You Can Bathe Your Guinea Pig

Photo from Simona's Guinea Pig Site
Photo from Simona's Guinea Pig Site

Even the best of guinea pigs needs a bath every now and then. Guinea pigs are like cats in that they love staying clean, but also tend to get into sticky situations where a bath is unavoidable. Long haired guinea pigs have a harder time keeping clean than short haired ones. Guinea pigs are not known for their love of the water. Bathing in water was unknown to their ancestors in Peru and Patagonia. In order for your piggy to be safe and clean from a bath, you need to do some preparation before you bring your piggy to the tub.

Operation: Piggy Bath!

You should always have some very gentle shampoo on hand just in case of emergencies, such as your piggy getting into some mud or compost. PHEW! One of the best products for bathing guinea pigs is Four Paws Bunny Bath, widely available in pet shops and online pet stores. In an emergency, if you don't have Bunny Bath, use a puppy shampoo or Dawn dishwashing liquid. Children's shampoos can be too strong for a guinea pig.

You will also need:

  • a sink or basin
  • plenty of towels you don't mind being nibbled on
  • a pan or measuring jug filled with lukewarm water for rinsing
  • your piggy's brush
  • (optional)a warm box or cage with a hot water bottle at the bottom and plenty of towels over it
  • (optional) a hair dryer (set to very low)
  • a sense of humor

Guinea pigs can be prone to chills when wet for too long, so you want to get them dry as soon as possible. They also can get very scared in new situations, so you want everything in place before you bring piggy in to get the bath over with as quickly as possible.

The Act of Bathing

Only fill the basin or sink with an inch or two inches of water at the most. You will not need to submerge your piggy. Better too little water than too much. You want the water to not even go over piggy's back. Use lukewarm water NOT hot and NOT ice-cold, but warm for a baby.

Place piggy in the "tub" and use your hands to get the body wet. Avoid the face and eyes. Use a small amount of shampoo and gently rub into the piggy's fur, taking care not to get any in the eyes, nose or mouth. Most guinea pigs freeze in a new situation and stay quiet. Others scream their heads off.

When your piggy is soapy he or she is ready to rinse. Use the measuring jug to rinse the piggy off. Unplug the water if you have to. I would pick my guinea pigs up out of the sink and gently pour the water over them to rinse them off. This process is greatly helped if you have a helper.

Drying Off

Put the piggy immediately in the middle of a towel and gently dry off the worst of the wet, wrapping the piggy up loosely in the towel. While the fur is damp, quickly brush the fur. If the guinea pig has a mat that can't be untangled, just cut it out. It will save a lot of time and stress for both you and piggy in the long run.

If your piggy will tolerate the noise, you can set your hair dryer at very low or low and dry for a few minutes. I could never do this with mine, but many piggy owners have successfully used a hair dryer. Keep the hair dryer at least a foot away from the piggy's body in order to avoid burns.

Since the hair dryer was not an option for my guinea pigs, I had a large cardboard box for them to dry out in. On the bottom of the box was a partially filled hot water bottle. Over that I put old towels. NEVER put the guinea pig directly on the hot water bottle! I then put my palm flat on the towels to be sure they were warm, but not hot. I then placed the wet piggy in the box with a treat like a carrot or apple slice.

Keep the piggy out of drafts until mostly dry. Then you and the piggy are done. You can place the piggyback in his or her cage or hutch. Then you can show off your squeaky clean piggy!

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Comments 101 comments

Rizi_da_best 8 years ago

i am about to get a guinea pig ! so need to get ready ! what does it eat ? what does it play with ??


RenaSherwood profile image

RenaSherwood 8 years ago Author

Hi, Rizi. Good luck with your new piggie. I will have an article up very soon about gps and toys. GPs are vegatarians, with timothy hay being their food staple. They also need GP pellets (NOT rabbit) as they contain the viatmin C gps need. For some quick and comprehensive answers to your gp questions, check out:

http://www.cavyspirit.com/care.htm


amba 8 years ago

i love guinea pigs


lola 8 years ago

is there some ikind of sand they can bath in i need to know fast bc i am getting a guinea pig too!!!!


