Traveling with Chinchillas


By air...

...passenger planes don't allow chinchillas, in either the cabin or through luggage. That leaves a cargo service to fly chins... look for one that has experience with animals. Chins seem to do fine with flying with a few caveats. As they sleep during the day, day time flights would be better. Line the shipping crate (it will need to be an airline approved, hard-sided case, like the one to the right, work well) with fleece then be sure to include several chewing options, hay and a water bottle. Because of their heat sensitivity, there may be times of the year where you just can't fly them so plan accordingly. Also, be sure to ask about any paperwork needed - in the US, a health certificate issued within the last few days is usually required if crossing state lines. There may also need to be an inspection by USDA (that's for sure in Hawai'i).

By car...

♥ This can carry its own risks, though with a good plan, should be ok. First, youll need to pick a cage. Something along the lines of the photo to the left would work fine.

♥ Overheating is probably the biggest issue, even in the cooler months. A car can easily get too hot if they are left alone.

♥ It's a good idea to "hook" their travel cage in place with the seatbelt (different cars work differently, sometimes it's a real puzzle). This will prevent the cage from moving around and be more stable. We suggest a piece of fleece over the cage, leaving just the front open to let cool air in and allow you to see in. This should give them a more protective feel.

♥ Chins sleep during the day, so traveling then is best; some chins really don't mind traveling, even at night, though they are more active so be sure they have stuff to relieve boredom.

♥ Be sure they have access to all the essentials... pellets, hay, water, sticks, favorite chew toys. If you can fit their favorite house/hide in their travel crate, that'd be great.

♥ Giving a dose of Bene-Bac Probiotics twice daily starting the day before travel and continuing through the day after you arrive, is a great help in what could be a stressful situation.

♥ Adding simethicone (gas drops) twice daily, on the same schedule as the Bene-Bac, is a good way to nip any stressful issues that may arise.

♥ The first day plan to stop every couple of hours and take a good look inside. More than likely, they'll just be snoozing away, but if they appear stressed (panting or barking), you may need to see a vet near where you are. It's a good idea to look at our Exotic Vets and ERs map on the website (under Resources) and write down clinics along your planned route.

By failing to prepare, you are preparing to fail.

- Benjamin Franklin


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