Hitting the open road with your beloved pet rabbit is an exciting adventure – but one that poses serious risks if you don't have the proper carrier. Choosing unsafe transport can lead to your bunny being injured or even killed in the event of a crash or sudden stop. As a responsible rabbit owner, you need to protect your floppy-eared friend to the fullest. In this comprehensive guide, learn how to select the most secure carrier designed to safeguard your rabbit on all your travels together. We cover crash-testing ratings, top safety features, and provide tips to transform even basic carriers into safer options for your furry traveling companion. Get ready to travel safely and comfortably with your rabbit!
The Safest Carrier: SleepyPod Mobile Pet Bed
When it comes to choosing the safest carrier for your pet rabbit, the SleepyPod Mobile Pet Bed stands out as a top choice. This carrier is designed with safety as the number one priority, making it an excellent option for transporting rabbits.
The SleepyPod features a sturdy, impact-protected frame to prevent injury in case of an accident. It has been crash-tested to ensure it can withstand the forces of a car crash and protect your bunny inside. The carrier also utilizes a five-point harness system to keep your rabbit securely in place while traveling.
In crash tests performed by the Center for Pet Safety, the SleepyPod performed excellently. It received top ratings for protecting both small and large dogs in simulated crashes. While they did not test with rabbits specifically, the results indicate the SleepyPod can provide safety for small pets as well.
With its crash-proof frame and harness system, the SleepyPod provides unparalleled protection for rabbits on the go. Its safety features give pet parents peace of mind that their bunny will be secure and protected while traveling.
The Sleepypod Mobile Pet Bed has undergone rigorous safety testing to ensure it performs well in crashes and can protect pets inside. The key safety tests include:
Crash testing: The Sleepypod was crashed tested using a specially designed pet crash test dummy. The dummy represented an average sized dog. The carrier was subjected to 30 mph crash tests and performed well.
Independent lab testing: The Center for Pet Safety, an independent research lab, tested the Sleepypod carrier along with other leading pet carriers. It received high marks for protecting both small and large dog crash test dummies.
Manufacturer testing: The Sleepypod company performs its own internal crash tests on prototypes and new versions of the carrier to ensure they meet safety standards.
Strength testing: The Sleepypod goes through durability testing to ensure the carrier frame, zippers, straps and other components are sturdy enough to withstand travel and offer crash protection.
Ventilation testing: Testing is done to ensure the Sleepypod provides proper airflow and prevents pets from overheating in the carrier. Proper ventilation ensures the carrier is safe for pets to travel in.
The extensive safety testing undergone by the Sleepypod Mobile Pet Bed demonstrates the brand's commitment to providing the most crash-proof carrier possible. Pet parents can feel confident choosing this rigorously safety tested carrier for their bunny.
The Sleepypod Mobile Pet Bed is available in three different sizes to accommodate rabbits of all sizes:
Small size: Perfect for dwarf breeds and babies up to about 5 lbs. Interior dimensions are 10” x 10” x 10”.
Medium size: Ideal for medium rabbits from 5-10 lbs. Interior space is 13” x 10” x 10.5”.
Large size: For giant breeds and large rabbits over 10 lbs. Interior space is 16.5” x 11.75” x 10.5”.
Be sure to choose the right size carrier for your rabbit. You want your bunny to have adequate room to sit, stand up, turn around and lay down comfortably. Measure your rabbit while in a natural sitting position to determine the best size.
The domed top gives rabbits extra head clearance while inside the Sleepypod carrier. This allows them to sit comfortably upright. Many rabbit owners recommend sizing up if between two sizes to give your pet the most space possible.
With three size options, the Sleepypod can safely and comfortably accommodate rabbits of all breeds and sizes. Just be sure to select the right size for your pet.
Keeping your rabbit carrier clean is important for health and safety. Fortunately, the Sleepypod Mobile Pet Bed is designed for easy cleaning.
The quilted padded base pad is removable and machine washable. You can toss it in the washing machine as needed to remove hair, dirt and debris. It's recommended you have a spare pad so you always have a clean one on hand.
The exterior ballistic nylon shell can be spot cleaned as needed with a damp cloth. For deeper cleaning, it can be wiped out with pet-safe cleaners or hose washed when needed. Take care not to submerge the whole carrier in water.
Plastic components like the door and frame base can be wiped down with antibacterial wipes or pet disinfectant spray. Check any nooks and crannies for built up grime.
Don't forget to clean the harness and straps periodically. Wipe them down or machine wash them when they get visibly dirty.
With routine cleaning and maintenance, your Sleepypod carrier will provide a hygienic safe space for your rabbit during travel. Always let components completely dry before re-assembling the carrier.
Ventilation and Comfort
Proper ventilation is crucial to keep rabbits safe and comfortable in their carrier. The Sleepypod Pet Bed provides excellent airflow to prevent overheating:
Mesh windows on four sides allow continuous air circulation.
The domed top promotes air exchange.
The padded base creates airflow channels beneath your rabbit.
The ballistic nylon fabric is breathable.
Removable pads allow owners to run AC vents directly into the carrier.
To enhance comfort, the Sleepypod has a plush quilted floor pad. The four inch thick padding helps relieve pressure on paws and legs during travel. Rabbits stay cooler on the thermally regulated pads.
Always keep the carrier partly shaded and avoid direct sun exposure. Bring water to offer your rabbit sips during longer trips. With proper ventilation and padding, the Sleepypod creates a safe, comfortable travel environment for rabbits.
