Guinea Pig Grooming
Guinea pigs, especially the short-haired ones, only require a minimal amount of grooming (in comparison to other animals), making them terrific, easy to care for pets. However, just because they might not need as much grooming as cats, rabbits or dogs that doesn’t make their grooming any less important. As low maintenance as they may be, you still need to maintain the hair teeth and nails on your guinea pig to ensure that it is healthy, happy and, of course, looks beautiful. Here are our top tips on how to groom your guinea pig, ensuring that they not only look amazing but live an amazing life.
Coat brushing and cutting
It is necessary to brush your guinea pig at least once a week. This prevents shedding and matting of the fur. It’s also a great way to really bond with your fury friend and check for any lumps or parasites – both of which necessitate a trip to the vets.
Like with any other animal, short haired breeds like the Himalayan only really need to be brushed once a week. You can find specific guinea pig combs in pet stores but very fine-toothed cat combs will also do the job.
Long haired guinea pigs require a little bit more attention; daily brushing is pretty much essential. This helps to remove any of the lose hair and stop the hair from matting.
Not only that but the fur on breeds such as Abyssinians can actually grow about one inch a month…this combined with the fact that it’ll be dragging on the ground means that you need to cut the fur. It’s really a judgment call on your behalf but we recommend cutting it as soon as it starts to touch the floor to prevent bacterial growth. In the hot weather maybe trim the hair more frequently to make sure they are super comfortable. Don’t forget to trim around their bums to prevent urinary tract infections.
Your guinea pigs’ nails need to be clipped every one or two months. Lifestyle, diets, ages and accommodation will all impact how fast your little friend’s nails will grow. We recommend starting the nail clipping process early on so that they become accustomed to it, making it more comfortable for everybody involved.
Use special nail clippers or very small scissors and be super careful not to cut too close to the “quick” (the blood supply). If you do accidentally clip the quick a styptic pencil will make the bleeding stop. Make sure that your guinea pig isn’t becoming distressed or uncomfortable and if they are, it is probably best to stop and come back to it later. Yummy treats are essential for this grooming task.
Interestingly, guinea pig’s teeth never stop growing. They need to wear down their teeth by chewing on hay every single day. It is essential that your guinea pig has hay and other tasty treats to wear down their teeth. Tooth root impact may occur if you don’t provide them with these and a trip to the vet is necessary.