Guinea Pigs are peaceful social creatures and expect the same from their surroundings. Traveling on a road with your pet is not an easy task because your Guinea Pig becomes stressed when your car bumps along the road. During travel, make sure you always carry CITES permit papers with you.
Travelling with your Guinea Pig Via Car
Taking care of your pet during a short trip
Caring for your pet Guinea Pig on a short trip is a very easy job and does not require much setup for your Guinea Pig. The only thing you have to worry about is the cage setup.
You have to choose a cage according to your Guinea Pig’s size. Your Guinea Pig should be able to run inside the cage. The minimum size of the travel cage for two guinea pigs should be at least 12 inches wide x 19 inches long x 12 inches high.
Never replace the cage with a cardboard box, a small cage, or any other basket.
In the cage, keep a towel or paper bedding/Aspen at the bottom of the carrier. In this way, won’t fall off, and can avoid getting wounded. Carry extra bedding along with you so that you can replace it when it gets wet.
You can keep a few leafy vegetables for them in the carrier in a secured corner of the cage and hay in another corner of the cage firmly stuffed in around a cardboard-like toilet paper tube. Never put any other toys or blankets in the travel carrier as it will increase the heat and your pet may suffer from heatstroke.
Never attach the water bottle along with the carrier because the water may leak and the bedding will become wet.
After setting the cage, keep your Guinea Pig inside the cage for a little while, even if you haven’t started to travel. This will help your Guinea Pig to get settled inside the cage.
In the meantime, you can start to pack the necessary things and put the packages in your car. Take the cage with your Guinea Pig at the last possible moment before you start your trip because the temperature inside the car will be high and never keep the cage in the direct sunlight.
Make sure you keep the cage in a stable position so that when you travel on a bumpy road the cage won’t fall down. Constantly watch your speed and try to avoid bumpy or untarred roads.
Your trip won’t be a completely stress-free experience, but at least you can drastically reduce the stress of your pet.
Unfortunately, if your Guinea Pig feels sick, try to avoid traveling because it can be dangerous to them. You have to maintain proper food, temperature for a fast recovery, which is not possible during travel.
Food during the Short Trip
Never keep the food bowl or water bottle in the guinea pig cage while traveling. The hay in the cage will be enough for your guinea pig during a short journey. You can also take a few vegetables or greens as a treat to your pet.
Taking care of your pet during a long trip
If you are planning to travel from one state to another by car, or if the travel lasts 3 to 7 days, there are a few things you should have to take care of your Guinea Pig. You have to pack enough food for your pet, as well as a cage and a temporary cage.
Before traveling, check whether it is legal to own a Guinea Pig in the state where you are traveling. Take the required permit papers, such as CITE, just to be on the safe side.
Select a cage that is easy to dismantle and assemble. Place your Guinea Pig in the temporary cage a week before so that your Guinea Pig will adapt to the new space.
Food during long trips
While traveling with your pet, you have to take enough bedding, hay, and prewashed greens. You can purchase vegetables for your guinea pigs during your travel so that they will be fresh. Twice a day give your guinea pigs water enriched vegetables and fruits which helps your pig hydrated.
Constantly change the bedding as you do in your house. Remove the waste food from their cage and provide some toys to chew.
After reaching the destination
After you reach your destination, assemble the temporary cage in a suitable area and then transfer the Guinea Pig into the cage. Don’t handle your Guinea Pig too much because they require some time to adapt to the change in the environment. Keep them hydrated and feed them regularly so that they won’t feel sick.
Traveling during Hot Weather
Irrespective of the weather the temperature of the guinea pig cage should be maintained between 65 – 75oF.
If the temperature is very high guinea pigs may easily prone to Heatstroke. So you have to give them high water content enriched food to keep them hydrated during the travel.
If the temperature is very hot you can keep a frozen water bottle wrapped with a towel in their carrier. Make sure you tightly wrap the frozen water bottle because if they eat the ice or lick the frozen water bottle they may get sick.
Never put the carrier directly in front of the AC vent in the car. Instead, maintain a distance from the vent and make sure the cool air reaches the carrier. If your car breaks down make sure you have enough water for you and for your guinea pig and keep your pet in a shady area where the breeze is cool.
Traveling during Cold Weather
Though guinea pigs have fur to protect them from cold temperatures they can catch a cold easily. So you have to be very cautious because during the cold weather they may get respiratory problems and other bacterial infections.
Regularly change their bedding so that your pet won’t stay long in a wet carrier. Run the heater in the car and make sure it does not go below 65oF and exceed and 75oF. Have an extra blanket and sweatshirt for you so in case the car breaks down wrap your guinea pig in a blanket or keep them close to your body in a sweatshirt.
Traveling with your Guinea Pigs via Plane
Traveling with your pet Guinea Pig is not an easy task. Guinea Pigs are challenging to take care of under normal circumstances, and traveling with them by car or plane causes an increased stress level for you and your Guinea Pig. If you have a baby Guinea Pig, I strongly recommend that you don’t attempt to travel with them.
It is easy to travel with pets like cats or dogs, but Guinea Pigs and other rodents are very different types of pets. Traveling with them is so tricky because rodents require specific temperatures for their survival. There is a strong possibility that your Guinea Pig will become sick during travel if you cannot adequately maintain their environment.
