How To Bathe A Guinea Pig? Keep Your Guinea Pig Bath Time A Must!

Aryan Khanna
Feb 01, 2023 By Aryan Khanna
Originally Published on Nov 01, 2021
Fact-checked by Pradhanya Rao
 Female hands giving bath to guinea pig that sits in a sink with water

Contrary to the requirements of most living organisms on this planet, guinea pigs do not require bathing on a daily basis or even once a week.

This small little pet has certain natural oils in its fur and frequent bathing can lead to loss of this oil. If you bathe it once a month, it is good for guinea pigs as they do not enjoy the splash of water on them.

You must check the weather conditions before deciding to bathe your guinea pig. The ideal setting is when the sun is out and it's not very cold.

This helps the guinea pigs to dry themselves after bathing. If you manage to keep your guinea pig's cage nice and tidy, you only need to bathe it every now and then.

In case you are a potential new owner of a guinea pig, you might wonder about how to know when your pet needs a bath. Well, your nose will do that job for you!

If you sense a stinking smell from your guinea pig, it is high time you give your guinea pig a bath. Additionally, if you see that your pet has somehow managed to get itself dirty with its own poop or urine, immediately bathe it as it can cause medical issues later on.

If you enjoy this article, why not also read about how to clean a dog wound and how to clean dog ears with vinegar here on Kidadl?

How do you bathe a guinea pig without shampoo?

Bathing your guinea pig might not be as much trouble as you imagine if you have all the items you require to bathe your pet. All you need is some guinea pig shampoo recommended by the vet, a brush, some warm water in a sink and a towel.

Later on, you can keep a hairdryer nearby to make the drying process easier. Remember to calm them down before you start and distract them with a treat.

Now, in case one day you run out of shampoo but your pet needs a bath at any cost, you do not need to worry as there are several alternatives to shampoo, although it is best if you have a guinea pig shampoo with you.

This might perhaps surprise you but just warm water, at times, is enough to bathe a guinea pig if isn't extremely dirty.

If required, you can add a small amount of apple cider vinegar but only in a highly diluted form and use it to rinse your guinea pig.

Apple cider vinegar has antimicrobial properties in it which can help keep your pet clean or spot clean it, but if used in undiluted form, it can be life-threatening.

Using baby shampoo in diluted form is another alternative. Unscented baby shampoo is safe for the skin of a guinea pig.

Similar to apple cider vinegar, this too must be highly diluted. In case you have none, do not use a dove soap or any other soaps that humans use as they are too strong for guinea pigs and can harm their skin.

Instead, use unscented dish soap, a small animal shampoo or ask your vet to recommend one to you.

How do you bathe a guinea pig for the first time?

You must first decide if your guinea pig really needs a bath as you wouldn't want it to unnecessarily be troubled by bathing. In case you think that it's time your guinea pig needs a bath, the process is pretty simple.

There are a few things which you must keep in mind. The warm water level should not reach the eyes or ears of your pet and it must neither be too hot nor too cold. Slightly warm water will be ideal for a guinea pig's sensitive skin.

Now before you wet its long-haired fur, clean it with a damp washcloth to remove any dirt particles which may have settled on its fur.

Before you place it into the warm water, calm the guinea pig down for its bath time. Now, begin by making its feet touch the water so that it knows what temperature of water to expect.

It is advisable to place a small piece of cloth or a towel on the bottom of the water in the sink to prevent your guinea pig from slipping.

The next step is to rinse your pet with water, pour a few drops of shampoo on its fur and then wash it again with some warm water. Your guinea pig is now clean, the next part is to dry your guinea pig with a washcloth or a towel.

Brush the fur of the guinea pig and your pet is good to go back to its bedding.

How often do you bathe a guinea pig?

Similar to animals like cats, guinea pigs have a habit of keeping themselves clean. Bathing a guinea pig once a month will do justice to its sensitive skin.

Unless your guinea pig is suffering from some infection or you have been asked by the vet to give it a certain number of baths in a time period, once a month in summers will do just fine.

During winters, it drops down to once in two months owing to the harsh weather conditions. Over bathing can be harmful to your piggy as it isn't used to getting wet.

If you pour a lot of shampoo on your guinea pig or give it more than the usual number of baths, it can have a negative impact on its skin.

How do you bathe a guinea pig with bad skin?

If your guinea pig is suffering from skin issues, it is best to consult a vet. The skin of guinea pigs is pretty sensitive. Due to this, they have very specific soaps and shampoos that can be used for washing them.

If your guinea pig has bad skin, it might either need more baths than normal or fewer baths than normal entirely depending upon the issue at hand and what the vet suggests. In some cases, 2-3 doses of ivermectin are good to cure skin issues but that might not be the case with your guinea pig.

If you have a hairless guinea pig, it is a different ball game altogether.

Hairless guinea pigs do not need baths until they are very dirty as they can naturally keep themselves clean and their body oils keep them moisturized.

Moreover, due to the absence of long-haired fur, they aren't as dirty as regular guinea pigs. Bathing hairless guinea pigs once or twice a year is enough under natural circumstances.

Here at Kidadl, we have carefully created lots of interesting family-friendly facts for everyone to enjoy! If you liked our suggestions for how to bathe a guinea pig? Keep your guinea pig bath time a must! Then why not take a look at do you know your house well?

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Written by Aryan Khanna

Bachelor of Business Administration specializing in Marketing

Aryan Khanna picture

Aryan KhannaBachelor of Business Administration specializing in Marketing

A dedicated and hardworking content writer currently pursuing his Bachelor's in Management Studies from St. Xavier's University, Kolkata. Aryan aims to gain corporate exposure and enhance his skills while creating well-researched and engaging content that is SEO-friendly. Aryan is a talented individual who puts in the effort to overcome any obstacle in his way.

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Fact-checked by Pradhanya Rao

Bachelor of Commerce specializing in Marketing and HR

Pradhanya Rao picture

Pradhanya RaoBachelor of Commerce specializing in Marketing and HR

With a Bachelor’s degree in Commerce from Christ University, Bangalore, Pradhanya's passion for the English language and literature led her to explore the field of content writing, where she has gained extensive experience in writing, reviewing, editing, and fact-checking. She has also earned certifications in Google Ads Search, Google Ads Display, and Social Media Marketing, showcasing her proficiency in digital marketing.

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