Traveling with a Chinchilla

mapI've had to travel across the country several times, and some of my chinchillas made the journeywith me.

It was never easy, but a chinchilla shall never be left behind!

If you're going by car you have to make sure the car is cool enough. When temperatures get above 75 degrees your chinchilla is at risk.

Why? Chinchillas have all that thick fur, so they can't cool themselves. They're built for cool mountain weather.

You might not realize the temperature differences that can occur WITHIN a car. While your front seat may be cool, the hatchback a few feet behind you can be 10 to 15 degrees higher. That back window area in a car can be SCORCHING! I recommend keeping your chinchilla either in the front seat with you or on the floor just behind the seat.

Of course, never leave you pet unattended in a car on a warm day. Temperatures can reach well over 100 degrees. It might even be difficult to keep the temperature down in a running car on a sunny summer day. Be wary about traveling during the day, especially in the southwest.

mapWhen traveling use any small cage. The smaller the better, as the less the chinchilla can move and shift around the less likely they will be injured. Pet carriers are fine, but they will chew plastic - go for metal.

You probably shouldn't provide a water bottle. Chinchillas will do fine without water for a few hours and in a moving vehicle the bottle is likely to leak. You can give them some hay to chew on, but you can save the feed pellets until you stop for the evening.

I used to carry on chinchillas when I flew, but things have changed. Plane travel has become more difficult for humans, let alone animals. No more animals in the cabins, and check with your airline well before takeoff about additional requirements. They might require special cages, veterination certification, or anything else! Given the extended exposure to the elements during the process of air transit, don't transport your chinchilla in the extreme temperatures, meaning summer and winter.

The great thing about traveling with a chinchilla or any small animal is that even if the hotel doesn't allow pets they're probably not going to notice you bringing the small carrier in (especially if it's discreetly covered!). They're really looking out for the dogs and cats anyway, but if you must, bring them in through the back door or find a direct entry room at a motel.

My days of traveling with a chinchilla are over, now I hire care for them while I'm away!

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