It is faster to travel with your Guinea Pig via car than it is to travel via plane. You can be with your Guinea Pig throughout the entire journey and keep track of their condition in a vehicle. If you choose to travel via plane, you do not have the option of staying with your Guinea Pig for the duration of the trip.
Why is it not recommended to travel with your Guinea Pig via plane?
Traveling with your Guinea Pig via airplane is an unwise decision. I don’t recommend it at all. While some situations, such as moving to another state, may render air travel with your Guinea Pig unavoidable, you will need to be very careful with your pet.
While you are in the air, you can’t monitor or be in control of your pet’s circumstances. Someone else will be taking care of your pet throughout the journey. Guinea Pigs don’t get along with strangers in new environments. Imagine the stress level they will be required to endure throughout the journey.
Because your Guinea Pig will have to be kept in a separate area of the plane with other pets, you will be worried about your Guinea Pig. Guinea Pigs don’t get along with any other animals, just think of how stressed they will be in this situation.
Carry CITES paper for interstate travel
CITES papers are essential if you are traveling from one state to another. To own a Guinea Pig, you need permission to keep them or CITES papers. This is an international agreement between governments to allow the safe ownership of rodents. CITES aims to make sure that international trade of specimens of wild animals and plants does not threaten the survival of the species.
Guinea Pigs that fall under the CITES II list can be traded and kept as long as you have the proper paperwork. You should always carry the appropriate CITES paperwork with you if you travel between states with your Guinea Pig.
Along with the legal papers, you should carry a pet health certificate to board on the plane.
Not all planes allow you to take your pets
Only a few airlines allow traveling with rodents. Even though they allow it, there are stringent rules and regulations you will be required to follow before and during travel. The airlines which will enable travel with rodent pets are
The following airlines allow pet rodents in cabins:
- Air Europa
The following airlines allow pet rodents in the cargo hold:
- Air Europa
- Aegean Air
- Alaska Air
- Japan Airlines
It is not recommended to put your guinea pigs in the Cargo hold since they are very fragile pets and different airlines allow only a limited number of guinea pigs per person.
Every flight has different travel restrictions, so before traveling, check the rules and regulations of the flight you are traveling on. Before booking your flight, call the respective airline service and ask about the prerequisites needed to travel with your pet Guinea Pig. After booking your flight, contact the airline again to confirm accommodation for your pet Guinea Pig.
Most airplanes won’t allow traveling with a pet rodent, regardless of the species and size. If they do allow travel with rodents, the cost of accommodating your pet will cost you well over $100. Traveling with your Guinea Pig on an airplane is a high-risk endeavor, as you cannot guarantee a constant temperature will be maintained in their environment during the flight.
Keeping your Guinea Pig calm during your journey
Guinea Pigs are silent creatures who get easily stressed in new circumstances. Calming your Guinea Pig is not an easy task when traveling, but you can reduce their stress levels to a certain extent by traveling with the proper enclosure. Your Guinea Pig’s travel enclosure should meet the following specifications.
- Place them in a big travel container where they can freely roam and exercise.
- Place a towel on the bottom of the container. You can place bedding and a few chew toys.
- A few weeks before travel, start regularly placing your Guinea Pig in the travel container, so your Guinea Pig becomes familiar with it. Familiarity with the container will reduce stress levels during the trip.
How can you maintain the temperature of the travel container during the journey?
You cannot provide the exact temperature you provide at home, but you can maintain a certain temperature level for your Guinea Pig’s survival and avoid cold shock/heat stroke.
- Use a large carrier. The container should have holes to allow ventilation, and your Guinea Pigs should be able to run inside the container.
- You can use blankets or clothes inside the container to keep the container warm.
- You can even put your Guinea Pig in a customized sweater.
- You can use hand warmers in the container.
- Maintain the temperature of the cage around 60 – 75oF if possible.
Can you travel without your Guinea Pig?
Perhaps you want to travel to a place that has banned Guinea Pigs as pets. In that case, you have to leave your pet at home. It is advised not to leave your pet alone for weeks because they may get sick with poor diet and improper cage temperatures.
- During the week before you leave, you have to properly hydrate them, feed them, maintain proper temperature. There are no automatic feeders, so in this case, you will have to teach your friend or neighbor to feed your Guinea Pig.
- Make an instruction manual on your own and explain it to your friend who is going to take care of your Guinea Pig in your absence. If possible, give your friends training on how to feed them a week before so that you will be more comfortable and trust that your pet Guinea Pig is in good hands.
- You can even transfer your Guinea Pig to a temporary cage and set it up in your friend’s house with proper temperature, playpen and bedding.
- Teach your friend how change the bedding and how to feed your Guinea Pig. Also, teach them to look out for certain symptoms in your Guinea Pig in case your pet is not eating.
- You can’t leave a young Guinea Pig with any of your friends because they require constant attention, and they are not easy to take care of.
- You can even hire a pet-sitter, or you can leave your pet in a trusted pet store. They have enough knowledge on how to take care of the Guinea Pig. Give them your Guinea Pig’s medical record as well so that if your Guinea Pig feels sick, they will take care of it.
- Guinea Pigs will not get along with strangers. In that case, have a friend practice spending time with your pet a couple of weeks before you travel.