Moving home is a complicated process, but it can be even more stressful for pets. Rabbits don’t make an exception. These cute and fragile creatures will have hard times relocating to a new place. Like other pets, rabbits don’t cope with change well. They thrive on their familiar environment and will not respond well to any disruption in their routine. Therefore, a move to a different residence will have a sufficient impact on your furry friend. Although you can’t completely mitigate the stress of the trip, you can make the house relocation experience less overwhelming for your pet rabbit.
Preparation Is Everything
Preparation is crucial when moving with rabbits. You need to carefully consider how you are going to transport your pet to the new place. One of the challenges of moving house with a rabbit is the heat. These creatures are extremely sensitive to heat and may suffer from heat stress or a heat stroke, if proper measures are not taken. Bunnies regulate their body temperature using their ears. When the rabbit’s body temperature increases, the blood vessels in its ears expand, allowing more blood to flow through them. When cooled down by the air, the blood will circulate, cooling its entire body. It is important to understand the risks of overheating your beloved furry friend. When travelling to your new home, keep the temperature in your vehicle below 75 °F (23 °C) and above 45 °F (7 °C).
Find a Suitable Rabbit Cage
Depending on the size of your pet, choose a proper travel cage. These carriers are specifically designed for transportation of rabbits. The cage is made of solid plastic and is equipped with strong wire sides. The carrier should also have adequate ventilation and good access. Put enough absorbent material into the tray to soak up any waste or water spills.
Choose a Mode of Transportation
The next step is to decide how your rabbit will be transported. It goes without a saying that your pet should not ride in the removal van. Some moving companies will not even allow animals in the vehicle. Undoubtedly, the best method to transport your bunny is by taking it with you in the car. In this way you will have full control over the environment and react quickly in case of a problem. On the other hand, flying can be quite hard on your bunny. You will need to check with the airline company about their rules for transporting animals.
Supply Enough Food and Water
Although your bunny will be most probably too stressed to eat or drink, you can still pour a small quantity of water in a bowl and have some treats like carrots and parsley. Before the relocation, put your rabbit in the travel cage and ensure that the door is well secured.
Transporting Your Rabbit to Your Home
Place the carrier in the vehicle so that it won’t shift or topple over during the travel. It’s recommendable to drive smoothly without any sudden stops and starts since rabbits don’t get on with forced motion and may stress even further. If possible, place your rabbit in a darker and cooler spot to avoid overheating issues. Keep your buddy away from the direct sunlight and consider running the air conditioner. Of course the cool air should not blow directly onto your rabbit. If you need to make stops, park your vehicle in a shaded area.
Check the condition of your bunny regularly. Be vigilant about any signs of overheating like general weakness, depression or seizure. In case you need to spend the night at a hotel when moving house with your furry companion, find a place that allows animals in. When you arrive at your new home, let you rabbit stay in the travel cage and fill the water and food containers. If your bunny shows worrying signs after the house removal, consult with a vet.