Can Guinea Pigs Swim?

One of the most common concerns of guinea pig enthusiasts is knowing whether their beloved pets can swim or not.

Understanding the abilities of one’s furry friend is critical in keeping it safe and averting tragedy to ensure that it lives a long and healthy life. 

This article explores the common misconceptions about guinea pigs and swimming, and gives pet owners important information on how to care for their furry friends.

Can Guinea Pigs Swim?

Yes. In their natural habitats, guinea pigs can swim to escape from predators or to reach their food sources.

However, they are not aquatic, and their anatomies are not built for swimming. Piggies tire quickly in water, and will only swim to reach dry grounds or to avoid drowning.

They may swim and float in shallow depths of water in the bathtub. However, they should not be left in water longer than is necessary.

Do Guinea Pigs Like to Swim?

No. Guinea pigs may attempt to swim out of necessity if they find themselves in water, but this does not imply that they enjoy it. For instance, they may swim to escape drowning or to flee from predators in the wild.

However, their anatomies are not suitable for swimming and as such,they may not really enjoy the experience. 

How Do You Know If Guinea Pigs Like to Swim?

It is advisable to keep your piggy away from water unless absolutely necessary. If you have to test how well your piggy can swim, be sure not to fill a huge tub with water and immerse it inside.

Try a few inches of water in the tub to see how comfortable the piggy is inside it. Be sure not to leave the guinea pig alone or for too long in water as this may strip its skin of the healthy oils it secretes to protect its coat.

Best Way To Bathe Guinea Pigs

Your guinea pig may need a bath if it became naughty and played around in dirt, or if it is infested by parasites.

Few inches of water in a tub or a large bucket is often sufficient to bathe it. Finding an ideal shampoo for piggies is important, especially when trying to control mites or lice. 

After the bath, you need fresh towels to pat it dry. A hair dryer may then come in handy in getting the water completely out of its fur and coat. 

Be sure not to use this bath time as an opportunity to force the guinea pig into swimming as this may stress your pet unnecessarily. 

Also read: How To Bathe a Guinea Pig?

Risks to Health When Guinea Pigs Swim

While guinea pigs may swim out of necessity, they are not naturally aquatic and as such, swimming may be dangerous to them.

Swimming poses several risks to your pet, and it may be advisable to keep them away from water unless it is absolutely necessary.

Cause Stress and Depression

Guinea pigs may spend a lot of energy trying to stay afloat in water, and this may result in a stressed pet afterwards. The coldness of the water may further exacerbate its stress and significantly dip its mood days after the experience.

Ear Infections

Quite like other mammals, when water gets trapped inside their ears, guinea pigs might develop infections.

Ear infections in piggies may also result from bacterial diseases like pneumonia. Nevertheless, when water is trapped in its canals and is not dried out properly, a new ear infection may form.


Exposure to water for a long time may increase the chances of your pet catching pneumonia, which inflames the air sacs in its lungs.

While exposure alone may not directly cause the disease, wetness and stress may create a conducive environment for bacterial infestation of the lungs. 

Difficulty in Breathing and Maybe Drowning

The more the depth of water the pet is immersed in, the harder it will struggle to stay afloat, and the higher the likelihood that it will struggle to breathe. This may result in its death.

Drowning is also a possible consequence that may arise from forced swimming.

Check out: Is My Guinea Pig Dead or Hibernating?

Tierecare Guinea Pig Towel

Why Not Train Guinea Pigs to Swim?

Since guinea pigs are not aquatic animals, their bodies are not suited for staying in water. In any case, training them to swim comes with a number of risks to them.

For instance, these pets are sensitive to temperature changes and as such, may easily develop pneumonia when exposed to water.

In addition, they may struggle in water since it is not their usual environment and develop difficulty in breathing. Both of these scenarios may result in the death of the piggy depending on how extreme the exposure to water was.

Moreover, piggies, like all other animals, ought to be treated with utmost care and based on the best practices of raising them. Putting them in water is not just unnecessary, but may be considered an act of cruelty against animals which is a crime in many jurisdictions.

If you really want to have fun with your guinea pig, you can try this 7 Fun Tricks You Can Train Your Guinea Pig.


Guinea pigs are not aquatic animals and will only swim when absolutely necessary, often to save their lives. Furthermore, the wetness from water may predispose them to respiratory illnesses and bodily stress. 

It is therefore advisable not to force them to swim as the results may be fatal. Moreover, they naturally groom themselves and do not need frequent dips in water. 

Similar Posts