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Can You Bathe Guinea Pigs With Baby Shampoo?

Tim Rhodes
Written by Tim Rhodes Last Updated: September 16, 2021

You want to bathe your guinea pig and wonder can you bathe guinea pigs with baby shampoo as baby products are mild and with fewer chemicals compared to those meant for adults.

Generally, guinea pigs don’t smell.

So, if you notice an odor coming from your guinea pig’s cage, you will probably have to clean their hutch or cage more often.

Also, the strength of the odor depends on the number of guinea pigs you have.

The more guinea pigs you have, the more often you need to clean their habitat.

Nonetheless, you can give your guinea pig a thorough bath every month or two.

Your guinea pig doesn’t need a bath more often than that.

By bathing your guinea pig often you can cause them harm, as every bath removes natural oils and can cause dry hair and irritation.

Never give your guinea pig a bath using human shampoos – not even baby shampoos, as they are not meant for guinea pigs who have a completely different hair and skin texture. 

Most human shampoos contain chemicals that can damage your guinea pig’s skin and hair and cause irritation.

Can You Bathe a Guinea Pig With Baby Shampoo?

The simple answer is: no, you shouldn’t bathe a guinea pig with baby shampoo because human shampoos, including baby shampoos, are harsh on animal skins.

However, if you are really desperate and don’t have shampoo made specifically for guinea pigs, try diluting a small amount of baby shampoo.

Yet, don’t make this a habit as you can cause much harm to your guinea pig.

Also, it is a good idea to check with a vet whether a baby shampoo you’d want to use is safe for your small animal.

Likewise, do not use any dish soap or cleaning materials on your guinea pigs!

The only recommended shampoo for a guinea pig is the one specifically made for these small animals in accordance with their needs, skin, and hair.

When choosing a guinea pig shampoo, remember that it’s advisable to use unscented, organic, and fragrance-free shampoo, but not baby shampoos and certainly not dish soap.

One of the recommended sites for purchasing guinea pig shampoos is Gorgeous Guineas.

They have several handmade shampoos designed for guinea pig skin and are SLS/SLES (Sodium Laureth Sulfate) & Paraben-free.

However, there are other options as well, so we are presenting the 8 best guinea pig shampoos.

8 Best Guinea Pig Shampoos

Here are the 8 best guinea pig shampoos rated and reviewed

1. Kaytee Squeaky Clean Critter Shampoo

Kaytee Squeaky Clean Critter Shampoo 8-Ounce
  • Totally tearless and pH balanced for safe use on your pet.
  • Helps eliminate odors with a long lasting baby powder fragrance.
  • You will feel the softness, smell and freshness, and see the shine when you use Squeaky Clean Shampoo.
  • 8-Ounce
  • For guinea pigs, rabbits, and other small pets

Last update on 2023-05-25 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

Kaytee Squeaky Clean Critter Shampoo is a top seller on Amazon because of its pH balance and softness.

This 8-ounces shampoo is tearless and is designed for small animals, including guinea pigs

Kaytee is the leader when it comes to products for small animals, including guinea pigs.

Check Price and Reviews on Amazon

2. Odie and Cody Natural Shampoo

Odie and Cody Natural Dog Shampoo, Organic Pet Shampoo for Dogs, Cats, Puppies, Kittens, Guinea Pigs...
  • VETERINARIAN RECOMMENDED, ORGANIC, PREMIUM PET SHAMPOO. We know how much you love your pet and that you want the...
  • MOISTURIZING, DEODORIZING, ANTI-ITCH, ALLERGY RELIEF, CONCENTRATED Our pet shampoo is formulated to maximize...
  • VEGAN, GLUTEN FREE, BIODEGRADABLE, CRUELTY FREE. Our commitment is to make healthy products that are both kind to...
  • MANUFACTURER WARRANTY Try Odie and Cody Pet Shampoo risk free. We are so confident in the quality of our product...

Last update on 2023-05-25 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

Odie and Cody Natural Shampoo soothe the dry skin of a guinea pig.

