Traveling In Cars With Pet Rabbits
Most rabbits are not fond of car rides, but with a little bit of time and attention, you can make the trip much more comfortable for them. The right setup can let them learn that a car trip might not be fun, but it isn’t to be feared, either.
Proper traction is essential if your rabbit is going to feel at ease. Unlike dogs and cats, who have pads of bare skin on the bottoms of their feet, rabbits have pads of thick fur. This means that they cannot get any traction on the smooth plastic floors of most carriers. A rabbit carrier, which has a wire bottom, or a folded towel other rough-surfaced item, will allow them to avoid slipping and sliding around.
The carrier or cage that your rabbit is traveling in should never be in the front seat. If it is in the backseat, it should be belted down so that it can’t slide or move if you stop quickly. If it is in the rear of a station wagon or hatchback, it should be firmly held in place by other items, such as a bungee cord. Rabbits should never be placed in the trunk.
Rabbits are very clean animals who don’t like to soil their ‘dens’. This is why they can be litter box trained and why even those that aren’t often choose a favorite corner in which to do their business. This means that they don’t want to soil their carriers, either, and should be provided regular breaks and chances to use a litter box, if possible.
Most bunnies won’t eat while the car is moving, but going without eating for more than 12 hours can be extremely dangerous to their unique digestive tracts. This means that regular stops where you offer the rabbit water and food are essential. Bring the same food from home that your rabbit usually eats. In most cases, a bunny’s tummy will be stressed out by the trip and they don’t need this to be compounded by being introduced to a new food.
Keep your car in good shape, and make sure your roadside assistance is paid up, especially during the hot summer months. Rabbits suffer from heatstroke easily, and should your car break down in a hot area, your priority must be to get them somewhere cool as quickly as possible.
Avoid unnecessary car travel. Rabbits are easily stressed, and do not enjoy change. But if you must travel, be sure to prepare your vehicle to accommodate your furry friend.