Do Guinea Pigs Bathe Themselves? (And Other Hygiene Questions!)

If you’re new to keeping guinea pigs, then you may be wondering whether they bathe themselves. After all, how can it be that some guinea pigs clean themselves while others don’t!

In this article, not only will you find out whether guinea pigs bathe themselves, you’ll also learn what can affect a guinea pigs cleanliness, and other questions regarding their hygiene!

So keep reading to find out.

Do Guinea Pigs Bathe Themselves?

To answer the question yes, guinea pigs do bathe themselves, however, the success they have cleaning definitely varies. In short, though, a guinea pig is much like a cat in how it bathes. They can often do it themselves rather than needing a bath (like dogs).

Do Guinea Pigs Clean Themselves?

While guinea pigs definitely bathe themselves, the effectiveness of the bathing depends on their fur. Realistically, not all guinea pigs are able to clean themselves properly, so you may need to step in.

Here are the different types of guinea pigs and how well they can clean themselves.

Short Haired Guinea Pigs

If you have short haired guinea pigs then you’re definitely in luck when it comes to cleaning. They’re actually great at cleaning themselves, and you won’t have to step in as often. You may need to brush them occassionally, but that’s about it.

However, as they age, you may notice that even short haired piggies aren’t able to keep up their cleaning routine as well. They may have a harder time reaching certain areas on their body as well as producing as much saliva to clean themselves.

If you notice that your short haired piggy looks dirty you should make sure you’re cleaning their cage frequently and removing any waste. On top of this, it may also be worth litter training them.

When none of the above works then it’s best to take them to a vet to make sure that nothing is wrong with them.

Long Haired Guinea Pigs

Unfortunately, long haired guinea pigs require a little bit more work to look after than their short-haired counterparts. Because their hair drags along the ground they’re going to pick up all the dirt and muck they walk across.

If you’re the owner of a long haired guinea pig then you’ll need to make sure you’re cleaning and grooming them thoroughly. Brushing their fur is going to have to be a must, and you’ll also need to make sure that their cage is spotless as well!

When they mature, you should check the fur around their mouth as it can sometimes wrap around their molars causing tooth loss and gum injuries.

Show Guinea Pigs

Lastly, if you have show guinea pigs then they’ll also require extra care when it comes to cleaning. When it comes to show guinea pigs, you’ll need to research how to groom them as it can often be more complicated than normal guinea pigs.

For example, not only do they need to be groomed and cleaned differently, but in some cases they also need sun cream applied to them as well.

If you haven’t bought a guinea pig yet, then it may be best to avoid show guineas. However, if you do want one then make sure you buy one from a reputable breeder who will explain the type of care they need.

How Do Guinea Pigs Bathe Themselves?

The way guinea pigs bathe themselves is actually very similar to cats. If they notice grime, muck and dirt on their coat then they’ll lick and chew it until it has been removed. As well as this, you may notice that they lick their paws and rub them over their face to wash as well.

The only time you’ll notice a guinea pig not bathing themselves is when they’re young and they haven’t been taught, they’ve become too old, or they’re sick.


Now you know that guinea pigs bathe and clean themselves regularly, here are some more frequently asked questions when it comes to your guinea pigs hygiene!

Can I Give A Guinea Pig A Bath?

While you can give your guinea pig a bath, you definitely want to do so sparingly. If you notice that your guinea pig smells particularly bad then you should check their hutch, and speak to a vet before you consider bathing them.

How Often Should You Bathe A Guinea Pig?

The amount you bathe your guinea pig really depends on the type of guinea pig you have.

You should bathe a long-haired guinea pig once a month in the summer and every couple of months in the winter. Even then you should only do so when they actually need it, and not willy-nilly.

When it comes to short-haired guinea pigs you don’t need to bathe them nearly as much. Once or twice a year is sufficient enough.

You need to be cautious about over-washing your guinea pig too much as it can often cause dry skin, colds, and other health issues as well.

Can I Use Dawn Dish Soap To Wash My Guinea Pig

You should never under any circumstances wash your guinea pig with any kind of dish soap. Dish soap contains a lot of harsh chemicals which can damage your guinea pigs skin and fur.

What Soap Should You Wash A Guinea Pig With?

There are some shampoos that are specifically designed for washing guinea pigs, and these are the ones you should use. If you can’t find any of these then you’re next best bet is any sort of fragrance-free shampoo made for small animals.

If you still can’t find any of those, then you can also try Johnson & Johnson baby shampoo, which a lot of people have used successfully.

Can You Bathe A Guinea Pig With Just Water?

You can bathe a guinea pig with just water, however, once again you want to do it as little as possible. If you are going to wash your guinea pigs in water, you should make sure the water is just warmer than lukewarm.

As well as this when you’re washing your guinea pig, you don’t want to soak them in water. Rather, you should, place them in water up to their bellies and gently run water over their backs with your hands. Also make sure that you never get their heads wet either, and if you do, dry it thoroughly.

Lastly, one they’ve been washed, dry them with a nice warm towel.

How Often Should You Clean Out Your Guinea Pigs?

Generally speaking, you should clean your guinea pig’s hutch about twice a week. However, if it gets really dirty you may have to do it more than this. And when you’re cleaning their cage make sure you remove all their bedding, empty their food bowl, and remove any other waste.

Why Do Guinea Pigs Sit In Their Urine?

If your guinea pig is sitting in their urine, one of the reasons they could be doing so is because they’re lazy. Sometimes you’ll notice your guinea pig will lay in the exact spot they’ve peed and there’s no real reason except laziness.

Fortunately you can litter train your guinea pig to stop this from happening. But if it is happening, make sure you’re cleaning the wet patches as much as you can and if neccessary washing your guinea pigs paws and belly so they don’t get irritated.

Why Do Guinea Pigs Pee On Each Other?

If your guinea pigs are peeing on each other then it means they’re trying to establish dominance over each other. This normally happens if they’re being bothered by another guinea pig or if they’re trying to mark their territory.


Now you know that guinea pigs do bathe themselves. However, how successful they are can often be questionable. This means you’ll often need to bathe them too. Long-haired guinea pigs will need to be bathed about once a month whereas short haired guinea pigs will only need to be bathed about once a year.

If you liked this article make sure you check out the rest of the website! Otherwise have a great day!

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