Moving to a New City | Need Advice/Flying with Rabbits

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Haybun

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My boyfriend and I are looking to move to Monterey from San Diego this coming fall, but I have hesitation due to our two rabbits becoming ill from the long drive.

In the past one of our rabbits has gotten GI stasis after we travelled with him to Monterey. He gets stressed easily so I want to try an avoid putting him through that drive again even if it’s just one way.

Does anyone recommend flying with rabbits and if so how do you go about getting approved to bring your buns on a plane? I would never put my buns in the cargo area, they’d have to stay in the cabin with me.

Advice on driving long distance drives with buns is also very helpful!

our drive we;
Stopped for bathroom breaks
Water & food breaks
Stretching breaks
They had AC
Carrier with blankets over it
Etc.

Thank you!
 

Blue eyes

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Flying would absolutely be far more stressful than a car ride. Airport commotion, change in elevation... no time is actually saved if you count the car ride, the wait at the airport, the boarding, flying, luggage pickup, secondary car ride to destination.

Looking at what your past drive was like actually explains why the bun got extra stressed. Thankfully, you could minimize that stress a few ways. The fewer stops you make with a drive, the better for the rabbits. While the car is in motion and the engine is running, they can lull into a rythm and get used to it. Every stop puts them on high alert and high stress. So the more often you stop, the worse it is for the rabbits.

It's just a 7 hour drive. That should be able to be done with a single mid-way stop.

I would not advise putting a blanket completely over as it stops airflow. Here is a link with lots of good tips on using a carrier for rabbits on a car ride. It also suggests (and you may want to consider) acclimating your rabbit to the car with short trips over the next several months.
 

Haybun

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Flying would absolutely be far more stressful than a car ride. Airport commotion, change in elevation... no time is actually saved if you count the car ride, the wait at the airport, the boarding, flying, luggage pickup, secondary car ride to destination.

Looking at what your past drive was like actually explains why the bun got extra stressed. Thankfully, you could minimize that stress a few ways. The fewer stops you make with a drive, the better for the rabbits. While the car is in motion and the engine is running, they can lull into a rythm and get used to it. Every stop puts them on high alert and high stress. So the more often you stop, the worse it is for the rabbits.

It's just a 7 hour drive. That should be able to be done with a single mid-way stop.

I would not advise putting a blanket completely over as it stops airflow. Here is a link with lots of good tips on using a carrier for rabbits on a car ride. It also suggests (and you may want to consider) acclimating your rabbit to the car with short trips over the next several months.
Wow, thank you so much for your insight! I was scared of the elevation as well so it’s good know someone agrees.

As for the ride, we have it mapped out for our cars and it’s about 3 stops, but on our last drive we were doing about 1 every hour to check on the buns (they were next to me in my passenger seat with a blanket on top to help with noise and light.)

I drive an older car by choice (1986 bmw) so the noise cancellation in the car isn’t very good. We had the idea of renting a car to transport them instead this time though to make it a bit more cozy.

Thanks for the tips! I really appreciate your response. I’ll definitely start taking them on little rides around town leading up to oct. :)
 

Blue eyes

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You're welcome! Is there a particular reason why you want to make so many stops? If you make 2 stops instead of 3, that would just be 2 and 1/2 hours drive between stops. It would just be 3 and 1/2 hours of driving if you only stop once midway.

Older cars aren't any worse than newer ones because it is the consistency of the engine noise that counts. That same engine noise is constant while the car is traveling and that is what the bun gets used to. So don't feel that your "old car" is doing you any disservice. :)
 

Cgrandin34

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I have done several long car rides with my rabbit MA to AL and @Blue eyes is absolutely correct. Once my car had been going for a while my rabbit would actually lay down and sleep. He always would always orient himself to lay in the direction of travel so I would seat buckle the carrier in and put it perpendicular to the seat.
I also agree on the blanket, some bunnies like to look out! My rabbit looks out the front sometimes. If you are worried about stasis, maybe give them wet leafy greens in the carrier while you are moving. I gave my rabbit alfalfa cubes (even though its rich) just to motivate him to keep snacking along the way.
 

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