Got a new house? Have you landed a new job in another city? Are you planning a vacation? It is easy when you don’t have a child or a pet to look after. If you have a little hamster as your roommate, you will need to read until the end of our how to travel with a hamster guide.
- It would be best if you were extremely careful while traveling with a hamster as they require special care because of their small size.
- You need to make sure you get the right traveling cage for your little friend to ensure his comfort.
- There are different protocols to follow while traveling with a hamster, whether by plane or car.
Tips For Travelling With A Hamster
So it varies from situation to situation, taking multiple factors into account. Here you will find a detailed description of different events of traveling with a hamster. For example, how to travel with a hamster by plane? Or better yet, can hamsters go on airplanes? Questions like how to travel with a hamster by car or how long you can travel with a hamster are all answered in our guide.
Get A Reliable Travel Cage
To begin with, it is essential that you have a travel cage or a travel carrier for your little buddy, whether it is a short trip or a long one. Whether you’re taking him for a routine checkup to the vet or for a little stroll in the park, a travel cage is a first and foremost requirement for simply taking out the hamster from the house.
We can help you find the best travel cages by emphasizing the qualities they should possess. Since a travel carrier is more like a house-on-the-move type of thing for a hamster, you should invest in something that is not disposable and lasts longer. In other words, ensure it is of good quality material.
Furthermore, the size of the carrier makes a difference in how many hours of travel it can get you, whether there is sufficient air ventilation through the travel cage and whether or not the base of the carrier allows you to put extra bedding for a shockproof journey. It would help if you considered these factors when getting a travel cage for your little friend.
How To Travel With Your Hamster On A Car
Car rides can be long or short, depending upon the type of trip you are taking. Safety guidelines for a hamster fluctuate based on how many hours your pet is in the car. There is no specific answer to how long you can travel with a hamster. It all comes down to how attentive you are to its needs.
Short Car Rides
If it is a short trip to the park, a vet’s appointment, a friend’s place, etc., you can place the travel carrier in the car seat and strap it onto the car seat to avoid the impact of jerky movements.
Since it is a short trip, you don’t have to worry about your hamster’s meals, but in case you are concerned, you can give your little buddy a meal with fresh food before leaving. For the car ride, you can place a snack in the travel carrier for it to munch on in case it feels hungry at some point. How to travel with a hamster by car isn’t a big hassle if the journey isn’t too long.
A toy of some kind is helpful to keep it busy during the whole time. Other than that, you can place some of its bedding from the cage in the travel carrier for the hamster to have a little familiarity and feel comfortable sooner.
Long Car Rides
Guidelines for longer car rides are an entirely different ball game than short car rides. There are plenty of things you must be careful about while planning it. Starting with the travel carry you choose to place your little friend into the car’s ambiance, everything has to be balanced to suit the hamster’s natural habitat.
Travel Carry Or Regular Cage
If possible, take your hamster’s regular cage with you on your trip instead of a travel carry. It will help in many ways. For starters, it will decrease unknown factors in the environment. The hamster will readily feel at home. Water, food, toys, and snacks will be in the same place as they usually are. The same bedding and area size will also play a massive role in helping your hamster feel less stressed.
Just like short car trips, you must strap the cage onto the seat belt to avoid sudden and jerky movements, and worst comes to worst, don’t topple over with harsh breaks.
To master the skill of how to travel with a hamster, you must pay attention to the tiniest detail. And yes, that includes bedding as well. If the regular bedding in your hamster’s cage is the shredded type, try to use plain paper sheets or towels instead because the shredded one can make a mess in the car as it falls off from the air spaces of the cage.
The plain sheets and towel will also protect your seat cover from becoming a meal to your hamster as it will happily nibble on it. For the same purpose, create a barrier between the back of your car seat and the cage.
Usually, plastic cages are suitable for protecting against such circumstances. Still, since you are going on a long trip, a plastic enclosure can get heated with sunlight and cause a significant rise in temperature for the little guy.
Food and Snacks
Place ample food for your hamster to last throughout the ride, or at least for most of it. Otherwise, you can always refill the utensils with more. Please do not place much water in it because the water container can get leaked and create a mess.
Instead, you can offer water at different stops when you are taking a break from driving or need to stretch your legs. You can also provide a water-rich snack like melons or cucumber to keep your friend hydrated.
Remove any harmful items from the cage. Things that are heavy or have the risk of toppling over if sudden breaks are applied or in case of a sharp turn must be replaced with lightweight items and fluffy toys that keep the little guy busy and uninjured throughout the ride.
Make a hidden safe space for your hamster inside the cage to feel comfortable in times of stress. Since you will be driving and cannot constantly look back to check on him or provide comfort to your pet, a hidden safe space will do the job.
Keep Cage Closed At All Times
While learning how to travel with your little buddy, it is essential to know that although it is natural to want to hold your pet and cuddle with it, you cannot do that during your ride. It will only stress out the hamster more. So it is best to keep it in its cage where it is settled and feels safe. If you want to hold it, you can always park your car, take a break and pet your baby.
Loud sounds and noise can play a role in distressing your hamster, so you should provide an environment where loud volume and noise are minimal, as it can easily scare the poor little guy.
