Long car ride with rabbits

Discussion in 'General Rabbit Discussion' started by Emily Christensen, Nov 25, 2019.

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  1. Nov 25, 2019 #1

    Emily Christensen

    Emily Christensen

    Emily Christensen

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    Hi all,
    At the end of this upcoming summer I will be moving into a new apartment and must take my rabbits with me. I have 2- a Holland lop and a Netherland dwarf. It will be a 3 hour car ride. I have taken them on car rides in the past to the vet and a thing called Hoppy Hour, but those car rides were only about 25-30 minutes long. My rabbits get very nervous during car rides and refuse to eat even their favorite treats. I have two small carriers for each of them and was wondering if i should put them both in a small cage that would take up all three of my backseats so that they can be together or is that too big of a carrier for the car? I was wondering if you could give me some tips on how to make sure that they are as comfortable as they can be as i am very worried about them getting really stressed out and the Netherland dwarf (who is only too pounds) having a heart attack or something. Would a big carrier or small carrier be better and should i try to put them together during the ride or keep them separate? They are very bonded and love each other. Please help!
     
  2. Nov 25, 2019 #2

    Flakes

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    I'm in the same position as you. I have a 20+ hour drive to visit my sister in Florida in two weeks that I am taking Dortmund on. I watched a few videos online that said it was best to use a smaller pet carrier so that if he bounces around he won't get hurt. And the people here suggested that I should take the little guy on some training drives just so he gets used to being in the car.

    That said, I bought a large fabric pet carrier that will take up the whole back seat of the car, as well as a travel litter box and water bowl. I'm hoping that if I drive carefully the space to hop around will be better than just being stuck in a tiny box for the whole trip. I'm also breaking the drive up into 8 hour intervals and have pre booked pet friendly hotel rooms.
     
  3. Nov 26, 2019 #3

    Blue eyes

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    A hard-sided carrier that is not too much larger than the rabbit will make a rabbit feel more secure. If your rabbits are bonded, absolutely keep them together. (The bond could actually suffer if they are separated. ) The carrier should also have a folded towel or fleece or such to keep it from being slippery.

    Here are some good tips for travelling with a rabbit:
    http://www.medirabbit.com/EN/Transport/Car/Car.htm
     
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  4. Nov 26, 2019 #4

    krbshappy71

    krbshappy71

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    Personally I wouldn't put a water bowl in the carrier, I would offer water at each of your driving breaks. I am sure you are a careful driver but we cannot control other drivers and their craziness. Even giving yourself space between cars can't prevent a deer, dog, cat, etc. from jumping out in front of you or someone hitting you out of the blue. You don't want any loose projectiles in the crate if something does happen. I also agree with a hard-sided carrier, if God forbid something did happen, you will want stronger crush-protection or other projectile protection.
     
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  5. Nov 26, 2019 #5

    Hermelin

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    A 3 hour drive just fill up with hay and wet veggies. If your bunny are really nervous they might just chew a little on the hay but will often not drink any water.

    That’s what I have observed from my stressed bunny on a 6 hours train ride. She would only eat the hay and wet veggies but didn’t touch the water bowl.

    I would recommend taking your bunnies on practice rounds in the car. So they get used with traveling and the sound of the car. Have yummy treats on you as rewards and distraction.

    Longest car drive for my bunnies was 10 hours. I totally missed how far it was to drive to a place ^^
     
  6. Nov 26, 2019 #6

    Emily Christensen

    Emily Christensen

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    Thank you all so much for the advice!
     
  7. Nov 27, 2019 #7

    Scarly

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    We moved from Montreal to Vancouver driving for 6 days about 10 hours a day with our Bunny. She is also very nervous in the car. We opted for a extra small dog carrier with a grate front so we could attach a water bottle (bowl doesn't really work in the car) and stopped every 3 hours for the Bunny to have a break and offered her critical care every time we stopped which she loves as well as the sherwood pellets for bunnies that don't eat enough hay, and of course hay. I also checked that she was hydrated every night. At night she free roamed in the hotel bathroom lol.
     
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  8. Nov 28, 2019 #8

    Flakes

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    The thing that scares me the most about this trip is the idea of Dormund getting away somewhere.

    About 10 years ago my parents adopted their current dog. Millie was a rescue that someone had abandoned behind the local Ikea. A couple of weeks later my parents drove down from Toronto with Millie to visit my sister in Florida. On one of their stops, Millie managed to get out of the car and took off. My mother went after her dog, and the more my mom chased Millie the more Millie ran. Eventually Millie was too far away for my mother to catch and despondent my mother sat down in the grass and began to cry. She kept crying over loosing their dog, because she didn't know what to do. Then to her surprise she felt something licking her, and she looked over, Millie had come back.

    I guess I feel the same way about Dortmund. What if he gets loose? Dortmund is a fast and wily little fiend. I have nightmares of opening up his carry case to give him water and having him dash off into some snowy and forlorn inaccessible.
     
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  9. Nov 28, 2019 #9

    Scarly

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    I had the same worry. The Carrier we bought for our trip had a gate door that we attached a water bottle to and an opening on top that was quite small. Big enough to put some hay through but not big enough for the bunny. We didn’t open the front gate until we were indoors. I’m sure it’ll be fine. Be sure to put the carrier out for him in advance leaving the door open so he gets used to it as a hidey house that way it will be familiar and feel a little safer :)
     
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  10. Nov 28, 2019 #10

    Marcella-Jaine

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    I can’t recommend microchipping enough! Just in case...the worst case. But also try not to open the carrier with your car doors open. At least if he gets loose, he’ll be in the car. It will be difficult because he’ll hide under the seat, but at least he won’t be loose in the parking lot or the wilderness. I really like the idea of the wet veggies. I’m going to steal that one.
     