While the Sleepypod is undoubtedly a highly safe carrier choice, there are some limitations pet owners should be aware of:
Price point – this is one of the more expensive carrier options, so it may not suit all budgets. Expect to pay $80-$150.
Weight – the thickly padded, sturdy frame makes this one of the heavier carriers. It may be tiring to carry long distances.
Limited leak protection – the mesh sides prevent major leaks but small accidents may dampen bedding. Add absorbent padding for long car rides.
Not collapsible – the fixed frame means the Sleepypod doesn't fold up smaller for storage and transport.
Requires careful measurement – to get the right tight harness fit, owners need to precisely measure bunnies. Incorrect sizing could lead to escapes.
Not approved for air travel – while safe for car use, the Sleepypod is not designed to meet airline requirements for under-seat stowage during flights.
While very safe for car trips, the Sleepypod isn't a perfect solution for all situations. But for travel by vehicle, its unrivaled crash protection makes it a top choice for rabbits.
Picking an Appropriate Carrier
The Sleepypod Mobile Pet Bed stands out as the gold standard for safe rabbit travel, but there are other suitable carriers to consider. Here are some things to look for when selecting a rabbit carrier:
Pick a carrier large enough for your bunny to sit upright, lay down fully, and turn around inside. Measure while she's in her normal sitting position.
For short trips, minimally choose a carrier that allows your rabbit to sit, lay down, and turn around without any restriction.
Prioritize height – rabbits need upright clearance to avoid slumping. Look for carriers advertised as fit for small dogs, not cats, to get adequate head room.
Proper ventilation prevents dangerous overheating. Mesh panels provide the best airflow, or choose a wire frame carrier.
Fabric carriers can get stuffy. Bring frozen water bottles and shaded rest stops to keep your rabbit cool.
Avoid fully enclosed plastic carriers – these can quickly turn into ovens on warm days.
Easy to Clean
Accidents happen! Look for a carrier with removable pads and waterproof basins that can handle messy situations.
Easy to clean carriers encourage more frequent washing to keep germs at bay.
Top loading carriers prevent dangerous escape attempts during transit. Rabbits shouldn't ride loose in open-top carriers.
Front entry carriers require owners manually blocking doors when opened, which can still allow rabbit escapes.
Carriers should latch securely closed. Zip ties, carabiners or additional straps can provide extra insurance against door openings.
Plastic carriers with top wire doors typically offer very secure latching mechanisms to keep bunnies safely contained.
With these features in mind, you can find the ideal carrier for safe, comfortable travel with your bunny. Always prioritize ventilation, space and security in your selection.
Safe Travel with Typical Carriers
If you don't have a crash-tested carrier like the Sleepypod, you can still take steps to safely travel with your rabbit in more common carrier options:
Restrain the carrier – Use ties, straps, or the car's seatbelt to firmly secure the carrier and prevent it from becoming a dangerous projectile in a crash.
Cushion impacts – Pad empty space in the carrier with blankets or pillows so your rabbit has a soft landing in case of sudden stops or collisions.
Monitor temperature – Keep the bunny in a temperature controlled environment, out of direct sun. Have frozen water bottles handy.
Travel lightly – Don't place heavy objects on or near the carrier that could strike it in an accident.
Check latches – Ensure all carrier doors and openings are securely closed before any car trip.
Avoid car hazards – Keep carriers away from airbags, windows, or loose objects that could cause injury during sudden stops.
While not crash-tested, typical carriers can be made safer for travel. Take simple precautions to reduce risks and monitor your bunny closely.
What About Fabric Carriers?
Soft-sided carriers may seem cozy but often provide little protection. Consider canvas and mesh fabric carriers cautiously:
Can collapse – Without a rigid structure, fabric carriers can compress in crashes, potentially harming your rabbit.
Escape risks – Rabbits can more easily claw, chew and kick their way out of soft carriers while in transit.
Poor ventilation – Mesh sides seem breezy but some fabric inhibits airflow compared to hard plastic or metal.
Difficult to clean – Fabrics absorb smells and stains making thorough cleaning a challenge.
Lack crash testing – No soft carriers have been rigorously crash tested for safety like hard carriers.
While convenient for short trips, fabric carriers have risks. For automobile travel, choose sturdier plastic or wire carriers to provide more safety assurances.
What Carriers to Avoid
Prevent accidents and injuries by avoiding these unsuitable carrier options for rabbits:
Wire crates – Though well-ventilated, open wire cages offer zero protection in crashes. Rabbits can also snag their feet in the wire mesh.
Aquariums – Glass tanks are far too heavy, fragile and impermeable for safe animal travel.
Plastic containers – Flimsy options like small pet stores or take-out containers provide insufficient space and ventilation.
Cardboard boxes – Super unsafe containment, lacks air flow and can easily collapse.
Loose in car – NEVER travel with a loose rabbit in the car – it's extremely dangerous in the event of a crash or sudden stop.
Open top carriers – Allows rabbits to jump out while moving. Must be fully enclosed.
Motorcycle carriers – Not designed to protect pets and unsafe for rabbit transport.
By avoiding these hazardous carriers, you help ensure your bunny stays safe and secure on all your travels together. Don't take risks – invest in a tested, trusted carrier.
When traveling by car with your pet rabbit, finding a truly safe carrier is a top priority. We recommend the Sleepypod Mobile Pet Bed as the safest option after its stellar crash test performance. But even typical carriers can be made safe for travel by adding restraints, padding and taking essential safety precautions. Avoid wholly unsuitable carriers that provide little to no protection. With some diligent carrier research and preparation, you can hit the road knowing your rabbit is protected and comfortable for all your family adventures.