Vets recommend it because it is organic and moisturizing, contains no chemicals, artificial ingredients, fragrances, sulfates, alcohol, or any other harmful additives.

Furthermore, this guinea pig shampoo is also vegan and gluten-free, biodegradable, and comes with a manufacturer warranty.

This non-toxic, hypoallergenic, and anti-itch highly concentrated guinea pig shampoo smells of lemongrass.

All you need is a drop to bathe a guinea pig!

Check Price and Reviews on Amazon

3. Arm & Hammer Tearless Shampoo for Small Animals

Arm & Hammer Tearless Shampoo for Small Animals | Safe for Use Around Guinea Pigs, Hamsters, Rabbits...
  • CLEANS AND NOURISHES — Best Tearless Shampoo for small animals that will clean and nourish your pet's skin and...
  • NEUTRALIZES PET ODORS — Your small animal will be so fresh and so clean after getting a bath with this mild...
  • SIMPLE TO USE — Simple to use small animal shampoo that can be used every few weeks to bathe your furry friend
  • FOR ALL SMALL ANIMALS — This enriched formula is pH balanced for small animals and is the perfect rabbit shampoo,...

Last update on 2023-05-25 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

Arm & Hammer Tearless Shampoo for Small Animals is a great product as it not only cleans your guinea pig’s skin but also nourishes it.

It’s an Amazon best-seller because it neutralizes guinea pig odors and is made specifically for small animals.

It cleans and nourishes your guinea pig’s skin and coat.

Besides, this shampoo is quite affordable.

Check Price and Reviews on Amazon

4. G That’s Awesome Brands Certified Organic Pet Shampoo

G That's Awesome Brands Certified Organic Pet Shampoo
  • Guaranteed skunk odor removal
  • Will not dry or irritate human skin or hands

Last update on 2023-05-25 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

G That’s Awesome Certified Organic Pet Shampoo is a really good product as it is gentle and doesn’t irritate the skin of a guinea pig.

Also, it is most suitable for every guinea pig with sensitive skin or skin conditions.

It has a mild smell and removes dirt odors.

Check Price and Reviews on Amazon

5. Citrus Magic All Natural Foaming Pet Cleanser

Citrus Magic Pet Foaming Pet Cleanser, 8-Fluid Ounce
  • Foaming cleanser that helps clean and remove odors from pet's coats
  • Unique formula includes enzymes that clean and deodorize in seconds
  • Includes a easy-to-use foaming pump which dispenses the cleanser into your hands
  • Perfect for small animals like ferrets, hamsters, rabbits, and kittens
  • Fragrance-free

Last update on 2023-05-25 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

Citrus Magic All Natural Foaming Pet Cleanser removes odors, cleans and deodorizes your guinea pig.

It has an easy-to-use foaming pump, which makes it handy.

Besides, this fragrance-free shampoo is also good for other small animals.

Check Price and Reviews on Amazon

6. Fluppets Certified Organic Pet Shampoo

Fluppets Certified Organic Pet Shampoo Natural Hypoallergenic Non Toxic For Sensitive Itchy Skin For...
  • PET SHAMPOO MADE FROM ORGANIC OILS. Certified to USDA organic food standards. Formulated and made in the US. 100%...
  • HIGHLY CONCENTRATED, SAFE, SYNTHETIC FREE, CONDITIONING SHAMPOO protect yourself and your furry loved ones by using...
  • A PET SHAMPOO PERFECT FOR ITCHY & SENSITIVE SKIN Many animals and their guardians develop sensitivities to the...
  • HYPOALLERGENIC free of petroleum or animal by-products Our eco-friendly natural liquid pet shampoo is...
  • For each bottle sold, WE DONATE FIFTY CENTS to BEST FRIENDS ANIMAL SOCIETY. All donations go directly toward saving...

Last update on 2023-05-25 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

Fluppets Certified Organic Pet Shampoo is all-natural shampoo, perfect for guinea pigs.

It is non-toxic, eco-friendly for nourishing and cleansing, ideal for sensitive guinea pigs, and comes in a high concentration (only a small drop is needed).

