Occasionally, you might find it necessary to transport your bunnies. It could be a trip to the vet or perhaps you’re relocating. Regardless of your reason, the main factor worth considering is how to transport rabbits long distance. Traveling on the road with bunnies can be nerve-racking especially if it’s your first time. What’s essential, however, is their comfort and safety during the trip. This article talks about the step-by-step procedure of how to transport rabbits long distance.
Transporting a bunny long distance using a carrier is one of the best options. Using a harness or carrying them on your lap isn’t recommended since rabbits don’t like being held and will hardly remain calm. They also easily spook out and can cause danger to the driver if they escape from your grip. In other instances, they can even jump off from a moving vehicle which can be life-threatening. Choosing a pet carrier is therefore your best bet, particularly one with a hard-sided plastic that’s properly ventilated, rigid, and secure.
Also, an ideal carrier is one that opens on top or on the sides to make it easier to place or lift your rabbit. When it comes to size, it should be spacious enough to allow your bunny to turn around unobstructed. You can also partially cover the carrier to make your pet feel more secure and less frightened with unfamiliar sounds. Additionally, the cover also protects a rabbit from sunlight glare. Alternatively, you can also transport them using a cage if it’s going to fit well inside your car.
Pet Carrier familiarization
Prior to the trip, allow your bunny to get used to the idea of staying in the carrier. You can place treats on it and let them discover the carrier on their own. After a couple of days, try placing them temporarily in the carrier to see their reaction. Repeat this process for a few days until your rabbit gets comfortable being inside it. You can also try walking with the carrier to allow your pet to adjust to motion prior to traveling long distances.
Planning for the long trip
When it’s time to move, there are certain factors you need to consider first. Below are some of the essentials on how to transport rabbits long distances.
• Carry food and water
Before you embark on the journey, always carry a water bottle and some fresh hay. You can also add their favorite treats such as carrot or celery. When it comes to water bottles, however, get one that you can easily attach on the side of the carrier cage using spring clips. It should be roughly 4 to 6 ounces. Prior to the journey, also ensure that your rabbit used to drink using a water bottle.
• Cleaning supplies
One of the items that come in handy is a clean towel, preferably paper towels. Bunnies are prone to make messes when they’re traveling for hours in a car. Additionally, you can also bring a litter box or a trash bag with you.
• Urine absorbents
It’s also wise to carry a piece of blanket, cardboard, or rabbit pee pads. These are usually perfect urine or spill absorbents when placed underneath the carrier.
Transporting a rabbit in a car
• Secure the carrier
You can choose to place the carrier safely on the back seat floor or secure it using a seat belt. This prevents your rabbits from being jolted in the event of an emergency brake or impact from a car crash. Lastly, also avoid placing your carrier in the trunk or directly facing the sunlight.
• Run the AC
Ensure that the temperature in the car is cool especially if you’re traveling in summer. Alternatively, you can also travel when the temperature is mild, most probably early in the morning or evening. Additionally, if you’re parking temporarily and you have a spare key, leave the AC running to keep the temperature cool or warm depending on the weather. On the other hand, you can also park under a shed and with the windows slightly lowered.
• Check up on them
During the long trip, occasionally check up on your bunny to see if they’re properly eating and drinking. Also, remove any leftovers from the carrier and supply them with fresh feeds and clean water if their water bottle is empty.
• Avoid playing loud music
Rabbits easily get stressed by loud noises in general. It’s there advisable to avoid playing loud music or tuning the radio in high volume. In other words, the quieter it is in a car, the better for a rabbit’s psychology.
• 10-hour car ride with rabbit
Always plan in advance before taking a 10-hour drive with your bunnies. Make sure you bring their carrier, litter box, cleaning supplies, toys, and sufficient food and water. Lastly, make several stops along the way to allow your bunny to stretch its legs.
• Can bunnies get car sick?
Yes, they can get car sick especially if they’re not comfortable enough or they feel threatened. Quite often a stressed bunny that’s traveling long-distance will suffer from appetite loss, lethargy, or restlessness.
Transporting a rabbit on a plane
Nowadays some airlines permit small rabbits on the cabin provided the carrier fits under the seat in front of you. However, cages or carriers that are large often fly in a plane’s cargo. It’s always recommended to inquire beforehand about the regulations of the airline you intend to fly in. Below are some of the things you need to consider when it comes to transporting rabbits by air.
• Health certificate
A health certificate is required especially when you’re traveling with your pets across different states. This particular certificate ensures that your pet is fit to travel and won’t spread any diseases while onboard a plane.
Whether your bunny is flying in the cabin or cargo, choose a rabbit cage or carrier that is spacious and secure. For pets flying in cargo, it’s always advisable to attach a “Live Animal” sticker, along with your name and contact information in the event of your luggage misplacement. Also, place paper towels or rabbit pads beneath your cage or carrier, and most importantly carry their favorite treat and a water bottle.
• Do rabbits need passports?
Bunnies don’t require pet passports, specifically when it comes to domestic flights in most states. However, in some EU countries, a pet passport is a must for international flights. Therefore, inquire prior to making travel plans.
Even though a soft-sided carrier that looks like a duffel bag has a fancy appeal, it isn’t the most convenient rabbit carrier. In other words, transporting rabbits long distance entails choosing a durable carrier or cage that is easy to clean and most importantly comfortable for carrying pet rabbits. It’s worth pointing out that long-distance travel tends to be stressful for rabbits and hence the reason why it’s recommended to pair them whenever possible.
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