Owning a guinea pig can be fun and rewarding. These creatures are cute with their colorful fur. It comes in all different colors and lengths. Some have short hair, while others have long hair. Due to the guinea pigs having hair, you may be wondering if they shed.
So, do guinea pigs shed? It depends on the breeds of guinea pig you have. Some will shed their furs throughout the year, while others don’t shed at all. Long or curly-haired guinea pigs will need more attention than shorter-haired guinea pigs.
Some Breeds of Guinea Pig Shed More
One of the things you should consider when choosing a guinea pig is how often they shed. Depending on the breeds of guinea pig, it could shed more than others.
Breeds such as Peruvian, Silkie, Abyssinian, or Texel guinea pigs will shed more often than other breeds. These breeds have long, luxurious, and soft hair. They need to be brushed often to prevent their hair from knotting and dirty. If it’s not brushed often, the guinea pigs will shed their hair frequently.
Other breeds that have short hair will not shed that often. You’ll notice them only shedding seasonally. This is to shed their fur to grow new ones for the season.
Do Guinea Pigs Shed In The Spring?
Yes, guinea pigs will shed during the springtime. This is the time of the year where you will notice they are shedding a lot more than usual. This is normal and there’s nothing to worry about.
Guinea pigs will get rid of extra fur on their body so that they will remain cooler during the summer.
Do Guinea Pigs Shed In The Fall?
Yes, guinea pigs do shed in the fall. This is the time of the year when it begins to get cold. In order to keep themselves warm, they need to shed off their lighter fur and grow thicker fur.
If you notice them shedding, you can help them shed much quicker by brushing their fur often.
Do Guinea Pigs Shed When Stressed?
Yes, guinea pigs can shed hair when they are stressed. This will usually happen when they are shedding without any bald patches.
They could have stress from many things such as losing their cagemate, another pet in the house is bothering them, or they have an illness.
If you’ve noticed your guinea pigs are shedding at a different time than they should, they may be stressed. You need to find out what’s causing them to be stressed. Prolonged exposure to stress will cause them to not only lose their hair but could cause health issues.
Guinea Pigs Can Lose Hair Due To Health Issues
When guinea pigs start to shed too often, they may have an underlying health issue. While every guinea pig will shed a bit, excessive shedding means they are not feeling well.
There are several conditions that can cause them to shed excessively and lose a lot of hair. Below are some of the reasons why your guinea pigs may shed more than often:
Ringworm And Loss of Hair
If your guinea pigs have ringworm, the most noticeable symptom is hair loss. They will develop bald patches on their skin. It will become dry, flaky, and very sensitive.
It will usually start around the area of their head. If it’s left untreated, the ringworm can spread through the rest of the body quickly.
Mites and Hair Loss
Another reason why guinea pigs might shed excessively is due to mites. If they have mites, the usual symptoms will be thick, crusty skin, and hair loss.
The guinea pigs will have a hard time trying to relax as mites cause itchiness to their skin.
If it’s left untreated for a long time, it could result in prolonged stress, weight loss, depression, lethargy, and could even be fatal.
Guinea pigs will shed several times during the year, which is natural for them. There are times you may notice they are losing a lot of their hair for no obvious reason. One of them could be what is called barbering. This is where a guinea pig will pull out its own hair.
It could be stressed is causing them to pull out their own hair or it could be another guinea pig in the cage that is bullying them.
How Can I Stop My Guinea Pigs From Shedding?
There’s no way of stopping them from shedding as this is natural. However, there are things you can do to reduce the shedding.
Brush Your Guinea Pigs Often
Regular brushing can help reduce the amount of hair the guinea pig sheds. During the spring and fall when they shed a lot, brushing them will remove the old hair and grow new hair back quickly.
When brushing them, always use a soft brush. If they have bald patches on their skin, don’t brush over it as it could hurt them.
If you have guinea pigs that have long hair, daily brushing will be required. This is to prevent their hair from mating together.
Proper Amount of Vitamin C
Vitamin C deficiency in guinea pigs can lead to excessive shedding and hair loss. Guinea needs a lot of this vitamin in their diet each day to stay healthy.
Guinea pig pellets are usually fortified with vitamin C, but the vitamin in them will degrade over time. The longer the pellets sit on the store’s shelves, the lower the vitamin C level will be in it.
The best way to ensure that the guinea pigs always get plenty of vitamin C each day is to feed them fresh fruits and vegetables that are high in this vitamin.
Reduce Stress In Their Environment
Stress is one of the factors that could cause your guinea pigs to shed excessively. They could be stressed from other pets you have in the house, health ailment, or the other guinea pigs is bullying them.
All of these could cause them to be stressed and not eat or sleep. When that happens, they are able to get enough nutrients and their body will not function properly. This will lead to shedding more than normal.
If you notice they are shedding a lot and you see no reasons why it’s happening, check to see if it’s something in their environment that’s bothering them.
Do I Need To Brush My Guinea Pig?
It will depend on the type of guinea pigs you have. If you have short-haired guinea pigs, they won’t require much maintenance. During shedding seasons, you should brush their hair once a week. Other times, you won’t need to brush them at all. These creatures will usually keep themselves groomed.
On the other hand, for long-haired guinea pigs, they are high maintenance and require a lot of brushing. You’ll need to brush them regularly to help prevent the hair from mating, which can be very painful for the guinea pigs.
During shedding season, you’ll need to brush their hair every two days. It will not only help them shed quicker but will help their new fur to grow quicker. This means you won’t need to spend a lot of time each day picking up their fur.
If it’s outside of shedding season, you can brush them 3 or 4 times per week. This will help keep their hair healthy and untangled.
Do I Need To Bathe My Guinea Pig?
While it’s normal to think that in order to keep clean, you need to bathe. That’s true for humans and many animals, but for guinea pigs, they do not require bathing.
Guinea pigs are part of the rodent family, which normal circumstances will not bathe. These creatures will instead groom themselves often and do not require extra bathing to stay hygienic.
For guinea pigs, bathing can cause them more harm than good. For one thing, there’s a chance that they could become ill from the toxicity of bathing products. What is safe for your other pets such as cats and dogs, may not be safe for guinea pigs.
Another thing, animals like guinea pigs groom themselves by licking. If you give them a bath, it would be difficult to tell if you’ve removed all of the shampoos from their fur. Since guinea pigs are small in size, just a small amount of shampoo could be fatal for them.
Guinea pigs do shed and it’s something that they normally do throughout the year. The problem is when your guinea pig starts to shed excessively. This will be a cause for concern and you’ll need to find out why. Letting it go on for a long time could lead to their health deteriorating.