Caring for Rabbits While on Vacation

Bunny Jean Young - Rabbit
Bunny Jean Young - Rabbit. Photo reprinted with permission of Bonny J. Young

Vacation should be about fun and relaxation, not responsibility. But that doesn't mean you don't need to think about your pets while taking a break from the real world. Pet rabbits need regular care and shouldn't slip your mind while you are taking a much-needed rest. Thankfully, there are a few options for rabbit owners to get the care their pets need without giving up the fun of vacation.

Pet Sitters for Rabbits

Rabbits need daily care, playtime, food and water. An overnight trip may not require a pet sitter but anything longer than a 24-hour getaway will require care for your rabbit. Pet sitters are often available to come into your home or to bring your rabbit to their own residence to provide this care. Depending on your level of comfort with a pet sitter, you may want to take a few extra steps to ensure a relaxing getaway.

If you don't have a dedicated rabbit room and do not feel comfortable or trust your sitter 100% to watch your rabbits closely during their out of cage time, you may just want to have your pet sitter handle your bunny without letting them run around a room too much. Your sitter will feel really bad if your rabbit eats or gets into something they shouldn't or gets lost! A detailed instruction list for what to do and not do can be left for the sitter to reference and also contain emergency contact numbers, including your exotics vet.

If you don't have any close friends or family that are willing to stop by and care for your rabbit, consider asking them if you can bring them to their house for them to watch. If you don't know anyone personally who is comfortable caring for your rabbit in your absence, check out reputable pet sitting websites for an experienced pet sitter near you, ask around your neighborhood for kids who like to pet sit, call your local exotics vet to see if any employees would like to make a little extra cash, contact a local rabbit rescue group, or check with your local trusted pet store to see if they know of anyone willing to watch your rabbit.

Boarding Facilities for Rabbits

Some dog and cat boarding facilities will board exotic pets, including rabbits, for a nominal fee per day. Daily feedings, medication administration, play times and other needs can be delivered by trained staff but you may need need to transport your own enclosure and supplies to the facility. A simple phone call to ask the place if they will be willing to board your rabbit is all it takes. Many facilities may be willing to board a rabbit even if they've never boarded rabbits before if you provide them with simple instructions. These instructions should go over how and what to feed along with emergency contacts, including your exotics veterinarian. If rabbit boarding is not something the facility routinely does, ensure the location that your rabbit will be in is free of excessive noise and other things that may stress your rabbit. Stress can cause ileus in rabbits and medical emergencies are never fun to deal with, especially if you are out of town.

Vacationing With Your Rabbit

If you are driving to your vacation destination you may want to consider bringing your pet rabbit along with you in the car. Depending on how many rabbits you have and how large the enclosure is, this may or may not be very practical. One rabbit can be easily transported in a small carrier (but make sure they don't get too warm or cold while in transport) and then set back up in their enclosure at the place where you are staying. Campsites and other places that don't have access to electricity are not good options for vacationing with rabbits as you wouldn't want your rabbit to overheat or get too cold. But if you are staying in pet-friendly hotels or with friends or family that don't mind a rabbit or two as company, you may be able to take your bunny along with you on vacation!

Before You Leave

Regardless of what you do with your rabbit while you are out of town, you should have your rabbit examined by your veterinarian prior to leaving. This will make sure your rabbit is healthy enough for someone else to watch it or to travel with your out of town.

Make sure you have enough food, treats, bedding, and litter for your rabbit for when you are out of town. Even if your rabbit is traveling with you, you won't want to go searching for supplies if you're vacationing.