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Can Guinea Pigs Swim?

Discussion in 'Daily Care, Travel and Climate' started by Wiebke, Jul 24, 2015.

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  1. Wiebke

    Wiebke Moderator
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    In response to the many questions that we are receiving about the videos that are currently making the rounds on social media, here are some facts that you should be aware of:

    Placing guinea pigs in a swimming pool is simply and clearly cruelty and abuse, and there is nothing cute about seeing piggies swimming for their lives!

    - Guinea pigs are not natural swimmers although like most animals they can paddle away in a desperate attempt to survive. The overwhelming majority of guinea pigs stay well away from water. They should never be forced to enter a body of water they cannot stand in and that they cannot not exit under their own strength.
    Any water that is going down the lungs can cause respiratory infection and any body of water that is too cold can cause cardiac arrest. If water gets into the ears, it can kill them. Guinea pigs can die from sheer fright.

    - For cooling down in very hot weather rather wipe your guinea pigs gently down with a cool (but not ice cold) damp rug to prevent cardiac arrest, i.e. heart failure from the cold shock.

    - Bathing is very stressful for most guinea pigs and should only be undertaken for medical reasons or if your guinea pig is very soiled, especially around the genitalia. In the latter case, a gentle bum bath with a damp towel and elbow/hand warm water will usually do the trick. If there are caked poos, please soak them gently in water that comes just up to the body in a shallow basin on the floor, so the guinea pig cannot injure itself when jumping blindly. Keep the hair in the bum area cut short to prevent unnecessary soiling and painful matting. Regular gentle wiping is much kinder.

    - Make sure that your guinea pigs are kept out of drafts while wet and that you towel them gently dry them before putting them back in their cage, and even more so if they live outdoors in a hutch, otherwise they can come down with a respiratory tract infection or pneumonia.

    Please do not put any pet that you love through an ordeal like this just for your own fun and please do not post it on social media to put more hapless animals at risk!
     
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