Aside from nail clipping which we discussed in general health tips, most short haired breeds of guinea pigs require little further grooming. However long haired breeds require brushing, trimming, clipping and often require bathing more frequently than short haired breeds.
Bathing guinea pigs sometimes becomes necessary as their hair becomes dirty, lice become evident or a male's grease gland needs cleaning. For short haired piggies, this is only generally required once or twice a year, sometimes not even that. For long haired piggies bathing may be required more often. It's important to remember that bathing strips some of the natural oils from a guinea pig's coat and over-bathing is actually detrimental to their health.
When bathing, ensure you do not wet the face including the ears of your piggy. Using temperate water and a baby shampoo or small animal shampoo, gently massage into the coat and then rinse. In cold weather you may wish to blow dry your piggy on the coolest setting or opt to only bath in warmer weather.
Long haired pigs will require brushing, however the amount of brushing required depends on the individual pig's hair. Brush whenever knots begin to appear, looking especially at the hair around their bottom and on their back. Brush with a soft bristled brush, however a comb can be used carefully on knotted areas. If brushing is done constantly, hair matts will not become large ensuring the comfort of your guinea pig
If you have a long haired guinea pig you may opt to trim some of its hair. If you're planning on trimming your piggy's hair, we recommend trimming the hair around your guinea pig's bottom and any hair that may prevent your piggy from seeing properly.
Due to the heat in summer in Australia, some people opt to trim or clip their entire piggy to help keep them cool if they cannot be housed in air conditioning. Trimming is simple and can be done carefully at home, however unless experienced in clipping animals we recommend having your piggy clipped by someone with experience. Clipping can be stressful for some guinea pigs so it's important you monitor your piggy throughout the clipping to ensure they do not become distressed. We offer clipping at our Bracken Ridge open days for $10 a guinea pig.