Pet hairs can undoubtedly be a nuisance for many people, so it is essential to learn whether guinea pigs shed or not? If you are going to get a guinea pig, you must know beforehand what type of hair situation you are getting into. Do Guinea pigs shed? Let’s find out!
Guinea pigs are considered to be light to medium shedder. However, they do shed a lot if they are suffering from a parasite or fungal infection. The long hair breed tends to shed more than the short-haired breed. Weekly brushing can help in keeping the shedding to the minimum level.
By now you are well aware that guinea pig does shed sometimes. But it doesn’t have to take over your life.
Guinea pigs are great pets and can definitely be a part of your family despite the shedding.
There are lots of things we can do to keep our guinea pig healthy and prevent excessive shedding, thus keeping our life hair-free.
Guinea Pig Molting
Guinea pigs are light to medium shedder. That means they don’t shed like dogs and cats, but you will undoubtedly find some loose hairs around their living area.
The significant advantage with guinea pigs as compared to dogs and cats are they are caged animals, and they do spend most of their time in their cages.
Thus, you won’t find hair all over your house as we do with dogs and cats.
However, Guinea pigs shedding is not excessive and can undoubtedly vary on their breed while the long hair breeds like abyssinian guinea pig, Peruvian Guinea Pig, Silkie Guinea Pig, etc. shed more than short hair breed guinea pigs like American Guinea pig and Ridgeback guinea pigs.
You can control some shedding by regularly grooming your guinea pigs.
Experts recommend that it’s best to brush your guinea pig once a week or so if you have a short hair breed and brush it regularly if you have a long hair breed. Regular brushing promotes hair growth and keeps the coat smooth and clean.
Brushing also helps to get rid of loose hairs, thus preventing it from spreading in the living area, which is a bonus.
Which breed of guinea pig sheds the least?
|Guinea Pig Breed||Short Hair Breed||Long hair Breed|
|Hair type||Short & Smooth||Long & Coarse|
|Brushing requirement||Occasionally as needed||Regularly|
As you can see the short hair guinea pigs tends to shed less as compared to the long hair breed. Shedding behavior is connected to the type of hair each race has.
However, if your guinea pig is suffering from lack of Vitamin C or any fungal infection as such, then they may shed excessively.
You should get your guinea pig examined if you find any signs of excessive shedding in your guinea pigs.
Short hair breed
Short hair guinea pig usually has fine and short hair, which is very smooth. They come in a wide variety of color and pattern to choose from.
Due to their short and smooth hair, they only require brushing occasionally. But cleaning your guinea pigs frequently, especially when they show the signs of shedding is helpful for you as well as your guinea pigs.
Long hair breed
Long hair guinea pig usually has long and coarse hair, which requires regular maintenance. They also have a wide variety of color and pattern to choose from.
Due to their long hair, we do need to brush them frequently to avoid having curly hair.
Many guinea pig owners go for a short hair breed guinea pig or often trim their long hair guinea pigs hair short so that they are easy to maintain.
Guinea pigs with long hair usually shed more, so you need to take extra care for them.
Hairless Guinea pigs
skinny guinea pigs, also known as hairless guinea pigs, are the perfect choice for the one looking to keep themselves away from the hairy mess.
These guinea pigs have little to no hair at all thus the question of shedding doesn’t even rise.
However, these skinny guinea pigs are tough to take care of as they are susceptible.
We need to take extra care as compared to other breeds; thus, they are not the favorite breed for all.
Do guinea pigs shed seasonally?
Yes, Guinea Pigs are seasonal shedders. They do tend to shed excessively during spring and early summer when they lose their winter coat.
You will notice that long hair guinea pigs are more likely to shed during this time as compared to short hair breed.
It is a natural phenomenon to shed during this season, as it helps to shed the spare fur so that they can remain cool during the summer.
Why does my guinea pig shedding so much?
Guinea pigs are furry creatures and the fur coat sheds and regrow just like human hair.
During the spring or early summer, you may notice your guinea pigs are shedding more than usual.
