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Should You Shave Your Guinea Pig? (Pros & Cons To Both)

Tim Rhodes
Written by Tim Rhodes Last Updated: March 13, 2021

This particular issue is a big dilemma for the people who own or have a pet like a guinea pig; is a shaved guinea pig advantageous or not?

You may have been wandering around the internet looking for a reliable article that could help and enlighten you on this matter.

First and foremost, we are going to talk about the background of the guinea pig.

This background will enable you to grasp all the information that will come after this.

Even if you are not a guinea pig lover, or you do not own a pet like this, you will still relate and better understand this topic.

The Truth About Guinea Pigs

Let’s first have an idea about guinea pigs.

There is a known domestic species of Cavia porcellus (rodent) that originally came from South America, and it’s called guinea pig.

Guinea pigs are also known as cavies.

These guinea pigs are popular for being pets as they are so lovely, adorable, playful, and are great stress relievers.

This kind of animal has a particular characteristic which results in differences in colors, texture, sizes, appearance, and this cutie piggy loves to hide too!

When you let them wander around in the room, all they are going to do is circle the corners and move around.

They will hide behind the couch, poop in the cushions, and eat a lot of vegetables and fruits like apples, mustard greens, carrots, romaine lettuce, kale, parsley, and many more.

They should not be left alone, they love to be given warm cuddles.

Regularly maintaining their hairs and nails will ensure that they look the best and healthy.

About the Hair of Guinea Pigs

As we all know, there are variations in breeding and this results in differences in the appearance of guinea pigs.

Guinea pigs’ hair varies among different breeds.

Typically, their hair grows out from their forehead and grows about 1 to 5 inches in a month.

When the hair is short, the hair gives off a unicorn-like appearance.

Guinea pigs like American, the Crested, the Teddy, and Rex are the several breeds who innately have short, straight, smooth hair.

This type of breed does not require cutting or the need to shave their hair regularly.

On the contrary, long-haired guinea pigs like Texel, Silkie, Coronet usually require a lot of grooming since their long, glossy hair grows very fast.

Whenever their hair grows fast, it covers their face, making it difficult for them to see things clearly.

But, if your little piggy has long hair, it’s very much necessary you cut your pet’s hair to maintain a certain hair length.

Shortening the length of your pet’s hair is only made to ensure your pet a healthy and comfortable life.

If there will be a moment wherein you need to groom a long-haired pig, whether you shave it or trim it, it’s recommended you use a toothed comb.

The toothed comb will hold the hair from the surface and will prevent your little piggy from hurting itself.

For their stomach and short legs, you can also use thinner combs.

How To Shave The Hair of A Guinea Pig

Many guinea pig owners and takers generally use electric clippers to shave the little piggy’s body hair.

However, using this kind of equipment has downsides.

First, electric clippers are originally designed for use on human hair.

Imagine using an electric clipper on this tiny animal being.

It will be difficult to shave off the hair from the guinea pig’s ears and tiny legs.

Besides, electric clippers are noisy and this would scare off the animal.

However, if your electric clipper does not produce any noise, then it’s all set.

You can start shaving the hair of your pet.

Just be careful and mindful, though, most especially if this is your first time.

Should You Shave Your Guinea Pig?

Removing all the hair on your guinea pig and ending up with a shaved guinea pig will surely increase the chances of getting infections, such as folliculitis and ingrown hairs.

These infections will be too painful for your cute little pet, which could also harm it especially if it starts scratching that spot.

Just like humans, the hair of guinea pigs grows fast, and when humans’ hair grows longer, there is always something different with the feeling; it can feel good, irritated, dry, and heavy.

You could think shaving would be the best and the only way to relieve those certain feelings mentioned above, but I’m telling you, this is not advised as it’s not hygienic.

The best method to use is trimming, and you may cut your guinea pig’s long hair to a comfortable length.

Remember, you don’t need to cut the guinea pig’s hair shorter.

Just a fair amount of grooming will do.

We will see more on this as we progress.

Reasons Why You Should Shave Your Guinea Pig

Below are a few advantages of shaving your little piggy.

  1. Your pet might feel relieved from heat (this would surely feel like heaven!)
  2. Your pet will get to avoid urinary tract infections: guinea pigs frequently urinate and defecate in their cages, and if you fail to clean the bum of your pet promptly, this can lead to infections and would lead to some implications that will be too much to handle later on
  3. A shaved guinea pig has a more unrestricted movement – imagine if your guinea pig’s hair is long, it may hinder your pet from moving around, and this could make your little piggy sad and listless
  4. Shaving can make your pet free from minor accidents, like falling, trapping its hair on the fan, etc.
  5. Shaving can prevent your pet from scattering the dirt from itself, such as urine and feces, in your room or house

Shaving is Necessary For Medical Procedures

If your pet needs to go through any medical procedure, it will be necessary to shave the hair of your guinea pig.

For example, if your pet has a tumor anywhere on its body, the surgeon or a medical expert would probably advise shaving that particular area on the body.

Experts say that shaving is necessary only if the hair is blocking or interfering with the operation.

However, this method could cause your pet’s skin to have bacterial infections since no one can block the bacteria from entering the skin layer.

What is responsible for this is the hair.

Just remember, medical experts, are the only ones who will decide whether to shave or not shave that particular part of the body of your pet.

