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Can Guinea Pigs Swim? Is It Dangerous For Them?

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Tim Rhodes

If you own a guinea pig or look forward to getting one, you may find yourself asking the question, can guinea pigs swim?

Well, that’s exactly what this article will tell you.

The first thing that comes to your mind when you see the word “guinea pigs” is a sweet, pocket-sized pet that you love to cuddle with.

Due to their super adorable nature, they have been highly adopted as indoor pets.

The fact is that these guinea pigs are not pigs; they are just rodents and due to their resemblance to the pigs, they are just named that way.

Neither do they belong to Guinea, they are originated from South America.

Right now, you might be thinking of adopting a guinea pig and are just going through the internet to get the right information to go through with the process.

Can Guinea Pigs Swim?

These small-sized guinea pigs require a lot of care and attention especially when they are near water.

And the fact is that the guinea pigs are natural swimmers but only for their survival.

They do not live over water nor have any contact with the water because they usually live in shallow places, where they spent most of their life, so for them, water is something unusual.

Even though they can swim, they only do so for their survival.

They are too small to be put directly in the water for swimming, instead, a convenient trick has to be followed to make them swim.

These small creatures are brilliant, and they quickly respond to their environment, which is a good point for the pet owners who want to train them for swimming.

Is Swimming Dangerous For Guinea Pigs?

To tell you the truth, swimming is dangerous for them but usually only if they are exposed to large pools.

They are not born for swimming.

Instead, they are rodents who can run and chase.

Even though they are not born for swimming, most of the pet owners train them for swimming due to which they can swim.

And if it’s done well, they can swim and you will be glad to see your cute little pet swimming.

Because of their size, they find it difficult to swim and keep up with their stamina.

The good thing is that if you follow proper precautions and training, you can actually train them to swim properly and it will also not be dangerous for them.

But how does one train a guinea pig to swim?

How to Train Guinea Pigs to Swim?

So, you have decided to train your guinea pig to swim.

It’s only good if you do it properly while always carefully supervising the training session.

The good thing is that you don’t need to purchase expensive equipment and gadgets to train your pet to swim.

Another thing you need to keep in your mind when training them is not to use a large pool to train them.

Nor should you put them in the water for a long period.

You also need to be quite patient and not directly expose them to water in the beginning.

To train the guinea pigs, you need to follow these steps:

  1. First, you need a small tub which you will be filling with a small quantity of water which should be enough to immerse half of your pet’s body
  2. Then you should gently grab hold of your guinea pig and slowly place them in water
  3. While placing them in water, you should keep hold of it firmly and don’t leave it until it’s comfortable in the water
  4. Once it’s comfortable grab it gently, take it out, and towel it down
  5. Then you should give a small treat to your guinea pig to encourage it for its performance
  6. After some time, perform this procedure again until the guinea pig is quite comfortable and does not fear being in the water
  7. After performing this, your pet will feel quite comfortable and it will be able to swim without fear

Keep in mind that you should never expose your pet to too large swimming pools at the beginning of its training.

It’s very dangerous for them

How To Keep Guinea Pigs Safe When Teaching Them To Swim?

Guinea pigs are very sensitive creatures.

They are small and should be carefully taken care of properly.

Without proper attention, they may not survive too long.

You have to keep track of its diet, health, and everything in between.

They should also be taken care of when they are exposed to water for swimming since they are not born for swimming and they live all of their life on land.

If you want to enjoy your time with your pet, you should use other alternatives rather than swimming.

An example would be giving it toys, making a sand track for it, or small boxes with mazes because they are usually good at it.

However, if you want to make your guinea pigs swim, then you should strictly follow safety measures.

If the measures are not followed, they can harm your pet in many ways, some of which include:

Damage To Ears, Nose, or Other Parts:

If they are placed in large amounts of water, it can enter their ears, nose, or through their mouth.

Since they are small creatures, this can cause damage to their organs.


The major cause of death in guinea pigs is pneumonia which is very dangerous for them.

You have to be careful while placing them in water because if they are left in the water for a long time, they are going to get pneumonia quickly.

It Makes Them Physically Tired

The other thing is that they are small creatures and making them swim for a long time can cause them to become very tired.

Also, it will cause their body to get strained and they may end up getting sick.

You don’t have to make them work out so hard as they are not made out for it.

These are some of the dangers which can be seen while you place them in danger.

How To Take Care Of Guinea Pigs?

Even though the guinea pigs are pocket-sized pets, they require a lot of care.

You should be keeping strict control of your pet’s diet and keeping it safe from predators because they are the favorite prey of many.

