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Anxious About Travelling with Young Guineas

Mikknu

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Hello everyone!

As I said in my thread in the Guinea Pig Chat, I'm getting much younger guinea pigs than expected and will be travelling with them for 3 hours or more, probably a bit more in fact.

I've read through the travelling section, but I can't do things like let them get used to the carrier, or feed them grass beforehand, as I'm picking them up from another state entirely. This already makes me a bit nervous, as I won't be able to tell exactly how hungry or thirsty they may be. I don't want my first hours with them to end in a vet trip or worse! 😭

I'll also be picking them up likely around noon in March, and March in the Midwest can range from 80s to -20s with wind chill. We wouldn't get back to my house until the late afternoon, which means unfortunately that we . My car is pretty well insulated and has AC/Heating, but it can get noisy with strong winds blowing around everywhere and pushing the car, and air doesn't circulate well to the foot well which is apparently the best place to put the guineas. I'm worried about both temperature, quality of air, AND possible smells in the car causing issues.

Not to mention on a car ride that long, I know that my S.O. will want either a podcast or some music playing. Is a podcast better, since it's just words? Or is music turned down low better?

I'm worried about taking such young pigs on a long trip like this. The carrier I have is 33x48.5x31.5 cm, and I'll attach a picture below of what it looks like. In case the picture won't show, the bottom part is all plastic, but it has ventilation holes on all sides as well as the top. It is top opening, for easy carrying, and can hold up to 11 kg. Is this suitable for that long amount of a time? Or should I look into finding a large box or tote to transport them in?

It mentions giving them hay and cucumber slices. Would loose hay work to put in the bottom, or would it be better advised to give them something like a timothy cube or a meadow hay twist? What if they refuse cucumber, or have not had it before- what could I do then to make sure that they're properly hydrated on the way back?

Thanks in advance for any advice!

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Siikibam

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They should be ok with travelling that distance. I wouldn’t put on anything too loud, whether music or podcasts.

Put in a towel and then maybe fleece on top (depending how warm it is by then). They then have the option to burrow inside for ‘safety’. If there is some hay in their cage where you get them, perhaps take a small handful and put it in so they have a familiar smell with them. If they’re on fleece you could perhaps ask to take it.

I do a pile of hay and some veg. You could put in some cilantro (coriander) and slices of cucumber and pepper. Take a few so they’re covered, and enough hay. I think they should be okay. There are members on here who have (and do) travelled long distance with piggies. I think @Wiebke did a 3hr+ train journey with piggies.

I think the pet carrier size should be ok though can’t picture it! I would probably go bigger though. I can’t remember how big mine was but I think it was bigger than that one. I think it’s this one.

Air quality should be fine as long as the inside doesn’t smell of fumes (not good for you either). With regards temperature be careful it’s not too cold or too hot in the car.

I know they say the footwell is better. But I admit I put them in the back and wedge them in so that the carrier is between the seat back and front seat, and can’t move. I don’t put them in the footwell because I usually have the A/C or heat on. But don’t do what I do as it is likely not correct.
 

Mikknu

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I do believe they're on fleece, but I'm not sure they'd let me take a piece of their liner. Maybe I could ask for a chew, or hay like you suggested?

How much hay would be necessary for a journey that long?

If my carrier is too small, should I try to find something like a large plastic tote, or a carboard box? I bought the carrier mostly in mind for quick trips between the vet and back. It doesn't appear to be too much smaller than the dimensions for the one you listed, but my reading of cm is a bit rusty.

Is there a specific way to tell if my piggies are getting too hot or too cold, so that I can adjust temperature as needed?
 

Siikibam

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I don’t know about knowing they’re too hot or cold. I would just beat in mind the temperature they should be kept in and adjust accordingly.

I would go for a slightly bigger carrier. Remember they will get bigger so you don’t want one too small. Are they sows or boars?
 

