Grooming and brushing your guinea pig on a regular basis is an excellent opportunity for bonding with your piggy. A healthy tasty treat like a piece of apple or a couple of sprigs of parsley will encourage your piggy to look forward to this exercise.
You will want a small brush, a baby’s brush would be ideal and a metal comb. If you have a pig of the long=haired variety you should try to brush their coat every day. Brush out any mats or places where your pigs fur has become stuck together. Short haired pigs can be brushed once a week but if they are shedding you may like to brush every other day. Take the opportunity while you’re brushing to check for lice, wounds or sores on the skin and take appropriate action to treat them.
You can get away with not bathing your guinea pig if you regularly brush it. You may want to bathe your pig if the fur is soiled. You will also want to bathe your pig if you find there is a lice infestation. Lice actually need a guinea pig to survive so once you’ve cleaned the lice from your pig and cleaned up their cage you should have no further problems. Lice are transferred from other infested pigs or from people who have been handling infested pigs recently. Lice are normally found around the ears, neck head and rump of the pig. They can cause scratching, hair loss and some scabbing in that area.
If your guinea pig is extremely itchy and there is no sign of lice or your piggy may be shedding more than they normally do or there may be excessive dandruff then a parasite or fungal infection may be the problem. You may have to visit your vet or check with your pet store for a solution.
Piggies find bathing a little stressful so take care when you’re putting it in water. Use a shallow pan of warm or tepid water. Do not use hot water. If you use shampoo it must be extremely mild. Baby shampoo is excellent. Do not use a medicated shampoo unless told to do so by a vet as medicated shampoos can harm your guinea pig. Only soap or suds your piggy’s body and keep the suds away from their head, ears and eyes.
Make sure you rinse your pig well and then pat or rub dry with a towel as well as you are able to. Keep your piggy warm until they are thoroughly dry.