The most important item you need when traveling with a rabbit is a travel carrier or kennel. Although you may assume this is rather simple, you just go into a pet shop, buy one of the travel carriers on display and this is. Well, it’s not that simple.
Most commercial travel carriers for rabbits are too small for them, so pay attention to the size. If you travel by air, check the airline company policy regarding the size of the carrier. Another important element is material. Which material of travel carrier you will choose depends on the type of transportation you will use. Hard plastic options are better if travel by car while soft-sided carriers are recommended for air travel.
How To Choose A Rabbit Travel Carrier – Size and Material?
First of all, note that most of the travel carriers that are meant to be for rabbits or small animals are too small for regular size rabbits.
Think about your rabbit’s size but also think about the number of rabbits you intend to put in the same travel carrier. If you have two or three rabbits and they are very bonded, they should travel in the same carrier. The carrier for one rabbit cannot be the same as for 2-3 rabbits.
Another thing about size – if you travel by plane, check with the airline company about the dimensions that are allowed for the rabbit’s carrier. Don’t let them kick you off the flight because you have an oversized carrier.
Type (Material) of the Carrier
The next thing is the material that the carrier is made of. Based on my experience, this depends on which type of transportation you plan to use.
If you travel by plane I would go with a soft-sided pet carrier as it is more adjustable so you will not experience any trouble placing it under the seat in front of you (of course always bear in mind allowed dimensions for pet carriers for that specific airline company)
If you travel by car then the hard plastic option is far better as cloth carriers are not supportive enough and will not keep your bunny safe in case of some accident or even a sharp turn. Plastic cup two doors carriers with top load ability should be a perfect choice. You can use the door on the top to pet your bunny, give him/her some veggies…
Some people decide to put rabbits in a big cardboard box. It might be the cheapest solution, especially if you already have some boxes at your home, but basically, it is a very bad idea.
First of all, rabbits like to chew on cardboard boxes so your rabbit’s travel carrier could ”vanish” during the trip. Second of all, the pees will leak through it, leaving your bunny in the wet travel carrier, not a pleasant experience, ha?
Another bad idea is a wire cage. The worst thing in wire cages that may come with wire flooring is terrible for rabbit’s sensitive feet. Even if it comes with a plastic bottom, it’s not a good idea as in many cases these cages are too big for safe travel.
How To Set Up A Travel Carrier If You Travel By Car?
The safest place for a travel carrier is the back seat although you can put a carrier on the passenger seat as well to be near you, especially if you travel alone.
However, never let your bunny roam free in the car as it is not safe for neither of you!
Don’t buy a travel carrier for rabbits or small animals. Usually, it has very little space. You need a bigger carrier. I am sure that your bunny will spend most of the trip lying down but he needs to have enough room to stand up, to stretch, to turn around.
On the other hand, don’t take too big a carrier as this is not safe for your bunny. Imagine what could happen if you need to make a sudden stop or turn. He could be sliding around, hit the sides, and end up hurt. Although rabbits have strong muscles, their bones are rather fragile. Bear in mind that it would be just enough for the rabbit to have 2 inches around him at any side.
How to properly set up the travel carrier?
At the bottom of it, put some thin, absorbent material such as a puppy pad. If you don’t prefer a puppy pad you can put some towels instead, but in that case, expect to see some wet areas. That is why I prefer a puppy pad.
The bad thing about this pad is that made of plastic so it wouldn’t be good for the rabbit to chew it. To avoid that just cover a puppy pad with a towel or fleece. As hay is very important, put it in the carrier. You can also add some chewing toy or some other toy, your bunny is especially attached to.
In case you have a larger carrier as you usually travel with 2-3 bunnies but this time you take only one ( no matter the reason ) It will be advisable to add a useful item – snug a bun (bunny bed). This thing could act like a bumper on each side of the carrier which will prevent your bunny from hurting himself in case of a sudden stop or sharp turn.
Some carriers come with a small litter box inside. That is a good option. You can just put litter and hay as you usually do when it comes to the litter boxes. If you take a carrier that doesn’t have a litter box inside, you can buy a portable litter box. Put some litter and hay in one larger plastic bag and when you stop, take out the litter box, put the bag with litter and hay in the box, and let your bunny relax and do what he needs to do.