Traveling With Your Exotic Pet


For the safety and comfort of all of our clients, patients, and staff, we REQUIRE that ALL animals be kept in an appropriate carrier while at SEAVS.


Whether it is traveling by car, plane, train, or on foot, traveling with your exotic pet can be a very stressful event; but it doesn’t have to be! Follow these guidelines to help make your trip to the veterinarian or grandmother’s house stress-free!

  • Carriers intended specifically for birds or small mammals are widely available.

  • Carriers/crates made for small dogs/cats work well.

  • If your bird prefers perching, install a perch using a wooden dowel.

  • Very small birds/mammals can often be transported in their normal cage.

  • Sugar gliders can often be transported in material pouches that zip closed.

  • Use newspaper, paper towel, or towels in the carrier to catch waste.

  • Provide some food/treats in the carrier if the trip may take a while and to make it a more positive experience.

  • Plastic rubbermaid style containers work well for transporting many small pets.

  • A cardboard box may be adequate for travel; just be sure your pet is unable to chew out or squeeze through the cracks.

  • NEVER leave your pet in the car unattended!


Some people hesitate to take their exotic pet to the vet in the winter, but done correctly, there is little risk involved. Often, the risk is in waiting until warmer weather to have your pet examined or a health problem addressed.

  • Warm up your car ahead of time, and NEVER leave your pet in the car unattended!

  • Use a carrier with solid sides and/or drape a towel/blanket over the carrier.

  • For reptiles, a hand warmer or warm water bottle can be placed under or to the side of your pet to increase the temperature. Just be sure it is not hot enough to burn your pet, and place a towel or other layer in between so your pet does not have access to the hand warmer/water bottle.


In any extreme weather conditions, additional care should be taken when traveling with your exotic pet.

  • Turn on the air conditioning in your car ahead of time, and NEVER leave your pet in the car unattended!

  • Place the carrier out of direct sunlight and in a well ventilated area of the vehicle.

  • Be sure the travel carrier has adequate ventilation.

  • A cool or frozen water bottle placed securely in the carrier may also help keep things cool for your small exotic mammals.

  • Provide your mammal/bird with access to water, or offer regularly during your travels.


With any species, we do not recommend traveling with your pet loose or simply on a harness or wrapped in a blanket. This increases the risk of distraction while driving and the chance that your pet might escape or injure itself. In our veterinary office, not all of our patients are comfortable around each other, and not all of our patrons are comfortable with every species of animal. For the safety of all our animals and the comfort of all our patrons, please bring your pet to SEAVS in an appropriate travel carrier.


Photo credit: Marty Mouse House