How to Groom a Guinea Pig

Your guinea pig is a furry little creature, and you should brush him regularly!  The long-haired breeds require faithful daily brushing; those with shorter hair can skip a day occasionally.  A greyhound metal comb works well.  It has a combination of wide and slender teeth for both general and vigorous grooming.

You can also use a baby’s brush.

Long Haired Guinea Pig

Long Haired Guinea – Photo by Joana Roja

If you find knots that you can’t remove by tugging gently, then cut them out carefully.  Tugging on fur to loosen knots otherwise will really irritate his skin.

A guinea pig should never be bathed more often than once every three months.  Look for our instructions for bathing your guinea pig.

Nails should be clipped monthly.  It helps if you keep a stone in his cage near the water dish, because that helps to wear the nails down naturally.  When you need to do the job, however, you can use human nail clippers or those designed specifically for small animals.  Look at one of his nails to envision the vein that runs inside it.  You want to avoid nipping that vein, which is called the quick, because it will hurt him and it will bleed.  Just clip the tip of the nail where you are certain there is no quick, about one-quarter inch.

If you do nip into the quick, apply slight pressure (remembering your piggy’s paw is tiny).  If you have a styptic pencil, apply it at the site.  You can also put some flour or even cornstarch on the area.

Part of your pet’s grooming is to check his ears every two weeks.  Use a soft cloth wrapped around your index finger to wipe a drop of mineral oil inside the ear.  Never reach inside his ear with any kind of instrument.

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