If you are taking a vacation, your pet rabbits will probably be safe with a pet sitter. But if you will be out for months, you need to take them with you.
Sad to say, travel can be a bit stressful for bunnies. Still, they will do fine as long as you take precautionary measures. Here are some things to take note of.
1. Invest in a good quality rabbit cage.
It’s never a good idea to just let your rabbits free in your vehicle. Chances are, they might only get hurt when you hit the brake or fall from the back seat. Thus, if you have a rabbit hutch that fits in your car, bring it with you. Your bunnies can travel that way. While some people use the carriers designed for cats and dogs, others invest in a travel cage with an opening on top for instant access.
2. Prep your bunnies for the ride.
To practice your bunnies for the long travel, begin with short trips. Over time, work up to longer trips of 20 to 30 minutes. If you are confident that they are doing fine, increase the time to hours. By doing that, your pet rabbits will get used to the feeling of a moving car.
3. Plan your trip.
Before your scheduled travel, be sure you have packed extra food that your pet rabbits enjoy eating, a bottle of water that can be easily attached to the rabbit carrier, and some other treats. Also, consider microchipping your bunnies just in case one hops away from you. Bring with you some cleaning supplies as well to easily clean up spills and messes.
4. Always be ready.
Be sure to put something your rabbits can nibble on while traveling. Some hay and pellets will do. Aside from that, always make it a habit to offer them water every once in a while to prevent dehydration. But do not leave the water carrier in the carrier because it may spill.
If possible, whenever you make a stop, give them water. Offer them their favorite treats, too! However, don’t panic if they don’t eat much. It’s normal because of stress.
5. Keep them cool.
Like dogs, rabbits cannot withstand extremely high temperatures, hence don’t leave them in the carrier unattended. Because the car’s temperature may quickly rise when it’s too hot outside, keep your bunnies cool and hydrated by offering water. When you make short stops, park in shady areas and open the windows.
If your car’s air conditioning is not working, you can put a damp towel over the carrier or ice cubes wrapped in a towel. Better yet, have your car’s air conditioning checked before you hit the road. If you do that, you are ensuring a safe and smooth travel with your pets. Keeping them cool should prevent heat strokes.
6. Include overnight stops in your plan.
If your trip will last more than a day, do not forget to pack a rabbit playpen so that you can have something to use as a temporary housing for overnight stops. Moreover, pack several pieces of cardboard, newspapers, and heavy towels to have something that can be used as a lining for the playpens. Do not ever forget their food, water, and cleaning supplies as well and make sure they will last the entirety of your travel.
7. Consider the rules.
If you are traveling by air, then this is something you must not take for granted. There are airlines that have strict requirements when it comes to traveling with pets. So, you must learn to comply.
Although there are airlines that allow rabbits in the cabin area, others only let them on the plane, provided they are in the cargo. Well, if you must fly your bunnies in the latter option, be sure to use an airline-approved carrier, place appropriate linings to absorb urine, and put several leafy greens in there. Slices of carrots and parsley are ideal. Even if your pets will most likely ignore them, these veggies should satisfy their hunger and thirst.
8. Visit the vet and get a certification.
Do not travel with any rabbit suffering from health issues. If you insist on doing that, be sure to visit the vet and ask for a certification. More often than not, bunnies that have runny nose, ear canker, loose stool, fur mites, flesh conditions, and weepy eyes are not allowed to travel.
Every rabbit is different. While some rabbit species don’t mind traveling to new places at all, others easily get stressed. The experience of rapid changes in the surroundings, the long hours in the vehicle, and the noisy environment won’t do any good for your pet rabbits. When you don’t these things into consideration, they may experience digestive problems. But as long as you consider these travel tips, you should get them to your destination and back to your respective homes safely.