A friend of mine recently told me about a rabbit she was transporting in the backseat of her car. Sometimes she would stop and let the rabbit out to stretch its legs. Most times, however, she drove straight through. When she arrived at her destination and opened the car door, the rabbit burst into action, it jumped over her and sprinted away.
This story got me thinking about how to calm a rabbit in a car. According to The Humane Society of the United States, rabbits should never be transported in the back of a pickup truck or in an open-air vehicle. They should always be transported in a carrier or travel cage.
What things to consider when transporting rabbits through car
- One suggestion is to place your rabbit’s carrier on the floor of the car instead of on the seat. This will help to minimize movement and keep your rabbit safe.
- You can also try feeding your rabbit some hay before you leave, this will help to keep them occupied and calm. If you only feed your rabbit at set times, such as twice a day, you can try feeding them just before you start driving so they know to expect food around the same time.
- You may also want to purchase one of those hanging water bottles with a long spout and fill it with fresh water for your rabbit. This will help to reduce the mess in your car. Plus, if the spout is long enough, you can hang it from a cup holder so your bunny doesn’t have to be on the floor of the car.
- If you have an especially nervous rabbit, consider bringing along something that has your scent on it — such as a sweatshirt or a pair of old pajamas. You can also bring along a few of your rabbit’s favorite treats.
- If you must drive through the night, stop every four hours or so and let your rabbit out to stretch its legs. If you don’t have that kind of time or you’re traveling on a plane, The House Rabbit Society recommends giving your rabbit an over-the-counter human motion-sickness medication about 30 minutes before you leave.
- The House Rabbit Society also suggests shutting off your car’s air conditioning and turning on some music to help keep the interior of your car dark and more similar to a rabbit’s natural environment. You can also try placing a few rags or towels over the carrier to create a sense of security for your rabbit.