Guinea pigs are critters that tend to keep themselves quite clean, which means you won’t be bathing them very often. But if the occasion arises where your small friend needs some help cleaning themselves up, you’ll need to be sure you’re using a shampoo that’s safe for them. Unfortunately, there aren’t many shampoos available targeted toward guinea pigs specifically.
That leads to the question of what kind of shampoo is okay to use on your piggy? Can you use ferret shampoo on guinea pigs? After all, they’re both small animals. In short, though there are other products you might want to try before going with a ferret shampoo, it should be safe to use on your guinea pig.
Do Guinea Pigs Need Baths?
As stated above, guinea pigs keep themselves relatively clean, so normally, they won’t require baths. At most, they may need an occasional “butt bath” if urine or feces has gotten on them (though guinea pigs with longer hair might require bathing a bit more often). Guinea pigs also really do not enjoy being submerged in water, so you need to be careful when you do bathe them.
Can You Use Ferret Shampoo On Guinea Pigs?
Using ferret shampoo on guinea pigs should be fine, as ferrets are small animals like guinea pigs. That means shampoos made for them should contain similar gentle ingredients. They should also be tear-free and pH-balanced for those pets with delicate or sensitive skin. If you go with a ferret shampoo, you might consider one with aloe vera over those without, as it will provide more moisturization for your guinea pig’s coat and skin.
What Are the Best Shampoos for Guinea Pigs?
However, just because you can use a ferret-specific shampoo for your guinea pig, it doesn’t necessarily mean it should be the first thing you go with. There are better options out there that could be more beneficial for your tiny friend.
First and foremost, guinea pig-specific shampoo can be difficult to find. You would most likely need to shop online at a website with guinea pig-specific products to find one.
Next up would be shampoos made for small animals in general. These shampoos are formulated to be safe for a broader range of small animals than a just ferret shampoo would be. That means they should only contain ingredients safe for use on your guinea pig.
After that, your best bet would likely be another small animal-specific shampoo, such as ferret shampoo, as it should still mostly contain ingredients safe for your guinea pig.
And if you need an alternative to guinea pig shampoo, there are a few different ways you can safely bathe your pet without the use of shampoo at all. Any should do the job of cleaning up your small friend without risking damaging their skin or coat!
What to Look At In a Shampoo for Guinea Pigs
Whatever type of shampoo you decide to go with for your guinea pig, there are a couple of essential things you should ensure the product has.
Ingredients are the top thing you should be looking at when it comes to shampoos for your guinea pig. Guinea pigs have extremely sensitive skin, which means any shampoo you use for them needs to have ingredients for that skin type. Ingredients should ideally be very gentle, all-natural, or organic. Shampoos also shouldn’t contain any harsh chemicals, additives, or artificial ingredients. Shampoos made specifically for sensitive skin or pets with allergies are some of the best bets, as they typically contain gentle ingredients.
Because guinea pigs aren’t fond of being put in water, you might consider avoiding regular shampoo and going for dry shampoo instead. Dry shampoo doesn’t need to be rinsed, making the bathing process less traumatic for your tiny friend.
Something else that is of great importance is ensuring that any shampoo you use on your piggy is tear-free. While you shouldn’t be bathing your pet too close to its eyes anyway, it’s always best to err on the side of caution and avoid products that could irritate your guinea pig.
Ferret shampoo should be fine for use on your guinea pig, but there are other options you should consider first. A guinea pig shampoo will always be the safest bet, followed by small animal in general shampoo, and then shampoos made for specific small animals. Whichever shampoo you decide to go with, be sure that it contains gentle, all-natural ingredients that won’t harm your pet’s sensitive skin. You might also consider an alternative to using an all body shampoo, such as dry shampoo or simply water. And remember that your guinea pig doesn’t need to be bathed often—only give them a bath when it’s desperately needed!
Featured Image Credit: Shchus, Shutterstock