A guinea pig is a pet that every second child begs their parents to acquire. And often adults will not be stubborn for a long time: not the most troublesome animal, small, cute, and you don’t even need to walk. But when a guinea pig appears in the family, the first dispute regarding the pet is whether it should be bathed. Here the controversy begins: the pig, therefore, is not the cleanest animal, it is obvious that you need to bathe often! Marine – where does she go without water for a long time. Both arguments do not withstand scrutiny.
The pig animal was named because of the shape of the muzzle, which somewhat resembled a pig snout. And the general contour of the body fit into the image of a pig, only a very small one. And “marine” is what remains of the adjective “overseas”, as the animal was originally called. So it’s impossible to consider a pet either dirty or a beast from the open spaces of the sea.
Pros and cons”
The rodent is considered a clean animal. Normally, he puts himself in order, and the guinea pig does not need to be washed additionally. In the natural environment, of course, no one suits the animal with water procedures.
The rodent follows the fur on its own: licks it with its tongue as needed, after which it smoothes it with its paws.
If the animal is healthy, if the conditions that you organized for him are favorable, you should not bathe him. For a rodent, water procedures will be stressful: and children, who most often insist on a pig bath, should explain this immediately after purchase.
But there are arguments that say that sometimes you still need to wash your guinea pig.
Consider in what situations the animal should be washed.
- If tangles, lumps, pollution formed due to various reasons are visible on his fur with the naked eye. This can happen to a pig if it “runs away for a walk” or walks in an outdoor enclosure during the warm season.
- If you see that the pet’s fur has faded, if you can’t call it shiny and lively, then the pig may not be able to wash itself. This also happens. In this situation, she needs help.
- If tomorrow is an important exhibition where you are going to show your pet in all its glory, the pig needs a bath as a spa. In order for the coat to shine, the animal will have to endure water procedures.
- If the pig began to smell unpleasant, it should definitely be washed as carefully as possible.
- Pay attention to the state of the pig’s sebaceous gland. Where the animal has a tail, there is an organ responsible for the production of sebum. To be more precise, a special secret is produced from the gland, which, like pheromones, act on members of the opposite sex. The sebaceous gland is a fatty area, oily, looking like a small bald spot. And if you find crusts in this place, the guinea pig definitely needs to be bathed.
As you can see, among the reasons for swimming there are no “curiosity”, “idle interest” and reasons like “I think she wants to swim.” Therefore, once again, do not stress the animal: and water is a frightening situation for him.
Do they like to swim?
This is not to say that pigs enthusiastically perceive the idea of bathing. Yes, the animals have a swimming skill – in natural conditions they are able to overcome water barriers (streams, for example). If you bathe an animal, you will not cause much harm to it, but bathing will not cause pleasant sensations either.
If, having immersed the animal in water, you see panic, aggression, high anxiety of the pet, do not train him, do not accustom him to patience – get the animal out of the water. If it seems to you that it is dirty, just wipe the foot, the fur with damp wipes without fragrance. You can simply moisten a piece of cloth in warm soapy water and wipe the animal – in most cases this is enough.
And although most guinea pigs try to avoid bathing, there are specimens among their brethren who take a bath with pleasure. If the owners treat them kindly, if the water is comfortable for the animal, nothing stings its eyes, it is relaxed and calm, the animal will take the bath well. It can even purr and whistle with pleasure.
But if your animal does not show such emotions, do not try to force him or accustom him to a bath: your activity will scare him even more.
Frequency of procedures
A reasonable question is how many times a month you can bathe a pig. If you have a pet of a long-haired breed, it seems that he only does what he does, which is smeared, dusty, overgrown with lumps of dirt, and so on.
Regular washing is not considered at all – for a pig this is an unnatural procedure, therefore there is no schedule. If it is very hot and stuffy in summer, and it seems to you that the pig itself wants to take a bath, then at most once a month you can give her a light shower for a short time. At other times, bathe the pig once every 3 months, not more often.
Frequent washing is dangerous for the animal. Both the water itself and especially the soap solution dry the skin of the animal. Because of this, figuratively speaking, the immunity of the mumps falls. She becomes susceptible to various diseases.
Even a person can catch a cold after a bath, and even a small animal, unaccustomed to natural habitat conditions, is under direct threat. Therefore, it is often strictly forbidden to bathe a rodent.
There are at least 5 more “don’ts” regarding bathing a guinea pig.
- You can’t bathe babies – only adults tolerate bath procedures relatively calmly. A small guinea pig is threatened by stress from all sides, and it may not survive water stress. And the young fur does not need washing.
- You can not bathe a pet in the first days at home. Many owners think that the first step is to bathe the pig so that it is “clean and fluffy” better to take root. On the contrary, such stress only interferes with the adaptation of the animal. Let him calmly settle in, for him everything is new, everything is scary, everything is alien.
- Do not bathe your pet in winter. As already mentioned, a cold can be fatal for a rodent. Pigs are extremely sensitive to temperature changes and drafts.
