Proper care is important for the health of guinea pigs. Coat and claws must therefore be checked and cared for regularly. Read here what you need to watch out for.
Guinea pigs usually take very good care of themselves. However, it is important that you give them occasional help with grooming their coat and claws.
Grooming of guinea pigs
It is not necessary, and even harmful, to bathe guinea pigs. Rodents don’t like water. Any damp cleaning of their coat means stress for them and carries the risk of catching a cold. It may only be necessary to wash them with lukewarm water and, if necessary, some baby shampoo if they are heavily soiled (especially with long-haired breeds). However, it is usually sufficient if the animals are combed with a soft brush from time to time.
Only long-haired guinea pigs need a little more care. The long coat is often soiled with feces and urine and litter also gets caught in it more quickly. To avoid this as much as possible, you should cut the coat to floor-length or shorter. In addition, the fur must be brushed regularly. If felting starts to form, it is best to comb the area out immediately.
Regular grooming of your guinea pig includes trimming their nails. Guinea pigs have three claws on each hindfoot and four claws on each front foot. If the claws are not trimmed regularly, they grow crooked and sometimes even in the shape of a corkscrew. As a result, the animals are prevented from walking and can injure themselves. For this reason, the claws must be trimmed with claw clippers every few weeks.
It is best to have a veterinarian, experienced owner or breeder explain how to clip the nails. For an inexperienced owner, it is not easy to see how far the claws can be shortened. The claws are only cut off to just before the blood vessel. This is not a problem with light-colored claws, but with dark claws, the blood vessels are somewhat more difficult to see.
Check the guinea pig’s teeth
Guinea pigs are rodents and their teeth are constantly growing. Therefore, it is important that you can wear them properly. During the daily health check, make sure that everything is fine with their teeth, or whether your guinea pigs have teeth that are too long or misaligned. In such a case, it is best to consult the veterinarian.