This is a normal phenomenon and will happen every year as your guinea pig loses winter coat and get ready for the summers ahead.
However, Sometimes you might see your guinea pigs are shedding excessively. It may be warning signs for other health issues like lack of Vitamin C, Skin problems, or parasites.
What Leads to Excessive Shedding In Guinea Pigs
Vitamin C deficiency needs to be taken care of immediately. If left unchecked for long it may result in Hairfall and rough coat of your guinea pigs.
Fungal infection usually starts around the care area where you will notice some patches which are itchy and hairless. This is a common issue seen during the summer season.
Your vet will prescribe some fungal ointment and shampoo for cleaning which will help in quick recovery.
Sometimes, You will notice your guinea pigs are scratching their skin repeatedly. Mites can be the cause of the same. Further signs may include hair loss and dandruff. The most common parasites which lead to this is Mange Mite.
Your vet will recommend using ivermectin either orally or by external application for quick recovery. Note that your guinea pig might be shedding excessively if they are suffering from any of these diseases.
In the worst case scenario, they can be suffering from all of these diseases at once. So, getting your guinea pig examined by an exotic vet is a must for quick recovery of their health.
How to stop guinea pig from shedding?
It is impossible for us to stop the shedding behavior of guinea pigs. Although we can certainly take some measures to keep it in check.
Let us have a look at what are the steps we need to ascertain to keep shedding in check:
- Grooming your guinea pig regularly
- Finding the cause of shedding and dealing with it
- Getting regular medical examination done
Grooming your guinea pig regularly
Grooming your guinea pigs regularly is an essential part of their care schedule. Regular brushing at least 1-2x times per week helps to reduce the amount of hair your guinea pigs shed.
Guinea pigs have sensitive skin. So, be sure to get a good quality brush for your guinea pigs. You need either a metal greyhound comb or a soft baby brush for your guinea pig. Also, avoid brushing in their bald patches as it can hurt them.
If you have a long hair guinea pig, then you might need to brush them more often to keep their hair tangle-free. Although brushing will not stop shedding completely, but it helps in keeping their coat healthy.
If your guinea pigs shed excessively, it is a good idea to get a de-shedding tool for them.
They are like a metal brush which helps in getting rid of excess loose fur of your guinea pigs.
Please note that de-shedding tools are sharp and can harm your guinea pig skin; thus, you need to be very gentle and careful while using it.
Finding the cause of shedding and dealing with it
Determining the cause of shedding is a crucial step in the process. Guinea pigs are natural shedders, and you can expect them to shed their winter coat during spring and early summers.
Apart from that if you notice any unusual shedding activity, then you might want to take a look into it.
Sometimes various illness can be the cause of shedding. It may be a vitamin C deficiency or a protein deficiency, A fungal infection, or even mites.
Getting the reason determined is essential to take the right measures to cure it. If you are unsure about what is happening, it is best to take some professional medical advice from your vet.
Getting regular medical examination done
Taking your guinea pig for a regular vet visit is beneficial. You can get a routine medical examination done every few months to ensure your guinea pig is healthy and not suffering from any diseases.
Sometimes our guinea pigs might be suffering from vitamin or protein deficiency, which we might be unaware of. Visiting a vet helps to diagnose it at the right time and eliminate it completely.
Tips for Keeping Your Home Hair-Free if your guinea pig is shedding
The best tip I can give you to keep your home hair-free is to invest in a good vacuum.
I wish there was a magical solution, but the best idea I could give is to have a reliable vacuum which can clean away the nasty hairs from everywhere.
It may feel a considerable amount of work in keeping your home hair-free, but it isn’t.
A good vacuum does help in removing all the small hairs from your living area as you move it around your home.
Another great tip would be to keep your guinea pigs in a specific area of your home.
Maybe a dedicated room where their cage is located as well as they can get enough floor time around.
Doing so especially during spring and early summers helps in keeping that nasty hair from spreading throughout our home.
You can also use grooming gloves to remove shredded hair from your couch and bed along with your guinea pigs. You can check it out in our in-depth buyers guide on grooming kit for guinea pigs.