Good soft/hard carrier for a Flemish Giant

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I'm looking to buy a carrier for Monty that will last all the way to her adult size, and right now at 5 months of age she's already cramped in a regular cat-sized pet taxi.

I'm making this thread for two reasons:
A: I'd like to know what other large breed owners use for general travel (to the vet, to the pet store) and if you use it also for airline or public transit
B: I wouldn't mind your thoughts on what I'm considering buying for my purposes.

What are my purposes? I really only take Monty out *so far* to go to the pet store I got her from (nice mom-and-pop place, very rabbit & rodent-savvy) to get her nails trimmed and to visit with the employees because they all got very attached to her and her littermates. They used to have a Flemish who roamed the store full-time (I think she went home with the owner at night though), and really miss having one around. Back to the point--She'll also be going to the vet in the near future so I can get a well-bunny visit and get acquainted with the vet so I can determine whether I feel comfortable having them do her spay in a few months. I might also occasionally travel with her on public transit if there's a bunny event nearby, or to take her to a friend's place. Not sure if I will yet, I just like to have options. (I do have a car, but for things in the more urban parts of Chicago, there is poor parking, and I would rather save gas and use the CTA.) For those purposes, I really like the idea of getting a soft carrier. The hard plastic pet taxi, while seemingly very sturdy and protective, was difficult to lug on public transit. Even with a shoulder strap attached, it was very painful against my body, and walking just a short distance jostled my kitty around and bruised my side.

This type of carrier has caught my eye: http://www.amazon.com/dp/B009LI9JDG/?tag=skimlinks_replacement-20

...but would I go with the Medium (18" long) or Large (20" long) size? What's your big bunny comfortable in? How long do Flemish get when they're adults? I know 15+ lbs, but that doesn't really give me an idea of length (without legs all stretched out, flop-style). Right now, Monty is easily 20" with her legs out, but when she huddles up like a little bunny-loaf, she's about 12-13" long.

Another option from the same brand:
http://www.amazon.com/dp/B005J767GU/?tag=skimlinks_replacement-20


One more from Sherpa that I really like:
http://www.amazon.com/dp/B002LNJQCM/?tag=skimlinks_replacement-20



Another looker, with very nice reviews, but the weight limit could be a deal-breaker: http://www.amazon.com/dp/B002GJGD86/?tag=skimlinks_replacement-20


(out of curiosity's sake, I looked up which airlines allow rabbits, but I most likely won't be taking her on a plane: http://www.rabbit.org/care/airlines.html )

Sorry for the long, long post. Just really curious what others with large breeds use, since it's not as cut-and-dried as "standard" size buns or as versatile as with the dwarf breeds. What do you carry your big buns in? Post pics!
 
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JBun

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Keep in mind that your rabbit might chew a soft carrier, and she'll also be more vulnerable in it. I have a hard carrier, but my rabbits are much smaller.
 

gmas rabbit

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Derby is a french lop and weighs almost 11 pounds. He rides in a medium sized dog carrier when being transported. Flemish giants are another half size bigger than he is when grown. Benjamin was over 14 pounds and had a different carrier to pack him around in. One time at the vets we couldn't get him out without taking the door off. Benjamin as seen below is closer to the size of a flemish giant.

 

OakRidgeRabbits

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I can see your reasoning for a soft carrier. I would probably stick with that if you plan to do a lot of carrying and public transit. It would be different if all you were doing is carrying the carrier from a parking lot to the inside of the vet's office or something.

I'd go with the largest size. You can never go too large, but you can cramp them with it being a little snug.
 

missyscove

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When I've seen pets of any type come into the vet in a carrier, I've found the best for that purpose are the hard plastic (easy to clean up if they pee, easy to disinfect) carriers that can open from the front (so the pet can come out on its own) or from the top) so an uncooperative pet can be lifted out or so that some treatments (sub-q fluids, for example) can even be given with the pet still inside the carrier if that's where they're most comfortable.

Timmy only weighs about 4.5 lbs but the carrier I use for his is actually a hard plastic one specifically made to fit under an airline seat and I like it because it folds open which sometimes means he doesn't even leave the carrier for most of the exam.
 

Watermelons

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missyscove wrote:
When I've seen pets of any type come into the vet in a carrier, I've found the best for that purpose are the hard plastic (easy to clean up if they pee, easy to disinfect) carriers that can open from the front (so the pet can come out on its own) or from the top) so an uncooperative pet can be lifted out or so that some treatments (sub-q fluids, for example) can even be given with the pet still inside the carrier if that's where they're most comfortable.
Best carrier option ever!