RenaSherwood profile image

RenaSherwood 8 years ago Author

No, only chinchillas bathe in sand. GPs keep themselves very clean, so bathing should only be occassionally. Good luck with your new GP :-)


Fiona 8 years ago

Rizi, you'll be happy with a guinea pig! i have 6 and they're great! they're my first guinea pigs. they're really easy to keep too. they need cleaning regularly, fresh food regularly cos they have a habit of sitting in the bowl, clean water and hay. they're lovely!


tonytheguineapig  8 years ago

i have to bathe my GP 2 day his fur is all dirty :) 


Alex the guinea pig 8 years ago

do u bathe a short haired guinea pig the same way


nascar (oscar the piggy) 8 years ago

my piggy is about one year old and his name is oscar but we call him nascar because he runs forever =]

im gonna give my piggie a bath for the first time so because his piddle and poops make him stink

wish me luck


Annonymous 8 years ago

Hi I was jus wondering somebody said that Guinea Pigs swim. I thought it was just so cruel someone would do that to a little piggy, so in your opinion what do you think about a guinea pig swimming in a pool, sink, or any other body of water??


anonomas 8 years ago

Not a good idea


Strangechild07 8 years ago

I have 2 guinea-pigs 1 long haired and 1 short haired and they both absolutley LOVE the water i use tescos own baby shampoo and they love the hairdryer to but it make them sleepy!


dani 8 years ago

My guinea pig feels scared when i want to take her for a bath


cutie kid 568942 8 years ago

this wuz very sucsesful


Han 8 years ago

Hi! Just wanted to say that I just bathed my piggie for the first time and that she absolutely adored all the attention. She didn't even mind the hairdryer! She has definitely earned her veggies tonight! Hope it goes well when we have to bath her again in the future.


Stephanie 8 years ago

I've had my guinea pigs for some time, but i havn't had to bathe them yet. My 2 pigs do a good job of keeping themselves clean. :)


krista 8 years ago

thanks that helped a lot because i just bought a guinea pig and i was wondering how to bathe it so thank you so much


AnimalLover 8 years ago

Hi! I just got my first guinea pig! Miss Piggy! She loves to cuddle!!! But she has long hair and it is very weird looking! But i think it's cute!~ i was just wondering if i can give her a hair cut?


madonna 7 years ago

u bunch of people don't even know how to care for a guinea pig I have 10 and they are the smartest you ever heard of they know how to sit and lay down and go to sleep! isn't it exciting i'm gettin' two more for my birthday next week! so beat that


cody smiteater 7 years ago

u big idiots u probably don't even bathe yourselves I bet the guinea pigs only bathe and not yall' I have 22 guinea pigs and they all have the same name you know how complicated it was to name them think about that doo doo's


cally1234567891012345678910123456789101234567891012345678910123456789101234567891012345678910123456789101234567891012345678910 7 years ago

I'm about to get a guinea pig and I already know the name and I have been looking for ways to take care of it and I still have to look some more you have helped me a lot I already know how to walk it excersize it and more I want to know if it would be better to get a boy or a girl and I want to know some other good names because I'm not sure if I want the name I picked out if you could tell me that would be great! love,calley1234567891012345678910123456789101234567891012345678910123456789101234567891012345678910


montez 7 years ago

hey yall' i got a guinea pig the other day and it's UGLY! moma got it for me and you know how these city folk are Ilive in New York and I ain't around no city folk cause ya know we just got a quiet little town here I went outside and I counted 14 prople can you beleive thet COW


baseballfanatic332 7 years ago

hey i was wondering if u could help me more with a video i am going to get a g-pig for Christmas and i am not getting real info!


ang 7 years ago

a guinea pig that i had as a child loved taking baths. i would give them to her in our bathtub and she would always try and go where it was a little deeper once i would rinse her. so once i slowly added more water and she swam around. she also loved being blow dried and brushed after. she was a very fun guinea pig


lauren 7 years ago

wow today i went shopping for my guinea pig Sofie and when i showed her all the new things i bought her she was so excited and squeaking in joy so people get out there and buy your guinea pig some toys or new things that he or she will enjoy!!!


lauren  7 years ago

ohhh boy today i just found out that my guinea pig has LICE!!!!! and now i have to buy this special type of mites, and lice shampoo to wash it with also i find out more and more about my guinea pig even though m only in the fifth grade but guinea pigs can get pregant up to 2 time so they can have the double amount of the babies and guess what my guinea pig Sofie is pregant again!!!!! does any one know how long it takes until birth???


