Can guinea pigs travel in a car?
This is a question you might be asking if you’re planning a long trip, or when you need to visit the vet.
In this post, I discuss if it’s appropriate to travel with pet cavies in your car and some safe ways to do it.
Let’s jump right in!
READ MORE: Can you use a dog carrier for a guinea pig?
Can Guinea Pigs Travel in A Car?
Yes, they can. However, it would help if you made it very comfortable for them.
Piggies are used to staying around the same place throughout the day. Anything such as a new cage or a fast-moving car can easily startle them.
As long as they have everything they need, and you’ve ensured their safety (more on this in a minute), you can bring them with you on a car ride.
Things to Bring When Traveling With Guinea Pigs
Below are all the items you need to travel with your guinea pig effectively.
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A Suitable Carrier and Cage
Start by getting the best guinea pig carrier or portable travel cages.
And no, you shouldn’t use the standard guinea pig cage, paper boxes, or cardboard boxes.
They’re just not the best fit, literally and figuratively.
Cardboard boxes are especially dangerous because your cavy can eat through it and end up loose in the car.
A suitable travel carrier needs to be strong, relatively light, enclosed, well-ventilated, and big enough for your pet to roam around in and hide when necessary.
There are several pet carriers for sale, such as this one. If you can’t get a guinea pig carrier, a cat carrier would do. Portable cages are suitable when you have to settle in a new destination.
Paper Towels of Any Other Bedding Materials
What should I put in my guinea pig carrier? For comfort, line the carrier with paper towels and fleece.
Having several of them helps since once they use them as a bathroom, you can always replace them without causing a mess in your car.
Toys can also help make the carrier more appealing to the guinea pig, especially when they’re hesitant to go in.
Just make sure that you choose toys that don’t pose a choking hazard, or that your cavies can get caught up in.
Enough Food and Water
If you’re just going down the street or across town to the vet, then you don’t have to go crazy here.
For longer rides, though, make sure you’re giving your cavy enough food and water.
Piggies mainly feed on hay, which should form at least 80% of their diet.
It not only provides them all the nutrients they need, but hay is also a good stress reliever. So, make sure there is enough.
Besides hay, you can also add veggies such as lettuce, kale, spinach, as well as fruits. These are additional sources of nutrients, and they help keep your guinea pig hydrated.
Whether you decide to add veggies or not, you definitely need some source of water for longer trips.
Consider adding a water bottle to their carrier. Go with a no-drip option to avoid messes.
The Right Temperature
Guinea pigs are sensitive to temperature changes and thrive best between 60 to 85 degrees F.
Cavies are especially prone to heatstroke, so if you’re traveling on a very hot day, you need to make sure your car’s AC is working correctly.
At the same time, you don’t want your car to be too cold! A good thermometer can help you find the right balance.
Tips for Travelling With Your Guinea Pig
Below are more tips for making the trip safer for you and your piggy.
Plan Your Trip
You need to adequately plan your trip a few days prior. Get all the necessary items, figure out the travel time, and plan for emergencies.
Various regions have different regulations about pets, so make sure you’re aware of these regulations. Whether you’re moving cross country or to another country, here is a directory that lists the regulations.
Taking your Guinea Pig to the Car
Before taking your pet to the car, make sure it’s at the appropriate temperature. And make sure you’ve lined the carrier with the proper beddings.
Some guinea pigs may be more willing to leave their cage than others. For those that are willing, hold them gently and transfer them to the carrier.
For those that aren’t, be diligent in making sure they don’t bite. Of course, you need to have established trust with your guinea pig before they can allow you to hold them.
During cold weather, you can cover the carrier with bed sheets or blankets to maintain warmth until you get to the car.
And once you get to the car, remove these coverings since they may hinder ventilation when the carrier is in the car.
During hot weather, place a frozen bottle covered in a towel in the carrier to help regulate the temperatures.
Below are some ways to ensure your pet’s comfort and safety in the car.
- Let them spend some time in the carrier for a few hours a day before the trip. This helps them familiarize with it.
- Secure the carrier on a car seat with a seat belt and make sure it doesn’t move around. The footwell is also a good alternative.
- Avoid placing it too close to the AC, direct sunlight, or too close to the car speakers. High temperatures could lead to heat stress, while the sound from the speakers can freak them out.
- Drive carefully – Over speeding and coming to sudden stops may startle the guinea pig.
- Monitor the piggies regularly to make sure they’re doing fine. Make sure they have enough food, water, and make sure they aren’t stressed. You can stop after at least an hour to check on them.
- Keep talking to them, especially when using public transport where there are different sounds.
- Don’t leave your pet alone. They could get stressed, or the temperatures may spike, making it unsafe for them.
How Long Can Guinea Pigs Travel In A Car?
You can bring your guinea pig for very long car rides as long as they have enough food, water and are comfortable. However, it would be best if you made frequent breaks to ensure their well-being during the trip.
Do Guinea Pigs Do Well In Cars?
Yes, they do. At first, they may be scared, but they will get used to it after a few trips. Some ways to make the journey more comfortable are talking to them and placing stuffed animals and their favorite toys in the carrier.
Can I Take A Guinea Pig To A Hotel?
Yes, as long as they allow it. Make sure you plan and check hotels that allow pets. It would help if you also informed the housekeepers on handling the pet when you’re not around.
And that’s how you can travel safely with cavies in a car! Follow these steps and have an enjoyable ride.
Use a designated travel carrier or cat carrier, have lots of hay, fruits, veggies, and water. Make sure the car is conducive in terms of sound and temperatures, and monitor your pets frequently.
- “ANIMAL CARE AID Questions? Email Us at [email protected]” n.d. Accessed July 28, 2021. https://www.aphis.usda.gov/animal_welfare/downloads/guinea-pig/acaid-guinea-pig-temp.pdf.
- “Guinea Pig Feeding.” 2021. The Humane Society of the United States. 2021. https://www.humanesociety.org/resources/guinea-pig-feeding.
Can guinea pigs travel in a car? Have you tried doing it? Please share your experience below!
Barry Stingmore is a British content writer living in Fuerteventura, Spain. An animal lover at heart, he shares his home with a dog and four rescue cats and has a passion for writing about animals big and small.
Barry loves finding answers to your animal-related questions, the more research involved the better! You can rely on him to find the facts.