It’s best to bathe your guinea pigs on a day when it's not too wet outside, so that they can dry quickly afterwards. Guinea pigs don’t enjoy being wet, and in cold climates bathing guinea pigs and not drying them off properly can give them chills, and make them feel very miserable at the very least.
Guinea pigs rely on their sense of smell, so when one is removed for a bath and then returned with a different scent, fights can break out. This s because, without the familiar scents, the GPs don’t immediately recognise each other. To avoid this, get the bathing over with in one big batch, washing and returning all the guinea pigs on the same day. In this way they will all smell of shampoo, and this actually defuses the tension rather than making things worse.
Be sure to dry your pets off properly afterwards
What Do You Need To Bathe A Guinea Pig?
The following items are all you need to get your GPs spruced up:
- Shampoo (baby shampoo or guinea pig shampoo)
- A guinea pig brush
- A Sink or big bowl with two or three centimetres of warm water
- A towel
- A hair dryer with a cool setting
Guinea Pig Baths
Make sure that your guinea pig is calm before dunking it in the bath. Placing their feet in the warm water first can help them get used to the idea. Keeping something tasty nearby will distract them too.
Once your guinea pig is calm, place their lower body in the shallow, warm water. Make sure their nose and mouth are clear of the water. Gently pour a little water over them, using one hand to shield their faces. Once they are thoroughly wet (apart from their head which you can wet with your fingertips) lift them from of the water and place them on a soft towel (in a lap, ideally). Lather a little shampoo over the guinea pig’s body. For their heads, use a finger and avoid getting shampoo in their eyes.
If you’re giving the guinea pig an anti-parasite bath, follow the instructions on the packet. If you’re trying to get rid of mites then carefully shampoo the guinea pig’s ears, too, as mites will live on and in them. This needs to be done very carefully to avoid getting shampoo or water near your pets’ eardrums.
After the shampooing, rinse the fur two or three times in warm fresh water, making sure there’s no shampoo left. Then wrap them in a towel for a few minutes to get most of the water off of them. Keep their heads poking out so they can breathe, and don't wrap them too tightly.
Once most of the water has been soaked up, hold your guinea pig on your lap and use a gentle, cool hairdryer setting to dry them. Don't aim the jet of air at their ears, and keep moving the dryer so it doesn't heat one particular spot too much. Once your pet is dry, keep it in a warm place for a few hours.