Chinchillas are small but tough animals that can live for up to 20 years. Also, asides from going on vet trips, you may have to travel with your chinchilla quite a distance if you don’t have a pet-sitter. How long can a chinchilla stay in a carrier when you transport it using one?
As long as a carrier is comfortable and familiar to a chinchilla, it can stay there throughout the journey. Carriers are used to transport chinchillas for long and short journeys. The material you choose and what you put in it depends on your preferences.
In this article, I’ve discussed how long a chinchilla can stay in a carrier. You’ll also learn how to transport a chinchilla in your car. I also look at the different dimensions of a chinchilla carrier and what you should consider before buying one.
How Do You Transport a Chinchilla in Your Car?
Like other skittish animals, any form of travel is very stressful for chinchillas. But you will have to take trips, either to the vet, when you move, or if you are a breeder with shows to attend. With adequate preparation, you can make car transports stress-free for you and your pet.
The most important things to keep in mind are the temperature of your car and the environment. You should also consider the type of carrier to use, and the duration of your trip. Keeping these in mind, here are guidelines to follow:
Choose a Chinchilla-Safe Carrier
Because chinchillas can chew through most materials, get a wire carrier with a hard plastic bottom and wire ventilation. Chinchillas cannot chew and ingest the wires by mistake. If you must use a plastic carrier, provide chew sticks for your pet to distract them from nibbling on the carrier.
Your travel carrier should be small enough for them to stretch in but not large enough for them to jump around in it. Large cages increase the risk of injury during the trip. A travel cage is slightly bigger than a carrier but not as large as your pet’s normal cage.
Load the Travel Carrier with Enough Materials for Comfort
Your chinchilla will be out in a new environment. This can be stressful for your furbaby, and you can help reduce the stress by making their carrier comfortable. Line the bottom with a soft pillow or fleece blanket to protect their feet.
It is best to use a blanket from their usual cage. Next, place some hay in the cage and a few chew toys your chin is familiar with. Familiar materials around them set them at ease, and the toys keep them occupied and distracted.
Do not transport your chinchilla in extreme temperatures. If the weather is very warm, use your AC. Cool the car for a bit before putting your chin’s travel carrier in it. It also helps to watch constantly the temperature in the backseat where your chin will be.
10°C-18°C is the ideal temperature range for your chinchilla. Anything above will have your chinchilla in heatstroke and, subsequently, a seizure. Do not expose your chinchilla to bright sunlight. Partially cover the cage with a thin blanket and put a shade over the window the cage sits next to.
Food, Water, and Noise
Given the nature of your journey, you may be unable to place a food bowl and water bottle in your chinchilla’s carrier/cage. Any jostling will have water dripping on your chinchilla. Make frequent stops to feed your pet and give water.
Chinchillas have sensitive ears, and loud noises are stressful for them. Try to keep the noise in the car at a minimum, especially when your chinchilla is asleep. Talk to your chinchilla very often to reassure and set them at ease.
Travel During the Day
As crepuscular animals, chinchillas are active at dusk or dawn and sleep in the daytime. It would be nice to travel when your chin is at rest and oblivious to all the stressors around.
Car travel is the best way to transport your chinchilla because you have more control over the immediate external environment. You can also check your pet more easily, replenish their food, and give them water to drink. Always transport your chinchilla in a crash-tested travel carrier/cage.
How Long Can A Chinchilla Stay In A Carrier?
A chinchilla can stay in a carrier for as long as your journey lasts. However, any kind of travel is stressful for chinchillas, and you should make the journey as comfortable as possible for them. A carrier is used to transport the chin when you are flying on an airplane or driving.
An ideal carrier is well-ventilated, has enough room for the chin to move about in, is crash-tested, and seals properly. For journeys with many stops, you may have to use both a carrier and a travel cage.
A travel cage is larger, and it serves as a temporary home when a chinchilla is away from its normal home.
How Big Should A Chinchilla Carrier Be?
A chinchilla carrier should not be too large for the chinchilla to jump around in. A travel cage is better suited for that purpose. Also, the number of chinchillas you have will determine how large your carrier will be. A big carrier can range from 13″ W x 19 1/2″ D x 10 1/4″ H to 24-36″W x 18-24″D x 24″H.
When you choose a travel carrier, you must do excellent research to make the best choice. For example, consider the space of the carrier, the type of material used (it must be chinchilla-proof), the amount of ventilation it provides, and the ease of carrying it about.
Another factor to consider when choosing a travel carrier is the climate of your destination. For example, a fabric/fleece carrier would not be ideal for a hot region, and a metal carrier that exposes your chinchilla would be bad for a cold climate.
Unless it is necessary (e.g., relocation), do not travel with your chinchilla. They are skittish, and traveling is stressful for them. It is important to get your chinchilla used to the travel carrier long before you need to use it.