Guinea pigs are enjoyable balls of fur and energy. They are prone to boredom, and without exercise and enrichment, they can become very timid and docile.
To truly understand how you and your cavy can get the best from one another, it is essential to learn what makes them unique.
- While guinea pigs can live happily on their own, they are pack animals and enjoy socializing with other guinea pigs and even other animals. In the wild, they would live in herds. A lack of companionship can cause your cavy to become grouchy and stressed out. If you do choose to get a pair of cavies, start with a very young same-sex pair. But with spirited children that become heavily involved in the guinea pig’s life, there is a good chance that they will develop a pack of their own. If you choose only to have one, you need to interact and play with your cavy daily so that you become their companion. You will find that they enjoy routine, and by feeding and playing with them at the same time every day, they will become happier and less stressful.
- Calling them bundles of energy is an understatement, especially young guinea pigs. If they are in their enclosure all day every day, they will become depressed and frustrated. Giving them a separate area like a playpen, a guinea pig room, and an outdoor play area will provide them with some room to stretch out and also offer them a different view of the scenery.
- Some may consider guinea pigs as mindless rodents, however, they are quite intelligent. These fuzzy little muffins love the spotlight, have their own coded language, and can be trained easily. Just like with any animal, all it takes is a little patience and persistence. The bonus is that the time you spend training your cavy will give them the attention and companionship that they crave.
While you may not consider it, you can easily travel with your guinea pig and even take them on “walks”. We are going to explore different options to do both safely.
Eventually, you will have to travel with your guinea pig. It may be a trip to a friend’s house for cavy sitting or to the vet. Either way, it is crucial to know the best way to travel so that it does not unnecessarily stress out your pig.
Get a carrier
It is essential to get a carrier that works for your guinea pig. Plastic, metal, and thick mesh carriers are not a suitable carrier for your guinea pig, but they can have a wire mesh door.
Choose a small animal carrier that is big enough for them to lie down, stand up, turn around and move about in it.
Keep your cavy comfortable by lining the bottom of the carrier with newspaper. It will not be as messy as traditional bedding. Ideally, you want to use at least 20 sheets. If you have a fleece bedding, you can insert it into the carrier to make it even cozier.
If you do not have fleece bedding, you can add shredded paper towels on top of the newspaper to give your cavy the ability to burrow and create a safe place to hide.
Adding a handful of timothy hay into the carrier will help keep them comfortable. Guinea pigs like to sleep in it and munch on it. Also, add some fruits and veggies.
To make sure they stay fresh for as long as possible, soak them in water and then place them in their food bowl.
Letting them soak in water is essential because it adds moisture for your guinea pig. More likely than not, your pig will not have a separate water bottle if you are taking a short trip.
Do not put in a dish to hold the food because it can slide around and harm your cavy.
If you are going on a trip that will last longer than a couple of hours, you will need to add a water bottle. Unfortunately, this means you will have to clean up any spilled water regularly.
Every time the opportunity arises, you should clean up any water covered bedding.
While traveling in a car, it is vital to keep your pig at the appropriate temperature. In the winter you will need to have the vehicle heated and the summer the car will need to be cooled before you put your cavy in it. The ideal temperature range is 65 – 75 degrees.
I already wrote a step by step guide to learn how to help your cavies beat the summer heat and keeping your guinea pigs warm in the winter.
If you are flying with your cavy, you should make advanced arrangements with the airline. Due to their fragile nature, they cannot fly as cargo or with the luggage.
Some airlines do not allow guinea pigs on board, so it will be essential to confirm that they can accompany you on board. Some airlines will charge you a fee for an animal in the cabin, but it is necessary to fly with your guinea pig.
There are some great carriers out there that will work perfectly for your cavy. If it is large enough, it is ok even to let two cavies share a travel carrier.
Small Animal Carrier Bag
This carrier is perfect for small guinea pigs. Ideally under 6 months old and below 1.5 pounds.
It is 8 inches long x 8 inches wide x 7 inches high. For more information on this small carrier bag, visit this link to see detailed product specifications, customer reviews, and online ordering options.
Pawer 18” x 10” x 10” Soft-Sided Foldable Airline Approved Pet
This is an airline-approved carrier, is 18 inches long x 10 inches wide x 10 inches high. It is a perfect size for your cavy and fits perfectly under your seat.
This item is fully washable. For more information on this soft-sided foldable Airline, check it out to see detailed product specifications, customer reviews, and online ordering options.
PetAmi Premium Airline Approved Soft-Sided Pet Travel Carrier
This pet carrier is designed to be convenient for your pet. It measures 17 inches long x 10.2 inches wide x 11.2 inches high.
It comes with a collapsible bowl to keep their food in place during traveling. This carrier can even be strapped to a car seat or to your luggage to keep your cavy even safer throughout your travels.
For more information on this premium, airline-approved Soft-Sided Pet, check it out to see detailed product specifications, customer reviews, and online ordering options.
Now that you have gotten your guinea pig to your destination or even if you have stopped for a rest break during a long car ride you might want to let them get some exercise.
However, it is not recommended to let your cavy just run about in some unknown area, and you will not want to have to break out their pen to let them get some exercise. This is where a leash comes in very handy.
When considering a leash for your guinea pig, remember that a guinea pig is not a dog. They are more than likely not going to go for a ‘walk.’
Guinea pigs have very delicate spines, and the leash should never be pulled while your cavy is attached. The leash should only be used as a way to let your guinea pig enjoy the outdoors while traveling or going outside, while you still be able to monitor your cavy.
Just let them go where they want and if you need to move them to a new spot, pick them up and move them. Never let them go outside on a leash with no supervision.
Make sure the harness is not too tight. You should be able to put a finger or two between your guinea pig and the harness. If it is too tight, it could eventually harm their back and chafe under their arms.
A harness and leash should only be used when your guinea pig needs to stretch their legs and get a little energy out of their system. Just remember not to put them out on damp grass.
Damp grass can give your guinea pig a chill. Also, look for markers that the grass has been sprayed with insecticides or other chemicals.
Guinea Pig Harness and Leash Adjustable
This adorable guinea pig harness comes in several colors. It has little angel wings and a bell so you can keep track of where your little furball is at all times.
Once you remove the least the adjustable vest becomes a beautiful set of clothes. It is entirely breathable, which makes it perfect year-round. Unlike some leashes, this soft material never puts a strain on their necks.
For more information on this guinea pig harness and leash adjustable, check it out to see detailed product specifications, customer reviews, and online ordering options.
With this knowledge, you and your guinea pig will hopefully have a stress free trip. For more information regarding guinea pig’s training and care, subscribe to my newsletter to receive updates and new tips. For any questions or queries, feel free to comment below. Cheers!
Lydia King is a huge animal lover and has always been fascinated with learning about the animal kingdom. She enjoys writing about anything animal related from scientific information about rare species to animal references in pop culture.