Travel plans can sometimes be unavoidable. If you need to leave for a long vacation or permanently move from one place to other you have to make a plan for your guinea pigs as well. In most cases, you definitely want to take them with you. But is it possible? Can guinea pigs travel on planes? Let’s find out!
Yes, guinea pigs can travel on the plane, but we should fly with them only on airlines that allow them in the cabin. Some American and Canadian Airlines allow them with extra charges ranging from 50$-250$. The guinea pig must be in her carrier, and it should be kept under the seat throughout the journey.
Guinea pigs don’t enjoy a new environment and loud noises, but that is something you cannot avoid during air travel.
The surrounding environment is going to be noisy and frightening for your guinea pigs. Thus, make sure your guinea pig is prepared for the same.
So, if there is a way you can leave your guinea pig at home or some friends home who can take care of them when you are not around will be the best option if it is possible.
I would suggest you take the service from Trusted pet sitters if there is no one else available to look after your pet. They are amazing and affordable too.
However, if not, then you might need to find a way to take them with you.
Let us now look under what circumstances you can leave your guinea pigs behind and when should you opt to take them with you.
What do you do with your guinea pig when you go on vacation?
If you are planning for a vacation or a trip outside your city, then there are only a few options with you. Let us look at the possibilities:
|1-2 days||– You can stock enough supplies and leave your guinea pig at your home.|
|One week||– Either you can shift your guinea pig to a friend’s house or ask someone to come to your home and do the needful.|
– Ask nearby pet daycares or rescues for help to keep your guinea pigs in exchange for a small fee.
|Long vacation or Relocating||– You can rehome your guinea pigs or leave them at a good rescue. (If impossible to take them)|
– Hire a service like Trusted Pet Sitter.
– You can ship them via Live Air Cargo
– You can fly with your guinea pigs.
Now, depending upon your travel plan, these are some of the best options you have.
And if you plan to take them with you, then stick around with us till the end to learn more about traveling with your guinea pigs.
Can you travel with a guinea pig?
Yes, you can travel with your guinea pigs, but the journey is definitely not going to be a pleasant one for your guinea pigs.
However, if you are planning for a long vacation or a relocation, then you don’t have a lot of choices either.
Air travel is going to be one of the most reliable options for you as the travel times are short and comfortable. However, not all airlines would allow you to travel with your guinea pigs.
Also, you cannot travel across all international destinations with a guinea pig. Countries like Australia and Netherland have strict rules against traveling with a guinea pig. Thus, you need to be aware of the same.
What Airlines allow guinea pigs to fly?
The five major airlines that allow guinea pigs to fly are:
Please be aware that you need to pay a surcharge of ranging from 50$-200$ depending upon the flight and your travel destinations.
Your guinea pigs won’t be allotted any seat, and you need to keep them below your seat in a travel carrier throughout the entire journey.
There are a few things you must know in advance as well:
- Guinea pigs and other small pets are only allowed on short-haul flights. (i.e., less than 12 hours)
- Since guinea pigs are rodents, not all travel destinations and airlines allow them. Even if they allow dogs, cats, or even rabbits, your guinea pigs might not be permitted. Thus check in advance.
- You need to bring in advance notice while booking to ensure they have room for your guinea pig. (Most flight carriers allow limited pets.)
- Your guinea pig must fit into a pet carrier that goes below the seat. Some flight only allows one carrier per person.
- You cannot place water, vegetables, or other food items, including hay in the carrier. However, it depends upon your travel destination. (Allowed in domestic travel)
- Most European countries require you to quarantine the pet while they arrive. You need to keep this in mind as well while traveling.
- Having a vet clearance before moving will be a lifesaver in most cases.
- Also, be aware that some airlines can cancel your pet booking at the end moment if there are some unforeseen circumstances like high turbulence, A big storm, etc.
Will my guinea pigs be safe on an airplane?
Travel can be worrisome for many human beings. This terror is far more intense for our guinea pigs.
Guinea pigs don’t enjoy loud noises and being carried for an extended period. Thus, they might get stressed out by the time you reach the airport itself.
