How to Bathe a Guinea Pigs

how to bathe a guinea pig

Before you jump right into bathing your guinea pig, let's first review whether we should bathe a guinea pig.

Should you bathe your guinea pigs? 

The short answer is very rarely. Guinea pigs are known to be an extremely clean creatures who groom themselves very often. Therefore, you rarely need to give them a bath. Please do not bathe your guinea pig unless it is necessary. Unnecessary baths will result in dry fur coats and skin.
If your guinea pigs often smell bad, it usually boils down to the possibility of guinea pig being sick. Please visit an exotic vet immediately.
Some illness may cause the guinea pigs to be smellier than usual. For example, if your guinea pig has a gut issue, the poop can be watery or clumpy. Not only the poop itself could be smellier, but it could get smudged on the butt or butt hair, causing the odor issue.
As a guinea pig parent, you must actively inspect guinea pigs poop throughout their lift time. It is one of the best indicator of their health. If you would like to learn more about it, please check this blog: Guinea Pig Poop Chart. Some beddings prevent guinea pig parents from becoming a great parent because it hinders their ability to spot problems immediately. You could also check out this article that shows the difference between different guinea pig bedding: Best Bedding for Guinea Pigs
When your guinea pig has urinary tract infection, that could also cause some odor issues. If left alone, it could develop into the stones that could be extremely painful and possibly fatal to guinea pigs. 
How often should a healthy guinea pig get a bath per year?
Probably never to couple times a year at the most if your guinea pig is healthy and live in a clean and healthy environment.
Preparing to give a bath to a guinea pig
Here are some of the things you will need to give your guinea pig a bath:
  • Guinea pig shampoo that is safe for guinea pigs skin and fur. Do not use ones that are designed for humans or different animals.
  • Water bucket - this is where you will fill the water to about 1 inch (or 2 cm) depth to give guinea pig a bath.
  • Drying station, Towels - I use GuineaDad Liner to keep the floor dry and use the clean towel to sufficiently pat them dry before competely drying with a hair dryer.
  • Hair dryer - You need to be able to change the temperature of the air in the dryer that you use. You should not be using the 'hot' setting.
Also be sure to wash every guinea pig sharing a cage on the same day or they may fight if one of them smells different from their usual scent. 
Bathing your guinea pig
Here are the steps to follow to give your guinea pig a bath:
  1. Check to see if it is a day with good weather so that guinea pig can dry off fast after the bath.
  2. Make sure to calm your guinea pig, baths are very stressful for them. Be patient.
  3. Fill the sink with about 1 inch (2-3 cm) of warm water. Let the guinea pig get used to the water by dipping their toes into it first.
  4. Gently scoop water up from the sink and pour it over their body. Make sure you do not get water directly onto their ears or face.
  5. Lather the guinea pig shampoo all over their body.
  6. Rinse the guinea pig two to three times to make sure all the shampoo is gone.
  7. Wrap them in a towel and then blow dry them on the cold setting.
  8. Now you have a clean fur baby!
how to bathe your guinea pigs infographic
Frequently Asked Questions
Can you blow dry your guinea pig?
  • Yes! In fact, it is recommended that you fully dry them with a blow dryer (in a specific blow dryer setting). Once you have dried the guinea pigs enough with the towel, blow dry your guinea pig using 'cold' setting to prevent overheating your guinea pig. It is also recommended to use 'low' power to make sure help them be less scared.
Do guinea pigs smell bad?
    • Short answer is no, but your guinea pig cage can smell according to how well you take care of your guinea pigs.
    • Guinea pigs are clean animals, and they tend to groom themselves very well and often. If your guinea pig cage starts to smell, below are the possible causes:
      • You are not feeding the correct diet. Your guinea pig may not be eating enough fiber (must have unlimited amount of fresh hay). You might also be giving the guinea pig too much sugary fruits or vegetables.
      • You are not cleaning the cage often and thorough. You need to spot clean once or twice a day, as thorough as possible. Must do laundry as often as you can, typically once a week. Make sure you deep clean GuineaDad Liner once a month to reset it.
      • Your guinea pig might be ill. If the guinea pig has urinary infection, their urine could smell more. If your guinea pigs have unhealthy poop, they could also have more smell. You should visit your local exotic vet as soon as possible.