Should I bathe them?

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Post   » Fri Jul 12, 2019 10:15 pm

Ok, I understand that probably it is not normally necessary or a good idea to bathe guinea pigs. But can I or should I do it on rare occasions if necessary, and if so, how?

I ask because I have let them out to run on the linoleum floor a few times, and this last time it appears that they both pooped and peed on the floor while they were out. (Clearly I need to come up with a better plan for exercising them, but that's another question.) When I picked them up, they were noticeably wet on the bottom, like they had walked through their pee puddles --yuck. I just put them straight back in their pen for now.

Should I find a way to give them a little bath? Good or bad idea? Are they self-cleaning to the extent where they would clean this off themselves?


Post   » Sat Jul 13, 2019 10:27 am

You can bathe them if they get dirty. The important thing is to take every precaution that they will not slip and fall from your hands when wet. I always bathed mine in the sink by putting down a towel beside the sink and then having several smaller towels at the ready. Use that shampoo that is formulated for rabbits that comes in the pink bottle (the name escapes me at the moment). I always held the pig under the water to wet it, making sure the water was just lukewarm in temperature. Then I set the pig down in the sink, keeping a hand on it at all times, soaped the pig up, and held it with both hands again to rinse it under the running water. It's important not to get soap or water in the pigs eyes, ears, face. Then, of course, towel dry. Keep the pig out of drafts until he/she is completely dry. Do not use a hair dryer on a pig!

Other people fill the bathtub with just an inch of water or so and bathe them that way. No matter what, the pig will struggle and may try and jump out of the water. I took to doing my method of bathing because it seemed safer to be holding the pig. I could turn it properly to get it's whole body wet/washed. I tried bathing a pig in a five-gallon bucket once and the pig actually leaped high enough to jump out (and possibly hurt itself). That's when I went to my sink method.

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Post   » Sat Jul 13, 2019 10:33 am

I use a sink with a few inches of warm but not hot water in it, and a drop or two of Dawn dishwashing liquid for our guy who is immobile and gets dirty frequently. Do make sure you dry the pig(s) thoroughly.

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Post   » Sun Jul 14, 2019 11:07 pm

I use a couple of inches of warm water in the bathtub and put all my piggies together in it, taking them in turn to wash with small animal approved shampoo. (Mine are adults, but when they were smaller I used just an inch of water.) They've been getting baths together since they were very young, so they are used to it and don't try to jump out. (They don't like it, but they are used to it.) They know they get treats afterward, which makes it OK.


Post   » Mon Jul 15, 2019 1:52 pm

I've found that it's easier with two people (makes it harder for the pig to make a run for it if you are in a sink that is not very deep) and, like others have said, to put a towel at the bottom of the sink. I use a cup to gently pour slightly warm water over my pigs fur (avoiding the face and ears...don't want ear fungus among us!). I don't use any shampoo. Water alone is generally sufficient unless you are treating for something specific like dry skin or mites.

I would also only recommend bathing them if you really have to. For example, once my older gal got spooked and ran straight through a piece of coconut cream pie that I was eating with chilling with her. Lessons were learned about snacking and cuddle time LOL and a bath was had. Water was enough to get her clean. If your pigs get into something sticky or particularly smelly, a tiny bit of small animal shampoo is adequate. Just make sure they are rinsed thoroughly if you use shampoo, as it can cause dry skin.

Drying is the most important part of the bathing process. You have to make sure they are COMPLETELY DRY before letting them back into their enclosure. A wet pig is a cold (and susceptible to illness) pig. You can use a hairdryer on low (and cold or warm). Keep your hand near your pig so you can gauge the temp of the hairdryer. I usually close the bathroom door and let my girl run around the small space as I sort of chase her with the hair dryer if I think towel drying isn't going to do the job. You can also just get like 6 towels and towel dry your pig for a while. In my experience it takes over an hour to dry my girls that way, though. I usually towel dry for about 20-30 minutes, then finish off with the blow dryer.

Generally, you don'y need to bathe your pigs. Avoid it if you can. You can also purchase small animal wipes if your pigs get a little dirty but not dirty enough for a bath. If one of my girls is a little pungent (which is rare) I usually just give them a quick wipe down with a small animal wipe. You can purchase these at petco/smart, I believe.

I think for your situation the wipes would be sufficient. They are going to clean themselves anyway, but wiping up a bit of the excess urine wouldn't hurt.

Also you should probably just lay down a big fleece blanket if you are going to do floor time on the linoleum. That way you can just fold it up and toss it in the wash and your pigs won't get soaked. You can get a HUGE fleece at Primark if there is one near you or you can find pretty big ones online. This one is on sale on amazon and it rolls up into a bag:

Good luck!


Post   » Mon Jul 15, 2019 3:36 pm

When Nibbles has a bladder stone, she dribbles pee all over her back legs so I wash the peed on areas every other day when its bad. I put a large plastic colander in the sink, with a washcloth ontop to keep her feet from going into the holes, and put her in it. I hold her front feet up and use the faucet to wash down her butt and back legs. I use a drop of our dish washing detergent that is die/color/fragrance free. She doesn't like it but she doesn't/can't fight it. This process is easier with two people but I can manage it by myself. Then I cuddle her in a towel and we'll watch tv until she dries.

I've noticed when I put her back in the cage, her cage mate will follow her around and keep sniffing her back side for a while. It's funny to watch.

The biggest bath she received was here entire bottom side when peed on the kitchen floor then sat in it. I toss a couple lap fleeces on the floor in the kitchen and they are so used to fleece now, they almost always come over the the fleece to pee now.

The key for me has always been limiting the bath the areas that need it.

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Post   » Mon Jul 15, 2019 9:47 pm

Big ditto on the making sure they are completely dry before putting them back. I recommend the hand in front/on the guinea pig when using a blow drier so it doesn't get to hot and you remember to keep it moving.

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