Bathing your guinea pig with this shampoo is a safe process.

Check Price and Reviews on Amazon

7. Johnson’s Small Animal Shampoo

Johnsons Veterinary Products Small Animal Cleansing Shampoo, White, 125 ml
  • Cleanses and deodorises
  • Mild and non irritant
  • For small animals over 12 weeks of age
  • Model number: 19-0260

Last update on 2023-06-12 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

Johnson’s Small Animal Shampoo doesn’t irritate guinea pigs.

It also brings a nice smell to your guinea pig (although non-fragrance shampoos are best).

Nonetheless, this shampoo is suitable for most small animals (including guinea pigs) over the age of 12 weeks.

Check Price and Reviews on Amazon

8. Beaphar Small Pet Guinea Pig and Rabbit Shampoo

Beaphar Ferret Shampoo 250ml
  • Beaphar Ferret and Rat Shampoo is a gentle shampoo with the fresh scent of pine, specially formulated to cleanse...

Last update on 2023-05-25 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

Beaphar Small Pet Guinea Pig and Rabbit Shampoo is good for small animals with sensitive skin.

This shampoo with a fresh chamomile smell contains Aloe Vera for optimum skin health.

Furthermore, it’s mild enough to be used once a month during the summer months.

Therefore, bathing your guinea pigs with this shampoo is a good choice.

Check Price and Reviews on Amazon

How Often Should I Bathe My Guinea Pig?

Fortunately, guinea pigs do not need a frequent bath, you only need to bathe your guinea pig once a month during summers and every other month in winter seasons.

Some owners think that giving a bathe to a guinea pig is best in summer only and they completely avoid the winter season.

Note that bathing them more than once a month makes a guinea pig susceptible to dry skin, skin infections, and viruses, which is why once a month is sufficient.

The most common items you will need to bathe your guinea pig are:

  • Shampoo
  • A guinea pig brush
  • A bowl of two or three centimeters of warm water (or a sink)
  • A towel, and
  • A hairdryer for drying (with cool setting)

How Should I Bath My Guinea Pigs?

These are the steps for bathing your guinea pigs:

Test the water with your wrist or elbow which are the most sensitive to temperature.

Before sinking your guinea pigs in water and using shampoo, allow your guinea pigs ample time to have a calm and relaxing pre-bathing time.

Start by letting your guinea pigs’ tiny feet go first into the warm water and wait for them to get accustomed to the exposure.

It is best not to directly place them in the water to avoid panic, and give them the time they need to adapt.

It’s advisable to have some ready entertainment nearby to help them be distracted, they may try to run out of your wet hands so keep a close eye on them.

Try using a small toy they like, or a plant they particularly enjoy, and when they are ready to be gently placed into the small pool of water, make sure that the noses and mouths of your guinea pigs are visible so they can breathe properly.

Take generous handfuls of warm water and pour it gently over your guinea pig.

When their bodies are wet, lift them out of the water and place them on your toweled lap.

Take a small amount of shampoo and bathe a guinea pig by using your hands only, and cautiously avoid getting shampoo in their eyes.

If you need, make sure to remove the soap from your hands and apply a dry washcloth on their eyes to remove the excess.

Rinse them up to three times with fresh warm water until all the soap from the body of your guinea pigs is removed.

Then wrap the guinea pig in a towel and let the towel soak up all the excess.

Don’t cover your piggy’s head with the towel!

Having dried your guinea pig with the towel as much as possible, use the hairdryer by continuously moving the hairdryer in all directions to avoid burning your piggies.

After drying your piggy, make sure to place it in a warm place/ warm cage.

What Can I Use Instead of Guinea Pig Shampoo?

You can use an alternative to guinea pig shampoo only if you really have no other options.

Still, don’t use human shampoo or any shampoo that’s not meant for guinea pigs (except diluted baby shampoo, but that, too, only rarely).

The first option is to use a dusting powder designed specifically for guinea pigs and small animals.