  11. Nov 28, 2019 #11

    Flakes

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    Yeah, I had him chipped when he was neutered, so we're good on that front. But out of this fear, I wasn't planning on opening the carrier door at all unless I was in a hotel.
     
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  12. Nov 28, 2019 #12

    Darojati

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    Before traveling, it was suggested to give little bit of nutridrops vitamin to the rabbit. So it helped my rabbit not to be so stressed on the road. We drove about 2hrs on the road.. so returned trip then took 4hrs in total.

    and it’s good to have some breaks in between and give them food/wet veggies too.
     
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  13. Dec 4, 2019 #13

    krbshappy71

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    How would he get loose? Only open the carry case with all the doors of the car shut or within a hotel room with the doors shut. If he gets loose in the car, he's still in the car. I see you wrote your carrier takes the whole back seat, so you have to have the car door open to open the carrier? Can't reach it from any other way? That would make me nervous as well, maybe have a large piece of cardboard that you can shoo him back from the opening with while you open the carrier door? Could he have a smaller carrier inside that large carrier that you can shoo him into, zip it up, then clean the rest of the carrier, fill the water, etc. with him safely zipped up? Thinking of you and sending good thoughts that it all goes just fine. :)
     
  14. Dec 4, 2019 #14

    Flakes

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    Dortmund is speedy and sneaky. Plus he rarely listens to me. I can't predict what he is going to do. The things I worry about are the breaks along the road. I will be driving for 10 hours a day but I want to stop and let him hop around every once in a while. I'm just not sure how to manage this. He get's really grumpy when I try to pick him up and put him back into his carrier. Once he's out he will do everything he can to avoid going back into it.
     
  15. Dec 6, 2019 #15

    JenGibs

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    I jumped on to check on little Dortmund. Glad to see he is still keeping you on your toes!
    I will tell you that I have 2- sets of bonded pairs and a single. I use a small size dog crate regardless of who is being transported. The pairs go together and the single will ride alone. It has a door on one end and a door on a length side. The length side door slides open instead of opening outward. It is much easier to ensure they don’t escape with the sliding door! I can put the seatbelt through to click it in for safety. I have one of those little oval “donut” beds in there and I leave hay and wet greens in one side.
    When we traveled I was fortunate enough to have a SUV where I could leave the seats down in the back, lay a blanket and let my guys hop around a bit in the car to stretch and whatnot. Mine are also used to a harness for hopping around in the backyard sometimes. They don’t travel with it on but depending on who my travel buddy is that day, I can snap it on and take them out in a grassy area for a little break too.
    * The small size crate took up the space of one seat. It was big enough for comfort but not too big. I liked that I could seatbelt it in the car real good. I had a lightweight blanket with me that I would toss over it at times so they had some dark time too or if the sun was blaring in the window.
    i liked the crate because it allowed me to look at them quickly to make sure they were okay without having to look through a little door of a carrier. This just works perfect for me and I feel they are very safe and secure in the car. ❤️
    I also left it open in the living room with food several days before we left so they hopped in and out and were comfortable in it.
    The little shits make me feel so bad after we get back. I leave the crate out a few days afterwards too and they will climb in and just stare at me like... “Ummm mom, can we go for a ride now?” OR “Hooman! Let’s go!”
    Gotta love their little goofy selves!
     

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  16. Dec 6, 2019 #16

    Flakes

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    Well it is just me in my Honda Accord. Not a lot of space, especially since part of the back seat is going fo be filled with a computer I built for my niece and nephew. I have a hard plastic dog carrier that I will probably use to transport him. i also have a much larger well built fabric carrier with lots of room to hop around that is designed for bac seats of the car. I’ll take that with me, just in case.

    I do like that cage you have and I may order one too and decide between the dog carrier and the cage. I would probably have to throw a blanket over it to keep out the cold.


    This is the kennel / carrier I have. It probably isn’t suitable but Dortmund doesn’t nibble much and it would give him space for his litter box and to hop around.so I plan to bring it just in case.

    https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00NGZUB78/ref=ppx_yo_dt_b_asin_title_o05_s00?ie=UTF8&psc=1
     
  17. Dec 6, 2019 #17

    JenGibs

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    I must say, that is sort of awesome! I like the double one! Dortmund will be fine in there and if you have the double one, you can swap him from one side to the other with different “treats” or toys in each side to give him a little environmental change during the ride.
    i love my little crate. I feel they are so safe (bars are quite thick), have a decent amount of room, and I can see them quickly and easily while I’m driving. I also love the sliding door as opposed to the swinging door. It’s easy to clean and, for me, that’s a good thing as “competition peeing” is a real thing when my buns smell their other friends in a certain space. They just need to give up on that as I am the alpha! LOL....
    Regardless of what you end up using, be sure to leave it out and open for a few days ahead of time so Dortmund can get used to the space. It may help him feel safer in the car and reduce the stress/anxiety that will be present no matter what you do. I choose to leave mine open and out when we get back home too so they know it wasn’t for punishment or anything it doesn’t mean they are going somewhere and not coming back.
     
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