Over the summer I had to travel with my rabbit by train to the countryside as I had no other options. Unfortunately, I didn’t find many pieces of information or personal experiences of people that would have been travelling with a rabbit by train; as travelling with a rabbit by lanes is more common than a train. That’s why I decided to share my own personal experience on the matter by writing this little guide on how to travel with a rabbit by train.
How To Travel With A Rabbit By Train: A guide
Table Of Contents
- 1 How To Travel With A Rabbit By Train: A guide
The first thing you need to remember here is that no rabbit is the same, so, always keep that in mind before thinking that your rabbit isn’t acting the right way or the way you expect him or her to be. Here is a guide of what informations I gathered during my journey by train to the countryside with my rabbit, Boo. `
Rabbits are preys animals so they quickly get stressed, which can be bad for them or even make them die of fright in the worst-case scenario…
You have to make sure to take the matter very seriously when you decide to travel with your rabbit.
READ: WHY YOU SHOULDN’T GET A PET RABBIT
BE SURE TO KNOW YOUR RABBIT
This is pretty obvious but it is best to know your rabbit before you decide to travel with him or her. If your rabbit is extremly anxious then it’d be better to avoid travel with it unless you have absolutely no other options (such as moving for example).
This is what I think is a rule of thumb and apply for any kind of travel and transportations (car, plane, train and what not…) you’d like to take your rabbit on if you need to travel with it; not only to travel with your rabbit by train.
CHECK WITH THE VETS PRIOR TO THE TRIP IF NECESSARY
If you know that your rabbit is prone to stress and have no other options then it is better to take your rabbit to your vet prior to the trip to see if they may give you some soothing drugs to help it during the train journey.
My rabbit has her temper, I mean she will thump her paws or growl at you if she disagrees with something.
But she’s still a pretty scaredy cat as you’d expect it from a prey animal, she usually copes pretty well by being moved in her rabbit carrier and I took her out a few times in leash as she doesn’t mind it.
However, I still decided to check with the vet to see if I could get some tranquillizer just in case to be more serein about the whole journey by train with my rabbit as I also had to take the Metro to get to the train station. Well…I mixed it with her pellets, she smelt it and straight out refused to eat it.
So, if your rabbit is like mine you’ll have to use some tricks to make it eat!
HAVE A GOOD RABBIT CARRIER
I say rabbit carrier but a lot of the carrier that people uses for their rabbits can be cat carrier or tiny dogs even.
What I mean don’t limit yourself to research carrier with the specific word rabbit carrier if you’re looking online. As I often see those little tiny plastic cages with handles on the top that wouldn’t even allow a rabbit to turn around when you look up at rabbit carrier.
I know it is what you are expected to carry your bun in when you travel by plane but it is not the case for the train, so to restrain your bun in a tiny carrier.
A good carrier for your rabbit would be something that you can easily travel with and carry without struggling while making sure it has enough space inside for your rabbit to be able to move somewhat freely.
You should also be very careful about the material your carrier is made of.
Rabbits are notorious to chew so if you take some cheap see-through fabric, one bite and your rabbits could easily get off its carrier, and, it’s not what you want.
The carrier material needs to be safe and thick enough so your rabbit cannot escape if you decide on some kind of fabric.
I mean you don’t want to have to run around your rabbit in a train or anywhere as a matter of fact.
This is my carrier, I have to say it isn’t the best. I would much rather a carrier with a strap that I could wear like a bag with some pockets and an opening on the top.
Although this one does the job too and is still pretty handy with both its opening nonetheless, and, more importantly, it has enough space, my rabbit can move around and raise herself a little without being stuck and I can still fit her blanket inside and a
MAKE SURE TO PACK EVERYTHING YOU NEED
Of course, when you decide to travel with your pet rabbit you have to plan for its foods, plenty of hay, water and maybe some treat, a pee pad to put in the carrier; pretty much just like you’d plan for yourself stuff you may need during your train journey.
And of course for what you’ll need after you reach your destinations, for example, some litter if your rabbit uses a litter box like mine.
In order to recreate a comfortable and safe environment for your rabbit it’s best to bring with you as many things as possible that your rabbit is used to; for example a blanket or a toy to put it in its carrier with it so they smell a familiar odour and feels safer.
