Long Car Ride Suggestions

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Bunnygreen

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Hi everyone!

In a few weeks Dr. Cheese and I are moving out of state. It's about a 3 1/2 hour drive. He's always been good with car rides, but the longest he has had to endure is an hour. I've already worked with him on getting used to his carrier and generally I leave it out when he free roams and he'll use it as a little hideout or climb on top of it. I will also generally put his favorite toy with him for some more familiarity.

Does anyone have any other tips/suggestions on ways to keep him entertained/calm for a longer drive. Usually he just lays down in his carrier but I figured for the long drive he might get more stressed/antsy as time passes.

Thanks in advance!
 

Bunnygreen

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I was also thinking of an option of transporting him in his actual cage so he can use the bathroom, have hay and water (I would temporarily get him a water bottle so it doesn't spill everywhere) but safety for him is also my priority. Thoughts?
 

SirLawrence

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When Lawrence was neutered,, the closest vet I could find that I was comfortable with was about 3 1/2 hours. He did the ride in his carrier just fine. I took breaks on the ride down there, to try and get him to relax and eat and drink, but he wasn't interested. He didn't *like* the trip, but he wasn't any worse for the wear. He mostly just laid as still as he could... I think he didn't like the motion feeling. As soon as he was at the vet's (and home on the return trip) he was eating and drinking just fine.

I don't think being confined for that amount of time will be an issue, I'd just make sure he has water and food available, even though he may not eat it. He should be fine! Dr. Cheese is a strong boy! 😂 😂 😂
 

John Wick

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I personally think it's safer just to let the rabbit pee in the carrier than transport in a formal cage--- bluntly speaking, if there is a sudden jolt (or goodness forbid an accident), a litterbox or any large structure in the cage with the rabbit would cause your rabbit harm. A car carrier is sturdier in most cases and is more resistant to damage. I think a towel, blanket, or soft items to instill familiarity is fine and can help soak up pee that occurs during the ride. I think a water bottle is fine as well.

I would say at least one break where you offer water/a treat/veggies/hay would be valuable, but don't be surprised if he doesn't take any. I personally have taken both my rabbit on a 6.5hr drive (twice; travelling there and back). We did 1-2 pit restroom stops where I offered them things, but they didn't take them. What was most important for my situation was they were provided everything immediately when the car ride was over, so I had a pre-prepped litterbox with hay and a water bowl set up and placed immediately once they got out of the car.

If you're travelling during the day, that'll be advantageous since your rabbit would likely be sleeping during that time anyways.
 

Bunnygreen

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I personally think it's safer just to let the rabbit pee in the carrier than transport in a formal cage--- bluntly speaking, if there is a sudden jolt (or goodness forbid an accident), a litterbox or any large structure in the cage with the rabbit would cause your rabbit harm. A car carrier is sturdier in most cases and is more resistant to damage. I think a towel, blanket, or soft items to instill familiarity is fine and can help soak up pee that occurs during the ride. I think a water bottle is fine as well.

I would say at least one break where you offer water/a treat/veggies/hay would be valuable, but don't be surprised if he doesn't take any. I personally have taken both my rabbit on a 6.5hr drive (twice; travelling there and back). We did 1-2 pit restroom stops where I offered them things, but they didn't take them. What was most important for my situation was they were provided everything immediately when the car ride was over, so I had a pre-prepped litterbox with hay and a water bowl set up and placed immediately once they got out of the car.

If you're travelling during the day, that'll be advantageous since your rabbit would likely be sleeping during that time anyways.
Yeah that was my main concern with the jolting of the car, but I figured I'd see what others thought. Thanks! I think I will stop halfway to try and get him some food/water. I do have a puppy pad set up in his carrier for accidents so that isnt my main concern. I just want to make it as safe and least stressful as possible 🥰 Plus his carrier has a "seatbelt" where I can hook it up to the seat so any unexpected breaking/jolting won't send him flying so you're definitely right about that being safer.
 

Blue eyes

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Here's a handy link, but my take is to skip pee pads (they can slip about) and just put down a folded towel for stability and to absorb any urine. Have hay in there and make the trip as short as possible (ie. no stops unless necessary).

The rabbits get accustomed to the hum of the car engine and the consistent travel sounds/vibrations. Any time one stops and turns off the engine, it only serves to get them anxious as to what is happening.

They aren't likely to be interested in eating or drinking or treats. Having hay is still important and they may begin to munch on some during the ride.

 

JBun

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It's a short enough trip that I would just get your bun settled in the carrier and get the drive done and over. The sooner you get to your destination, the sooner your bun can settle in and relax.

Longer trips, yes, you do need to do more and make stops. I traveled across the country with my rabbits and had to stop every 3 hours to make sure they had something to eat and drink. You can't really have water in with them, dish or bottle, without it spilling out everywhere. Trust me, I tried and it was a mess. Best way I found to make sure my buns were getting fluids, was to feed romaine lettuce. I kept it stored in the cooler, and it was a lifesaver for keeping them hydrated and eating.

One thing I would recommend, is if you're traveling in the heat of the day, make absolutely sure your AC is working well. And I would have frozen water bottles stored in a cooler as an emergency measure for your rabbit in case anything happens. Your rabbit would be in real trouble without functioning AC in this summer heat.
 

Bunnygreen

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It's a short enough trip that I would just get your bun settled in the carrier and get the drive done and over. The sooner you get to your destination, the sooner your bun can settle in and relax.

Longer trips, yes, you do need to do more and make stops. I traveled across the country with my rabbits and had to stop every 3 hours to make sure they had something to eat and drink. You can't really have water in with them, dish or bottle, without it spilling out everywhere. Trust me, I tried and it was a mess. Best way I found to make sure my buns were getting fluids, was to feed romaine lettuce. I kept it stored in the cooler, and it was a lifesaver for keeping them hydrated and eating.

One thing I would recommend, is if you're traveling in the heat of the day, make absolutely sure your AC is working well. And I would have frozen water bottles stored in a cooler as an emergency measure for your rabbit in case anything happens. Your rabbit would be in real trouble without functioning AC in this summer heat.
I would definitely have my AC goin, I do not do well in heat myself, so the AC will already be blasting 😂 . That being said, thank you so much for the lettuce idea, I was prepared to have a water bottle for him, but given his stress he may not have the interest compared to a lettuce leaf! I will keep a cooler for him with some hydrating foods for sure!
 

Bunnygreen

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Here's a handy link, but my take is to skip pee pads (they can slip about) and just put down a folded towel for stability and to absorb any urine. Have hay in there and make the trip as short as possible (ie. no stops unless necessary).

The rabbits get accustomed to the hum of the car engine and the consistent travel sounds/vibrations. Any time one stops and turns off the engine, it only serves to get them anxious as to what is happening.

They aren't likely to be interested in eating or drinking or treats. Having hay is still important and they may begin to munch on some during the ride.

I get what you mean with the pee pads, however the way I have it set up is VERY secure, I have no worries of it slipping or anything. It's basically wrapped around the solid base of the carrier. That being said, I will still be providing a towel to add extra security for both urine as well as padding for the car vibration. I will add little bits of hay though! Thanks for that recommendation!
 

Diane R

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Just to add that the safest place for the carrier is on the floor wedged in behind the passenger or driver seat. Best of luck with your move!
 

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