Guinea pigs make for some truly lovely pets, with their cute faces, and their thick, pretty hair. You may wonder, looking at all of that hair… do guinea pigs shed? They do, as a matter of fact. However, no more than normal for any animal with hair or fur. The exception is when they are unwell.
You can help your guinea pig stop shedding fast, with just a bit of care and know-how!
Do Guinea pigs shed? Not all guinea pigs shed their fur and not all guinea pigs need brushing. Long or curly-haired guinea pigs need more attention than shorter-haired guinea pigs. Consider brushing every couple of days or trim their hair which requires doing fewer times which is less stressful on your pet. Shorter haired guinea pigs don’t need brushing.
Some Breeds Of Guinea Pig Shed More
Perhaps you are the fortunate owner of a lovely Peruvian, Silkie, Abyssinian, or Texel. These guinea pig breeds are renowned for their incredibly long, luxurious hair. When properly cared for, long-haired guinea pig breeds are soft-to-the-touch and simply beautiful. Their hair will become knotted and dirty if it is neglected, however. Without daily brushing, they will also shed a great deal.
So, if you’re wondering, ‘do guinea pigs shed?’ Yes… especially if they have long hair! Fortunately, applying some basic care to their locks is well worth the payoff. Your guinea pig will be healthier and happier, and they will shed less around your home, as well.
You Will Need To Cut Your Long Guinea Pig’s Hair
Unlike short-haired guinea pigs, you must cut long-haired guinea pigs’ hair. Otherwise, their lovely coats will become knotted and dirty… what’s worse, they will shed everywhere. Every long-haired guinea pig will need you to frequently trim their hair. We recommend brushing every couple of days or trimming once every couple of weeks.
To cut their hair, use a comb and scissors, and take special care not to nick their skin. Cut any hair that reaches the floor, snip difficult knots out, and pay extra attention to their rear.
Groom Your Guinea Pig To Get Rid Of Loose Hair
Grooming your guinea pig is a fantastic way to get rid of loose hair before it can fall. For short-haired breeds, you will want to use a soft brush. For long-haired breeds, however, a guinea pig comb is ideal. A final go-over with a bristle brush will smooth your guinea pig’s coat while removing even more loose hair.
When brushing your guinea pig, make sure not to tug or pull. Also, avoid touching the comb to any bare areas, or where their hair is thin. These little fellows have delicate skin that is very sensitive. If there are any tricky knots, simply and painlessly cutting these off is your best move!
At first, your guinea pig may not be totally on-board with you brushing their hair. They can be a bit finicky about touch, and will also perceive the behavior as strange and new. To encourage your guinea pig to cooperate, try offering them a snack. In time, grooming and snacks should become more expected and familiar.
Electric Shaver to trim
The best way to control the hair growth on really long-haired Guinea pigs is to trim them with electric pet shavers. Watch the video below to see exactly how this should be done.
The Guinea Pig Is A Seasonal Shedder
Adorably enough, guinea pigs have some winter fluff. This will start showing up in autumntime. Your guinea pig will begin to shed in earnest in the spring and summer!
Baby Guinea Pigs Will Shed Their Baby Hair
If you have baby guinea pigs, then you will probably want to be aware that they will shed their baby hair as they grow. This soft, downy, brand-new coat that will be replaced by one that is much warmer and stronger (but still wonderfully soft).
From infancy to 3-4 months of age, when they mature, you can expect baby guinea pigs to shed their baby hair.
Guinea Pigs Can Lose Hair When They Are Unwell
When it comes to the question ‘do guinea pigs shed,’ there are certain things to consider. While every guinea pig will shed a bit, excessive hair loss can be a sign that they are very unwell. In fact, there are several conditions that this can be a symptom of. Remember to set up an appointment with your vet right away, should you suspect your guinea pig is sick.
Ringworm And Loss of Hair
Do guinea pigs shed? A normal amount, yes… unless they have ringworm. The most noteworthy symptom of ringworm in guinea pigs is the loss of hair. They will develop bald patches, where their skin will become dry, flaky, and very sensitive. These begin around the head area, and, if left untreated, they will rapidly spread elsewhere. Act fast to avoid this risk.
Mites And Loss of Hair
The primary symptoms of mites are thick, crusty skin, and the loss of hair. Your guinea pig will also exhibit itchiness and discomfort. A guinea pig with mites will find it very hard to relax. This can cause prolonged stress, resulting in weight loss, lethargy, depression, secondary infections, and more.
Barbering Loss of Hair
Do guinea pigs shed? While guinea pigs do shed, some shedding can be unnatural. Barbering, for example. This is where a guinea pig will pull out its own hair. Or, other guinea pigs may be bullying the guinea pig experiencing barbering-caused loss of hair. You will want to put a stop for this, for sure.
Guinea Pigs Must Be Fed Properly For Healthy Hair
Protein makes up a large portion of the structure of the hair. Without sufficient protein, the quality of any creature’s coat will suffer. In fact, guinea pigs require a lot of protein in their diet, second only to fiber. Meeting their protein needs is one way to make their coat shine… and help them shed less hair.
Along with this, you will need to ensure that your guinea pig gets enough vitamin C. Oddly enough, they do not naturally create vitamin C. A deficiency will cause your guinea pig to develop a poor coat, as well as become quite ill.
Supplemented guinea pig pellets and certain fruits and veggies are an excellent, healthy source of vitamin C. Every day, your guinea pig should have about 90 mg of vitamin C. Take a look at some excellent sources of vitamin C, protein, and fiber, below!
|Fruit or Veggie||Vitamin C||Protein||Fiber|
|Tomato, medium, 1||14mg||0.9g||1.5g|
|Dandelion greens, 1 cup, raw||19.3mg||1.5g||1.9g|
|Kale, chopped, 1 cup, raw||80mg||2.9g||2.6g|
Clean Your Guinea Pig Cage Often To Clear Away Old Hair
You can hardly expect your guinea pig to stay clean if their cage isn’t up to par. This will not help when it comes to getting rid of old, fallen hair. To keep your guinea pig cage spic-and-span, spot-clean each day. You will also need to do a deep-clean 3-4 times a week.
For a spot-clean, simply pick up any droppings, or food that is leftover. A deep-clean will require a little more work. First, take out the old bedding, to replace it with new. Before you put fresh bedding in, you will need to give the entire cage a wipe-down.
Avoid any harsh chemicals, and instead, spray the cage with vinegar or another guinea pig-safe cleaner. Rinse out with water to get rid of the smell. By the end, the cage will be all but empty of hair, and your guinea pig will have an easier time staying hygienic, as well.
Use A Blanket As A Guard Against Shed Hair
Sometimes, animals will simply shed. Even the tidiest, best-brushed guinea pig will lose the occasional hair. Consider using a blanket as a guard, if you are really keen on keeping hair off of furniture, or yourself.
We love rabbit fleeces are they are easy to clean. Luciphia blankets are our favorites on Amazon.
Best products to control Shedding
So, do guinea pigs shed? They do. But, there are things that you can do to greatly decrease the amount they shed! This will make them happier, and keep you and your home freer of hair. A win-win.