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Rabbit advice: Travelling with your rabbit

Most bunnies are not great travellers and some may have never even have been in a car. It’s important to make the whole experience as stress-free as possible.

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  • Rabbits are very easily frightened so they must have constant access to safe hiding places.

  • It’s best to avoid long journeys with your rabbit, but if it’s unavoidable, check your bunnies often and have regular breaks. If you’re travelling to the vet, find a practice which is close to home so the time spent in the car is minimal.

  • Rabbits do not tolerate heat well, so you’ll need to ensure your vehicle is kept cool and well ventilated, using air conditioning if necessary. You should avoid travelling during the hottest parts of the day.
  • Never leave a rabbit unattended in a vehicle.

  • Your rabbit should also have constant access to hay and fresh clean water as they are dependent on nibbling hay. Rabbits should never be starved before being brought to the vet, even if they are coming in for surgery.

  • Rabbits should be given water in the way they are familiar with (e.g. bottle or bowl) and you should check the water supply regularly. Portable, non-spill watering aides are available.

  • Having familiar items in the carrier with them, such as their favourite toy and some used bedding, to provide familiar smells and reassurance.
  • It’s possible that your bunny may urinate in the cage due to the stress of travelling, so you will need a thick towel or sheet that is absorbent to make sure it doesn’t gather on his or her coat. If your rabbit has a tendency to chew things, hay could be used instead. 

  • If you are taking your rabbit to the vets, consider a blanket to cover the carrier so your bunny doesn’t get spooked by seeing cats and dogs. Don’t allow cats and dogs to get near the carrier and keep the carrier on the seat next to you or on your lap.

  • Apart from the reassurance of safety in numbers, bringing both your bunnies is a good idea because it ensures that the same scent and smells are transferred to both rabbits while out and about. Taking only one bunny can mean rejection from the companion rabbit(s) if they smell different when they return home.