Upon arriving at the airport, your guinea pigs might experience a whole new environment full of new people, sounds, and smell, and all these combined can make them anxious.
Apart from these, your guinea pigs might also feel stressed out once you are in a plane.
The rise and descend in altitude, change in atmospheric pressure, change in temperature, etc. can quickly overwhelm the senses of your guinea pigs.
These conditions are even harsh in the cargo, thus try to avoid plane travels where you need to keep cargo hold your guinea pigs.
Keeping them in the cabin beside you will definitely bring some comfort in their life.
Flying with your guinea pigs is not going to be easy, but we need to do whatever we can to make this a bearable for them.
Here are some tips to make the journey a little smoother:
- Get a comfortable carrier for your guinea pigs. The carrier you choose must be airline approved(allowed in-plane), but at the same time, it must have enough space for your guinea pigs to turn and stand.
- Get some fleece liners or Small Guineadad liners that will keep them comfortable, warm, and, at the same time, absorb all the pee to keep them dry and comfy. It also prevents smell in the cabin.
- Fill your guinea pig’s carrier with some hay and vegetables to keep them distracted. A small chew toy would be a great distraction, as well. Please ensure that flying with hay and veggies is permitted by your airline and destination. Some destination restricts it.
- I would suggest carrying a travel water bottle and syringe(for emergency) as well to provide water to your guinea pigs as you land and before flying. It shall help in keeping them hydrated.
- If your guinea pigs get stressed out during the journey, try to keep them calm as much as possible.
Do guinea pigs need a pet passport?
No, Guinea pigs don’t allow pet passport to travel within the United States and Canada. However, some EU countries may demand one.
It is recommended to check with the flight companies to get the latest update on the law.
In most cases, flight companies will now allow guinea pigs to travel such long distances where a passport may be needed. Thus, you may need to ship your guinea pigs in such a scenario.
It is crucial to devote some time to understand the laws of the country you are traveling to.
The more time you dedicate to understanding the regulations, the better you get in avoiding nasty situation on the airport and airplane.
How much does it cost to bring a guinea pig on a plane?
Most airlines across the United States and Canada have a fixed rate of 125$ per guinea pig.
The cost may vary upon the airline and travel destination. This fare will be payable each way; that means for a round trip, you can expect to pay around 250$ on an average.
Some airlines do charge some extra fees for a stopover. Thus, make sure you clear things out while booking the ticket to avoid any last-minute hassle.
Apart from these direct expenses, there are some other expenses you need to keep in mind. I have made a complete table for you guys to understand things better:
|Airline cost (one way)||125$|
|Fleece liner for carrier||25$|
|Travel water bottle(optional)||30$|
As you can see, there are many other expenses you need to bear if you plan to travel with your guinea pigs.
If you have a young pair of guinea pigs, then you might fit them into a single pet carrier and save some expense; otherwise, all these costs are going to be per guinea pig.
You will also need to pay the charge for both of them even if you take them in a single carrier.
Here is a list of certified guinea pig vet across United states, UK and Canada.
Best Airline-Approved Guinea Pigs Carriers
Pet carriers are essential for traveling with your guinea pigs.
You need a carrier that is suitable for your guinea pigs and, at the same time, approved for the airline’s regulations as well.
Thus, I decided to fetch some of the best ones for you. Here are a few options you can pick from:
My guinea pig is an emotional support for me
Restrictions of airlines do not apply to emotional support animals. Regardless of any policy, an airline is legally obliged to allow the passenger to travel with an emotional support animal without any restrictions.
Such guinea pigs will be allowed to go with the passenger in a carrier, free of charge. However, there are some obligations you need to keep in mind.
- Your guinea pigs won’t be allow to run free in the flight.
- Taking care of your guinea pig is your responsibility.
- Also, you need to respect potential allergies of your co-passengers.
Even if your guinea pig is emotional support to you, you cannot just arrive at the airport with your guinea pigs and declare them as emotional support.
You need to give advance notice to the airline for possible arrangements. Also, You will need a letter from a legally licensed mental health professional. This letter must:
- Be less than an year old
- It must be printed on official letterhead paper.
