Guinea pigs are among the top pets in the US. Bathing guinea pigs is necessary if you have several piggies in a cage and they like to roll in the litter. Learn how guinea pig shampoos work and how to bathe a guinea pig properly.
Can You Use Dog Shampoo On Guinea Pigs
Taking care of guinea pigs is like taking care of any pet – they require regular feeding, upkeep, and hygiene. As far as bathing guinea pigs go, owners must never make sudden substitutions because they ran out of proper bathing supplies.
Both the human shampoo and dog shampoo are out of the question when bathing guinea pigs. Dog shampoo may even be more toxic to guinea pigs because manufacturers add anti-flea compounds to dog shampoo and other chemicals that can be downright deadly to smaller animals. If human shampoos are harmful to the guinea pig’s skin, dog shampoos can be fatal. Could you not do it?
What Kind of Shampoo Can I Use on My Guinea Pig?
If you want the benefits of using shampoo on your guinea pigs, you should buy critter shampoos or shampoos that are explicitly balanced for bathing rabbits, mice, guinea pigs, hamsters, etc. Essentially, these are shampoos that are safe for use for rodent-like animals.
And you’re not alone! Bunny owners, hamster owners, rabbit owners – they all want to bathe their fur babies, too. Below are some brands of shampoos that are safe for guinea pigs.
- Kaytee Squeaky Clean– This shampoo comes in eight-ounce bottles and is pH balanced for small animals. Has a beautiful baby powder smell.
- Odie and Cody– This is a premium shampoo for small animals. Vets also prescribe it.
- Arm & Hammer Tearless Shampoo– Arm & Hammer is a global personal care brand, and they’ve branched out to animal care products, too. This shampoo is excellent for removing awkward smells from small animals.
- G That’s Awesome– This is a daily use organic shampoo designed to remove intense odors.
What Can I Use If I Don’t Have Guinea Pig Shampoo?
The safest route when you don’t have anything for your guinea pig is simply warm water. You can save your next purchase of guinea pig shampoo for the next shampooing. But, for now, you can’t go wrong with good old warm water.
Can I Bathe My Guinea Pig with Baby Shampoo?
Despite having hypoallergenic ingredients, baby shampoos are only safe for use by humans and not guinea pigs.
Soaps and shampoos made for humans are generally too strong for animal skin and will likely cause irritation and even infections if the inflammation persists. If you run out of guinea pig shampoo and you need to bathe your guinea pig, you can use the tiniest amount of baby shampoo as an emergency measure only.
By emergency measure, it’s a one-off thing, like once a year. You can’t use this product for regular bathing because it will strip your guinea pig’s natural oils that keep its coat healthy and growing.
What has little effect on human skin can have a ton of impact on animal skin; remember that.
This is also why it’s not a good idea to shampoo cats and dogs with baby shampoo or any commercial shampoo meant for people. It doesn’t matter if the shampoos have natural essential oils and other organic ingredients – that’s not all these products are made of.
What Does It Do to Guinea Pigs?
Shampoos made for people are generally too harsh for animal coats and skin. Therefore, unless a shampoo has been certified and designated as safe for small animals like guinea pigs, it should never be used regularly or at all with animals.
The risks are just too much compared to the benefits. If you think that not being able to bathe your guinea pig is bad because you ran out of the correct type of shampoo, think of the potential problems of the wrong kind of shampoo on your small pet.
Can You Wash Guinea Pigs with Just Water?
Yes, this is a fundamental way of bathing guinea pigs, and it won’t harm them. Remember, guinea pigs in the wild have no access to soaps and shampoos, and they’ve thrived well past the dinosaurs. In short, guinea pigs don’t need shampoos.
Pet owners want them to smell a certain way and don’t want their coats soiled or dusty, and that’s why small animal shampoos came to be. However, shampooing guinea pigs is just an extra step and isn’t essential to animals’ lives.
If you don’t know how to bathe a guinea pig, here are the steps:
- Make sure first that your guinea pig is comfortable being held out of its cage. This may have to be practiced before your guinea pig’s first bath.
- Place a large washcloth on a table and place your guinea pig on the washcloth.
- Get some warm water (not scalding, of course) and apply the water all over the body. Do not get the guinea pig’s face wet.
- Rinse the critter’s fur several times.
- Wrap your cute pet in a blanket and gently pat dry.
- That’s it! You now have a freshly bathed guinea pig.
Experts do not recommend bathing guinea pigs more than once every few months. So if you were planning daily baths, don’t do it. Powdering your guinea pigs is fine for hygiene and some brushing. However, too much contact with water and even guinea pig shampoo will be detrimental to your guinea pig’s coat and skin.
What Are the Ingredients of Dog Shampoo?
Dog shampoos are made with familiar ingredients found in human shampoos like humectants and propylene glycol. Urea is also added to maintain a steady pH balance in the formulation and slow down the moisture loss from the product.
What Should I Replace Dog Shampoo with And What Should I Do?
If you genuinely want to shampoo your guinea pig, use a small quantity of unscented baby shampoo. Make sure that you rinse off everything and don’t get any in your pet’s eyes.