- Trip Length: Unless it's absolutely necessary, try to keep road trips under 2 hours. If it's necessary to take longer trips, make sure you stop at least once every 2 hours (see below).
- Carriers: Use a well-ventilated pet carrier rather than allowing us to roam free in cars. Cages are also generally not a good option since we could be thrown around. (If a cage is your only option for some reason, make sure it's secured, and there are no heavy objects in it that could hit us if you suddenly stop the car. Also, expect to get guinea pig poop in your car if you use a cage.) To get your guinea pig accustomed to a new carrier, before your trip, you can leave it on the floor during floor time for us to explore. For most car trips, we use All Living Things Small Animal Carrier (Large size). (This carrier is fine for just shorter trips, but if the humans were ever thinking about taking a 2+ hour trip, we may insist on something larger.) Small cat carriers are a better option than guinea pig carriers that are too small. Line the bottom of our carriers with small towels or blankets. (Our humans took an old towel, cut it in half with scissors, and made a nice carpet for our carriers.) Some people like to add a layer of newspaper underneath the towel layer. Guinea pigs may share carriers if the carriers are large enough and there is no history of fighting between them; in fact, being together may be comforting to us.
- Carrier Placement: Having some objects like boxes around us may help to keep our carriers secure, but don't put our carrier in an area that's too crowded with other objects, as this can impede air flow. Do not expose us to wind or direct sunlight. Ensure that our carrier is properly secured with a seat belt so that it won't go flying or fall on the floor if you hit the brakes. The back seat is preferable to the front seat. Putting us in the open bed of a pick up truck is extremely unsafe. Never put us in the trunk of the car, either.
- Food and Water: According to Guinea Pig Today, allowing guinea pigs to eat while in a moving car is a choking hazard. On longer trips, plan to take breaks from driving where you can feed your guinea pig safely. Don't go longer than 2 hours between breaks. Make sure you offer us hay, vegetables, and our water bottle during these breaks. (Pellets may also be offered on especially long trips.) Vegetables like cucumbers can help prevent us from getting thirsty on car trips; it's a good idea to keep your vegetables in a cooler. Don't be surprised if we don't have much of an appetite due to the stress of traveling. It's a good idea to make sure we are well-fed before the car trip, unless your guinea pig is prone to motion sickness (in which case, withhold food and drink for no more than 2 hours before the trip).
- Temperature: Be mindful of the temperature in the car, and use the AC or heater if necessary. Remember, the ideal temperature range for most guinea pigs is about 65°-75°F (18-24°C), and the ideal humidity level is about 50%. On very cold days, you may want to let the car heat up before bringing your guinea pig into it. In addition, try to keep the temperature and humidity from fluctuating too much.
- Monitoring: Don't leave your guinea pigs alone in the car. Temperatures can change quickly, rising or falling out of our ideal temperature range, which can make us uncomfortable, sick, and even kill us. In addition, many states have laws that protect animals from being left alone in vehicles, and law enforcement may be allowed to break into your car to rescue an endangered animal. (By the way, if you happen to see a guinea pig or any other pet in serious danger due to being left unattended in a car, please call 911 immediately and let the authorities handle the situation.)
|Here is a All Living Things Small Animal Carrier (Large size) secured with a seat belt in the back seat of a car. This carrier is a fine option for shorter trips. No one's in it now because we don't currently have a reason to go on a car trip. Honestly, you'd have to be crazy to leave a warm, comfortable pigloo to get into a pet carrier in a car on a cold November day just for a photo op.|