They are usually easily hunted down by cats or any other predators.

Because they are easily stressed out, they need to be taken special care of because they are more likely to die of excessive stress.

Another important thing is that you should also not leave your pet alone at your place for a long time because it’s dangerous for them.

Because a cool environment is suitable for them, they like to be placed in cool places.

Therefore, they are quite prone to warm temperatures which can affect them adversely.

You should not make them feel lonely because they require a lot of affection and special attention to keep them happy.

That is also why it’s preferred if they are kept in breeding pairs or same-sex pairs.

Why Not Teach Guinea Pigs To Swim?

As you already know, guinea pigs are not created to swim in water so you should avoid making them swim in the first place.

This is because they are very sensitive to large volumes of water.

Here’s why you shouldn’t make them swim.

The Water Can Enter Their Lungs

When you force them to be in large volumes of water, they usually get scared and breathe out quickly.

When any creature breaths out quickly in water; the water can enter their lungs and it can cause organ damage which may lead to death.

They are Sensitive

Another thing you should be keeping in mind is that guinea pigs are sensitive creatures.

And when they are placed in water which may be contagious, they are prone to be infections, irritations, or other complications that may lead to their death.

Sensitive to Temperature

As you know that the guinea pigs are quite sensitive, and a slight change in anything that goes against their nature can harm them, so the same goes when you place them in water.

If the water temperature is not suitable for them, it can lead to pneumonia which is a major cause of death for guinea pigs.

They Will Find Difficulty in Breathing

These creatures have small organs, that are unlike human organs which enable us to survive underwater for a long time.

When the Guinea Pigs are placed underwater for a long time, they find it difficult to breathe because they are not created for doing it.

This will stress them out and it will also cause them difficulty in breathing.

They Will Not Survive

The worst thing which can happen to these little creatures is that can drown because they cannot survive in large pools.

You may have seen many videos on the internet where they are forced to swim in large pools, but you are not shown how many of them have drowned while performing the stunt.

It’s Against Animal Rights

Forcing them to swim is a very cruel act.

It’s the same as forcing them to perform like the animals are forcibly trained in the circus.

I believe that by doing it, animals’ rights are being neglected.

So we should avoid doing this cruelty to them.

How to Bathe a Guinea Pig in the Right Way?

Giving a shower to your pet is the best experience of keeping a pet, but it should be done in the right way or you might hurt your cute little buddy without even knowing it.

To bathe your guinea pig, you should follow a safety-controlled method.

  1. You should use warm water which is neither too warm nor too cold
  2. The next thing you should do is, place a utensil in the sink and with slightly warm water in it, add the showering shampoo which is specially made for the pet
  3. After you have added the shampoo, now you should gently grab your pet and slowly and comfortably place it in the sink
  4. After you have placed it in the sink, you should smoothly rub the pet’s body with water without hurting it or making it afraid
  5. You should also avoid adding soapy water to its eyes or its nose because it will get hurt
  6. Now scrub its body and make sure you scrub every part gently with your hands
  7. After scrubbing, rinse it with fresh warm water and gently place it out in the towel
  8. When you place it in the towel, warm it up and gently scrub it with the towel to dry it out
  9. The next thing you can do is use a hairdryer to blow-dry its body
  10. Apply the conditioner to its body and comb it gently and it’s ready

Looking After Your Guinea Pigs

To keep your guinea pig healthy, you will need to take special care of it.

Guinea pigs require a healthy diet because a healthy diet not only keeps them physically but also mentally healthy.

These small pets are caring and loving creatures, and you’ll be happy to have a guinea pig for a pet.

You just need to focus on their diet; always feed them healthy and pesticide-free nutrient-rich foods.

They are very sensitive and prone to get sick very quickly.

They are also very keen on trying out new things so you should keep an eye on them.

You will need to actively try and prevent them from consuming anything dangerous for them as it will end up getting them seriously ill.

But what actually should you give them to keep it safe and healthy?

Final Thoughts

I hope that you now have all the important information to be able to take special care of your guinea pig, especially if you’re thinking if guinea pigs can swim.

They are sensitive creatures and special treatment and time should be given to them or they are going to get sick or stressed out because they feel lonely too soon.

You should not keep them alone; try to keep it with a friendly partner guinea pig so both are going to enjoy each other’s company.

You should also not keep it in contact with water for a long time especially when you are teaching it to swim.

By following all the safety features and health precautions, I hope you will provide a suitable environment for your pet.

So can guinea pigs swim?

Although guinea pigs might indeed be able to swim, they need to be taught with great care and attention, while maintaining their health perfectly.

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