Capuchin monkeys are small, intelligent primates native to South America. Although they are wild animals, not domesticated, it is possible to keep them as pets. Having pet Capuchin monkeys requires training them to trust you and to enjoy being groomed from a very young age. The attention and care you give them enhances the bond between pet and pet owner. Their small size allows you to use a sink instead of a tub for bathing if you prefer, and their cooperation will increase over time as they get used to a grooming routine.
The Basics of Grooming
Draw a warm bath in a tub or sink, approximately 3 to 6 inches. Be sure the temperature is comfortable to you before placing the Capuchin in the water. While bathing your Capuchin, always gently hold him steady. This creature generally likes or at least tolerates bathing, unlike a cat, especially if you do it calmly and gently starting when yours is a baby.
Wash the Capuchin with a mild soap or shampoo. You can use a shampoo designed for human hair, a pet shampoo, or mild natural soap. Lightly scrub him all over, being careful not to get soap in his eyes. You can add more water if needed to lather. Do not be surprised if your Capuchin splashes or plays in the water.
Let the tub drain as you rinse the soap off the monkey thoroughly, using your shower attachment hose if you have one, or with a cup or pitcher for pouring and rinsing. Run your fingers through his fur while rinsing to ensure the thorough removal of soap.
Take the Capuchin out of the tub or sink and gently towel dry his fur as much as you can. Do this as you would for a baby or young child. A Capuchin generally has a mind and behavior similar to a those of a 2-year-old child.
Use a blow-dryer on a low-blow, low-heat setting to finish drying the fur. Be sure to completely dry your Capuchin after bathing to ensure he stays warm enough and to avoid tangled or matted fur. The first time you do this, the sound of the dryer might startle or evoke the Capuchin's curiosity, but over time and with consistency, he will get used to it.
Use a comb or brush on his fur during and after drying. Brushing and combing daily helps to maintain a healthy coat, and your Capuchins will enjoy it if he's typical.
- You can gently brush your Capuchin monkey's teeth with a small, child-size toothbrush and toothpaste. Do this carefully; start as soon as you can to establish trust and a routine. It is possible to teach your Capuchin to brush his own teeth by example.
Sheila Zahra began working as an editor and writer in 2004. She has edited full-length works of fiction and nonfiction, and has written articles and essays for academic and business clients. Zahra earned a Bachelor of Arts in English literature and creative writing from California State University, Long Beach, in 2006. She currently lives and works in Eugene, Oregon.