SHANNON 7 years ago

IVE GOT A 110 G-PIGS AND THEY LOVE TAKING WALKS IN THE GARDEN AND I HAVE A POOL IN THE GARDEN AND THEY LUV IT SO MUCH AND WEN I GET MY G-PIGS OUT OF THE BATH AND THEY CUDDLE UP IN MY BED FOR A LITTLE WHILE AND THE I PUT THEM IN MY BARBIE HOUS EWHERE THEY LIVE THERE AND THE HAIRDRYER IS A STUPID IDEA


julia 7 years ago

thanks for the info! I'm going to get one and I'm so excited to take ot a bath

Love,

juliasos


piggie lover!!!!!!!!!!! 7 years ago

wow, thanks, i have 2 new guinea pigs, ruby and gloria, they both are short haired and the cutest things you ever saw! They are the first piggies i have ever had and i have only had them about 2 days but i LOVE them. since i have only had them 2 days they are still getting used to me and the new habitat i was woundering if it would be safe to give them a bath so soon? i think the place they used to be gave them baths so it wouldn't be the first time for THEM, even so im still a little worried, Thanks for the great bath info!

Love, lise


Guinea Pig Luvr!!! 7 years ago

I'm getting a guinea pig in a month or two and I was wondering if I should have the cage set up when they get home.


blah 7 years ago

do they get sick? when u bathe them case normally they get sick!


Sina 7 years ago

Hello,

I can`t believe it that you let your piggy take a bath. It`s against their nature and they will die earlier. So please, don`t put your poor pig in the tub. They`re able to clean themselves!!


G-pig 7 years ago

I am going to get a Guinea pig so how big does the cage have to be for one piggy?

Thank You


yasmin 7 years ago

my guinea pig loves water she swims in the pool some times


Anonymous 7 years ago

I enjoyed your instructions, but I really don't think anyone should use Dawn Dishwashing soap on their guinea pig. The chemicals are way too extreme, and it could result in skin problems. Use guinea pig shampoo, they're gentle and nice.


2cool4you 7 years ago

iwant a guinea pig:)


caz 7 years ago

i recently had to wash mine, he wasn't impressed ! but it was necessary. mucky little pig !


Gabrielle 7 years ago

I have a Guinea Pig named Piglet. she is 5.5 years old. roughly how old is that for a guinea pig. older then 60?


person 7 years ago

My guinea pig, Brownie, has lice! Can I give him a bath?


Irving 7 years ago

Im very scared to give my guinea pig a bath. i just got it, and he doesn't even let himself hold. im very scared, and i don't know what to do. PLEASE HELP!

SEND ME AN e-mail at irvingglc@hotmail.com THANKS FOR YOUR HELP!!! :)


ashley 7 years ago

how often are you supposed to give guniea pigz bathz?


Madie 7 years ago

I just got my first guinea pig and he s so cute he s name is toffy and he likes to cuddle up and eat carrrots too. Hes lovely and adorrable to me


chelse 7 years ago

thanks i just got my guinea pig today she is pure white


chels 7 years ago

hey my guinea pig is an albino i got her today she is sweet the most gross thing is i fed her and i looked a her food and the were bugs in it anyway i think this helped a lot

THANKS: CHELS :)


I LOVE GUINEA PIGS88 7 years ago

!!!!!!!!!!!! READ!!!!!!!!!! ARE YOU SAPOSE TO GIVE GUINEA PIGS BATHS OR NOT IF YOU NO PLEASE RIGTH TO " I LOVE GUINEA PIGS88" AND I WILL THANK YOU

PLEASE AWESNER


piggy lover!! 7 years ago

i have two, actually 3 gps i got what i thought were two girls but now i have a baby!(guinea pig) anyways i gave one her first bath today (not the baby) and she seemed okay, but do i need to wait until she is completely drie to put her back in her house? (calling it a cage sounds cruel! (my pigs have lots of floor and lap time!))

:) thxs evry1!!!


maddy 6 years ago

you said a lot of good stuff but i still do not now if we should give a guniea pig a bath or not


maddy 6 years ago

how long should my guniea pig stay in the tub for.im also scared to give her a bath too!


Liv 6 years ago

I would love to give my pig a bath, but i would be afraid she would get a chill and get sick :( so i don't think it's a good idea.


tanika 6 years ago

have 2 cute ones there cute can i bathe them to gether


jordan 6 years ago

my guinea pig always flips the bowl over before it eats and sometimes after.i feed her a half bowl and a handful of hay each night but is it normal for her to flip it over because she just wants to eat it of the ground?


holly 6 years ago

i have two guinea pig their names are p-nelle and chi-chi they are so fun to have and the other day when i gave them a bath they would run around and hop it was so funny and then when i got them out they would want to cuddle up to each other but when i got my first one she seem to be lonely so i ask my mom if i could get another one and she said yes so then about three days later she took me to the pet store and there was a lot more than the first one because when i got p-nelle she was the only one and i fell in love with her so i got her but this time there was a really big one so i did not get that one because it would hunt p-nelle than i saw chi-chi was the same size as p-nelle so i got her and 2 days later i her very loud squeking and chi-chi was being mean but now there like very best friends ao i am glad it all work out between them lol


anonomos13 6 years ago

dear i love guinea pigs88,

i think you should try and give your pig a bath if it dosent like it take it out and find another method of cleaning it.aviod stressing the pig!!!


anonomos13 6 years ago

......hello???....anybody?!