Even if you are playing music in the car, try to opt for more calming songs and a lower volume. In the same way, if you are talking on the phone, try not to scream or laugh louder than usual so that it doesn’t put the hamster in a state of shock.
Keep the temperature of the car at an optimum level at all times. Please don’t turn up the air conditioner too much, nor turn it down so much. Try to maintain a pleasant temperature, as higher temperatures complicate the hamster handling.
They cannot regulate their body temperatures against rising or dropping temperatures and can easily get stressed by it. So even if you are parking, try to look for a spot under the shade instead of parking in direct sunlight.
Try using a metal cage as it provides excellent air space for cross-ventilation and does not get heated up like plastic cages under rising temperatures.
Try to keep the windows closed most of the time. That is because lowering the window can introduce several unusual stimuli to your hamster. First of all, the sudden gush of wind is not very well-taken by hamsters. It can also lead to a drastic change in the car’s overall temperature, which is not healthy for the hamster.
Moreover, loud car horns and other sounds can startle the little guy. The harsh lights and unlimited visual stimuli can become overwhelming for your pet. You can also put a little towel on top of the cage to give the little guy a break from all the visual stimuli and sunlight. Of course, you are leaving space for air to cross.
Avoid Leaving Alone in The Car
The most important rule in books on how to travel with a hamster is not to leave it alone in the car at any cost. If you take a quick washroom stop or a small break to freshen up and get some air, you must take your hamster out with you. And by that, we mean the hamster and its cage, not just the hamster.
If you are doing a layover at a motel, try to ensure whether they allow hamsters or not to avoid any fuss at the last moment.
How To Travel With Your Hamster On A Plane
People curious about how to travel with a hamster by plane should know that we wouldn’t recommend flying with a hamster. Still, if you don’t have any other option, following some guidelines can ensure a safe trip for your hamster. Things like air pressure and oxygen level at such a height are worthy of consideration for your little pet.
The first thing that you need to do is make sure that the hamster is not put into pet cargo. It will be impossible for you to create a controlled environment with optimum levels for your pet. The intensity, frequency, and volume of noise will be a trauma for the hamster.
And so will the presence of other pets, extreme temperatures, and sudden jerky movements. If you are taking your hamster on a plane, it is of utmost importance that it stays with you in the cabin area. For this purpose, you will have to do your research regarding the airlines and whether or not they provide such services.
Airlines That Allow Hamsters
Since you have decided to take your hamster with you on the flight, you should list airlines that allow hamsters on board. When you get in touch with them, ask them for any specific criteria that need to be fulfilled in such cases.
Usually, in such cases, there is a strict protocol that the pet owners need to follow. For example, the travel carrier must be of a specific kind approved on planes. You must have a health certificate for your hamster that states that it is physically fit for traveling and doesn’t have any illnesses, especially those that are contagious.
But even if that weren’t a requirement, we would still suggest that you do a routine checkup of your hamster with the vet before traveling to ensure that there are no underlying illnesses that will put your hamster at further risk in case of flying. This practice is commonly found in how to travel with a hamster guide.
Some airlines allow you to take your pet on board: Aegean Airlines, Air Europa, Alaska Air, Finnair, Frontier, Japan Airlines, etc.
Airlines That Allow Hamsters Inside The Cabin
Can hamsters go on airplanes? We hope this section is catering to all your concerns. Out of all the airlines that allow hamsters on board, not all of them will enable the hamster to stay inside the cabin. That is where things get tricky. We suggest that before purchasing your ticket, make sure that you are clear in your requirement and that you have clearly understood their expectations.
Usually, they will have a specific requirement for the size and weight of the cage, which you will need to adhere to. Current health status or a vaccine card might be required at the airport.
Sometimes, it is also about parting with your pet for such long hours that it is the deal breaker for you. Pets can be a source of calmness during an anxious moment for some people. Others have such a strong emotional connection that they cannot accept the idea of being so far away from their pet on the same flight.
So for all these reasons, you must do your homework well in time to avoid any fuss and disappointment on the day of your flight. You can stock up the hamster cage with all its favorite general and water-based snacks. You must also include different toys and favorite treats to keep it distracted from the change in environment.
Tips For Safely Transporting Hamster If You Are Moving To A New Place
If you move to a new place, we suggest you hire a sitter or, better yet, ask a friend or relative to help you by looking after your hamster. But in the unfortunate circumstances that you couldn’t find anyone, it is advised that you move your hamster in the end when you are ready to move into the new place.
So getting your hamster ready to move should be after everything else is transferred to the new place, and you are prepared to function from the new home. We say this because hamsters generally can go without you overnight or on the weekend, depending on how much you have stocked up on everything, but even then, it poses a risk. So the little guy should move out when you move out.
Don’t forget to place the hamster in its original or full-size cage after you reach your location. The “how” in how to travel with a hamster has a significant impact on the hamster’s health and overall success of the journey. So we hope we have covered all the aspects to make the experience smooth and successful for both parties.
No matter how much you try, hamsters aren’t naturally cut out for long travel hours, so consider that when planning your trip. If you have no option but to take the little guy along, make sure you make the travel carrier as familiar and comfortable as possible.
For example, try to include toys, treats, and scents with which the animal is already familiar. They have a good memory, and it helps them ease in quickly.