The company Kaytee sells such powders advertised as non-irritating, leave-on formulas for eliminating odors.

There are also several high-quality dry shampoos for guinea pigs available as alternatives to regular shampoos.

However, note that there are side effects you should consider before using powders on your guinea pigs.

Dust or powder can damage guinea pigs’ lungs because of their fragile respiratory system.

A few recommended dry shampoos on Amazon are:

  1. Begley’s Natural Waterless Pet Shampoo: allows you to bathe a guinea pig without water, it’s non-toxic and uses natural ingredients.
  2. UltraCare Flea and Tick Spray for Small Animals: this is not a shampoo, but is a useful spray to have for controlling animal ticks and fleas, and is recommended for guinea pigs.
  3. Kaytee Quick and Clean Critter Dry Shampoo: eliminates odors, non-irritating, neutralizes odors, this shampoo also comes in a spray so you can put it in their hair and massage the shampoo, it neutralizes odors, loose dirt, and dissolves oil, it has a lasting baby powder smell.

Another alternative is to use a washcloth to give your guinea pig a sponge bath.

Do this by wetting the washcloth and simply wiping your pet.

Here Are Our Favorite Guinea Pig Shampoo Picks:

Last update on 2023-05-25 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

How To Clean Guinea Pig’s Eyes?

Naturally, guinea pigs have a natural discharge from their eyes that they normally remove on their own with their paws.

If you begin to notice their eyes are crusty and need attention then it is best to take them to the vet to check for the cause.

It’s better to ask your vet whether the condition is serious.

Usually, you should be concerned if your guinea pig also has a runny nose and crusty eyes.

How To Keep My Guinea Clean Between Baths?

Ideally, bathe your guinea pig every four to six weeks during the summer months and even more rarely during the winter.

In the meantime, make sure that you are:

1. Regularly replace the bedding

Apart from replacing the bedding once a day, also line your guinea pig’s hutch with newspaper to absorb moisture.

2. Disinfect the cage once a week

By cleaning the cage with a disinfectant once a week, you will keep the germs away.

Remove the food bowls, water bottles, toys, and bedding and spray the disinfectant around the cage and on the wiring.

Wipe the cage and the wires with a clean cloth and, when it is completely dry, replace the bedding.

3. Regularly clean your guinea pig’s bowls, water bottles, and toys

The best is to clean them thoroughly once a day and disinfect them once a week with a pet-friendly solution.

4. Spot clean the cage 

Regularly remove soiled bedding, especially around litter trays and eating areas.

5.  Keep your guinea piggies away from dirt

To keep your guinea pigs clean during their run-around, make sure that their hutch and play areas are on dry, grassy, and clean spots.

Final Thoughts

As you can see, you shouldn’t bathe a guinea pig with shampoos that are not made specifically for them.

Here’s another note: never use dish soap on your guinea pigs, as the chemicals present in dish soap can be extremely harsh on your guinea pig’s skin, irritate it and damage it.

That is the reason why you shouldn’t give your guinea pig a bath using human shampoos or those made for other animals.

Also, they remove all the natural oils on the skin and hair of a guinea pig, which can harm your guinea pig’s wellbeing.

Yet, when you decide to give your guinea pig a bath, use a product that is safe for guinea pigs.

Give your guinea pig time to adjust to the warm water and make sure it cannot sink (the heads of your guinea pigs must be above the water level). 

Never place shampoo directly on their bodies, but spread a really small amount of the product using your hands (fingers).

Make sure that the shampoo you are using is absolutely safe for your guinea pig, which means that it is non-toxic, contains natural ingredients, and is made for guinea pigs.

However, there are alternatives to guinea pig shampoos, such as sponge baths, dry shampoos, or pet-friendly wipes.


Tim Rhodes
Tim Rhodes

Hi there! My name is Tim Rhodes and I'm a guinea pig enthusiast through thick and thin. My mission is to teach others useful tips and tricks about these cute creatures. When I'm not writing, I enjoy kickboxing and work as an animal trainer.

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Last update on 2023-05-25 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API