Sometimes you may need to travel in your car with your bunny for more than the short trip to the vets that they are used to. Bunnies are OK with longer trips however you will need to plan a few extra things to make sure they are comfortable and have everything they need. In this guide we show you what you will need to do to make the trip successfully.
First make sure you have a suitable carry case, it needs to be big enough to allow your bunny to move around in to get comfortable but not overly large or your bunny could be thrown around. A small dog carrier can be ideal for this as they are typically a bit bigger than a normal bunny carrier and have a bigger hatch which makes it easier to attend to your bunny. Carriers with a front facing entrance are available and these are ideal if you are traveling with your bunny on the back seat so you can keep an eye on them.
Its best to put something absorbent on the bottom of the carrier like a towel, hay, or newspaper. This will help stop you bunny sliding about and absorb any toilet mess. If it's a long journey you may want to bring some spare bedding along so you can swap them if it gets soiled. A good alternative to a regular carrier is to invest in one specifically designed for transporting dogs that has an elevated floor panel so any pee will drain away.
Next make sure your bunny has access to water. You can get water feeders you can attach securely to the front of the cage if your bunny is used to using a bottle. You may find your bunny is too stressed out to use this so if it's on a long journey its worth stopping occasionally and offering the water feeder directly with some encouragement by giving it a squeezer or by putting some water in a bowl. If your bunny is used to using a bowl it's best not to try and leave a bowl of water in the crate when you are moving as it likely to spill or get knocked over, again plan a few regular stops where you can offer your bunny some water in its bowl. If your bunny is used to eating wet food, it can be good to feed it some greens or a bit of fruit before you go and on the trip to help with hydration.
Bunnies also need to eat regularly so make sure they have a good feed before they travel and that they access to some food it likes along the way. Your bunny may refuse food and water which is normal if they are in unfamiliar surroundings so if it's a long journey make sure you plan a few stops where you give your bunny time to relay and eat if they choose to.
You will need some way to secure your bunny in the car as it can be dangerous just leaving it on a seat in case your break sharply and it moves about. To do this put the carrier on the seat, you may need to wedge something underneath to make it level, then stretch the seat belt over the carrier so the belt wraps around the front of the carry case. It's not ideal putting the carrier in the boot as its going to be noisy in there and it can be hard to judge the temperature which can reach extremes of hot or cold. If it's a large crate you can obtain a seat belt extension that will make things easier.
Make sure your bunny is the last thing you put in the car before you leave and the first thing you take out when you arrive. If you are traveling with a passenger place the crate on the back seat across from them so they can keep an eye on it easily.
To make the trip more comfortable for your bunny make sure the temperature inside the car is moderate and never leave your bunny in the car when you are not there as the temperature can change inside rapidly. Remember bunnies lose heat through their ears so if it starts getting hot open the window to let a breeze in or turn the inside fans on. If it's sunny then you can help provide shade with some window shade screens.
If your bunny is used to you talking to it and make sure you make a fuss of them give them lots of words of reassurance during the journey. Its best to keep the radio down low as excessive noise may cause additional stress.