Guinea Pig Care 6 years ago

Hi there,

Thanks for the info about bathing guinea pigs. I am thinking of giving my two a bath so they can cope with the extremely hot Australia weather.

Here is a great guide on caring for guinea pigs:

http://www.pet-guinea-pig-care.com/


faith 6 years ago

i got a guinea pig and this info is useful thx


nikki 6 years ago

do i smell wet guinea pig


guinea pig 6 years ago

hi ive got 1 guinea pig that i hade adout 2-3 months,but his kinda lonly is it ok to get a other 1,i heard that they will fight if i do what should i do?


makayla 6 years ago

this is very helpful because i didn't know if they could get a bath or not thank you


laurenn 6 years ago

can anyone tell me how log i should waite until i bath my guinea pig, iv never had one beofre so this is all new to me :S helpp me please!!

thanks x


anthony 6 years ago

our guinea pig is new to the family, he's a funnie looking guy but he seems to be loving his new home so far. His name is c.j. I would think you should bathe your guinea pig once a week, just to make sure its hygeine dosnt get outta hand. i hope that helps you out.


HeLpMePlZzZ! 6 years ago

well i rly want a guinea pig. i hope i get one for my birthday. how do i convince my mom it wont be a problem having an animal in the house?


Kleo 6 years ago

WOW thx for the instruchtions my guinea pig smells and im giving her a bath tomorrow i hope she likes it.She likes to talk a lot i think she might squeel.

TO EMAIL ME:kleotink@gmail.com


COlette 6 years ago

I have a guinea pig named layla but i think my sink is to small to bathe her in. i got perfume though.


6 years ago

how often should u bathe a gp


cassie 6 years ago

i am about to adopt one.

i don't think that it has ever been bathed or touched very much so i have no idea as to how it will react to the water...

i know that it is an adult (not sure how old it is exactly).

it is also long haired and most likley matted.

how would i get him used to me in a limited time??

and should i bath him right away or should i wait until he is used to his new home and owners??


emma 6 years ago

i bought my ginnie pig a cupple month ago and i don't no if it should eat paper becuse it said on the internet it dus but i don't have a scoobey


lorn 6 years ago

it dus eat paper because my ginnie pig eats paper


guineapiglove777 6 years ago

I just got a new guinea pig yesterday!!! her name is tutu and she is soooo sweet, cute and calm!! today, i may attempt bathing her because on the car ride home yesterday she peed on herself like 4 times!! she smells really bad . . . im gonna go bathe her! wish me luck!!


lorn 6 years ago

desegzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz


guineapigsrcute 6 years ago

I have two guinea pigs named Fluffy and Crystal and I got them like two years ago and they r so cute and funny! But i was wondering if i should let them swim. I have never bathed them before but one of them really stinks so i think i should!


Jennifer:) 6 years ago

Im going to get a short haired guinea pig,do i have to bathe it,or at petsmart i was looking around,and they have this spray you can spray your guinea pig,to keep it clean.which is better?


gpluver 6 years ago

I have a guinea pig named Gizmo, and my sisters have guinea pigs named cocoa and pepe le pu. They aren't long hair but are crazy haired! Their hair goes in all types of directions. Batheing them is a priority because all they do is get dirty. It is important to bathe guinea pigs occationally because they can get mites or lice. Also remember this may not happen if u clean the cage weekly and really well.


lizmoss71 profile image

lizmoss71 6 years ago from Orpington, UK

I have short haired guinea pigs (well just one now sadly, after a recent loss). I have found they rarely need a bath, but occasionally it is necessary. One tip I have found by experience is to wash them in a bowl on the floor, not on a table or even in a sink. This is because one of mine would jump out of the water, and if he was high up, it was an accident waiting to happen.

To the person who lets their guinea pig swim - you should NEVER do that, they hate swimming but it is a reflex survival thing if they are thrown into water.


