If you’re worried about what to do with guinea pigs when on vacation, you’ve come to the right place.
Guinea pigs are quite sensitive, so they need a person to check on them regularly.
However, this may not always be possible since you may have to go away either on a holiday or even on a business trip.
So keep reading to find out what to do to make sure they get the necessary care even when you’re away!
How Long Can You Leave A Guinea Pig While On Vacation?
You should never leave a guinea pig unattended for more than 24 hours.
They can get sick very easily, and they could even die if someone’s not around to check on them. Besides getting sick, they could also escape their habitat and get injured.
They could also end up in a compromising position or get stuck within the habitat. You just have no idea what could happen to them.
Throwing in extra food and some extra food bowls and going away for days won’t cut it.
Guinea pigs need fresh food (veggies and hay) and plenty of water.
You may think that you left them with enough water bottles, but that’s not always the case. Those bottles can very easily clog or leak. It’s happened to me countless times.
Bottom line, if you’ll be gone for more than 24 hours, you need someone to check on her.
Leaving your pet alone is not only stressful to the animal. It’s also stressful to guinea pig owners.
You will not have peace of mind (which is what you need on vacation) when you know your piggy is all alone in the house.
So, WHAT TO DO WITH GUINEA PIGS WHEN ON VACATION?
Below are some ways to make sure your piggy gets the care she needs during the period of time you’ll be away.
1. Get a Pet Sitter
This could be a family member, a trusted neighbor, or any other person who offers pet sitting services.
Make sure they know how to take care of a guinea pig. If you’ll be gone for 24 hours, make sure they visit your piggy a couple of times a day (a minimum of two times).
They should ensure the pet has plenty of food (preferably hay or alfalfa), water, and the room’s temperatures are favorable for her.
If you’ll be gone for a couple of days, you can transport the guinea pig cage to the family member or the neighbor to make it easier for them to take care of the pet.
Below are a few key pointers to consider when dealing with a new pet sitter.
It’s important to note that guinea pigs identify their owners. And as we described in the post, Are Guinea Pigs Cuddly, they take time to trust their owners, let alone strangers.
This is crucial if you’ll be away for more than 48 hours since the sitter’s face is the only face they’ll see when you’re away.
So it’s important to introduce this new pet sitter to her. You can have him or her offer some treats to your piggy.
You can also hold treats and have the piggy come to you. This shows that she trusts both you and the caretaker.
Inform them of the routine
Pets love a routine. So if you made your piggy get used to a certain routine of feeding, offering treats, and petting/playtime, you need to make sure the sitter follows the same routine.
This includes interacting with the piggies by talking to them, making sure they’re okay.
Maintain a Familiar Environment
While taking the piggy to the sitter’s home is a good option, you need to make sure it looks familiar to your home.
A slight change, such as the drapes being closed, could cause stress to your pet.
Please make sure the room she’ll be in looks familiar and the room temperatures are favorable.
Guinea pigs are quite sensitive to warm temperatures. So it’s better to keep it cool.
Be Available For Emergencies
Inform the caretaker of symptoms of illnesses and make sure they have your emergency contact in case of alarming issues.
It would be best if they also have the contacts for a qualified veterinarian in case of any emergencies.
2. Consider a Pet Hotel
When on vacation, you’ll spend some time at a hotel, right? Why not sign in your piggy into a pet hotel too?
Also known as boarding facilities, these are facilities that offer boarding services for pets.
It would help if you looked for a boarding facility specializing in guinea pigs, but if the closest one offers services to a wide variety of pets, it’s still worth checking out. A simple Google search will show you the closest animal hotels.
It’s also worth checking out animal rescue facilities. To support themselves, animal rescue centers may offer boarding services.
And the good thing about leaving your pet with a local rescue center is you’ll be supporting a local business thrive.
Before using their services, it’s important to conduct a reconnaissance.
Visit them, check the facilities’ conditions, their credentials, and make sure they have everything you need to take care of your pet.
The guinea pig is part of your family, so it’s imperative to leave them in good hands.
These facilities often have specially trained people to handle pets, and they may also have vets around.
Another reason I recommend boarding facilities is that they aren’t that expensive.
Some can charge as low as $10 per day, including feeding them, grooming them, and checking their health.
Better yet, some will even provide your updates on how your pet is doing.
Can You Take Guinea Pigs On Vacation?
Yes, you can, but it will be more stressful than letting someone take care of the pet for you. But let’s face it, not every one of us has people we can trust with our pets.
You may be worried they’ll not be as careful as you want them to be, or maybe the boarding facilities are expensive, especially if you’ll be away for weeks.
In that case, you may have to bring your cavies with you.
Tips for Travelling With Guinea Pigs
Below are some ways to keep your guinea pigs safe as you travel.
#1 Get the Appropriate Pet Carrier
Some pet owners may prefer to use paper or cardboard boxes, but they aren’t safe, and your guinea pig could escape.
It would help if you purchased a specially designed pet carrier, such as this one.
The best guinea pig carrier cage should considerably large, at least 12″9″12″ (L*W*H) to give your pet enough room to move around.
#2 Keep the Guinea Pig Comfortable
Since piggies poop often, it’s important to use some of the bedding at the carrier’s bottom.
This could be paper bedding, a paper pad, or a hand towel. Carry extra beddings to replace once one of them gets wet.
Once the bedding is in place, throw in enough hay, lettuce, and other leafy greens. But don’t through in too much of it at a time since it may block the ventilation.
One practical way of adding hay to the carrier is stuffing it into a toilet paper tube. It would be best if you didn’t use blankets or sacks since they may also block ventilation.
If it’s the first time for her to travel in a car, she may freak out. So you can place a toy, a doll, or something that she loves to play with.
But they get used to it with time. Also, avoid driving too fast. Accelerate slowly, and take turns carefully to avoid startling your piggy.
#3 Where Should You Place The Carrier?
You can place the carrier in the back seat or any other place that’s not in direct sunlight.
And secure it to make sure it doesn’t shift around as the car moves. Guinea pigs are very sensitive to high temperatures.
They don’t sweat, lack a mechanism for regulating their body temperature, and are also prone to heat stress.
And since the car could get really hot, below are some ways to regulate the temperature for them;
- Switch on the car’s AC and make sure it reaches the carrier. But don’t place the piggy carrier too close to the AC.
- Pack vegetables with a higher water content to make sure the piggies are always hydrated.
- Fill a bottle with water and freeze it. And then, wrap it with a towel and place it in the carrier.
- Carry enough water for you and your guinea pig in case you’re stuck in traffic or your car breaks down. But do not attach a water bottle to the carrier since it may leak.
What do you do when it’s too cold?
- When walking from your house to the car, cover the carrier with blankets.
- Once you’re in the car, remove the blanket to allow air circulation. And run the car’s heater.
- Carry extra blankets for when the car breaks down.
Check more tips on the video below:
Leaving your guinea pig with a trusted friend or at a pet hotel is the best idea. It will be less stressful, and your piggies may not even realize you’re gone.
But if that’s not an option, there are safe ways to transport a guinea pig. And once you get to the destination, you can maintain the same routine you had back home.