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We recently adopted a guinea pig and in contrast to our rabbits, he's a smelly slob.

We clean his cage every other day, yet he's still musty. He has a litter pan which he uses, but still occasionally decides to pee on the cage floor and then sleep on it. Is there something else I should doing to help him help himself?

Further, I'm allergic to his hay, but he seems to bath in it, which makes him difficult to hold.

Should I be giving him daily baths? Are there other products I should be using?

  • Are your rabbit and guinea pig using different hay? – James Jenkins Feb 7 '14 at 11:35
  • @JamesJenkins they use the same hay; my rabbits just eat the hay, they don't bath in it like the cavy – virtualxtc Feb 7 '14 at 20:55
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As far as I know, bathing a guinea pig too often is a bad idea. Keep in mind a guinea-pig is a very sensitive pet, if you do that, you'll probably be harming their natural skin protection, which will lead to illnesses. If you really have to, I'd recommend bathing them once at month at most. Even if you don't believe it, guinea pigs are very self cleaning and they take care of it! They spend a part of their day just cleaning themselves.

The hay is an absolutely basic element in their life, as they use it for many things, but the most important is their digestive properties. In normal circumstances, a guinea pig will eat big amounts of hay per day. Additionally, they may use it to "decorate" their bathroom, and also as the base of their bedroom so they are more comfortable.

The best thing I'd advice to do is cleaning the cage every 3-4 days (more often would also might be harmful). Don't worry if they pee on the same place they sleep - but as I read your question, it seems you're not putting any base/substratum? If so, this is very important, in pet shops they sell several types of substratum that additionally absorb smells and makes your guinea pig more easy to live in their cage. Another option is putting the hay as the base of the cage, it'll probably like it more to your guinea pig, but it doesn't absorb smells and plus if you're allergic... Ask at the shop!

  • Thanks, the potty was working pretty well and made me forget, that I wanted to put wood pellets under the newspaper that I've already been using. I'll give that a shot next. – virtualxtc Feb 7 '14 at 8:56
  • Also, my rabbits spend almost 20 fold more time grooming them selves than my cavy, maybe my cavy has some sort of defect? He itches about as much as he cleans, which isn't much.... – virtualxtc Feb 7 '14 at 9:00
  • Can you elaborate how my cleaning his cage ever other day is harmful? – virtualxtc Feb 14 '14 at 3:13
  • Wood pellets as a substratum seems to be working. However, he still pees on his upper (plastic) floor and then sits in it. – virtualxtc Feb 14 '14 at 3:15
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This post is a little late after your original question, but I could not help to finish this for anyone who sees this question! You should try putting the wood pellets (Or whatever soft animal bedding you are using) on top of the newspaper, that will make the cage easier to clean, and it will be more comfortable to your cavy. :) Cleaning the cage really often would not be harmful at all to your cavy, just make sure he's got a good place to be while you clean. As for the upper plastic floor, try putting an old bath towel on it! That will make it softer, soak up the urine, and make it simple to clean! Your cavy probably does not have a defect that prevents him from cleaning, he's just too lazy... my guinea pig Juliet has the same problem. xD To keep him clean, you will can try bathing him every month, but no more, You can use baby soap or small animal soap. If he itches excessively you can see if he has fleas at the vet, or look if there is a way to find out if he has fleas your self.

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I haven't bathed my 2 piggies in the year and a half I've had them. They usually smell pretty good to me. I wash their cloth sleeping pads and 'sleeping bags' - a felt purse and another cloth enclosure they can go into. They don't seem to have any problems that would be cured with a bath.

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