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Bathing Do you have to bathe piggies and how often?


Active Member
Cavy Slave
Apr 30, 2012
Can people chime in on bathing piggies? I never did when I was younger but my older son swears you need to do it once a month because of the glands on a male. I worried about cold even though we blew dried the pig afterward. We just lost this pig to an URI at 2 yo so I am a little paranoid about taking 100% care of the new piggies we are waiting to find. Thank you!
I only use soap maybe twice a year on their entire body, but I do rinse out my long haired pig every few months with plain water. I wouldn't do a soap wash monthly on their whole body.

Their grease gland and genitals get checked weekly,then spot cleaned as necessary. This link has some good info on the grease glands and grooming in general: https://www.guinealynx.info/grooming.html

I don't think the goal is to remove all the waxy, oily stuff on the grease gland. I've only spot cleaned my original boar's glands twice when the build up started to gunk up more than normal. Hopefully someone will pop in and correct me if I'm wrong.

If you need a good all-over guinea shampoo, Gorgeous Guineas make some awesome stuff.
We have two girls and a boy piggie. One of our girls has VERY long hair, she looks like a mop with eyes. One of our cats is still convinced it's a kitten and every time there is floor time you'll find her trying to snuggle the "kitten."

Anyway, we do nail trimming about once a month, so far. And at that time if they're a little smelly they get a bath. Just some warm water and I do put just a few drops (less than a capful) of piggie friendly soap in the water just to help get some of the grease and oils off their hairs and make them smell a little fresher. Our long haired girl gets an actual wash down probably every three months, our short haired girl maybe twice a year sometimes more often but not usually. Our boy has had a lot of medical issues since he's come to us so he's only gotten a quick rinse off in warm water once since we've had him. Once he's all clear he's going to get a full wash down and then we'll keep him on the schedule like the girls. The difference is that with boys you have to clean their sacs out regularly (we'll do it monthly) and make sure there's not gunk going on around their penises. Plus if the grease gland is iritated or gross you can sort of wipe that down with some warm water or some warm mineral oil. We ALWAYS use mineral oil when we clean out the sac, it's sort of lubricating and will cause him less discomfort in having a q-tip up in there rooting around. I'm sure a moderator will pop in soon with some better guidelines.
I bathe mine as needed which usually means about 3 or 4 baths a year. I have had pigs who love their baths and others who are neutral about them. I have never had a pig who hates them. You don't wash their heads, just the rest of them! There are specific guinea pig shampoos out there that you can use but you can also use the blue Dawn dish soap. That is the same soap used on wildlife, during oil spills, etc. Guinea pigs are actually pretty easy to bathe because you can hold their little bodies and run them under the water in a sink. Of course, you might want to follow up with a baby carrot or something else tasty! You just don't want to bathe them a lot because it will dry out their skin. I also use a wimpy blow dryer and dry them on low to make sure they aren't cold. My pigs also don't mind the dryer. You can also "spot clean" the grease gland as needed.
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