Should I Get Guinea Pigs If I Live Abroad?

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Georgie13

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Hello, I'm new to this forum.

I have never had any guinea pigs but I am thinking getting 2 or 3 of them and I am wondering whether it would be suitable for me.

I live abroad and I go back home for Christmas (3 weeks), Easter (2.5 weeks) and Summer (2 months). If I have guinea pigs, I will have to either send them to a guinea pig boarding house or bring them back home during these holidays, but I live in the Far East and the flight home is quite long (over 12 hours and I'll need to transfer as well).
I'm thinking to send them to a vet boarding for Christmas and Easter but bring them home for Summer, unless it is recommended otherwise. However, I'm really unsure about it as I've heard that piggies don't like travelling.
I normally fly with Cathay Pacific and they do allow animals on board but I can't find any specific information about travelling with guinea pigs. Has anyone ever done this or does anyone know anything about it? Are guinea pigs allowed to stay in the cabin as a hand luggage?

Another minor concern is that I play the clarinet and I have heard that guinea pigs have sensitive hearing and do not like loud noises. Would it be alright if I play the clarinet in the same room as my guinea pigs?

Also, because I've never had any previous experience of looking after guinea pigs, any advice would be appreciated.
Thank you for your help :D
 

Wiebke

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Hi and welcome!

How long are you planning to live abroad for? I would not get any pets that you struggle to bring back to your home country with you.
I would also recommend clearing any questions with boarding or holiday care beforehand, as well as quarantining issues when moving guinea pigs between countries (that needs to be enquired with the appropriate border and custom authorities).
Generally, the often very hot and humid climate is not ideal for guinea pigs and you will also have to check whether you have space for a sizable cage. Flats can be very cramped and cages are often much smaller. With any cage, you also need to think about plastic underfloor ventilation to prevent fungal issues.
It depends on the size of the room and them getting used to it, but your guinea pigs should be OK with a clarinet.

It is great that you are doing your research and don't get piggies first and then find that it may not just be as easy as sadly so many people do. I commend you for that!

https://www.theguineapigforum.co.uk/threads/transatlantic-flights-with-guinea-pigs.105908/
 

Georgie13

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Thank you for your reply.

My family lives abroad and I will not live in the UK in the foreseeable future.
I do have a couple of friends who are experienced in looking after guinea pigs so there is always another option if I can't bring them with me on such a long flight. But the summer holiday is quite long (2 months) and I am concerned that they may not trust me again if I leave them behind for 2 months.

If I decide to fly with them, I will check all the quarantining restrictions and other details with the airlines and the airports, but at the moment I am just worried if guinea pigs can cope with such a long journey.

I'm planning to get them this autumn though, so I still have quite a lot to think about but there is no rush.
 

Wiebke

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Thank you for your reply.

My family lives abroad and I will not live in the UK in the foreseeable future.
I do have a couple of friends who are experienced in looking after guinea pigs so there is always another option if I can't bring them with me on such a long flight. But the summer holiday is quite long (2 months) and I am concerned that they may not trust me again if I leave them behind for 2 months.

If I decide to fly with them, I will check all the quarantining restrictions and other details with the airlines and the airports, but at the moment I am just worried if guinea pigs can cope with such a long journey.

I'm planning to get them this autumn though, so I still have quite a lot to think about but there is no rush.
Best take time to do your research and make sure that you have everything thought through and found a place they can safely stay whenever you are away. Here in the UK, we also have some excellent boarding places or pet services although they are not the cheapest option.

Your guinea pigs will settle back into their old life again after a little period of reorientation. Guinea pigs have good memories even though you cannot expect your piggies to necessarily make a big scene. My adult piggies always remember the lawn routine after a winter break and one of my piggies that is now living with a friend still recognises my voice on the phone even well over a year after having had to find a new home that can cope with her character quirks in the wake of a group bullying experience.
 
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