Carriers

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Filed in Small Animals, Bunny, Chinchilla, Ferret, Guinea Pig, Hamster, Mice, Rats

Hamster, and other small pet, carriers are available in almost countless varieties. You will need to narrow down the field a bit when choosing one for your hamster. One of the best ways to do that is to determine the purpose of the carrier. Is it for short term holding like trips to the Vet or for use during cage cleaning? Or is it for long term trips in an airplane or perhaps a long ride in the car? The purpose of the carrier will really help you to make a wise selection for your rabbit.

Short Term Needs

For short-term transportation, your hamster will need a carrier of some kind. There are hundreds of different kinds of carriers available and you're likely to find one that is ideal for your pet. Keep these crucial details in mind: size, food supply, and openings.

Size

Any carrier needs to be large enough so that your pet can stand up, sit down and turn around comfortably. You'll want to avoid getting a carrier that is too big for your hamster, otherwise he's at risk of rolling around on curves and turns.

Food Supply

Depending on the length of your trip, your carrier should allow for a supply of food & water. Even if there's no room inside your carrier for a water bottle, you should be able to attach one to the outside of the cage where the end of the bottle sticks inside the cage. If you're taking a very short trip, try putting a slice of cucumber in the cage, which's probably enough liquid for a very short trip.

Openings and latches

Your carrier needs to have secure openings and latches, which are dependable. The last thing you need is your hamster getting loose on an airplane. We recommend double latching or double securing your openings and doors. Also, consider the placement of the opening as well. Some owners prefer a top opening so that they can reach down and scoop up their pet instead of reaching inside a small container to pull him out. You obviously don't want a completely mesh container for a travel carrier. You'll need something with solid sides and a good amount of ventilation.

Long Term Needs

Long-term travel carriers should consider the same options as above, but you'll need to factor in the amount of time your pet will be in the carrier. More than likely, a long-term carrier should be more spacious, a bit more sturdy for cargo hold travel and should allow for some creature comforts like bedding, food bowls, etc. Keep in mind that some airlines have their own carriers.

References:

Barron's Small Pet Handbook, David Taylor, 1996

The International Encyclopedia of Pet Care, David Alderton, Howell Book House, 1997

Deirdre Kelly is a freelance writer, teacher and animal lover living in Florida.

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