How to Transport a Rabbit. In this article you will learn how to safely transport rabbits. Easy to understand step by step transporting instructions included.
The Right and the Wrong Reasons for Transporting a Rabbit
Before we talk about how to safely transport rabbits, let’s consider why we are transporting them. Sometimes you definitely need to get a rabbit from one location to another, such as a sale or a trip to the vet. Breeders may take their animals to a show, or to the local library for a “bunny day” demo. All of these are fine reasons to transport bunnies. But should you take your rabbit on vacation with you?
Rabbits are “home bodies,” as a rule. They don’t prefer to travel far out of range from their cozy hole. While most rabbits do fine with one- or two-day excursions, they can become stressed by extended periods away from their home sweet homes. Therefore, for the bunny’s sake, it’s better to leave your rabbit behind when you go on vacation. Though there may be exceptions, rabbits in general will not enjoy traveling around town with you either, like a dog might. Extended travel can be dangerous for a small and flighty bunny.
The Safe Way to Travel with Rabbits
But as mentioned, there are some perfectly acceptable reasons to transport our furry friends. It can usually be done without accident when we take the right precautions. First, consider your carrier. The carrier should be much smaller than the rabbits’ normal cage, without much room for the rabbit to move around. This will prevent the bunny from being slammed into the carrier wall if you make a sudden stop or turn. The carrier must have a floor of wire or some other grippy substance so your bunny can not slide around. You’ll want to make sure the carrier or drop tray is bedded with an odor-absorbing material.
Position the carrier so that the rabbit is facing the side of your vehicle, rather than the front of it. That way, if you stop suddenly your rabbit’s side will hit the carrier wall, not its face and teeth. Carriers must never be placed in the closed trunk of a car. Ideally, carriers should ride on the floor of your SUV or van, but they can also be placed in the covered back of a pickup truck if you make sure there is adequate ventilation, and frequently check to make sure the bunnies are not overheated. Fans should blow over carriers, not directly on them.
Feeding and Watering Rabbit while on the Road
Most rabbits will not eat while traveling. Do not place food or water dishes in the carriers, as they will spill and create a mess. It’s much better to feed and water your bunnies once you arrive at your destination. During travel, place a fresh moist piece of apple or carrot in the carrier, which can be a source of both moisture and calories. Hay is also a good travel snack. You may want to offer a vitamin supplement such as Vita-Stress to offset the strain of transporting.
It’s important to check your rabbits often during travel to make sure they are not overheated. After you arrive at your destination, check your bunny to make sure his teeth and toenails are intact and he’s in good condition.