Why guinea pig grooming isn’t just for long-haired breeds
January 7, 2022
Did you know that guinea pig grooming has many benefits for both short and long-haired breeds? It’s not just about detangling and de-matting those long locks! Walton Lodge Vets’ Nurses have some advice on why you should, and how to groom your guinea pig.
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Why do guinea pigs need to be groomed?
Guinea pigs usually do a great job of grooming themselves to get clean. However, there are many benefits that come with regular grooming by their favourite human, such as:
- Keeping your guinea pig free from tangles and dirt
- Checking for skin lumps and bumps, hair loss, dental problems, and pests
- Bonding time with your tiny companion
- Help staying clean if they are elderly or unwell
How to groom your guinea pig
If you are wondering how often you need to groom your guinea pig and what’s involved, our Poole nursing team have some helpful advice for you below.
- Short-haired guinea pig breeds like the American Cavy only need brushing once a week to minimise shedding and keep them clean. Any more could result in loss of hair density and quality.
- Long-haired guinea pig breeds such as Peruvians and Abyssinians generally need brushing 2-3 times a week to prevent matting and dirt build-up, which can lead to infection and parasitic ‘invasion’.
Depending on your pet’s breed and hair type, you can use the palm of your hand (add water if your guinea pig is shedding) or a metal narrow-toothed pet-flea comb. Be gentle, and brush in the same direction as your pet’s hair grows.
Not all guinea pigs will enjoy being brushed, however, it is an essential part of keeping them healthy. Try altering the frequency to avoid stressing them out. You could also gently stroke them from head to toe whilst brushing and feeling for anything unusual.
There is a little more to guinea pig grooming than just brushing – they will also need:
- Monthly or bi-monthly nail trims
- An occasional ‘butt’ bath
- Weekly dental check & ear clean
- Regular grease gland ‘clean-up’
Learn more about each of these tasks in our handy downloadable guide.