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Tips for Transporting Pet Reptiles in Your Car

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Road-tripping or relocating with a warm-blooded pet has its challenges. Factor in a cold-blooded pet and it gets a bit more challenging. Here are some strategies for safely transporting your pet reptile via car.

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Pre-travel prep

Take your pet reptile for a vet checkup within 10 days of your departure date, and obtain a signed health certificate. Some states require that you present this document before allowing you and your reptile across its borders.

It’s also a good idea to adhere to your pet’s usual routine before, during, and after the road trip. This will help minimize travel-related stress your pet might experience.

Photo: Amazon

Type and size of the carrier

Per the veterinarian staff at, make sure to have the right size and type of pet carrier to transport your reptile in. The container or carrier should be large enough to let the creature move but not too large.  This will help protect your pet from getting bruised from any bumps and jolts encountered during the drive. (The Imagitarium Reptile Pet Carrier available from Amazon gets excellent reviews.)

For short trips, recommends the following carriers you might have on hand. Sweater boxes or plastic containers with lids work well for smaller reptiles, if you punch ventilation holes in the surface. If traveling with a snake for a short distance, a pillowcase can be adequate.

Photo: Pixabay

Monitor the temperature

Because reptiles are cold-blooded, controlling the temperature inside the carrier is crucial to keeping your pet safe and healthy during the trip. So, it’s important to consider the temperature of the environments you will be passing through on your route.

If you’re traveling from a hot place to a cooler one, fill a bottle with hot water and wrap it in a towel. Or fill a tube sock with uncooked rice and microwave it right before you hit the road. Hand-warmer packs also work. Place this in the pet carrier to help keep your reptile cozy. Whatever item you use, make sure you can comfortably hold it in your hand without getting burned. If it’s too hot for you, it could potentially burn your reptile.

The opposite is true if you’re traveling from a chilly setting to a balmier one. In this scenario, consider packing a cold pack in the carrier to help your reptile stay comfortably cool.

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