Mikknu

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They're boars. I looked around for bigger carriers, and unfortunately couldn't find much. That carrier is on the larger side of small for me. Most of the ones closer to the size you provided are made of cloth and mesh, though the one i provided is only about 10 cm shorter. The ones that aren't are unreasonably huge for bring back and forth to a vet, fit for a dog of 30 pounds. There just isn't much around me, or anywhere close to me. Most of what I get is on Amazon.
 

Black piggies

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I second the above about not putting piggies in the footwell. I seat belt the carrier on the back seat for long journeys. I'm more worried about temperature and ventilation.
Though very unlikely, piggies could chew through a box. Piggies mostly sleep on car journeys I think, so they don't need masses of room. It's not recommended to use a huge carrier as they'd get thrown around more in .a crash.
When I travel I have several different tubs of chopped, wet veg; parsley, cucumber, green pepper, lettuce leaves and spare hay.
I'm sure the piggies will be fine. They'll enjoy being left to have some nice, quiet time after the journey.
 

Wiebke

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Hello everyone!

As I said in my thread in the Guinea Pig Chat, I'm getting much younger guinea pigs than expected and will be travelling with them for 3 hours or more, probably a bit more in fact.

I've read through the travelling section, but I can't do things like let them get used to the carrier, or feed them grass beforehand, as I'm picking them up from another state entirely. This already makes me a bit nervous, as I won't be able to tell exactly how hungry or thirsty they may be. I don't want my first hours with them to end in a vet trip or worse! 😭

I'll also be picking them up likely around noon in March, and March in the Midwest can range from 80s to -20s with wind chill. We wouldn't get back to my house until the late afternoon, which means unfortunately that we . My car is pretty well insulated and has AC/Heating, but it can get noisy with strong winds blowing around everywhere and pushing the car, and air doesn't circulate well to the foot well which is apparently the best place to put the guineas. I'm worried about both temperature, quality of air, AND possible smells in the car causing issues.

Not to mention on a car ride that long, I know that my S.O. will want either a podcast or some music playing. Is a podcast better, since it's just words? Or is music turned down low better?

I'm worried about taking such young pigs on a long trip like this. The carrier I have is 33x48.5x31.5 cm, and I'll attach a picture below of what it looks like. In case the picture won't show, the bottom part is all plastic, but it has ventilation holes on all sides as well as the top. It is top opening, for easy carrying, and can hold up to 11 kg. Is this suitable for that long amount of a time? Or should I look into finding a large box or tote to transport them in?

It mentions giving them hay and cucumber slices. Would loose hay work to put in the bottom, or would it be better advised to give them something like a timothy cube or a meadow hay twist? What if they refuse cucumber, or have not had it before- what could I do then to make sure that they're properly hydrated on the way back?

Thanks in advance for any advice!

View attachment 133529
Hi!

I have travelled that time on several trains with a 7 weeks old baby to bring Hedydd from a rescue in South Wales as a similar aged playmate for my surprise baby Tegan. Hedydd died in October not long after her 8th birthday...

Please follow the tips in our travelling guide: Travelling with guinea pigs
When your new piggies are freaked out and not used to you during travel, it is best to just leave them be as much as possible and not add any more stress by handling them. Just checking on once during the trip is enough.

When one of the piggies is screaming, please do not overreact; they are piling up on each other and the one at the bottom is complaining - but they will NOT move away, either (as they easily could)... Just concentrate on driving home smoothly. Your babies will hopefully fall asleep if their bellies are full from the vibration of the car, especially on any faster roads. ;)

You can use our piggy whispering tips to make them welcome in their new home: Understanding Prey Animal Instincts, Guinea Pig Whispering And Cuddling Tips
 

Siikibam

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I think the cloth one would work just as well. Just make sure, as with plastic, that there’s something underneath to prevent wee getting on the base.
 

Mikknu

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Thank you everyone for your replies-

@Black piggies and @Siikibam Okay, I'll go with the larger carrier! I appreciate all the help you've given me. I'll take a good selection of wet veg with me, and I'll see about getting some hay or another item from their old cage to bring with me as well.

