You may be used to leaving your cat for the weekend, but it’s never a good idea to leave rabbits at home alone while you’re out of town. A rabbit’s instinct is to hide illness and they could become seriously ill while you’re gone. They may get stressed by the change in routine and go into GI Stasis, or suffer symptoms from the parasite E Cuniculi, which must be treated immediately to have good success at recovery.
Whether you’re planning on having someone visit your home, boarding your rabbits at a bunny sitter’s home, or using a veterinarian’s office or kennel, bear in mind a few pros and cons and plan to make your rabbit’s holiday as stress-free as possible.
Boarding in Someone’s Home
- If the person you choose is familiar with rabbits, symptoms of illness may be more quickly recognized.
- Your rabbit may get more attention than from a visiting sitter.
- A caged rabbit may get more exercise time than if left at home.
- Your rabbit will be in unfamiliar surroundings.
- Other rabbits and pets may stress your rabbit.
- You may need to pack your rabbit’s cage and supplies.
Leaving Rabbit at Home
- Your rabbit will be in familiar surroundings.
- Feeding routine will be closer to usual routine.
- It will be quiet.
- A veterinary technician or someone familiar with rabbits is more likely to notice symptoms of illness.
- Pet sitters can be more cost effective than boarding if you have more than one animal.
- Your rabbit is not exposed to unfamiliar animals as in a boarding situation.
- Your rabbit may get lonely, especially if she’s the only animal in the house.
- She may not get out of her cage.
- Having a sitter or neighbor visit only once a day leaves a lot of time for symptoms of illness to go unnoticed and also makes it harder to maintain the rabbit’s routines.
- If you have other pets such as dogs or cats, you need to make sure they do not bother the rabbit.
Boarding at Vet Office or Kennel
- An experienced rabbit vet can treat your rabbit should he fall ill or have a chronic health problem.
- Can be difficult to find a vet/kennel with space separate from dogs and cats.
- Kennel staff is not always familiar with rabbits, especially house rabbits.
- Unfamiliar surroundings and noise from upset animals may be stressful to your rabbit.
- Your rabbit most likely will not get out of his cage.
- Kennel staff probably won’t give much personal attention other than feeding and cleaning.
- Can be expensive, especially if you are boarding other pets, too.