The rules of airlines regarding traveling with animals vary. But typically, you will find that you can travel with small pets in the cabin, as long as they are kept in a suitable pet carrier.
It is becoming more common to see passengers on airplanes with small dogs, birds, and cats. But can one fly with chinchillas too?
Can chinchillas fly with you on an airplane?
Chinchillas can fly with you. However, it is preferable that they do not.
Nonetheless, a few things have to be in place before taking a chinchilla on an airplane.
The two most important provisions are an airline-approved carrier and a reservation for the chinchilla. In the absence of a chinchilla reservation, ensure that the airline has a climate-controlled cargo bay.
Getting a chinchilla on an airplane is not straightforward. So, in the rest of this article, we discuss everything you should know about traveling with a pet chinchilla.
Can You Travel With Chinchillas?
With appropriate preparations, you can travel with your chinchilla. However, traveling with your chinchilla could be disastrous if you are not prepared.
And once your chinchilla is stressed, it can overheat and eventually suffer from issues like fur slip.
If you are traveling with a chinchilla, going by road is your best option since you have more control over the comfort and safety of your pet. When driving, you can keep the chinchilla cage in the seat next to you so you can monitor it to ensure it is not stressed or uncomfortable.
If you ever travel with your chinchilla, ensure it remains comfortable throughout the journey. This means you need to do whatever you can to keep stress at a minimum for your chinchilla.
Should I Travel With My Chinchilla?
Traveling with your chinchilla is not always advised due to the stress your pet will experience.
Rather than travel with your chinchilla, you can hire a reliable pet sitter. With detailed instructions on how to care for your chinchilla, it should be fine.
Alternatively, you may board your chinchilla in a facility that can care for small animals.
Tips for Traveling With a Chinchilla
Whether you are traveling or simply taking your chinchilla to the vet, there are several things you must do to ensure the trip does not get stressful for your pet.
Here are some tips for traveling with a chinchilla:
Get a Good Travel Carrier
Ensure you get a pet carrier that is easy to carry, well-ventilated, and escape-proof. It will keep your chinchilla from moving during travel.
Ensure the carrier remains comfortable throughout the journey by placing bedding materials in the base of the pet carrier.
Get Your Chinchilla Familiar With the New Carrier
Your chinchilla will feel uncomfortable when placed in an unfamiliar environment. So, before you travel, ensure you get your chinchilla familiar with the carrier.
Place the chinchilla in the carrier repeatedly in the time leading up to traveling so it becomes calm and cozy when left alone in it.
Avoid Excessive Sunlight Exposure
If you are planning a trip, and you will be taking your chinchilla along, ensure you plan the trip around your chinchilla as well. Choosing a destination with excess sunlight can cause problems for your chinchilla.
Chinchillas prefer cold environments – similar to their natural habitats.
When driving with your chinchilla, ensure it is not exposed to direct sunlight to keep it from overheating. If a chinchilla overheats, it may die from heatstroke.
So, ensure you keep your chinchilla in temperatures below this.
You can protect your chinchilla from the sun by covering its cage with a thin sheet, but remember to leave a small opening for the heat to escape. If you are driving, put a shade over the window next to the chinchilla’s carrier.
Bring Along Some Chew Toys
Keeping your chinchilla busy is one way to ensure it remains happy. You can do this by taking a few of its toys along with you. The familiarity of the toy will bring some comfort to your chinchilla.
The chew toys not only help keep them distracted, but it is also a good way for your pet to file some teeth.
Use the Air Conditioning in Your Car
When you travel in your car, you can control the temperature using the heater or air conditioner. Chinchillas like it better when it is cold, so keeping the A/C on is a good idea.
Although chinchillas prefer cool environments, you should not let your car get too cold. Having a car A/C that can be set to a specific temperature will come in handy.
With such, you can set the temperature specifically between 50 and 70 degrees – the range most suitable for chinchillas.
Go With Food and Water
Remember to pack a water bottle and enough food for your chinchilla. This should be one of the first things to consider before traveling, or else your pet will starve throughout the trip.
Finding proper food for your chinchilla on a trip can be difficult. Besides, you would not want to alter the diet of your pet in an unfamiliar environment.
Take Regular Pit Stops
If you are traveling long distances by road with your chinchilla, taking frequent breaks is essential. Stopping from time to time when driving will allow you to check if your chinchilla needs more food or its water bottle needs a refill. It also allows you to clean your chinchilla’s cage and make any adjustments.
Do Not Let Your Chinchilla Out
If you are driving and notice your chinchilla getting stressed, do not let it out of its carrier. You might think letting it out so you can hold and comfort it is a good idea, but it is not.
When chinchillas are stressed, they become unpredictable. When you let your chinchilla out of its carrier, it can decide to hide, which is not ideal in a car filled with unstable traveling bags.
Even when your vehicle is empty, it can hide in hard-to-reach places like under the seat.
To avoid this problem, try comforting your chinchilla through its carrier. You can also give it water and treats to minimize its stress.
Protect Your Chinchilla
When in a car with many bags, do not put the bags atop the chinchilla’s cage, or it may get damaged.
You should also avoid stacking bags next to the cage. If the bags fall over, they can trap heat in the chinchilla’s cage, causing your pet to overheat.
Try placing the cage in a spot where it is safe from your heavy bags. You can try giving your chinchilla its own seat to ensure it remains comfortable throughout the journey.
Travel at Night
Chinchillas are crepuscular, which means they are usually active at dawn and dusk while they spend the night and day sleeping. Being crepuscular, traveling at night means your pet will be resting most of the time.
Traveling at night is also ideal because there will be less noise pollution and less traffic. Besides, the temperature is cooler, meaning your chinchilla will be less likely to overheat.
If you notice your chinchilla resting during the trip, be incredibly quiet.
Chinchillas can fly on airplanes. But there is always a chance of you stressing the animal, even if you prepare very well.
Traveling with your chinchilla by car is a better option since you will be in control of its environment and comforting it throughout the trip.