Kim 6 years ago

I don't know if I should make a bath for my GP a monthly thing or not. Can I use baby shampoo, because I already bought it and everything?


chitzu 6 years ago

guinea pigs are not real


bree 6 years ago

guinea pigs are awsum!


tyler 6 years ago

ok i have 2 guinea pigs and this is my first time owning guinea pigs, how old should they be before i give them their first bath?


asap 6 years ago

help did i kill my brothers gp by bathing him?


louie 6 years ago

hi there, just had a question about when to bath a guinea pig when you know it is already carrying a child guinea pig?...like say about 4 weeks old in the tummy?...when to take a bath again after it gave birth? the peruvian i have is kind of having wet coats from its urine. please email me on wuchabonsiy@yahoo.com for the answer...thanks


Kelseeyy 6 years ago

Hey! I have two piggies, their both girls. Skittles and Pepper. I was wondering, is it ok if you can spray your piggie with water? Like from a spray people keep in their handbag. You know the sort. But just water to keep it clean, and refreshed. Is this alright?


you don't need to know these things  6 years ago

learn to spell!!!im younger than 18 and can spell better than most on the site! i hate seeing stuff on sites like: dey ar so cute and thaynks for the instructchiouns on how to bathee theym!!!i no how too now and im soooooo happie i wont dround theym or huert theym.


Guineapigowner 6 years ago

I have a piggy, and I was just wondering, can you trim their nails and teeth at home, or is this a vets job only? thanks


Kayla 5 years ago

I just got my piggy on wesday for my birthday i needed to know this stuff.thanks!!


wendy 5 years ago

I just showered my 2 gp's in shower in a washing basket.... hey, they are now in their cage with lots newspaper shaking their coats like a dog, munching the shredded newspaper n pampering themselves like a cat... if they die 2morrow... i think they look happy enough, lol.


Ruby 5 years ago

Will my guinea pig die if I give him a bath in the fall? I hope not I reall love him and my cousins keep tell me that he will.


oksana 5 years ago

ohh my goodness i never new that a guinea pig can get a bath!!!1


emma 5 years ago

thakes for telling me a lotof things thankes :)


lewisandclarkowner 5 years ago

Hahaha wow! I bathed my guinea pigs in water AND THEY LOVED IT!!! Its so crazy!they kept trying to jump back in!!


laura! 5 years ago

Hi! I'm about to get a guinea pig, and which one would be easier to take care of: a long haired GP or a short haired GP??

Thanks! :)


Wolfie 5 years ago

hi! I really want a guinea pig but im moving soon so it'll hve to wait till summer. But i can wait!! I was just wondering, do young guinea pigs nip a lot? I am going to adopt so don't worry about me buying from a breeder ;)


lewis 5 years ago

I have a guinea pig and he is ginger and loves to play and jump and he always jumps allot,why???


youpeopleareondrugs 5 years ago

a few of you are almost certainly on drugs, such as the person who said guinea pigs are not real. And as for lewis, if your guinea pig jumps a lot, then your guinea pig "popcorns", mine does it too, and there is not need to be worried at all. they do it because they are excited.


mimi 5 years ago

My piggie mummy just giving birth after two.My i know can i she take a bathe?


Tamia 5 years ago

So i just bathed my guinea pig 4 the 1st time but I accidentally used dawn shampoo instead of baby shampoo:O what do I do so that his skin doesn't dry out?


XXX 4 years ago

just wondering anyone know any guinea pig breeders in oregon


Melissa 4 years ago

I have a guinea pig and his name is Pickles. He loves to talk and get his belly scratched and even though he is nocturnal, he loves to cuddle with me. He also loves grapes, carrots, apples, and prezels. Is it a bad thing to feed them junk food? When he is out with me he loves running around and them cuddles up to my leg. Is it bad that I let my guinea pig sleep with me?


LUV guinea pig 4 years ago

That was such a great posting! Very useful! If I get a Guinea pig in the future, I will surely try out that bathing strategy! I LUV animals, so little tip: Always try to buy from pounds of from the animal humane society. I saw one today there! If there is none in the shelter, green light to buy from pet shops. Great job on the post, RenaSherwood!


Salar 4 years ago

My guinea pig loves Benjamin ! Give your guinea piggyyyyyyyy a bath because they walk on their poopsss and they will be so dirty


Hazza 4 years ago

My Guinea pig would definitely be screaming his head off... I think I'll give this one a miss.


wrong 4 years ago

you shouldn't bath your guinea pigs people!!! it's not necessary, unless you want to stress your pigs and therefore want them to live shorter. it's a god damn selfish act, every veterinarian will tell you. guinea pigs aren't humans.

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