You should not use baby shampoo on a guinea pig. The biggest issue is the pH level of the skin. Guinea pig skin has a different pH balance than human skin. A guinea pig’s pH balance can be altered by using baby shampoo, causing severe skin issues.
Many people don’t think of guinea pigs as their first choice for pets. However, guinea pigs are very enjoyable pets with lively personalities, and you can even play with them for hours.
When making the step of inviting one of these adorable and fun pets into your loving home, make sure you know how to take proper care of them. This includes hygiene for their fur and skin.
Is Baby Shampoo Safe for Guinea Pigs?
You might wonder if it’s really necessary to get special shampoo for your guinea pigs, especially when human baby shampoos are already known to be more gentle than human adult shampoos.
However, the answer is still no. Any kind of human shampoo can be harmful to guinea pigs, including human baby shampoo.
Why Do Guinea Pigs Need Their Own Shampoo?
Even though we are both mammals, your first glance will probably tell you that humans and guinea pigs are different creatures. First, guinea pigs have fur covering their entire bodies. That fur needs different care than human hair, so it’s important to use guinea pig shampoo designed especially with guinea pig fur in mind.
In addition, guinea pigs have a different pH balance than humans. Using human shampoo on guinea pigs can alter their pH balance, which would be problematic for their health.
What is the Ideal Shampoo for My Guinea Pig?
If not baby shampoo, what is the ideal shampoo for your guinea pig? Because their fur and skin can be very sensitive, guinea pigs need unscented, organic, and fragrance-free shampoo. Notice how many human shampoos don’t meet those standards.
In addition, hypoallergenic shampoo is suitable for most guinea pigs. Hypoallergenic shampoos are even more gentle on their sensitive fur and skin.
However, every guinea pig is different. Your guinea pig might have their own unique needs. Check with a veterinarian to find the best care for your guinea pig, especially if you notice their skin is too dry or reacting poorly to the shampoo you already use.
How Often Should I Shampoo My Guinea Pig?
Now that you have the right shampoo for your guinea pig, you might be wondering how to use it. The first question to ask is how often you should bathe and shampoo your furry little friend.
This is yet another aspect that varies from guinea pig to guinea pig. For the most part, a long-haired guinea pig should be shampooed once a month in the summer and every other month in the winter.
Short-haired guinea pigs might not need to be shampooed more than twice a year.
Your Guinea Pig’s Environment
If your guinea pig smells, that might be a sign that they need to be bathed. However, if your guinea pig smells too much, it might be a sign that their environment needs to be cleaned.
Ensure that their food dishes and their cages are regularly cleaned of pellets and old food. If the environment is not kept clean, your guinea pig’s cage and even the guinea pig itself could become infected by bacteria.
The reason this is relevant is because you’ll need to shampoo your guinea pig when they smell, but shampooing too often is unsuitable for their skin. By keeping a clean environment, you can minimize the number of times you shampoo your guinea pig.
Why Can’t I Shampoo My Guinea Pig as Often as I Like?
What happens if you shampoo your guinea pig too often? Shampooing removes natural oils from their fur and skin. If you shampoo too often, you will remove an excess amount of oil which can cause dry and itchy skin. You don’t want your pet to be uncomfortable!
Bathing Tips for Your Guinea Pig Using Guinea Pig Shampoo
You already know that you can’t use human shampoo or even baby shampoo on your guinea pig. And you know how often you should bathe your guinea pig based on their hair’s length. But what is the most effective way to bathe your guinea pig?
Setting Up the Bath
A sink is the perfect place to bathe your guinea pig. Place a washcloth at the bottom of the sink, then put your guinea pig on top of it. A washcloth prevents slipping by helping your guinea pig grip the surface.
Washing Your Guinea Pig with Guinea Pig Shampoo
The next step is to wet your entire guinea pig except its face. It’s helpful to fill a separate bucket with water, then pour slowly onto the guinea pig. If you don’t have a bucket, you can use your faucet on a slow setting, but buckets are preferred for slow, controlled amounts of water.
Next, you need to shampoo your guinea pig. Follow the instructions on the bottle of guinea pig shampoo and use the correct amount. We already know what too much shampoo can do!
When you are done gently shampooing your guinea pig based on the bottle’s instructions, you need to rinse their fur well. Use the same bucket of water and gently pour it over their body. Make sure there is no shampoo left in their eyes, which might cause irritation.
Drying Your Guinea Pig
The next step is to dry your guinea pig with a towel. Dry off your guinea pig as much as possible. If you leave them wet, they may become too cold. It’s important to remove as much water as you can since they may already be shivering.
The last step (which is optional) is to blow dry your guinea pig. Turn your blow dryer to the lowest air setting and the coolest temperature setting. Gently blow-dry your guinea pig until they are comfortable and clean….and warm!
The More You Know!
Guinea pigs are amazing pets and companions, but it’s imperative to keep them happy and healthy by shampooing them correctly. This means with the right shampoo, at the right frequency, and the right way!