If your guinea pigs are in need of their monthly bath (or every other month, in the winter) then it’s best to do this on a day with good weather when they can dry off quickly. Guinea pigs don’t enjoy being wet, and particularly in cold climates bathing guinea pigs and not drying them off properly can give them chills.
First, make sure you have ample time to bathe and dry all your guinea pigs. Guinea pigs are very scent-oriented creatures, and if you remove one from their home and return it with a different scent, then fights can break out as they don’t recognise each other properly. To avoid this, it’s best to get it all over and done with on the same day, so that they all smell of shampoo rather than their usual scent.
Be sure to dry your pets off properly afterwards
To begin, you’ll need the following items:
- 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
Make sure that your guinea pig is calm before plonking them in the water. You might want to dab one of their feet with some of the warm water first to help them get used to it, and keep something tasty nearby to distract them (be careful not to get shampoo on this). Once your guinea pig is calm, gently lower their body into the shallow water, making sure that your guinea pig's nose and mouth is out of the water so that your guinea pig can breathe. Scoop up water and very gently pour it over them, using one hand to shield their faces from the streams of water. Once their bodies are thoroughly wet (apart from their head which you can wet with your fingertips) lift them out of the water and place them on the ground, or on a towelled lap. Squeeze a bit of the shampoo onto your hand and gently lather it all over your guinea pig’s body. It's a good idea to lather your guinea pig's head with a finger to help avoid getting any shampoo in their eyes, as this will sting as it does with humans. If you’re giving a guinea pig an anti-parasite bath, follow the instructions on the packet for shampooing the guinea pig’s head. 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. Shampooing of ears needs to be done very carefully to avoid getting shampoo or water near your pets’ eardrums.
Once your pet is all lathered up, rinse the animal two or three times with warm fresh water and have a good look to make sure there’s no shampoo remaining. Once you’re sure all the suds are out of their hair, then wrap them in a towel for a few minutes to get the majority of the water off of them. Make sure their head is poking out so they can breathe, and that you’re not wrapping them too tightly. Next, once they’ve stopped dripping, hold your guinea pig on your lap and use a hairdryer on them. To prevent burning them with this machine, avoid their ears, use a cool setting, and keep moving the dryer so it doesn't heat up one particular spot too much. Once your guinea pig is dry, make sure it's kept in a warm place for at least a few hours, or overnight to be on the safe side.