A guinea pig is an exciting pet and a companion to have around. It can lighten your heart even in your gloomiest moment from just watching its activities and listening to its squealing or whistling.
When you hear those sounds, know that it is communicating that it’s happy.
Have you ever watched it when it is doing its happy popcorn dances? The fun and the excitement are infectious, and no matter how you feel, you won’t help but feel excited as well.
One unique thing to note about this small animal is that it keeps itself clean when in a clean habitat. Therefore having it as a pet, you won’t need to bathe it too often so long as its cage is clean.
- How often should you bathe your piggy friend?
- Special Cases for Bathing Your Guinea Pig
- Tools Needed for Bathing a Guinea Pig
- Simple Steps to Bathing Your Guinea Pig
- Final Takeaways
- Bottom Line
How often should you bathe your piggy friend?
This is a question that perturbs most guinea pig owners. The answer is, it should not be too often. Did you expect such an answer?
Bathing it once in a month is enough. If you bathe it more times than this in a month, it can cause a problem of dry and flaky skin which can affect its coat and fur.
Just like our skins, piggy’s coat has natural skin oil that keeps its skin moisturized. Bathing it too often may rid off the natural oils and therefore leave the skin dry.
So, don’t feel guilty when you take that long before running your piggy’s bath, it will be the best thing to do.
Special Cases for Bathing Your Guinea Pig
There are special cases that may force you to bend your bathing routine rule. Such are:
When dirty probably after playing in a dirty environment.
When you notice it is scratching itself probably from having parasites or pests.
When there is a fungal infection and bathing is one of the treatments prescribed by your vet.
If your piggy falls under one of these three categories or maybe has another particular case different from these ones, then you need to bath it.
Tools Needed for Bathing a Guinea Pig
Guinea pig shampoo
You need a shampoo that cleans your guinea pig without ridding off natural oils from its coat.
Can you bathe a guinea pig with baby shampoo? You wonder! Yes, though it is not 100% suitable. Guinea Pig natural oil can easily be eroded even by baby shampoo. There are special shampoos for small animals like a guinea pig which are gentler to their coat and fur.
Here are three of the best shampoos for guinea pigs you might want to try out.
#1 Kaytee Squeaky Clean Critter Shampoo
One of the reasons this shampoo is most preferred is because it is ‘tearless.’ This means it does not sting the eyes if it accidentally gets into your pet’s eyes while bathing it. It also leaves your piggy with baby-powder fragrance. Check its price on Amazon.
#2 Arm & Hammer Shampoos
A pet’s coat and skin nourished. Again it overcomes pet’s odor leaving it smelling fresh. Place your order with Amazon.
#3 Kaytee Quick & Clean Critter Dry Shampoo
The shampoo is most suitable when you are on a budget. It is a special leave-in shampoo which does not need rinsing. It is also a deodorant shampoo that will leave your piggy smelling fresh with a baby-powder fragrance.
A guinea pig coat brush
Not all hair brushes are ideal for a guinea pig fur. Get a brush that will leave a shiny coat as well as preventing shedding-off fur, otherwise you may end up with a ball of furs in the brush.
Ware manufacturers have a combined set for grooming a guinea pig which also has a chew treat to keep your pet busy while grooming it.
You will need a towel to wrap it around the pet after bathing to generate heat.
You will use it on its face
A cool-setting hair dryer
A dryer with cool-setting is what you need.
A small bowl
You need a small bowl for scooping water when pouring it on your piggy.
Two shallow basins with warm water
You will need both basins to have one for bathing it and the other one for rinsing it.
You piggy’s favorite treat
You might need this ‘emergency’ treat to calm it when agitated.
Simple Steps to Bathing Your Guinea Pig
Are you a new-comer in this guinea pig bathing activity? Don’t worry. The simple step by step guide will direct you on how to bathe a guinea pig for the first time.
Bathing your guinea pig can cause it stress. Before you start the exercise, you must make sure you have all the items you need while washing it to avoid wasting time. Any time lost is exposing it to cold which can lead to severe illnesses such as pneumonia.
- Run warm water in the shallow basin and check its warm with your elbow to make sure it is at the right temperature.
- After lifting your piggy from its cage, you can first make friendly moves such as patting its fur or giving it treat to have a nibble of it.
- Gently lower it to the water and splash the feet first with water to accustom it with the water. Once you are sure, it is ok to dip the pet in the bathing water, do it but gently while holding its head from the water.
- With one hand holding the guinea pig, use the other one to scoop water using the small bowl to pour it on the body while avoiding the face. When the body is wet enough, pour a bit of the shampoo to one part of the body and spread it to lather the rest of the body.
Remember, you are using only one hand since the other one is securely holding your pet. Rub the shampoo all over the body including the head which you will gently use your fingers while being careful to avoid getting it in the eyes.
- Touch the ears lightly with the fingertips and especially if you are treating your pet against parasites. Be careful to avoid getting water inside the ears.
- Rub shampoo at the tail bone to clean the grease gland which is usually sticky from dried wax-like grease.
In addition to using shampoo the grease gland, you may need to also use palm oil which helps in breaking the grime. The best natural palm oil to use is Raw Paws Organic Virgin Coconut Oil.
While washing the grease gland, check whether there is redness, sore, or whether the place is hot when you touch.
If you find any of these signs, then it means the grease gland has inflammation due to some infection. Don’t hesitate to call your vet for treatment against the infection.
- After shampooing the whole body, use the small bowl to pour water on the body and patting it to remove the extra lather. Also, remove the little foam on the head and in the ears with the wetness of your fingers.
- Change your pet to the rinsing water in the second basin to completely remove all shampoo.
- Take the face towel and dip it in the rinsing water to make it damp. Squeeze extra water from the face-towel and use it to wipe your piggy’s face.
- Remove your pet from the water and wrap it immediately with the towel to prevent it from catching a cold. Pat it gently to dry it using the towel.
- If you feel it is agitated, sooth it down by giving it a nibble of its favorite treat you have nearby.
- Use the hairdryer a little bit further from the coat to minimize the noise and also to prevent extra heat on it. Stop the dryer once in a while to fluff the fur a bit, and then continue drying it. You may repeat this action severally until you are sure it is completely dry.
- Once you are sure it is dry, brush its fur to groom it and to leave it looking shiny and clean.
- Set your piggy in its cage which hopefully is clean if you know how to clean a guinea pig cage.
After the stressful bath, shower your beauty pet with love by giving it the most favorite toy or treat.
- Use special shampoo to avoid dry and flaky coat
- Have mildly warm water for bathing your cavy
- Wrap your piggy with a towel quickly to prevent getting chilled
- Towel-dry you piggy thoroughly to avoid getting cold later
- Blow-dry if you must but with extra care and with very low heat to prevent burning your pet.
- Remember to clean the grease garland
After bathing your piggy friend, it is essential to keep it warm for some hours or even for an overnight to generate heat.
You need warm bedding, such as Kaytee Super Sleeper Cuddle E-Cup Bed. With such bedding, you will rest assured your pet is well insulated against cold.
Believe it or not, you will wake up to a new day with the familiar squeaky happy noises and the usual popcorns dances. Indeed, it can never be any better!
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