The 4 Necessities of Guinea Pig Grooming
Guinea Pig Care Tips
We are delighted to get some words of advice from our friend Richard James.
It’s known that guinea pigs are among the easiest pets to own because they require very little maintenance. However, aside from the essentials (food, water, shelter, exercise), they do require occasional grooming that really takes up very little time. It’s just a matter of knowing what should be done. So, these are the four necessities when it comes to grooming your guinea pig:
Brushing the Hair
In order to keep your pet’s coat nice and clean, brushing is highly recommended. There are two categories of guinea pigs: longhaired and shorthaired. If you own a longhaired guinea pig, then brushing is especially important. Failure to brush their hair at least a few times a week will likely result in tangled hair, which may cause a lot of discomfort to them.
And as for their shorthaired counterparts, brushing can be done once a week or less. It really depends on how often your guinea pig goes outside to play. Those that spend a great deal of
Like humans, guinea pigs need to trim their nails or you’ll risk the chance of them getting their nails caught and ripping them out. So let’s prevent any potential discomfort and pain by simply trimming their nails.
It’s important to trim with caution; otherwise you might end up cutting their blood vessels, also known as the “quick.” You can easily spot the quick and trim around it if your guinea pig has clear nails. However, some have black nails, which makes things a bit tricky.
Owners need to guess where the quick is the first few times so that they eventually have a good feeling of how far to trim. If you do cut your guinea pig’s quick, don’t worry too much as it happens quite often. I would recommend getting “Quick Stop,” which will stop the bleeding when applied.
Did you know that a guinea pig’s front teeth are constantly growing throughout it’s entire life? Well, it’s true. That’s why it’s important to give them chew toys to trim their teeth throughout their lives. Without chew toys, their incisors will outgrow their mouth, making it extremely painful to eat.
Sure, you can take your guinea pig to the vet every once in a while to get their teeth trimmed, but buying them chew toys is probably a much cheaper alternative. And even if you do give them chew toys, make sure to still inspect their teeth occasionally for any cracks or chipped teeth from chewing on everything all the time.
An alternative to chew toys would be hard foods, such as Timothy hay cubes or hard stale bread.
I’ll let you know right now, most guinea pigs do not like being in water. For some reason, they become very stressed out, which lowers their immune system. So good for them that baths will be very rare.
There are some guinea pigs that live their whole life without ever taking a single bath. That’s perfectly fine. The only time you should give your pet a bath is if they got something dirty on their coat that requires immediate attention. This means anything that will stick together areas of the coat and tangle their hair.
If something does happen that require bathing, I would use something very light, like baby shampoo. Never use medicated shampoo without first consulting your vet.
As you can see, proper guinea pig care is rather easy, especially when it comes to grooming. Learning what needs to be done may be the hardest part. Pay attention to these four grooming essentials and you’ll be well on your way to raising a happy and healthy guinea pig.
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Richard James has been raising guinea pigs for over 15 years. His fascination with these animals led him to write the book, “Guinea Pig Care Made Easy.” He currently owns 6 pigs.
Thank you for sharing this great information on Guinea Pig Care Tips with us Richard!
We would love to see pictures of your Guinea Pigs too so share below.