In-depth Guide to Traveling with Pet Rabbits by Airplane
Rabbits don’t love traveling, whether you want to take a bun to a vet clinic by car or fly overseas for a vacation. Long-distance travel can be too overwhelming for your fuzzy friend.
Thankfully, there are ways to keep your cutie comfortable during a flight. If you are a new pet parent, we are here to help with the early prep before leaving home with your bunny.
Follow the appropriate care measures and keep the pet travel kit handy (see the checklist below).
In this article, we have provided a comprehensive guide to traveling with a pet rabbit by airplane. Read on to explore the proven tips to keep your bunny safe during the journey.
Essential Documents and Paperwork
It is vital to consider a few aspects before you plan a trip by plane.
Traveling with a rabbit is subject to rules and regulations. Herein is a quick overview of things you need to know:
- Check Out the Necessary Procedures
The laws on traveling with a rabbit by plane may differ from your native state to a foreign country. Once you have finalized your tour destination, follow up on the pet transportation rules applicable in the particular region (state/federal govt., etc.).
For instance, if you are flying to the USA, check the related information on the Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service page on the official USDA government portal.
Note: Certain breeds do not qualify as pets for traveling to international locations. Check out the info on breeds to know if your rabbit can join you on a plane trip. Else you may have to leave the little creature with a pet sitter.
- Get the Health Certificate
The health certificate is a needed document when carrying a pet by airplane. Some countries may ask for additional test reports. If you have already done the research, it is worth getting these documents ready as early as possible.
- Keep Documents Handy at the Airport Ticket Counter
It is mandatory to produce the health certificate and reservation documents at the ticket counter during check-in. Failing this, you will not be able to board the flight. Arrive early and show the documents when required. That’s it.
Airlines that Allow You to Board the Plane with a Rabbit
Pet transportation policies differ from one airline company to another. You may contact the airline authorities before booking regarding their pet transport provisions.
Some airlines allow you to carry a bunny in a carrier in the cabin. So, you can travel with your furry angel happily. In most cases, there is a separate arrangement for keeping the pets in the cargo.
An additional pet fee is applicable if you want to board a flight with a rabbit.
Following is a list of some of the best airlines that have first-rate pet travel provisions:
- American Airlines (cabin/cargo)
- Air Canada (cabin/cargo)
- JetBlue (cabin only)
- Delta (cabin/cargo)
- Air India (cabin/cargo)
- Air France (cabin/cargo)
- Swiss International Airlines (cabin/cargo)
- Turkish Airlines (cabin/cargo)
- Frontier Airlines (cabin only)
- Lufthansa Airlines (cabin/cargo)
- OpenSkies- British Airways (cabin/cargo)
- KLM Royal Dutch Airlines (cabin/cargo)
- Japan Airlines (cargo only)
- Copa Airlines (cabin/cargo)
- TAP Air Portugal (cabin/cargo)
While the above ones are the top 15 pet-friendly airlines, there are plenty of other companies offering similar provisions.
Expert Tips for Travelling by Air Safely with a Pet Rabbit
Get an Airplane-Compatible Rabbit Carrier
Choosing a carrier depends on where your bunny will be placed in the plane- cargo or cabin. If you are boarding an international flight, your bun may have to travel in the cargo.
This is unfortunate, but there is no other way than to comply with the rules.
Choosing a carrier depends on where your bunny will be placed in the plane- cargo or cabin. If you are boarding an international flight, your bun may have to travel in the cargo. This is unfortunate, but there is no other way than to comply with the rules.
- Rabbit Carrier for Cabin
If you are traveling with a pet rabbit in the cabin, the small pet must be housed safely inside a carrier that fits under the plane seat (in front of your seat). Make sure the carrier size is appropriate for your bunny to sit inside comfortably. Check the carrier measurement specified by the airline company.
Choose a soft carrier bag to avoid size issues and hassles. Don’t worry, high-quality fabric carriers are rabbit safe (not easy to chew quickly).
Note: Big species such as Flemish Giant may not be allowed in the cabin due to lack of sufficient space.
- Rabbit Carrier for Cargo
It is mandatory to house your bun in a hard-sided carrier with a metal gate for safety in the cargo. Such a bunny carrier ensures the little creature cannot come out during the journey. Your travel cage should be made of chew-safe material.
Some airlines have specific guidelines that make it compulsory to put the bunny in a crate for shipping via cargo. A sizeable dog crate is a suitable option.
Caution: Avoid purchasing cheap plastic carriers. Rabbits can nibble plastic pieces easily.
Protect Your Rabbit from Overheating
The prime concern when traveling long distances with a bunny is overheating. You can not take the rabbit out of the carrier in high-traffic areas (except at the security checkpoint). It can be risky if the rabbit runs away out of insecurity due to the presence of a crowd and loud noises.
Staying in the carrier for a long time can cause overheating and heatstroke in bunnies. Herein are some tips to keep your bunny cool and calm during travel.
- Never put the travel case in direct sunlight
- Serve some wet veggies and fruits inside the transport cage
- Feed SQ fluid before departure to prevent dehydration
- Put a frozen gel pack if the bunny has been inside the carrier for too long. When your bun feels uneasy due to heat, it can get close to the gel pack to cool down.
Emergency Medical Supplies
Medical supplies are as vital for rabbit care as the daily necessities during the trip. Herein is a list of items to pack in your essential kit:
- Frozen gel packs
- Critical care
- Gas drops (liquid simethicone)
- SQ fluids (Ringer’s lactate solution/saline/Pedialyte)
Pet Travel Kit Checklist
When moving with a pet on a long-distance trip, it is essential to pack the crucial rabbit supplies rather than go hunting for them in a foreign location.
With things handy, it is easy to attend a tired and stressed bunny after a long tour.
This includes a set of items you use at home for the small pet, such as:
- Rabbit enclosure/cage
- Food (Hay, pellets, treats, etc.)
- Drinking water
- Feeders (food and water feeders)
- Litter box
- Litter material
- Pee pads/towels/paper towels
- Cleaning essentials
- Rabbit toys (chew toys)
Traveling by Plane with Rabbits (FAQs)
How to prepare the rabbit carrier?
Most rabbit carriers have cozy floor padding to keep your bunny comfortable. But if it is a poor-quality material, replace it with a soft, breathable towel cloth (preferably your bun’s fav pillow).
Put some toilet training pads/paper towels above the floor padding to soak up the pee. Spread some hay on the floor above the padding. Your bun will have a great time chewing the hay when hungry.
What things can I keep inside the bunny carrier?
A bun is stressed out when taken outdoors. The secret to keeping a rabbit calm during travel is to create a homely ambiance inside the carrier. This is easy if you take a few trials at home. Put your bun’s favorite toys inside the transport case to engage in playful activities. Put some pellets, treats, and water in the feeder.
Feeding water can be challenging as your rabbit may tip over the water bowl. Put some hydrated veggies in the feeder. Train your bun to drink water from a water bottle at home. Putting a water bottle is an easy option.
It is splendid if you are traveling with a small pet/rabbit than leaving the little creature with a pet sitter. However, there are care concerns when you take the delicate guy outdoors. Not to worry. It is highly recommended to consult a vet and follow the suggestions that are particular to your rabbit breed. Professional advice helps you with additional precautions that may be necessary (based on your pet’s health concerns).
Follow the essential safety measures to ensure your bunny enjoys the trip. I hope this guide helps.