How To Bathe a Guinea Pig?

Do you wonder how to bathe your extremely clean and fine-looking guinea pig? There are tonic reasons why you should bathe your guinea pig even if it looks clean from appearance. 

Ouch! You are irritated by the foul odor from your guinea pigs, and perhaps you are not certain of the appropriate procedures to follow to bathe your pet. 

In this article, I will dig deep for you on how to bathe your guinea pig, when and why you should bathe your cavy, as well as supportive information relating to bathing your piggy. 

Can You Bathe Guinea Pigs?

Yes, you can, but you must be very cautious. Guinea pigs are bathed once in a while unless directed otherwise by your vet. 

Frequent bathing of your guinea pigs makes them get colds and shivers; as a result, they become susceptible to respiratory infections such as pneumonia which later kills them.

Luckily, guinea pigs are extremely clean creatures who groom themselves very often. Cavies secret natural oils on their fur and skin to keep their body in perfect condition. 

However, you need to clean them using a brush and spray bottle if they are smelly. Hygiene is necessary for all pets. 

When To Bathe a Guinea Pig?

It is worthwhile to bathe your guinea pig when: – it gets muddy during outdoor play; it has a foul smell either from the skin, butt, or foot; you want to refresh it during very hot summers.

Moreover, when its fur gets soiled and adhesive, when grooming it for shows and exhibitions, and lastly when it is infested by fungal or parasitic infections like lice and mice.

Unfortunately, there are cases where bathing your guinea pig is a big no, for instance, when it is pregnant, when it is below six months of age, when the pig is short-haired/hairless, when it is very cold, or during winters.

Similarly, you won’t bathe your piggy when it anguishes in pain due to respiratory or skin infections.

How Often Do You Bathe a Guinea Pig?

The frequency of bathing your guinea pigs depends on the type and condition of your guinea pig, e.g., it is short-haired or long-haired, smelly or non-smelly, as well as vets’ advice. 

Short-haired and non-smelly or healthy guinea pigs should bathe once or twice a year because they are splendid groomers; hence, scarce for them to bathe often.

For long-haired guinea pigs like the Peruvian family, you will bathe every 3 to 4 months to keep them in the superb condition of their fur and to prevent matting as well. 

Guinea pigs infested with parasites will bathe frequently based on the savvy’s advice and directions.

What You Need for Bathing Your Guinea Pig?

Gather all the materials before you embark on bathing your piggy. It helps prevent wastage of time reaching out for one thing at a time. To effectively bathe your guinea pig, you will need necessary tools and equipments such as;

You will also need towels and a plastic container or sink filled with 2 to 3 centimeters of mild or warm clean water.

How to Bathe a Guinea Pig in 6 Steps

Despite being eager to bathe your guinea pig, it is not like a walk in the park since a slight mistake will cost you its life and wellbeing. 

Some conditions and best times should be optimum for you to bathe your guinea pigs and what to keep in mind while bathing them.

The ideal times and moments to bathe your guinea pig are: – when it is very hot during the day or in summer. This will make your cavy dry off afterward.

To effectively bathe your guinea pig, below are the step-by-step instructions and rules safe when bathing.

Your Guinea Pig Should be Calm Before Bathing

Be friendly to your guinea pig by holding it close to you on your chest, gently speaking to it in a low tone, and stroking its fur slowly. You can well entice it with treats like leafy and tasty veggies.

However, if your cavy moves up and down, set a small carton/box to carry it to the bathing area. It is easier to bathe a calm guinea pig, and you will not spend much time.

Plus, when calm, your piggy will have nothing to fear, and it won’t be terrified. Beware! Startling these animals can cause stress.

Place Lower Body into Shallow, Warm Water

Gently lower your piggy into the warm shallow water, with the hindquarters first. Afterward, give it ample time to adapt to the temperature and feeling of the water. 

Remember to stay put while your friend is inside the water so that you can restore its confidence. To avoid being distressed in water, offer it some treats as it has a positive affluence with bath time. 

Kaytee Squeaky Clean Critter Shampoo 8-Ounce

Add Shampoo and Gently Massage

Squirt a few drops of safe shampoo into your hands, then rub them into the piggy’s fur, after which, gently massage the shampoo into the cavy’s fur and try to keep it calm as well.

Remember that the shampoo should not get close to the face and ears. Also, avoid applying human or other pets, e.g., dog shampoos on your cavy, as it irritates its skin. 

Rinsing the Fur Two or Three Times in Warm Freshwater

Using your hands, pour adequate warm water into your guinea pig’s fur to totally rinse away the shampoo lather. Repeat the process two to three times. 

To ensure your cavy’s skin does not get irritated from the residues of shampoo, remove any residues that might remain. 

Dry Guinea Pig after Bathing

Put your guinea pig on a clean, dry towel. Gently enclose it so that the dry towel sucks up most moisture while keeping your guinea pigs warm. 

Then, blow-dry the pig to help it dry quickly and be cautious not to overheat it. Ideally, use a slow heat setting and set a good distance not to burn your beloved animal pet.

Your pet may have long or thick fur, and leaving water dripping from them could expose it to infections.

Keep It in a Warm Place for a Few Hours

Once your cavy is dry, let it spend some hours before returning it to the cage as it will refresh itself. Some piggies tend to shiver even after blow-drying them; hence, it is necessary to let the pet warm itself in a warm place.

During a sunny day, look for a secure and warm place to bask the pig. The sun shouldn’t be too hot; you need only minimal heat.

Alternatives to Bathing a Guinea Pig

Alternatively, there are other waters and shampoo free solutions to bathing your guinea pig, such as: 

  • Sponge bath is useful when your cavy is not too dirty but you want it to look much cleaner. You’ll basically clean the exterior surface of the soiled fur.
  • Pet–friendly wipes: – this is also a nice option if you want to remove stains and dirt on certain body parts of your cavy, e.g., eyes, ears, and nose. You can try Petkin Small Animal Wipes to remove any surface dirt.
  • No-rinse dry shampoo: It’s ideal if you want to bathe your guinea pig on a water-free bathe that does not require you to rinse. 

It aids in cleaning, detangling, and moisturizing your piggy’s fur and skin without getting wet. 

  • You might as well apply dusting powder available for guinea pigs and then brush it with a stiff brush. 

How to Keep a Guinea Pig Clean

It is quite simple to maintain your guinea pig clean and healthy. Besides bathing your guinea pig, you can provide warm and clean beddings in their cages. 

You will provide clean and adequate water and foods like leafy and soft vegetables, herbs and fruits, and treats and pellets. Their diet should be rich in Vitamin C.

In addition, it is worthwhile to do a routine brushing/grooming often, a weekly health check-up, and even nail trimming. 


In a nutshell, guinea pigs are not fanatics of bath time, and they should be bathed when necessary. Naturally, they are excellent self–groomers except for the long-haired ones.

However, bathing them is vital if you come across a foul smell from your guinea pigs. But you need to consult your veterinarian on how to go about it to avoid losing your cavies.

When bathing, follow the outline steps and observe the detailed instructions. Keeping your animal clean is paramount.

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