Checklist to travel with your rabbit by train:
It’s a bit tricky to place a bowl of water in the carrier so it’s best if you bring a bottle of water with you to make your rabbit drink.
Pee pad –
To put in the carrier – just like yourself, your rabbit may need to pee during the train journey.
By food I mean pellet but of course, mainly hay as your rabbit digestive system needs to be working all the time, even if you think it’s a short train ride, your rabbit needs access to hay at all time. Even if they’re stressed and not eating at first they will eat eventually because they have to.
Blanket or toy that smells like your rabbit –
Anything that will make your rabbit feels like it is in a familiar environment to reassure it.
You know your rabbit best, you live with it so it might like to add something else to this list.
BUY ANY NECESSARY TICKET FOR YOUR RABBIT TRIP
Travelling with a pet in the train is pretty different from the type of train you’ll take and the country you lives in.
Of course, it is your job to check all of this prior to the trip to see if you may need an additionnal ticket or what your pet will need to travel in; for example if there’s some limited size for the carrier etc…
For the train I took on my way into my destination I didn’t have to buy a ticket as long as the pet weight didn’t exceed 7kg (If you’re curious I live in France and the train type was a OuiGo).
However, on my way back to Paris I took a regular TGV and I had to buy an additional ticket to mine; which I had to print at the station and punch at the station (if it isn’t you’re getting a fine) as it’s not a ticket you can keep on your phone.
CHECK ON YOUR RABBIT DURING THE TRIP – MY RABBIT JOURNEY ON THE TRAIN
Needless to say that you shouldn’t just put your rabbit in its carrier shove it under your seat and ignore it until you reach your destination.
Now about my own travel by train with my rabbit!
I took a lot more extra time that I wouldn’t have taken if I travelled alone by train just to make sure I wasn’t late or need to rush to make sure I didn’t inflict some more unnecessary stress to my rabbit.
As my whole travel with a rabbit by train adventure started pretty early there weren’t many people in the Metro I had to take to the train station. Which was a good thing because the noise of the Metro alone isn’t very reassuring for a pet.
At the station, well, it was another story. As we were in the middle of summer it was pretty crowded, therefore noisy.
I didn’t wait long until I could board and go to my seat I had choose a coach with a quiet option, which means it’s not like the family space and more “relaxing”.
And it was relaxing as it was pretty empty during most of the journey! Which allowed me to move from a duo seat to a 4 places space to have more space for me and my carrier.
At first, I put the carrier on the table to be on eye level with Miss Boo after I opened it while holding it but I quickly realise it wasn’t the best idea – I mean sure it was on my sweater and not sliding but if the train had to urgently brake my rabbit would have waltz away in her carrier – or as they now say you don’t want your bun to be yeet away.
I also don’t think people want to receive a carrier in their face…
I didn’t want that, you didn’t want that, so make sure to secure the carrier as much as you can.
So, I settled her on the seat next to me and kept the door open, although well she didn’t try to go further than her paws on my laps because she didn’t deem her environment safe enough, she much rather scratched away her blanket and pee pad and eventually munch some hay.
It’s for the best anyway that she didn’t come out, I mean;
1. I didn’t want her to escape and have to run after her in the train. And knowing her she would have gone straight up for the most annoying spots, under seats or rack and what not.
2. My friend told me that when she travelled with her rabbit and put her on the seat, her bun actually peed on the seat and all her sister and she had to clean it was a period pad. And as hilarious as it is to read, it’s not really the kind of thing you want to be happening to you.
The journey was pretty uneventful for the best, besides the announcement time and the noise of the brakes when we would enter a new station she wasn’t too stressed, just very aware of her environment which is normal!
All and all for me (and her?) this train journey was a good experience, I had a lot of apprehension but with all the precautions I took, all went well. And I hope that if you do travel by train with your rabbit things would go as smoothly as it did for me!
This conclude my experience and tips on travelling with a rabbit by train, so hopefully if you ever have to travel by train with your rabbit in the future then you’ll have some useful pieces of informations to use to plan your trip with your rabbit the best way possible.
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How To Travel With A Rabbit By Train: A guide