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BATHING YOUR GUINEA PIG Guinea pigs only require bathing when necessary. Cavies will naturally groom themselves. You may notice a opaque liquid which will be secreted from your cavies eyes. This liquid  will assist in cleaning your guinea pigs face and body. A guinea pig will groom itself numerous times a day often after eating vegetables or after burrowing through grass hay. However bathing can be a useful tool especially on hot summer days or if two guinea pigs were not bonding a “buddy bath” can be used. The guidelines below will help in preparing a safe and secure area to ensure bathing is as stress free as possible. Please note: Long haired guinea pigs will require daily grooming and bathing every 3 to 4 months to maintain the condition of their coats and ensure that it does not become matted. What you will need Shampoo: Always choose a small animal shampoo to ensure your cavies skin does not dry out or become irritated. A soap and chemical free, all natural shampoo is considered best. In Australia we have numerous animal shampoos available. Some well known brands are - Bunny Bath, Aristopet Small Animal Shampoo and the Plush Puppy Shampoo Range to name a few. Towels:  One to two towels. Two towels will come in handy as some owners like to massage the shampoo on their cavy whilst they are placed on the towel instead of in the bathing area. Sink/Plastic Tub: A plastic tub, sink or other area in which to bathe your guinea pig. Plastic Jug: Luke warm water can be gently poured with ease if a hand held jug or container is used. Soft Hair Brush: Once dry, brushing your guinea pig after its bath can help remove further debris and loose hair. Ensure you use a soft bristled brush. Long haired breeds of cavies will need to be groomed daily. See Grooming for more information. Hair Dryer (optional): A hair dryer on low heat can be used after you have bathed your cavy to ensure the fur is completely dry. Extreme care must be taken at all times if using a hair dryer. Always hold the hair dryer at least 20-30cm away from your cavies skin and gently stroke the fur at all times. When stroking your guinea pig do not push the hair against the grain (against the direction the fur is growing) as this will make your cavy uncomfortable. TIP: A good way to check the heat of the hair dryer is to hold it to your bare skin. If too hot it will be too hot for your guinea pig. It will help you change the setting and range of air flow. Non-Slip Mat (optional): These can be easily cut to size if necessary and can be placed on the bottom of the tub or sink. They can assist in making your guinea pig feel more secure and avoid unwanted slipping. Method For our basic guide to bathing please see below, or alternatively view an excellent video by Wee Companions Small Animal Adoption.