How to Wash a Guinea Pig the First Time

HomeCareHow to Wash a Guinea Pig the First Time

It’s important to be gentle when you wash your guinea pig for the first time. The first step is to place the guinea pig in a large container. Slowly pour warm water on the guinea pig, being sure not to splash their face. When clean, dry the guinea pig with a towel or use a blow dryer on low heat.

It can be exciting (and scary) to wash your guinea pig for the first time. You want to make sure that your guinea pig is nice and clean and that you are taking good care of them.

But it is important to understand when you should wash your guinea pig and what you’ll need, especially if it is your first time doing so.

You do not want to over-bathe the guinea pig and dry out its coat and skin. Bathing the guinea pig unnecessarily may also do more harm than good, giving them chills, stressing them out, or causing them to get a skin infection.

Reasons You May Not Need to Wash a Guinea Pig

Guinea Pigs Clean Their Own Fur

Guinea pigs are naturally clean creatures. If a guinea pig is comfortable with you, you will often see a guinea pig self-grooming, licking, or cleaning its fur.

You may see a clear liquid coming from a guinea pig’s eyes. This is used to help them clean or groom their fur. Because of this natural tendency, there are a few rare instances when you need to wash your guinea pig.

Long-haired guinea pigs are the only guinea pigs that need to have their fur washed by their owner or caretaker on a regular basis.

Guinea Pigs Socially Groom

Guinea pigs socially groom when living in a herd or with other guinea pigs. You may notice a guinea pig grooming or cleaning another guinea pig’s fur. You may see a guinea pig licking another guinea pig’s face or ear. Do not be alarmed, this is normal behavior. This is a great sign that the guinea pigs get along well and are comfortable with each other.

Guinea Pigs Love to Have Their Fur Brushed

Guinea pigs love to be brushed. It is soothing and relaxing for them. If you know what it is like to get a massage, then you will understand what this might feel like to a guinea pig…glorious!

As you brush their fur, you may hear the guinea pigs purring because they are relaxed. Gently massage their back with your hands, using long strokes starting at the head and going down.

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You may also use a baby brush to brush their hair, again do this following the direction of their hair.

Preparing to Wash a Guinea Pig For The First Time

If you notice your guinea pigs’ fur has an unpleasant odor or visibly looks different than normal, it may be time for a bath.

Gather The Materials

It will be a smoother and easier experience for you and your guinea pig if you gather all the items you need before washing the guinea pig.

You will need:

  • A hairdryer
  • A plastic container or small tub
  • A hand towel
  • Non-slip rubber mat
  • Shampoo that is approved for use with guinea pigs

Ensure that the plastic container is large enough to place the guinea pig inside

When shopping for shampoo, look for one that is gentle on guinea pigs and does not contain harsh chemicals. It’s best to find one that is labeled “all-natural.”

Do not use shampoo, body wash, soap, or another cleaning agent intended for humans. Also, do not use a shampoo that is intended for another type of pet, such as a dog or cat, unless directed to do so by a veterinarian.

The bottom of a plastic container may be slippery for a guinea pig. You may notice that the first time you bathe a guinea pig, it may be hard to keep the pig steady. Consider adding a non-slip rubber mat to the bottom of the container to keep your pig from slipping or moving around.

Also, be sure to note the room temperature. You do not want your guinea pig to come out of the bath freeze. Do not let the room temperature fluctuate while giving your guinea pig a bath. Have a towel ready so you can keep the guinea pig warm when you are done with washing.

Calm the Guinea Pig

Your guinea pig may be scared and hesitant as you wash it for the first time. If you notice signs of distress such as high squealing or the guinea pig kicking its feet and trying to get out, try soothing the guinea pig.

Make wash time with them something pleasurable. Keep the pig calm by rubbing or massaging them gently. You can also talk to the guinea pig softly while placing it into the plastic tub or small container.

You might also try singing a song to your guinea pig or playing calm music, such as a lullaby or spa music. Any of these activities may help relax your anxious guinea pig as you wash it for the first time.

Follow Instructions on Shampoo

Read and follow the instructions or product label on the shampoo or pet wash before following these general directions for washing a guinea pig for the first time. Some shampoos have product-specific instructions. If that’s the case, it’s best to follow the instructions on the bottle.

Pour Water On The Guinea Pig

When you are ready, run water from your faucet. Make sure the water is lukewarm, not too cold or hot. Check the water before it touches the guinea pig.

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Then, use a small cup and gently pour water over the guinea pig. Avoid filling the plastic container with more than an inch of water beforehand. You do not want the guinea pig to be submerged in the water.

Be sure to avoid pouring water over its face, including its eyes and ears. Focus on wetting the fur.

While washing the guinea pig, be sure that the pig is in a fixed position and not moving around.

If needed, ask a second person to assist you. Be patient with yourself and reassure yourself that you are doing a good job.

Shampooing The Guinea Pig

Next, place a small amount of the shampoo or soap on your hands and rub it into the guinea pigs’ fur. Apply a small or dime-sized amount of soap. Make sure the fur is not too soapy. Be gentle and stroke in the direction of its fur. Massage the pig with soap and water.

When you have finished rubbing the soap into the guinea pigs’ fur, thoroughly rinse the soap with lukewarm water. Use the cup and pour water over the guinea pig. Rub your hands gently through the fur to ensure that all the soap is gone.

Dry the Guinea Pig

When you are ready, take the guinea pig out of the container you used to wash it. Place the guinea pig on a towel and dry it off. Swaddle or wrap the guinea pig so it is dry and warm. Dry the guinea pig thoroughly yet gently with the towel. Avoid touching its face and eyes.

The guinea pig will not be completely dry after you towel dry it. And you do not want your guinea pig to get sick because their fur was damp.

Before returning the guinea pig to its cage, blow-dry the fur. Use a small hairdryer on the cool setting to dry its fur. Be sure that the setting is not hot. You do not want to burn the guinea pig or cause unnecessary harm.

Avoid pointing the dryer on the guinea pig’s face. Gently use the hairdryer, moving your arm back and forth to dry the guinea pig. It is also important to not keep the hairdryer in the same spot. This may cause your guinea pig to feel heat only in one area and cause a burn.

Once you feel your guinea pig’s fur is dry, gently stroke it to make sure they are completely dry.

Finally, place the guinea pig back in the cage. Once this is done, congratulate yourself on washing your pig for the first time!

Audra Foulk
Audra Foulk
Hello, my name is Audra I'm the owner of, a website all about guinea pigs! I'm also a guinea pig owner myself, and I love learning and writing about these adorable creatures. Guinea pigs are such amazing animals, and I hope to share everything I know about them with as many people as possible! View Author Profile.

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