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Old 10-23-2021, 01:57 PM   #1
petrov
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Default Travelling by plane with a hamster

Hi all

I'm thinking about getting a hamster, but I'm in college and travel to visit my parents during breaks. They live about a 2hr plane ride from where I go to school. I was planning on taking the hamster home for summer break (about 3 months), but leaving it with a pet sitter during shorter breaks. My airline allows people to take a small animal with them and keep it under the seat. Is it too stressful for a hamster to ride on a plate a couple times a year? I wanted to check that it's ok before getting one. Thanks!
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Old 10-25-2021, 03:47 AM   #2
Ria P
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Location: Wiltshire, UK
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Default Re: Travelling by plane with a hamster

I don't think that hamsters are allowed on a plane. I remember reading a story once about someone wanting to board a plane with a "comfort" hamster that's classed like a guide or hearing dog apparently but was refused to board.

I read this in a magazine at an airport so don't know if it was a factual or fabricated story.

As for the hamster's welfare, i think the noise would be scary and the hamster would be cooped up in a small box for hours which could be very stressful.

Maybe you could get in touch with a rescue and foster a hamster while you are in college. Of course the hamster could be rehomed at any time.
You could also advertise to take in somebody else's hamster while they are away on holiday.
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Old 10-25-2021, 04:47 AM   #3
Lilafernim
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Default Re: Travelling by plane with a hamster

Iíve never done this before (Iím from the UK also so rules might be different) but cats and dogs need their own Ďpassportí to travel by plane normal or pay a large fee.

For cats it can be £400 but apparently the average cost is £1000-£2000 for a cat. Obviously hamsters are much smaller so maybe this changes.

Also from my experiences on planes they make my ears pop and I think this could really unnecessarily scare a hamster. Especially if you have to do it fairly often. I think also pets go on with luggage, so you wouldnít be able to comfort your hammie on the journey.

From what Iíve read online on this topic it says most airlines will only allow you if you canít find any other option also.

The best advice I can give is phone your usual airline company me ask their policy and charges before even considering it as they may say no.

Hamsters can become close to two people, so maybe if you live with a friend or partner get them to handle the hamster often too. And have them care for the hamster while youíre away so you know itís in good hands.
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Old 10-25-2021, 04:48 AM   #4
Serendipity7000
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Default Re: Travelling by plane with a hamster

There was a lot of talk some years back about which airlines would allow small pets in the cabin (most won’t but it sounds like yours does allow them - and a pet carrier under the seat would be ok).

I actually don’t see it as much different to taking a hamster on a train for two hours- which I hsve had to do before, and if it’s daytime, they usually go to sleep. And railway stations can be a bit noisy as well. But that is usually a one off - eg when you first collect them to take them to their new home.

The other consideration is you would need another decent sized cage at the other end for 3 months and to take some familiar smelling items and bedding from the cage with you to help them settle into the holiday cage on arrival.

I think if it was just once a year it would be ok and leaving a hamster with someone else fir three months wouldn’t be good for them. But bear in mind that by year two - the hamster will be quite old. And it’s travelling twice - there and back each time. The bigger upheaval is likely to be at the end of the three months when the hamster has got used to the new surroundings.

Having said that, if a hamster is bonded with you, I think as long as the familiar person and relationship is there, and familiar items - the change is not too stressful. But fir a hamster that doesn’t get a lot of personal interaction - it may be too much.

If you get a hamster now, then by next summer it should be fully tame and bonded with you - not a frightened baby any more and not yet old - about 7 months old. The following year it would be 19 months old - just past prime but before age 2. So probably ok if the hamster is well. Lifespan for Syrian hamsters is usually between 18 months and 2 years or just over. All of ours have lived to over the age of 2, but by age two are definitely starting to deteriorate a bit.

Although the only time I have taken hansters with is on holiday is because they are old and would decline if separated at that age and left alone or with strangers (just based on my own experience).

So the second summer could be tricky. If your hamster is unwell it may not be able to be moved and need regular medication. If it was fine but became unwell while you were away it may need to be left there. They can take a long time to deteriorate and age.

So it does need thinking ahead a bit.

I think it could work if you are prepared not to go home the second summer of your hamster is unwell and can’t really be moved due to the added stress.

Another option may be to keep a hamster at your parents home - if they are prepared to be involved, make time for it amd look after it. Then you could spend tune with it when you visit. But not that satisfactory an option maybe.
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Old 10-27-2021, 06:20 AM   #5
Kikya
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Default Re: Travelling by plane with a hamster

Quote:
Originally Posted by petrov View Post
Hi all

I'm thinking about getting a hamster, but I'm in college and travel to visit my parents during breaks. They live about a 2hr plane ride from where I go to school. I was planning on taking the hamster home for summer break (about 3 months), but leaving it with a pet sitter during shorter breaks. My airline allows people to take a small animal with them and keep it under the seat. Is it too stressful for a hamster to ride on a plate a couple times a year? I wanted to check that it's ok before getting one. Thanks!
Hamsters are not great travelers in general. They like to be in safe quiet dark places. Maybe really think about whether or not this is the best time in your life for a pet. Once you take a pet on, it's your responsibility to take care of it for it's entire life. That doesn't mean get rid of it whenever it's inconvenient.

Are you ready for that commitment? Are you ready to have two fully functional cages at both places. I easily spend 300-400 dollars on each hamster cage setup plus food and bedding.

If you aren't thinking 100% excited YES, then maybe rethink the hamster for a few years. Until you have your own place and the hamster doesn't have to move all the time.
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