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Travel Tips for Small Pets


Drs. Foster & Smith Educational Staff
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Safe Travel for Small Pets Whether by foot or by car, travels with your small pet can be fun, safe, and easy if you pack smart. The selection of small pet carriers and pouches grows every year, making travel with your rabbit, ferret, guinea pig, sugar glider, rat, mouse, hamster, gerbil, chinchilla, or hedgehog more comfortable than ever - for you both!

Many carriers feature convenient pockets to tuck your essentials. Here are some ideas for essentials you should have on hand:

Going for a short stroll...

  • ID & Nametag - so there's a better chance you will be reunited with your little friend if he becomes an escape artist. Secure the ID tag onto your pet's harness or leash. Some small pets are not suited for harnesses or leashes. Attach their ID tag directly to their carrier.


  • Travel water bottle - ideally with a built in spout or reservoir is best. It is also always better to bring extra water bottles filled with fresh water than run out of water along the way.


  • Food, Treats, or Toys - to keep your pet happy and occupied at stops along the way.


  • Waste pickup products - as a courtesy to your community and neighbors. There's no need to get your hands dirty when there's so many mess-free scoopers available.


  • Extra leash - as a backup or for alternative usage, like a walking lead and an outdoor play leash that extends a bit longer. Some small pets, such as a hamster or mouse, should be kept in their carrier or habitat at all times during travel.
Plus, for longer car trips...
  • Enough food and clean water for the journey - to meet your pet's nutritional needs while under potential stress from traveling.


  • Collapsible Food Bowls - built to travel light and fold up easy.


  • Any medications your pet may need.


  • A travel tip from Dr. Holly Nash, DVM
    Check all pet carriers or transport cages to make sure they are in good condition, have no sharp edges, and have the following information indelibly printed on them: your name; phone number; address; a description of your pet (distinguishing marks, age, sex, spayed, neutered, etc.); the name of your pet; microchip ID or tattoo ID, if any; pet insurance policy number; and the address and phone number where you or a contact person can be reached if you are not at home.
  • If traveling out of state, you will need an interstate health certificate for your pet. Ferret owners should find out if any states or areas you're travelling through have laws against owning ferrets in order to avoid legal issues or even possible seizure.


  • Also, if you journey far from home, it's always safe to bring a list of pet-friendly hotels, motels, or boarding kennels near your destination.


  • Although no one wants to think of the worst, you should also be prepared in case you become ill or are in an accident. Keep a list of contact numbers with you for his veterinarian, as well as friends and family who have agreed to care for your loved pet in such an instance.

With the right supplies and a good plan, traveling with your pet can be an enjoyable adventure for both of you. Happy journeys!

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