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Safe Car Travel With Gerbils

Is it safe to go on a road trip with gerbils?

By Donna Anastasi
Posted: December 13, 2011, 6 a.m. EST

Q: Will my gerbil be OK when I take her with me to travel on the road from Colorado to Michigan when I move? What precautions should I take?
 
A: Yes! Gerbils are wonderful travelers, and most don't even seem to notice they are on the road. If space allows, have your gerbils travel in their own housing.

The one thing you need to do is to remove the water bottle or simply turn it upside down so that it can't drip during the drive. Wet and cold litter can make a gerbil sick. When you make stops, give your gerbils a chance to drink from the water bottle. Gerbils are desert animals that drink very little, so don't worry if they aren't thirsty and don't take water that is offered. A carrot or apple slice will provide some fluids when you're on the road and water is not available.
 
Make sure when you stop that the gerbils don't get cold or hot when left in the car. In the summer cars can heat up quickly, so park in the shade and crack open the window. Gerbils can also suffer from hypothermia if too cold, so stuff a small cardboard or wooden nest box with unscented tissues to keep them warm. If possible, have a small carry case and bring the gerbils inside with you when you make stops. In any weather, gerbils should have a nest box as a dark, safe space to sleep in.
 
Make sure to pack an extra water bottle, extra food and bedding in case you break down or are delayed due to weather.
 
One last thought, bring along some cardboard tubes and other gerbil activities, like timothy hay to play in or a bowl of chinchilla dust to roll in. This will help keep your gerbils preoccupied on the trip. Happy travels!

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