- Must state that you have been diagnosed with a mental health disorder recognized by the American Psychiatric Association.
- Confirm that you are currently under treatment for the same.
- Most importantly, confirm that presence of your guinea pig is essential for your mental and emotional well being.
The Federal Register looks at some of the questions that you can be asked. If you are asked if your guinea pig is a pet, then you must answer, “No, they are service animals.”
If you answer Yes, that means your guinea pig is a usual pet. Thus, reasonable restrictions will apply to them.
They may ask you further questions to confirm the status.
However, if you have an official letter and all other documents in place, you shall experience no trouble traveling with the pet.
Please note that some airlines have tightened the emotional support animal rule and only allow you to carry one pet per passenger.
Do guinea pigs need vaccination for flying?
No, your guinea pigs do not need any sort of vaccination before traveling in the United States.
There is no legal guinea pig vaccine available in the United States. However, the laws may vary if you travel Internationally.
European countries and Australia have strict regulations when you are traveling with a guinea pig.
If you are planning to fly into these countries, then you need to check for the laws in those countries.
You will also need to make sure you have a declaration letter from a vet before traveling.
Learn more about common health problems in guinea pigs and the need for vaccination from our article.
Will my guinea pigs be kept under quarantine upon landing?
This depends upon where you arrive with your guinea pigs. If you are traveling within the United States or Canada, then the laws are not so strict for pets like guinea pigs.
However, if you are planning to visit European destinations or even UK, then you may need to hand over your guinea pigs for a certain quarantine period in the airport itself.
Please research the quarantine laws of the destination you are traveling to. You might give a call to the airport authority or airline officials for more info on the same.
Expect a quarantine period of a day or two in some destinations. You will also need to pay for the medical tests done there to ensure your guinea pigs don’t carry any disease and are healthy.
These are some additional concerns you need to keep in mind while traveling with a guinea pig.
Sometimes, these procedures can be more stressful for your guinea pigs than the actual travel itself. So, bear the same in mind while traveling with them.
Is shipping guinea pigs by air safe?
Tread carefully if you plan to ship your guinea pigs by cargo. As guinea pigs are small animals, you can carry them in short-haul flights without much hassle.
However, if you need to ship them across the sea, then a cargo facility might be required. Opt for Live Cargo Facility as these provide a better environment for your pets while traveling.
However, you must understand that cargo staffs are not trained to handle all kinds of pets. Thus, the journey might not be a smooth one for your guinea pigs.
Ensure your guinea pigs have enough food and water for the duration.
Try to calm them down and provide some hiding space as they are going to be frightened during the journey. The worse thing will be if they are housed with other large pets nearby.
When you ship guinea pigs by air cargo, the airlines will rarely take responsibility.
As Other Consumers explains, the statistics are often fudged. A guinea pig that is released from the air cargo alive is deemed safe.
If they have any health problems later on, then the airlines are not responsible for the same.
If you can avoid shipping your guinea pigs, then do so. Even if they have concluded the journey safely, they will go through a lot of mental stress. Thus, it is wise to avoid it unless unavoidable.
Flying with a pair of guinea pigs
It is better to travel with a pair of guinea pigs than to travel with a single one. A company during travel can reduce stress by 50% or more.
However, you must make sure they are a bonded pair else the situation can get nasty later on. However, you’ll need to look at the cost implication as well. An additional guinea pig would add 125$ surcharge for the airlines.
If there are any additional costs while landing(quarantine or medical checkup), then they will also double.
You will also need to look at the weight of the per carrier. Will the pet carrier hold two guinea pigs and weigh below 20 lbs? Can you fit enough hay or other food items in the carrier?
Apart from the cost and other implications, you also need to understand that you will not be able to resolve any conflict your guinea pigs have during the journey.
Thus, make sure they are well-bonded. Flying with your guinea pigs is going to be stressful for you as well as your pets.
Therefore, make sure you are emotionally and mentally prepared for the same.
Sometimes, the only option you have is to travel with your guinea pigs as you can’t leave them behind.
So, put some thought into understanding the process and ensure you do everything to keep your guinea pigs calm throughout the journey.