- Do not put pregnant females into the water: bathing for them is a huge stress with serious risks.
- Do not bathe a sick rodent.
Never break these rules – one case of neglect is enough to cause irreparable harm to the animal.
The animal is afraid of any surprise. He perceives this as a threat, begins to panic, scream, break out of his hands. In this situation, you can not continue swimming. Therefore, the pet must be prepared for the procedure. 3-5 days before the planned bathing, you should take the rodent in your arms, go into the bathroom. If he became scared already at this stage, calm the animal, stroke it, you can treat it with your favorite treat.
You can comb out the fur of the pig in the bathroom: most pets love this, because the rodent will associate the new environment with pleasant sensations.
When you understand that the pig has settled into the bathroom, you can put it in the sink or in the basin (where you are going to bathe the animal in the future). Let it get used to the dry surface, so that later it does not react negatively to the same place, only with water.
The next stage of safe addiction is the inclusion of water. Let the water flow in a thin stream (no strong pressure), do not direct water at the pig’s fur, even as a joke. The animal needs to feel the water with its paws, then it will no longer be afraid of the sound of water.
Do not rush to bathe if you see that the adaptation has not gone well. Only when the pig has ceased to be afraid of the bath, when the water flowing from the tap is not afraid of it, can the animal be bathed. The procedure begins on land. Approximately 20 minutes before bathing, the sebaceous glands of the animal should be lubricated with cosmetic oil (any will do). This will soften the crusts, allowing them to fall off faster and easier in the water.
It is not difficult to wipe the sebaceous gland: drip oil on a cotton pad, lightly rub it. Be careful not to get the oil on the pig’s fur.
Be sure to wear gloves before washing. It is possible that the pig will still get scared, start kicking and biting – you need to protect yourself.
Bathing a guinea pig involves several activities.
- It is more convenient to bathe the animal in the sink. Doing this in a bathtub or in a basin is not very correct: the pig will see the sides and may try to jump out of the container. And in a soapy solution, the animal is very slippery, so you can’t rely on your own dexterity. In the water you need to be very careful – if the pig breaks out and falls, it can be seriously injured, there is also a threat of mortal danger.
- In the sink, close the drain, draw enough water so that it evenly touches the tummy of the pig. It is reasonable to put a small cotton napkin at the bottom of the sink so that the animal can grab onto it with its paws – this way the animal will be calmer.
- Dip the pig in the water, stroke it, talk calmly and affectionately.
- Gently dampen the pet’s fur with your hands. If you have a long-haired pig, you can take a small ladle or glass, pour the animal with water from the ladle in a thin stream. But do not raise the container very high: the pig will be scared.
- When the coat is already sufficiently moistened, apply literally a drop of shampoo to your hand (no more). Take a baby shampoo, neutral, if there is nothing else. But it is better, of course, to purchase a special tool at the pet store. Shampoos for rabbits and cats are quite suitable, but do not take products for dogs – they are very aggressive towards pigs. Try not to wash your pet with simple soap, it contains a lot of acids, which makes the fur brittle and hard.
- Lather the shampoo in the usual way in your hands, apply it to the animal’s coat. Foam should not fall on the head, reach no further than the neck. Gently, with maximum delicacy, rinse the sebaceous gland area. Remove the crusts – they are already soft, well removed.
- Start washing the fur, do it slowly, without sudden movements. At the same time, water the animal with water from a ladle. Moisture should not get into the ears and eyes of the pig. This is fraught with otitis media, conjunctivitis, which will add to the elementary fright.
- For long-haired pigs, owners often complicate the washing process with the additional use of balm. There is no great need for this, unless, of course, you are preparing an animal for an exhibition. True, after the balm, combing the hair is not so difficult. Hold it for a minute on the wool, rinse. But do not get carried away – every time you do not need to wash your pet.
There is nothing complicated in the rules, if you do not ignore a single prescription, then occasionally, if necessary, you can bathe the animal at home. If the first bathing experience was positive, this does not mean that the procedures can be increased.
After bath procedures, once again clean the sebaceous gland of the pig, as well as the anal pocket. Wipe the sebaceous gland area with a cotton swab, then treat with an antiseptic (ordinary chlorophyllipt will do). To clean the anal pocket, you need to slightly press on the bottom of the pig’s abdomen, the pocket will protrude, with a cotton swab soaked in oil, you will quickly clean it. Avoid excessive friction. Very often, manual cleaning cannot be done, but try to do it once a month and a half.
You can use a hair dryer on a gentle setting to dry your pet. But if the pig is afraid of sharp sounds, it is better to refuse to use the device.
If you see that the animal is scared, just use a dry towel, remembering to change the fabric.
After bathing, you do not need to take the animal outside for at least a day. It is impossible to leave a rodent in a cold room, in a draft. Do not let a wet animal into a cage with sawdust – they will stick to the fur. After the bath, the pet deserves a delicious dinner, please the animal, it is useful for him to calm down.
How to wash a guinea pig, see the following video.