Its fairly easy to find hard plastic carriers that open from the top and front. I wont use anything but those. Honestly, I dont see how a soft sided carrier keeps your pet safe. If they want to get out they will, if you get in an accident, there are no hard sides to protect them, they can get squashed from the outside fairly easily. Pee and water will soak through. Short of keeping them contained slightly longer, IMO its about the same as just taking them on a harness. I see lots of soft carriers that in a matter of a few uses, look trashed. Hard sided carriers last years. A flemmie wont be easy to carry long term in a carrier regardless of it being soft or hard, their heavy. A soft one slung over your shoulder will bend to suit you but not the animal inside.

http://www.petsmart.com/family/index.jsp?categoryId=3842150&f=Taxonomy%2FPET%2F3842150&lmdn=Product+Style&f=PAD%2FStyle+1%2FPlastic&fbc=1&fbn=Style+1%7CPlastic&fbx=0

 
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Chewing is a concern, I know, but she'll be directly supervised by me during any travel in a carrier, so I can distract with treats and pets. She hasn't shown signs of agitation or "get me outta here!" while in a pet taxi or away from home. At the pet store after her nail trimming, she walked right back into the pet taxi and back out a couple times, then when no one was petting her or giving her treats, she went in and laid down. No digging or chewing during the short car trip or the walk (this place is within walking distance, so I have gone both ways).

Whether hard or soft carrier, if I were going to be out longer than half an hour, I'd put a puppy pee pad under her so there wouldn't be urine sloshing about. That said, I've had her out and about for longer than that without one and she has waited til we got home to go potty. Most of the bags I've posted have a top opening as well, and Monty is very good about walking right into a pet taxi even without a treat offered. She's just like OH HEY A LITTLE CAVE and walks in and lays down.

And no matter what, a pet in a carrier or out has little to no safety in a car in a collision. Best case, Monty won't be traveling in a car for anything beyond absolute necessity. I understand the other concerns you have helpfully pointed out, and I appreciate them.
 

dungeonbunnies

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I made my soft carrier out of duct tape. If someone pees, no biggie, if it gets trashed, it was cheap enough to remake.

For the car though, I prefer a hard sided airline-approved carrier. I had a top loader, and Minion would give himself panic attacks whenever he was in it. (it's now my sewing box)

I would almost suggest a hard carrier on a dolly like those "pet strollers"
 

Korr_and_Sophie

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Soft sided carriers are really not big enough for a Flemish Giant. I have a soft one that I think is about the size of the ones you posted and my bonded pairs (not weight more than about 8 pounds together) don't have a ton of room. Even if they say it can hold 15 or 20 pounds, a rabbit of that size won't easily fit.

A hard sided one is really the safest, especially for car rides. I do know that it can be a pain to carry a bunny around in one though, especially on transit.

What about a pet stroller? They can be more suitable for a large bunny and are easy to push so not hard on you to carry around. You can get ones where the enclosed part comes off the stroller part, so it could be better on a bus (fold up the stroller and have bunny on your lap). It is also good for driving as you don't need an extra carrier for the car ride since the stroller is not safe for in the car.
 

Nancy McClelland

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Our carriers came from a place in Folsom, Ca. They are wire mesh just like the hutches, so we can hang bottles and hay racks--just a bit small and has handles.
 

majorv

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A grown Flemish Giant is normally 13+ pounds. The carrier at Amazon says it has a water resistant floor board, but doesn't say what its made out of.

We have a Flemish Giant carrying cage and it's 24" long. It's designed to take Flemish to and from rabbit shows. We don't have a Flemish but use it to keep small breeds in temporarily.Anyway, the Flemish I've seen in these cages fill most of the 19"-20" available after putting in the food and water cups.
 

Troller

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Watermelons wrote
The 2nd one, Petmate 2 Door Trap is what I bought and both the breeder and the vet were very complimentary about it. They each said a Flemie needs room, but not too much room. Works for me, if a little heavy with the rabbit in it, but then I'm used to carrying 50lb bales of hay and food and 40lb litter. Strange thing is my Conan really likes his carrier.
 

CosmosMomma

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http://www.overstock.com/Pet-Supplies/Petmate-Medium-Two-door-Deluxe-Kennel/5634919/product.html?cid=202290&kid=9553000357392&track=pspla&kw={keyword}&adtype=pla

We have this one for Dizzeh, and he's quite a big cat (think tomcat, but he's fixed). I HAD a soft sided carrier for Cosmo, but he ripped the mesh by pushing it with his head.
 

woahlookitsme

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majorv wrote:
A grown Flemish Giant is normally 13+ pounds. The carrier at Amazon says it has a water resistant floor board, but doesn't say what its made out of.

We have a Flemish Giant carrying cage and it's 24" long. It's designed to take Flemish to and from rabbit shows. We don't have a Flemish but use it to keep small breeds in temporarily.Anyway, the Flemish I've seen in these cages fill most of the 19"-20" available after putting in the food and water cups.
I agree. I really think a soft carrier wouldn't work for a flemish. I almost feel like the soft carrier would cave and the rabbit would be almost hanging and not feel supported or safe. Flemish do really get 15 to 20 pounds and even up. No fabric could hold that up while staying flat. Kaley who has Kai an almost full grown flemish uses a medium sized dog crate to transport him.
 

Imbrium

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I made my own cheap carrier out of leftover NIC grids and coroplast (I got a 2'x3' sheet from home depot)... if you go that route, you can decide where to put openings (mine opens on the top). I don't have a handle or anything on mine at the moment, but I bet you could easily attach an over-the-shoulder strap to both ends to make it easier to carry. zipties are incredibly strong and sturdy, plus the cage has great ventilation and you can hang food/water bowls/bottles from a grid if needed. a 1x2x1 carrier is about 14''x28''x14''.

 
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