Do not make any rash decisions, especially when you don’t have enough knowledge about this particular concern.

Can I Have the Vet Shave Off My Pet’s Hair To Remove Lice?

One common problem associated with taking care of furry or hairy animals like guinea pigs is that they usually have lice on their head or body.

The worst part is that using some medications would only make this host resistant.

Shaving would be the best option to remove all lice in the head and body, once and for all.

However, vets do not recommend it, and they use doses to treat parasitic infections.

But this does not apply to all since some cases were not the same.

For other occurrences, there would be no changes in your pet’s situation.

Mineral oil could be an aid in this type of situation.

Just apply a small amount of mineral oil and then gently comb your pet’s hair.

Regularly do it until you get to remove the lice on the body and head in your pet.

Things To Do If You Shave Your Guinea Pig

Guinea pigs are far different from any other pet like dogs, cats, or rabbits.

These little pigs only require minimal cleaning and are reasonably easy to groom.

If you choose to shave your guinea pig, here’s a list of things to do right after you shave the hair of your guinea pig.

Remember: Avoid getting water in your pet’s eyes and ears.

  • After cleaning your pet, rinse the body with water
  • Prepare a soft and comfy towel

I suggest using cotton towels, so when you rub the towel on the body of your pet, it wouldn’t be painful.

Using a hard-clothed towel might irritate and create a wound in the body of your pet.

  • Gently dry the body, and you can only use a dryer in a low setting.

Check the dryer’s level first so you might accidentally press the high setting in your dryer.

If the dryer is at the highest, it can even burn a particular part of your pet’s body.

When you remove the hair, there would be no coat on your guinea pig’s body serving as protection against the sudden temperature changes.

  • Thoroughly dry the body of your guinea pig

Be sure to thoroughly dry your piggy so it wouldn’t catch any sickness.

Reasons Why You Shouldn’t Shave Your Guinea Pig

Now that we are done with the advantages of shaving your guinea pig, we can look at the disadvantages.

Let’s have a look at the things that will put your pet at a disadvantage.

The moment you shave your guinea pig, you are removing a very significant source of their protection from injury, bacteria, and other elements that may harm your pet.

Yes, you freed your pet from the hot weather, irritability, but this also means that your pet will not be able to protect itself from the cold and certain elements that could bring harm to it.

Without the hair on its body, the body itself would associate with scratch, cuts, pierced by sharp and harmful objects, and other injuries.

Imagine you wanted to bring your pet on a picnic in the morning, the ultraviolet rays from the sun would harm your pet.

Too much exposure to the sun could lead to rashes, burns, wrinkled skin, and many more.

Lastly, you are ruining their natural hair.

They have these long straight hair for a reason and they are naturally innate with it.

That becomes their habit, their comfort zone.

Another thing to know about guinea pigs is that they do not like change.

Like humans, few of us cannot adapt to change, and when there is change, we feel overwhelmed.

So, what can you expect from these tiny creatures?

Other Factors that Could Affect Your Guinea Pig When You Shave it

This experience could traumatize or frighten your little pet, most especially when you do it for the first time.

Don’t forget that this kind of animal is affectionate.

However, of course, when your pet felt endangered, this could affect its behavior.

Just like humans, animals could get traumatized too.

It occurs when certain events smash out your sense of security.

If you don’t like this to happen with your cute little piggy, then think over again, think if shaving would bring out the best for your pet.

What Could be the Best Option for my Guinea Pig?

Even if your guinea pig is just a tiny being, it badly needs adequate grooming; like humans, they are sensitive too.

It’s vital to ensure that your pet is clean and healthy.

Trimming is the best and safest method for cutting out your pet’s long-hair.

When you trim your pet’s hair, you’re helping to prevent cases of hair being wet whenever your pet urinates and releases stools.

Thus, when you decide to trim your pet’s hair, it’s suggested you use round-tipped scissors with a comb so you can maintain the length of the hair to your preference.

Many people are also asking, when is the best time to cut the hair?

You should consider the climate in your environment.

If it’s cold weather, you should postpone cutting your pet’s hair, especially if your pet’s resting place doesn’t have a heater.

Remember, hair is not only an accessory, but it serves as protection and a warm coat for animals like guinea pigs.

If you think that your little piggy badly needs grooming, then that would be the best time to cut the hair of your little piggy.

Alternative to Shaving Your Guinea Pigs

Another thing aside from trimming is having a visit to the veterinarian.

This one is the best of all.

I highly recommend going to visit a veterinarian because they can do this thing professionally, most especially, if this is your first time having a pet like a guinea pig.

You can skim over the internet and watch videos on youtube, but entrusting this to an animal expert is way much better.

Be mindful of the consequences because once you have put your decision into action, there will be no other way around.

You cannot turn back time and you may end up being displeased with the final result.

So to avoid having regrets, study more and ask for some advice from others.

If you have a friend who also owns a pet like this, do not hesitate to ask.

Final Thoughts

Hope this has helped you decide if having a shaved guinea pig is the best option for you or not

So are you going to be shaving all the hair off or will you be sticking to just trimming the body hair lightly?

I hope that the information above helps you in choosing between the two.

I also hope that you end up doing the things that would be the best, not only for you but for your little cutie piggy.


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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