Grooming is an important part of your guinea pig’s all around health. Your pet cavy will perform its best in order to groom and clean itself, nevertheless all cavies, including those that groom themselves frequently, continue to need assistance trying to keep their hair (cavies have hair – not fur!) in its best condition.
Guinea pig grooming ought to be a pleasing and pleasant experience – for your guinea pig as well as for you. Your pet could possibly have need of a small amount of “guidance” while it gets accustomed to the grooming routine, however in due course it’s going to grow to enjoy the extraordinary attention it will get throughout the grooming session. It just takes a few minutes of soothing training at the start. Begin by holding your cavy gently in your lap while you talk to it softly and caress it’s backside using your hand. After he has comfortable in your lap and feels comfortable, begin to softly brush it’s hair with a soft baby brush, or even a soft boar bristle brush, with a similar stroking movement that you just used while petting him. At first these types of sessions should only last for a few minutes. Extend the duration with each session.
Once again, your cavy will do his best to help keep his toenails at the appropriate length however he needs your assistance to get this done. He or she must have a rough piece of rock or paver inside the cage which they will use to scratch at which will sand down their nails. It’s still a good idea to check your guinea pig’s toenails frequently to make sure that they’re not too long. If they are then they will probably need to be trimmed by you so that they won’t snag, rip, or tear. In case your pet tears his toenail it is usually extremely painful and become infected.
Trimming your guinea pig’s toenails isn’t complicated. Just like brushing, you may need to “teach” your guinea pig to let you clip it’s nails without having him squirming around. You can get your pet more comfortable with this process by handling your cavy’s feet regularly, from the time it is quite young, when you’re holding and petting him. It should then be accustomed to you touching and holding his feet. It is advisable to carefully wrap your pet in a soft towel or small blanket, with it’s feet sticking out, and hold it in your lap. Trim their nails, making sure that you don’t cut into the quick, working with a pair of infant’s nail trimmers. The quick is where the blood is supplied to the nail, and if you cut into it will probably be painful to the cavy, and it will also cause bleeding. You need to be very careful and make sure you cut just the tip of the toenail and you should miss the quick.
Like small children, guinea pigs usually are not very fond of taking baths, however, just like little children, occasionally they just plain need to have one! When they have become really dirty, or if they have been sick and may even have dried feces on their hair, a bath is the only answer.
You must bathe your guinea pig in a sink or shallow plastic container which you have filled with no more than an inch or two of lukewarm water, between 75 to 80 degrees F. Place your guinea pig gently in the water, supporting him using your hands all the time. By using a small cup slowly pour water over your guinea pig, from rump to head. Use a gentle shampoo suggested by your veterinarian, or a baby shampoo like Johnson’s Baby Shampoo. Lightly clean and massage your guinea pig until he is thoroughly clean. Rinse him very well, and then wrap him in a dry towel, and rub him softly until he is dry.
In the course of your daily examination of your pet guinea pig make sure to check it’s eyes, making sure that any foreign particles such as dirt or dust, bits of hay or bedding materials aren’t irritating his eyes. Take a soft, clean, moist washcloth and gently wash around the guinea pig’s eyes, outward from the inside corner of it’s eye, towards it’s nose. You can also use the same soft cloth to carefully clean the inside of your guinea pig’s ears, making certain never to stick anything at all deep inside of his ears.
Guinea pig grooming really should become a frequent routine. It is important and necessary, not just to keep you pet cavy looking his finest, but also because being clean = being healthy. And being sure that you keep his cage and bedding material clean should help keep your piggy clean as well.
A clean and well groomed guinea pig is a healthier guinea pig, and a healthy guinea pig is a content guinea pig. Guinea pigs will groom themselves routinely, but they may still use an occasional brushing and nail trimming from their owners. This process of guinea pig grooming should just take 5-10 minutes 2 or 3 times per week. It is actually quite easy and your guinea pig will love it!