Like all pets, it can sometimes be important to bath your guinea pig. While they won’t need regular bathing, it can be a good idea if you notice that excrement is collecting around the fur on their rear end, or if they should urinate on themselves. Leaving them wet with urine can cause their skin to become irritated, let alone being unhygienic and unpleasant to you and your family; while leaving crusted manure can attract flies that then lay eggs and give the guinea pigs maggots when the flies hatch – a potentially lethal condition.
Bathing your guinea pig is important from time to time then on a contextual basis, but it’s also a relatively difficult task if they should squirm around or become frightened. With such a small animal becoming frightened is particularly dangerous as it can lead to a heart attack and ultimately result in their death.
As such it’s very important to first of all make sure you don’t use too much water and keep shallow so that they are paddling rather than submerged. If they should be more submerged they will likely be scared and probably won’t be able to swim. As you aren’t using much water (remember there isn’t that much body area to cover either), you can use a sink or a bowl rather than the bath. This will also stop your guinea pig from running around and mean you don’t have to bend over the bath which can otherwise hurt your back. As well as keeping your water shallow (about an inch deep) you should also be sure to make sure it’s a mild temperature. It should be warm enough without there being any chance of burning your guinea pig – again extreme temperatures can scare or hurt them.
Once you’ve poured the water lift your guinea pig in and reassure and stroke it as you do. Splash water over it carefully and try to avoid getting any water in its eyes. You will also need some kind of shampoo in order to clean your guinea pig’s fur and here you will need a specialised shampoo for small pets as a human shampoo is likely to irritate their skin which is generally very sensitive. These can be bought from most pet shops and vets.
After you’ve covered your guinea pig with shampoo and avoided the eyes you should be sure to rinse it off completely – again leaving any left on the guinea pig’s skin will cause it irritation. If there are any pieces of manure crusted into your guinea pig’s fur then you can try to break them up or cut the fur around the area.