Bathing your guinea pig

Bathing your guinea pig is not only essential to his well-being, it is also an excellent way for you to build a trusting relationship. You should bath your guinea pig at least every two months, or more often if his coat is looking particularly oily. Avoid bathing too often in the cold, winter months unless he is being kept indoors in the warm.

Download our bathing-guinea-pigs-for-novices instructions, with step by step photos, if you are new to this or a bit nervous.

 

 What you will need:
Tepid water (no hotter than body temperature). If you are unsure, test the water with your elbow. It should feel lukewarm and comfortable to the touch. You will also need shampoo and plenty of dry towels. Conditioner is optional.

Instructions

  1. Have everything ready before you start – water, shampoo, conditioner, towels and hair-dryer
  2. If you are worried about the guinea pig getting soap in his eye use a squirt of Brolene eye ointment in each eye
  3. Wet the guinea pig all over and rub in the shampoo creating a good lather. Pay particular attention to the grease gland on boars
  4. Don’t forget to shampoo his face, round his neck and chest and underneath including legs.  Use the lather to wash just inside his ears. Take care not to get any shampoo in his eyes. Talk to him in a low soothing voice the whole time
  5. If using an anti-fungal shampoo or an anti-parasite shampoo, wrap him in a towel and leave the shampoo in for 10 to 15 minutes before rinsing. He can be placed in a carrier or box for this  If you are using a normal shampoo you can rinse straight away.
  6. An anti-parasite shampoo should be used once a week for three weeks.  After that maintenance bathing would be on a regular basis alternating between anti-parasite shampooing and anti-fungal shampooing. We would use Flea or Die for an antiparasite bath or Ringocide for antifungal bathing.
  7. Rinse well, ensuring ALL the lather has been removed.
  8. Conditioner is optional. You may wish to use conditioner if you have a long hair or semi long hair to make grooming more pleasant for your guinea pig.
  9. Gently towel dry your guinea pig by carefully rubbing and soaking up the excess water with your towel.
  10. Place in a small box on a dry towel, to shake and recover!
  11. You can use a hair-dryer at this point although it would be better if he could dry off naturally.  We would recommend using a dryer on all long hairs as they take so long to dry and could get a chill. But even so, leave them for about 20 minutes to dry naturally.
  12. Don’t forget the hair-dryer can get hot and you should be careful not to burn your guinea pig. When drying your guinea pig, protect him with your hand as you dry the hair. Do not leave the hair-dryer on one point for too long. Make sure your guinea pig is secure, but able to move away from the heat if he needs to. Some guinea pigs absolutely love this pampering, however, hair drying can be quite frightening for others, so make sure he feels safe. The more you do it, the more used to it he will get and will become more comfortable with the hair-dryer.
  13. Make sure he is completely dry before transferring him back to his hutch.