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post #1 of 5 (permalink) Old 12-12-2004, 04:12 PM Thread Starter
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Location: Cheshire, UK
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Unhappy Rabbit journey

Yet again I am in need of advice!

Over the Christmas holidays I will be going from Cheshire, where I live, to Somerset, to visit my parents (about a 3 and a half hour car journey). My rabbit is living indoors until he is older, and it is warmer. Many of my friends are either away or have other pets, meaning they wouldn't be able to accommodate him indoors, or give him the exercise and attention he is used to. I have decided that it will be best for him to come with me. He never shows signs of being frightened (at unusual noises/ strange people) and is very happy, so I'm hopping the journey won't upset him at all. I wouldn't do it if there was any better way, or if I thought it would be detrimental to him.

Has anyone any suggestions of how I can make the journey more bearable for him? I am going to get him a carry cage tomorrow so that he has time play in it and get used to it. Are there any other suggestions?
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post #2 of 5 (permalink) Old 12-12-2004, 04:29 PM
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Put him on the floor of the car in the carrier...then secure the carrier with the seat (so put him in the front..and push the car seat right up into the carrier) so that the carrier can't move around at all. Chances are it will stress him out a little. My rabbits hate car rides but after a little bit they calm down and stretch out. Put some hay in there for him to eat, he might not but offer it to him anyway, and make sure you stop to give him a drink. Again he might not drink but at least offer it. Make sure you take changes of bedding (like newspaper) cause he'll probably do at least one wee in the cage. He should be okay as long as he is secured in the car. My two girls hate the car as I said but when I had my boy he used to sit in my lap to go to the vets (he had mallacluded teeth, the vets was five minutes away). He never minded the car, but I have found my girls are a lot more comfortable on the floor.

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post #3 of 5 (permalink) Old 12-12-2004, 06:43 PM
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I agree with Carmen, thats what I would do! My bunnies don't mind being in the car, and usually have a sleep.. Good luck!

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post #4 of 5 (permalink) Old 12-12-2004, 09:00 PM
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I usually just set the carrier on the seat and run the seatbelt through the handle to secure it. Sometimes depending on the weather, it can get too hot or cold down on the floor with the heat or A/C going. Either way, I'm sure he'll do just fine. Both my rabbit tend to take naps in the car when going to the vet (even though it's only 10 minutes away) and when they come out of the carrier, they act normal, so I doubt it really bothers them. I also usually put a shirt I've recently worn in with them...the familiar scent of the person they love can be comforting.

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post #5 of 5 (permalink) Old 12-13-2004, 10:55 AM
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It may sound weird, but a smaller carrier is best. One that the rabbit just has room to turn around in. When scared, rabbits feel more secure in a small, enclosed space. If you have watched your rabbit a lot, I am sure you have seen it hunker down in a corner or a crevice when it felt scared, trying to be as small and crammed into the corner as possible. It also prevents injury because if your rabbit does freak out, it does not have enough room to jump around and possibly break its back. For this reason, I recommend a wire carrier, even if your rabbit does not live in a wire cage. The wire provides grip for the feet whereas a cat carrier type one does not provide much, if anny grip. The plastic surface of the bottom, even if it has newpaper, shavings, or other litter in it, will still be slippery. This alone can make the rabbit feel unsafe when it is in a moving vehicle. If you do have to use a plastic carrier, put some cloth in as bedding instead of litter. This at least gives the rabbit something to hold onto, though it will still scoot around a bit with the motions of the car.

http://www.bassequipment.com/carring.htm is an American company, but it does show a picture so you can see the type of carrier that I am talking about. If your rabbit has sore feet and cannot be on straight wire you can either put some cloth down or get a resting mat and place it snuggly in the bottom of the carrier. Because the wire will grip the cloth or the mat better than plastic, your rabbit will not skid around nearly as much.

Also make sure there is some hay in there for him to eat if he feels like it. Before and after the trip you can brew up some chamomile tea and give it to him to drink. It helps with stress. For liquid during the trip, I usually suggest soaking an apple or a carrot in water overnight and giving him that instead of a water bottle or a water dish. The water dish or bottle will splash and leak due to the motion of the car, and it can get your rabbit all wet, uncomfortable, and more stressed. So the soaked apple or carrot is a good alternative. You can also stop about halfway and offer him some water in a dish or a bottle, then take it away once he is done drinking.

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