Yes, you can travel with your hamster. Next question – Do you have to travel with your hamster? If you don’t, it is better for your hammy and eventually for you to leave your pet at home but if you have to bring it with you, then let me share with you some tips I found related to this topic.
I hope this text will make any trip with your hamster less stressful and more enjoyable.
Can I Leave My Hamster At Home While I am On The Trip?
Basically yes. If you will be out of your house for a weekend you can leave your pet alone. Of course make sure he has enough food and water, clean bedding and toys for entertainment.
If you will be out for more days, a week or so, it is better to find someone to take care of your hamster. This can be your friend, neighbor or family but make sure he/she is familiar with your hammy routine. Take the time to inform that person in details about eating /drinking habits, cage cleaning and change of bedding schedule.
If you ask someone to take care of your hamster while you are away, you should check with that person if he/she will look after your hamster by coming to your home or will take your pet to his/her home. Of course, it is less stressful for your hamster to stay in your home, but sometimes you cannot manage everything to be perfect.
Avoid leaving your pet in pet’s hotels/boarding facilities. There you have different animals on the same place becuse strange, possibly loud noise and high-pitched sounds ( barking or chirping ) could seriously stress out you hamster. As you know stress can be a trigger to some diseases like Wet Tail which may be fatal.
Traveling With a Hamster By Car
This is most suitable and most common way of traveling with your hamster.
If you go for a short ride ( to see the vet or visit some friend/family ) then some special preparation is not necessary. Even if you plan a longer trip, it is better first to make a ”test ride” ( short trip) and check how your hamster will behave as any trip may appear stressful for your furry ball.
If the test ride went well, you are good to go for a longer trip. For this kind of trip, you have to prepare some things and to plan ahead.
First of all, if you travel during the day, expect that your pet will spend most of the trip sleeping, as hamsters are nocturnal animals. Don’t let this fact confuses you, this doesn’t mean that you don’t have to put some food and entertainment items in the travel cage/carrier.
Let’s start from the beginning. What do you need to prepare:
Travel cage or carrier must be compact, small and secure. I found that many hamster parents suggest wire cages (those that are sold in pet shops as regular /standard hamsters cages but in reality are too small for everyday use) due to good ventilation. Some of the hamster owners are more for plastic travel carriers but with lots of holes that secure a sufficient supply of air inside.
Travel cage shouldn’t have any attachments, outside tubes. Make sure the travel cage is placed well in the car. If there is nobody who can hold the cage during the trip, make sure the cage is well fastened with a seat belt or placed between the seats. This is crucial for both – you and your hamster.
If you have to make a sudden stop, turn or whatever, I am sure you wouldn’t like your pet’s cage hits you accidentally. On the other hand, your pet can end up injured if the cage is not placed well and secured.
If you have a wire cage and you place it between the seats, your hammy can chew on your seat cover fabric, so you should put some sheet or cardboard between the seat and the cage to prevent your seats from being destroyed.
Don’t let your hamster out of the cage during the ride, as this could be very stressful to him and he would definitely try to escape.
Don’t let your hammy travel in the cage without bedding. Bedding is a must and you should put the already used bedding from his regular cage so he can feel more comfortable and less stressed as he will feel his own scent. You can also put some nice and soft nesting material.
Whatever you put inside of the travel cage, it must be light in weight. Some owners will put a food bowl made of light plastic, some others will just sprinkle the hamster food mixture all over the bedding and save some space in a rather small travel cage. Avoid any ceramic or glass food bowls as due to constant movement they can fall over and hurt your furry pal.
Hideways, Enclosed house and Toys
Although your pet will most probably spend most of your trip sleeping you still have to provide some entertaining items. The best way is to put some very light, plastic hideaway or enclosed house. Bear in mind that your pet doesn’t have too much space so don’t put large toys. Same as for food bowl, avoid ceramic or some other heavy material to prevent potential injuries. Many hamster parents suggest putting toilet tubes or some other cardboard toys due to their small weight.
Don’t forget to put some chewing treat, maybe some wooden stick or some other kind of chewing toy to keep your hammy busy and happy.
Of course, your pet needs water during the trip but the water bottle is rather a hazard than a useful item in the cage. Due to constant movement, the water could leak in and make the bedding wet which would be quite unpleasant for your hammy.
Instead of a water bottle, you can put small pieces of some fruit or vegetable with high water content such as cucumber or melon.
This should ensure your hamster is hydrated sufficiently. You can also offer water during the stops or when the car is not moving. Another reason why not to use a water bottle while moving is that top of the water bottle could hurt your hammy while he is drinking water in case you run into some bump in the road or make sudden move/stop.
More tips for traveling with your Hamster by car :
- Turn off the radio in the car, as any loud or sudden noise and sounds will be a source of stress for your hammy.
- Keep the windows up to protect your hamster from the possible draft.
- Never leave your hamster in the car if you go out for a break. If you do that, risk a life of your hamster ( overheat).
- If you have to stay in someplace overnight and continue to ride tomorrow, find pet-friendly hotels/motels although some hamster parents suggest you not to bother with that as travel carriers for hamsters are small so you can enter any hotel without someone sees you holding the hamster. This is up to you. Don’t forget that you most probably need a good all-night sleep so place the cage in the bathroom as most likely your pet will be very active, making some noise that could disturb your sleep
- Always bring some extra food and water with you
- If you stay in someplace for a couple of days, it is advisable to bring a larger cage with you which you will install in that hotel room so your pet has more space to enjoy.
In case you are moving to another home – tips
If you are moving from your old home to a new one, make things as less stressful as possible for your hamster. Make sure you settle everything first and then at the very end, bring your hamster to a new place.
Maybe you will need to find a hamster sitter for this occasion as you will have plenty of work so it is advisable to find someone else to take care of your pet while you are moving.
Traveling with Hamster By Plane
This way of traveling is less convenient and more uncommon but possible of course.
First, you have to find an airline company that is willing to transport the hamsters. As far as I heard the only air carrier like that in US is Frontier Airlines. Here you have some information of Frontier Airlines but in any case you should check with the airline company before you book the tickets. I also read in some posts that the lady who took her hamster with her wasn’t even charged for it, so this can happen as well!
You should avoid leaving your pet in pet’s cargo with other animals such as dogs, reptiles, cats and others as noise ( that comes from plane itself and animals on board) can be devastating for your tiny friend.
Plus you don’t know if the cargo temperature will be too hot or cold. This may be a very discomforting experience for your hammy so travel with your hamster only if you can bring him with you in the cabin.
This lady that has traveled with Frontier Airlines explained that she chose the seat in front of the wings due to a more quiet atmosphere.
Although she received the details from the Company for traveling with a pet, they missed to inform her that she will need to take her hamster out of the cage and carry him through the scanner at security.
The cage setup, in case you travel by plane, is pretty much the same as that when you travel by car.
However, before you do anything check with the airline company what you can bring with you and what you cannot. Plus double check if you need any heath certificate for your pet,do you need a pet-approved travel carrier and other details in order to avoid any unpleasant situation and misunderstanding.
To summarize everything I have written here – if possible don’t stress your hamster taking it with you to a journey. If it is a short drive, it’s ok, but if you should go on a long trip, think twice. In case you must take your hammy with you, follow some basic rules and tips we have shared with you here and shouldn’t be facing bigger issues. Good luck and have a safe trip!