How To Bathe A Guinea Pig With And Without Shampoo?

A guinea pig in a bathtub might seem too adorable to watch, especially as you rub-a-dub their little fur. Though, there are plenty of ways to clean and groom them, depending on what you want for your little pet.

They are known to be clean creatures and are great for keeping themselves clean, but of course, they need to bathe when their fur turns sticky.

Generally, they need to be cleaned only once a month. First-time pet owners often meet with a dilemma which is, "what is the proper way to clean my furry pet?". In this segment, a proper guide will be shown to ensure that your guinea pig is squeaky clean.

Setting Up

Before giving your guinea pig a bath, it is essential to have their essentials to keep this process as simple as you can. You need to be equipped with the right necessities before attempting to wash them.

To give you an insight, here are the necessary materials:

Shampoo That Is Guinea Pig Friendly

When using a shampoo for your adorable little ball of fur, the question always pops up if it is suitable and safe for them. Though, in choosing the right one, certain factors need to be taken into consideration.

Such factors include the purpose (eradicate ticks/simple baths/etc.), the length of fur, and the number of times you clean them.


To provide you with more insight, here are the shampoos that are often chosen by owners depending on their needs. For regular shampoo, Guinea pig shampoo or Jhonson’s small animal shampoo is used.

For parasite removal, they mostly settle with Follicle or Lice’n’Easy. To remove fungus, Imaverol is the most common. Lastly, to allow a shiny look on their fur, they use conditioner such as Gorgeous Guineas. Do not use human hair shampoo, as it tends to irritate their eyes and skin due to chemicals not suitable for them.

The Water Ideal For Your Furry Pet

It is essential to check the temperature of the water to ensure the comfort of your pet throughout the bathing session. To test it, all you need to do is to touch it. Make sure it isn’t too hot or too cold for the little animal.

Gently stir the water before placing your pet, as various hot patches are still not mixed until you pass through it by hand.

The length of the water should reach at least the guinea pig's belly. It is important never to let the water level go higher than the chin, to prevent instances of drowning them unexpectedly. Allow them to stand and keep their head out of the water comfortably.

Bathtub and A Bowl

You will need the tub to place your pet, and the bowl to rinse them off. If your guinea pig is too small, then naturally they will need a shorter bathtub. For those with long legs, a taller one can prevent them from running off while in the middle of the session.

Keep in mind that it is needed to restore the water after using the shampoo.

If you are a first-time owner, it is recommended to place a bowl in the bathtub to limit their space. You can do this until you are comfortable in handling them. When you get used to this procedure, you can bathe them anywhere you please.

A Towel

A towel is needed to dry their fur. In this case, a cloth with fiber can be used, such as a face towel or a regular towel. It is best not to let the cloth be too big, as it possibly be too heavy on your pet. You can adjust it and let it be just long enough to wrap it around them.

Homemade Shampoo Alternative

Do not have access to guinea pig shampoos? Worry no more! We have an alternative remedy that can be made using materials that are already available in your home. The recipe is as follows;

Add one-fourth of a cup of apple cider vinegar, one-fourth of liquid detergent, and half a cup of water. You can use an empty plastic bottle to store it, just be sure to clean it thoroughly. Then, go ahead and combine the materials by shaking the bottle back and forth.

When it is all combined, add two tablespoons of sweet almond oil and eight drops of your essential oil, then shake thoroughly. Let it sit overnight before using.

A Step-By-Step Guide To Bath Your Guinea Pig

Cleaning your guinea pig can be a hassle, especially if you do not know how! Luckily, here are the steps that can guide you while attempting to bath your pet’s little fur of happiness;

1. Calm Him

It can be terrifying for them to be placed in a bowl filled with water, which is why it is best to calm them first so that they won't feel anxious. To do this, relax them using a soothing voice or distract them by giving them a treat. Also, wash them one at a time so that they do not accidentally hurt each other.

2. Wipe Using Cloth

Remove the surface dirt as much as possible before placing them into the water. To do this, submerge the cloth in warm water and wipe their fur. Also, do not use dust treatments as it can potentially cause respiratory problems.

3. Lower Your Guinea Pig And Rinse

Allow your guinea pig to settle on the water, and make sure that their head is not submerged in it. Then, scoop the water using your hands and wet their fur. Carefully avoid the eyes, ears, nose, and mouth.

4. Apply Shampoo On Their Fur

Apply a few drops on your hand and gently massage it on their fur. Make sure to do this gently, as their skin is sensitive which can affect their mood throughout the process. Also, avoid the shampoo from reaching their face and ears.

5. Rinse With Clean Water

Remove the traces of shampoo by scooping out clean water and gently pour it on your guinea pig. It is important to remove all residue, so an irritation does not occur.

6. Drying Time

Wrap them up in a clean towel. It absorbs the moisture of water and helps them dry. If the first towel appears to be too damp, consider applying a new towel to speed up the drying process. Also, use a soft towel to gently blot the moisture in their fur. Avoid scrubbing the towel.

Then, brush their fur to prevent tangles. Do not be mindful of speeding up this movement as they like the brush's bristles to soothe their skin, much like with petting.

Remove The Grease In Their Glands

If you want to settle into a more deep cleaning process, then you can remove the excess grease in their glands. It is situated at the base of their spine and is used to litter. You should be attentive in cleaning it, as leaving it too dirty can cause infections.

To remove it, you can use coconut oil or dishwashing liquid. Do not apply too much; just massage it on the grease gland with little water involved. You may notice the grease gently loosening up, and in this case, peel the grease without bothering your pet.

After this, rinse them in the water before actually bathing him.

A Bath Without Shampoo!

How to clean a guinea pig without shampoo is the question that may seem tricky. Do not worry though, for it is indeed possible. Here are some of the ways to initially clean them without using shampoo;

Pet Wipes

You can clean off the granular dirt using a cleaning agent such as pet wipes. To do this, just gently wipe the area that is dirty. It can only be used if he is not overtly filthy; it is only used on a few parts with patches of dirt.

Brush & Towel

You can bathe your little pet even without shampoo. Just rinse off his fur. You can wet his belly and the parts that may seem dirty, and wash the dirt off his body. You may not be able to give him an overall bath, but he will still turn out clean!

Frequently Asked Questions

1. What if they are jumping or running around and I can’t take them to the bathing area?

If they are too energetic, consider placing them on a small container or box, and carry it to the bathing area. Wait till they are calm before settling them down into the water.

2. Is shivering after bath a normal thing?

Yes, do not be alarmed with this occurrence. It is only natural for guinea pigs to shiver when suddenly raised out of the water. To stop this, allow them to dry completely.

3. How often should I bathe my guinea pig?

Guinea pigs should not often bathe, for it may give rise to skin infections or have them catch a cold. The ideal times to clean them is once a month in summer and every two months during winter.

Final Words

Cleaning your guinea pig is a process of proper grooming. It may seem terrifying at first, especially because of his tiny, fragile body, but you can get used to it once you know the basic steps and essentials.

Keep in mind that it is important to ensure that your guinea pig is completely dry before releasing them into their cage, to prevent them from getting ill.

Now that you know how to clean a guinea pig get their water and bathtub to clean their little fur to have a shiny look.

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