In the real world, that is out in the wilderness where the guinea pig roams wild, they will only wash themselves with their tongue. Other than that, they may get caught in the odd rain shower, but that is as close as they come to having a bath. So never mind how often should you bathe a guinea pig, should you do it at all?
Well, the answer is yes, you should bathe your guinea pig. If you don’t, then it is very likely that they will start to smell. This smell you may not notice, as you may be used to it, but other people will smell it straight away. Guinea pigs also have a gland above their bottom, which needs to be kept clean, otherwise it can become blocked.
When bathing a guinea pig, if you have more than one, and you should have, then put them all in together, that way they get less scared. Bath time should be regular, the first weekend of every month for instance. For a new guinea pig, leave it until it has had a few weeks to settle in.
How to bathe them depends on what you have to use. If you have a shower, then the sprayer needs to reach the bottom of the bath, or the floor. Always place towels on any slippery surface before placing guinea pigs on it. If you are going to use a bowl to put the guinea pig in, ensure that it is flat, and only put in about 2cms of water to start with. Water temperature should be just warm. Guinea pigs will enjoy it more if it is a lower temperature than what a human baby would be washed in.
Using a shower to rinse the guinea pig makes the job of soaking and washing a lot easier. The shampoo you use should be one developed specifically for small animals, do not use a human, cat or dog shampoo. Never wash a guinea pig’s head, as you do not want to get soapy water in their mouth, nose, eyes or ears. Rinse them thoroughly.
When it comes to drying, drain as much water off the guinea pig as possible, and then place it in a dry towel. Give them a gentle, but firm, rub all over to dry off what you can. Then use a hair dryer, but only on the fast air setting that produces very low heat, never use the hot air, or you are likely to burn the guinea pig. Also, hold the hair dryer away from the animal. The best way to do this is to have the guinea pig on a towel between your legs. Cover its head with your hand, as this will keep it settled, and use the dryer with your other hand.
Ensure that the animal is thoroughly dry before putting it back in its home. Then give it a nice treat. Once you have washed a guinea pig a few times, it will be easier for you, and the guinea pig will get more settled each time. Some will just hate the water, and squeak loudly, in some cases giving them a treat can help, but keep it dry.
If you ever get a new guinea pig, and it needs to be introduced to another one, then bath time is a great way of doing it, as they will huddle together for comfort, and afterwards they will all smell the same.