You can travel with your rabbit. But ensure that your bunny has a fun and unforgettable experience. Whether traveling in a car, plane, or train, you must prioritize your pet’s comfort. A new environment and routine may stress your pet. However, it can be prevented as long as you know what you have to do. Learn how to travel with your pet safely and stress-free!
Things to Do Before You Travel with Your Rabbit
Rabbits vary from one another. Others love new adventures, but many are afraid of changes. As prey animals, rabbits feel threatened when there are changes in their routines. Hence, they become easily stressed. Taking your pet on a trip may seem fun. But you must prepare your bunny first, so there wouldn’t be a hassle.
If your pet has no experience traveling in a car, help it to adapt by taking it on short rides. Before the trip, travel with it in a car for at least thirty minutes weekly. Once your bunny gets used to short rides, you can take it on long rides that usually take one to three hours. You must prepare your car to provide proper ventilation to your pet.
Besides the transportation, you must also look for a place where you and your rabbit can stay. Some hotels and motels don’t accept pets. Thus, you must find a place where your bunny can stay with you. If you are unsure of the pet policy, get a room at the back of the motel. Never leave your bunny alone while sightseeing since it may feel stressed.
Before you travel, prepare the supplies that your pet needs. To prevent dehydration, bring a Pedialyte Infant rehydrating solution. It must also have water, hay, and treats. You can also get a syringe so it will be easier for you to feed your pet. You must also have ice packs to prevent your pet from experiencing heat stress. Don’t forget your pet’s health certificate when visiting a foreign country.
Choosing a Rabbit Carrier
A suitable carrier is essential to keep your pet comfortable during the trip. One of the factors that you have to consider when choosing a rabbit carrier is ventilation. A bunny may overheat if it is kept in a warm car carrier. It must also be secured enough to prevent your rabbit from escaping. Ensure that it is chew-proof. You must also check if the latch lacks the carrier securely.
The rabbit carrier must make it easy to get your pet in and out while traveling. A carrier with access at the top and the side is preferable. The carrier must have a sturdy handle to prevent dropping your bunny accidentally. If you are bringing more than one rabbit, look for a carrier with straps or wheels. Thus, it will be easier for you to carry the bunnies.
One of the best carriers is made of plastic with holes to provide ventilation. Many retailers sell this kind of carrier. Some carriers are in single boxes, while others are split into two sections. You can find cages that have doors on top, but some are on the sides. As much as possible, select a carrier with a door made of wire grill since a plastic grill is chewable.
Carriers unsuitable for traveling are wire pet carriers and soft fabric crates. Wicker pet baskets and cardboard carriers are also inappropriate to use. Instead of carriers, other owners use a rabbit collar and lead. However, it cannot provide the security and protection your pet needs while traveling.
How to Travel with Your Rabbit in a Car
Bunnies can quickly overheat, especially when traveling in a car. Thus, it is vital to keep your car cool during the trip. Instead of opening the windows, turn on the AC. However, never point the vents at your rabbit since it may cause respiratory issues. Point the vents upward for the air to circulate. If you have no AC in your car, prepare frozen water cartons to cool down your pet.
Place puppy training pads at the bottom of the carrier to prevent your bunny from sliding. Your bunny may become stressed or sick whenever it slides inside the carrier. If you don’t have puppy training pads, use newspaper and towels as alternatives. They are also effective in absorbing odor from the carrier.
You must also check your pet’s condition while on the trip. Check if it is overheating. Signs of this condition include shallow breathing and wetness around the nose. You may also notice that it is tossing its head back and forth. Once your pet experiences overheating, go to a cooler spot and dampen your pet’s ears with cold water.
How to Travel with Your Rabbit on a Plane
Before you travel with your rabbit on a plane, observe first if your pet won’t find the trip too stressful. Suppose your pet is frightened by the sound of the vacuum or trembles when in a car. You should better not bring it on your trip. Also, old and sick rabbits are recommended to stay at home than travel on a plane.
If you think your bunny won’t have trouble traveling on a plane, make a reservation for your pet. Some airlines would let pets ride in the cabin, so it would be better to inquire first. Once you find a suitable airline, book a flight. The reservation for your pet may cause you at least $95 to $125. Prevent booking during holidays since delayed flights are more likely to happen. Prolonging the trip may cause stress to your bunny.
You must also ask the airline what carrier size is required. An 8” x 17” x 12” is enough for an under-the-seat carrier if you have a small bunny. If you have a large bunny, you can fly your pet in the cargo instead or ask the airline to purchase the seat next to you. For a rabbit that will fly in the cargo, provide a container where your bunny can move comfortably.
Prepare the carrier by labeling the cage, putting “LIVE ANIMAL”. Place your name, contact information, and destination. You must also cover the carrier with lightweight fabric to reduce your pet’s stress. It is vital that you place your pet’s favorite blanket inside the carrier to make your bunny comfortable.
How to Travel with Your Rabbit on a Train
Traveling must be a fun experience for your pet. But as a prey animal, it may get scared on public transport because of the strangers and loud noises. Hence, it is crucial to keep your pet comfortable during the trip. The first thing you need to do is to ensure that its carrier is secure enough. Aside from being sturdy, it must also provide privacy to your pet.
In addition to the carrier’s security, it must also provide comfort for your bunny. Equip it with odor-absorbing material and add some hay. Don’t forget to bring your rabbit’s favorite treats. Prevent taking your bunny out of its carrier all the time so that it won’t get stressed by loud noises. Also, check if your pet needs a ticket while boarding the train. Some train operators may ask you to buy an extra ticket for your bunny.
What To Do if You Can’t Bring Your Rabbit with You
Unfortunately, some instances prevent you from traveling with your rabbit. It can be old, sick, or quickly stressed by new situations. Hence, you don’t have a choice but to leave the bunny in your place. There are different options if you have to leave your pet to travel alone. You should have someone to whom you can entrust your pet.
If you don’t have a friend to take care of your pet, you can look for a pet sitter. Before you leave, make sure to meet the pet sitter. Give him instructions on how to feed and clean your pet. You can also make a list, making it easier for him to remember everything you said. Moreover, put the daily portions of hay and leafy vegetables in the storage bags.
Although your pet remains in a familiar place, it can still get lonely. It is because sitters usually visit once or twice a day only. Aside from that, the sitter may not determine quickly if the pet is sick. Your bunny has to stay inside its cage all day, having no opportunity to socialize, exercise, or play.
Another option is leaving your pet to a friend who is also a rabbit owner. Your rabbit would be easily monitored and have the opportunity to get out of its cage for some exercises. However, your pet may get stressed due to the new environment. Aside from that, you must move all its supplies, enclosure, and food.
Frequently Asked Questions
Is it challenging to travel with your rabbit?
Other rabbit owners find it challenging to travel with their rabbits. It is because some bunnies don’t like new adventures. Letting your bunny come with you on short and long rides will help it adapt to traveling. If your pet is incapable of going on a trip, it is better to leave it with someone you can trust.
How can I calm my bunny while we are traveling in a car?
You can wrap your bunny in its favorite blanket so it will calm down while you are on a trip. If it is a long trip, stop every two hours and let your bunny stretch out in your car. But make sure the doors are closed to prevent your bunny from escaping. Talking with it with a calm voice may also reassure your bunny that it is in good hands.
You can enjoy your trip with your rabbit if you have prepared it for the ride. By providing your bunny with a suitable and cozy carrier, you can expect it to enjoy the trip. However, don’t force your rabbit to travel with you if it is sick and old. A vacation with your pet is supposed to be a fun experience and not a stressful one.