@Wiebke I'm so sorry about Hedydd... I think I remember cruising around the forums here and seeing mention of her several times... I'm sure she's having fun up on the Rainbow Bridge with all her other friends.

Thank you for the warning about screaming. I'll do my best to leave them be as much as possible. The roads will be in excess of 80 mph, so they should be fairly smooth.

I really appreciate everyone's help here. Thank you all so much!
 

Wiebke

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Thank you everyone for your replies-

@Black piggies and @Siikibam Okay, I'll go with the larger carrier! I appreciate all the help you've given me. I'll take a good selection of wet veg with me, and I'll see about getting some hay or another item from their old cage to bring with me as well.

@Wiebke I'm so sorry about Hedydd... I think I remember cruising around the forums here and seeing mention of her several times... I'm sure she's having fun up on the Rainbow Bridge with all her other friends.

Thank you for the warning about screaming. I'll do my best to leave them be as much as possible. The roads will be in excess of 80 mph, so they should be fairly smooth.

I really appreciate everyone's help here. Thank you all so much!
Don't overdo the wet veg please! Rather let them eat some cucumber before you set off so they are hydrated and full/sleepy and then have some soft hay for them to snuggle in and nibble on during the drive. You are not travelling so far and in conditions where dehydration is an issue. In my own experience, the first few road trips are too frightening for piggies to eat where my oldies or any adopted oldies won't be upset by their surroundings and happily eat their dinner in the car or on the train.

Your little ones will catch up with food and water once they have settled into their new home. Place a blanket over the top of the cage to make it fee secure; make sure that water, hay and a little other food are not far from where they are holed up and then leave them be, as hard as that is!
 

Darcey15

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I'm sure given all the advice above your little pigs will be just fine. What a road trip to a great new life!

I have travelled with pigs before but only 2.5 hours (2 pigs). They had as big a cage as I could fit in my boot, tonnes of soft hay & were absolutely fine apart from sliding about a bit on the steep mountain roads of the Lake District. I was as careful as I could be with precious cargo! Its a Landrover so an open boot and my cage squashed in nicely. They were fine.

I used the same cage to bring my 6 piggies back from the rescue, again some steep roads over the Pennines from Yorkshire to Lancashire. I covered most of the cage with a blanket & drove as carefully as I could. We certainly had some squealing along the way...I chatted and sang to them the whole way back so maybe they were telling me to shut up 🤷‍♀️😂

Really lovely that you are getting so prepared well in advance- they are VERY lucky piggies!
 

Mikknu

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Thank you so much for your advice @Wiebke , and everyone else! You've really helped eased my worries about transporting them. Exactly 5 weeks from today is the day, and it feels so close, yet so far...

@Darcey15 My car is a bit smaller than a Landrover... xD It will also have my SO in it with me. Luckily for me though, the Midwest and surrounding areas are about a flat as it gets. The first time I went to the Black Hills in SD I was pretty stunned, and they're not even that big!

Thank you for the compliments as well, although I don't feel that they're 100% deserved. I'm just a really anxious person who likes having plans. My mom likes to tell me I'll worry myself into an early grave :lol!:

My piggies won't be my first pets by a long shot, but the last time I had a small pet was when I was just a toddler, and things did not end well for those poor hamsters unfortunately. I really, really want to make sure I'm giving my piggies, and myself, the best shot we've got at getting through this.
 

Stephanie 784

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I completely under stand I traveled 20 hours over three days with 14 piggies including 6 babies about 7 weeks old and there mother’s ect. My advise is to put a lot of hay in there travel carrier and a water bottle. I also put in about two inch price of cucumber for each piggie. My piggies all did greet and when I stopped at each hotel I changed out the hay and cleans them and them stuffed it full so they could hide and eat. I put small water bottles on the doors and everyone did great no vet trips even my two old ladies(7 and 8 at the time) did great
 
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