Owners from around the world have been shaving their little pets for many years now. But the latest internet trend is shaving your guinea pig. Yes, you heard right, a shaved guinea pig.
But are these pictures of hairless guinea pigs popping up on the web really guinea pigs being shaved by their cruel owners? In the viral meme shown below, it shows a hairless guinea pig.Despite popular belief, that guinea pig is actually the skinny pig, which is a breed that naturally has no hair. For more information on those guinea pigs, check out the skinny pig info page here.
Of course there are probably owners out there that actually shave their guinea pigs (especially after this internet trend). Probably the only way to tell them apart is by touch. A shaved guinea pig will have rougher skin because not all the hair can be completely shaved off.
Check out this guy’s guinea pig that he actually shaved:
Check out some other “shaved” guinea pig pictures on the web that turned out to be skinny pigs.
Nope, this is definitely a skinny pig.
Still not a shaved guinea pig.
Okay fine, this might actually be a partially-shaved guinea pig.
Why You Shouldn’t Shave a Guinea Pig
Sure, you may get a kick out of seeing your guinea pig with no hair, but please do not do this unless it will benefit the guinea pigs in some way (medical reasons). That’s because there are several reasons why it may not be a good idea to shave your guinea pig.
When you take away a guinea pig’s hair, you’re sort of taking away a layer of protection. This is the reason why skinny pigs and other hairless guinea pigs are so fragile. An exposed skin may make your Cavy prone to cuts, scrapes, infections and other injuries. So, it is crucial that you watch over it even more carefully than ever.
Without hair, it means that your guinea pig is even more sensitive to temperatures now. I mentioned earlier that shaving may be a good idea if you live in a really hot environment. On the contrary, it may be a really bad idea to shave them if you live somewhere really cold. A rule of thumb: if you think it’s cold without clothes on, your guinea pig will think so too.
And lastly, you’re ruining their natural fur. Through so many years of evolution, these guinea pigs developed long curly or straight hair for a reason. Taking that away from them suddenly might cause stress to them. Remember, guinea pigs do not like change. They are creatures of habit and suddenly losing their long silky hair may be quite alarming for any animal.
The Alternative to Shaving a Guinea Pig
If you must, I would highly recommend you take them to the veterinarian and have it done professionally. And even then, there would have to be a good medical reason to do so to convince the vet. Doing it yourself is a bad idea. Just think of how your guinea pig will react when you turn on that loud buzzing razor and put it towards them.
The alternative to shaving is just trimming. Trimming their hair will also do the job of cooling them down (if you live in a hot environment) and making it easier to maintain their coat. Always use scissors so you and your guinea pig can enjoy a peaceful environment when trimming. But of course, the trimming part will take some time initially.
At the end of the day, all we really want is a happy and healthy guinea pig. Don’t follow this trend just because you think they look “cute.” Just remember, you could be harming your guinea pig without even knowing.