away, while others don’t mind when it’s time to swim.

However, it’s an individual matter, all guinea pigs are different, some are just nervous until they start bathing, and then they feel good.

How often should a healthy guinea pig get a bath per year?

Guinea pigs should be bathed 2-4 times a year, but again, it all depends on how dirty they are.

If the guinea pig is clean and does not spread an unpleasant smell, you may not need to bathe it at all.

The healthier the environment where it lives, the cleaner the cage, and the healthier the diet, these are all factors that influence whether and how often your pet will need to to bathe a guinea pigs

How To Keep Your Guinea Clean Between Baths

As we said at the beginning, guinea pigs should be bathed when there is a real need for it.

Since they don’t like to bathe much, we can help them maintain hygiene and avoid frequent bathing.

Here are some tips:

  • Changing the bedding – every time it gets dirty, we need to replace it and put in new bedding, because the longer the guinea pig is in dirty bedding, the faster it will get dirty and have to take a bath.
  • Cleaning the cage – once a week you should clean the cage with a disinfectant or a solution of vinegar and water. It is necessary to clean the toys, the water bottle, and all other accessories along with changing the bedding. After you finish cleaning, wipe with a dry cloth and put on new bedding.
  • Daily cleaning – on all plates and places where the guinea pig eats so that there are no food residues that cause bacteria and diseases in our pet.

Can I give my guinea pig a bath without water?

Some guinea pigs simply don’t want to be bathed at all or are too scared and stressed.

Then to clean them you can use wet wipes and wipe your pet. Another way is to take a sponge soaked in water and use it to wipe your pet.

Both methods will help to clean the guinea pig, although bathing will have the best cleaning effect when they are very dirty.

Can I wash my guinea pig with just water?

Yes, you can wash the guinea pig with water only in case he doesn’t want to take a bath with shampoo.

You can give his rear end a little wash and you’ll probably get the job done in a quicker and less stressful way for the guinea pig.

However, when you are already washing your guinea pig with water, it is best to teach him to bathe thoroughly using shampoo.

Read more: Do Guinea Pigs Like Sand Baths?

At what age can you bathe a guinea pig?

It is best to start bathing guinea pigs when they are six months old.

Once they are six months old, they should be bathed 2-4 times a year.

However, they are very clean pets that clean themselves and do not need frequent bathing except in exceptional situations when they are very dirty.

Read more: Do Guinea Pigs Clean Themselves? Find Out Now

Should guinea pigs be bathed in hot or cold water?

Guinea pigs should always be bathed with lukewarm water because the cold temperature will have a harmful effect on them and will immediately reduce their body temperature.

Guinea pigs do not need hot water as it can dry out their skin and cause irritation.

Just prepare lukewarm water for them, you don’t need cold or hot water for bathing them.

Frequently asked questions

How to clean your guinea pig’s face?

To clean the guinea pig’s face, use a cotton piece soaked in water to wipe its face, eyes, nose, ears, and mouth. Under no circumstances should you put shampoo on their face during bathing.

What shampoo is safe for guinea pigs?

The best and safest soap for guinea pigs is a special shampoo for guinea pigs. All other shampoos can cause irritation and be difficult for the skin and fur of guinea pigs. Some say unscented baby shampoo is fine, but it is not recommended to use this unless you have no other choice.

Can guinea pigs get sick from baths?

Since guinea pigs are very sensitive to temperature changes, it is not good to bathe them often. They start to get cold due to wet hair, they may get an upper respiratory infection.