Some guinea pigs have naturally long hair while others have short hair. Short-haired guinea pigs do not need to have their hair cut because it never grows longer than its normal size.
Long-haired guinea pigs, however, need constant trimming because the hair will only grow longer if nothing is done about it.
We’ll be looking into cutting a guinea pig’s hair and how to do it right. Let’s begin.
Is it okay to cut a guinea pig’s hair?
Yes. It’s okay to cut a guinea pig’s hair, especially if yours is long-haired. Sometimes the hair could get tangled or have knots that are painful to comb and brush through. This makes it a painful experience for your guinea pig as you groom it.
The hair could also become too long that it drags down carrying with it dirt and bacteria. This makes it vital to trim it so that your guinea pig’s health is maintained.
When to cut your guinea pig’s hair
You should observe your guinea pig regularly to see if the hair needs a cut. Below are reasons to cut a guinea pig’s hair.
1. If it gets too long
Sometimes the hair will grow long enough to touch the ground. Piggies love grooming themselves but they won’t be able to do it well if it gets this long.
Long hair will also be a health hazard to your pet. If it’s touching the ground then it’s likely that it will get dragged on urine.
This makes the hair carry bacteria which could bring about diseases like urinary tract infections to your delicate pet.
2. If it gets knots and becomes tangled
Tangled and knotted hair is painful to comb even for us. The hair gets tangled if you do not groom and brush it often.
Knots could be brought about by things getting stuck on the hair. This makes it a painful session for your pet while grooming and they could get scared of it.
3. If it’s matted
Matted hair is hair that’s stuck on the guinea pig’s skin. This is painful and cutting should be done with utmost care.
Avoid brushing or combing it. You should only cut the upper part and leave the rest to avoid cutting your guinea pig’s skin.
Keep cutting the upper part until good hair has grown and all of the matt has been cut off.
Things to consider while cutting hair
- Scissors are easy and simple to use while cutting hair. You should always only trim the hair, you are not shaving your guinea pig.
- If you know how to do it, you can go ahead and cut the hair yourself. If you’re a little clumsy or just scared of not doing it right, you can have someone else to do it for you.
- Avoid getting too close to the skin, the eyes, and ears. All these parts are delicate and you could end up causing injury to them if you accidentally nipped them.
- Groom your pet during lap time when they’re relaxed. You can use food as a distraction.
How to cut a guinea pig’s hair
With everything else out of the way, let’s get into how to do the actual hair cutting. Remember that just like with our hair, guinea pig hair is easier to handle when wet.
It’s ideal to use a round-tipped scissors for the job.
- Bath your guinea pig first to get rid of urine and other materials stuck on hair to make it clean and soft to handle.
- Brush hair downwards. This loosens it and makes it easier to work with.
- Clip hair up in several sections to make it easier for you to work on it and see clearly what you are doing.
- Begin with the bum area because it’s more difficult to work on. Be careful around boy nether regions to avoid painful accidents.
- Use two fingers between the skin and the hair you are cutting as protection for your piggy. This also helps to avoid over-cutting.
- Carefully cut off the hair above your fingers.
Benefits of cutting a guinea pig’s hair
Cutting your guinea pig’s hair is beneficial and if pets could talk, yours would thank you. Below are the benefits it brings about.
Easy to manage
Short hair is always easier to manage compared to long hair and this applies to guinea pigs too. Cutting short your pet’s hair will make things so much easier for you while grooming and lowers the amount of time you take while at it.
When guinea pig hair grows long, it will get dragged on the ground collecting all forms of bacteria which could in turn give your pet sicknesses. If it’s cut short, this will be avoided.
Painless grooming sessions
If you cut out your pet’s hair tangles and knots, that makes grooming less painful for them. When grooming is a smooth process involving brushing tangle-free hair, your pet will be relaxed making it better for both of you.
Guinea pigs are very sensitive to high temperatures. Long hair makes them feel like they are walking with a blanket even during warm weather.
This can affect your guinea pig so you should keep the hair short to avoid a guinea pig burning in its skin.
Other benefits of cutting hair are:
- Prevents injuries caused by combing tangled hair.
- Protects your pet from ingesting hair which can affect their digestive system.
- Keeps the guinea pig clean as the hair is no longer dragging on the ground collecting dirt.
- Reduces hair shedding and matting.
Guinea pigs are easy to maintain and grooming is one of the maintenance tasks. They love grooming themselves too but some particles stuck on their hair may be hard for them to remove by themselves.
There’s usually no need to cut or trim short hair because it naturally grows to a certain length and sheds on its own not requiring any input from you.
Always be gentle and let your pet relax for the activity first. Cutting a guinea pig’s hair is beneficial for the pet’s overall health.