What to look for
It may surprise you to learn that some rabbit owners don’t take holidays because they can’t find anyone they trust enough to look after their rabbits.
Gone are the days when you would ask your neighbour to look after your rabbits and many owners don’t feel their family have enough knowledge to be able to look after their precious rabbits well enough….it’s not even necessarily about whether they trust their family to do a good job, sometimes it’s about not wanting to leave them with the responsibility.
Here are a few pointers on how to make sure your rabbits are well cared for while you are away:
1. Try to find a specialist boarding establishment which just looks after rabbits (if they look after small furries; think hamsters, rats, guinea pigs that’s not a problem as long as they are not in close proximity) because this will be where your rabbits will be most relaxed. It’s best not to leave them at Catteries / Dog Kennels or anywhere that looks after animals which are natural predators of your rabbits (such as ferrets).
2. Visiting the prospective boarding establishment ahead of booking is a must (Unless you have a very good recommendation from a trusted friend). You need to go and see what is on offer and the setup (note: sometimes photographs of accommodation can be deceptive). This will be invaluable in making a decision. It will give you the opportunity to see the accommodation and any rabbits that are staying at the time to see how they are cared for.
3. Don’t be afraid to ask questions. A good boarding establishment will be only too happy to answer any questions you have to set your mind at ease. Here are some example questions:
If you have rabbits with particular needs (e.g. no front teeth, particular dietary requirements, prone to gut stasis when stressed etc) then it’s best to discuss these issues early on to make sure you are comfortable with the boarding establishment’s experience and policies in dealing with these needs.
If you have rabbits on medication you must check if the boarder is willing and trained to administer the medication – and any related costs associated with this. Be sure that you leave them with more than enough medication for the duration of their stay.
A good boarding establishment will have some form of questionnaire for you to fill in giving details about your rabbits because they will need something to refer to for information, it should also contain a treatment consent section so that they can seek treatment without delay from a Vet if needed whilst you are away.
You can always make your own care sheets containing all the details you think are relevant to give you peace of mind (this is always a handy thing to do so that it’s there if needed for any reason at short notice), this can include:
Make sure you are happy and confident with the boarding establishment before you leave your rabbits there. If you are going on holiday chances are you won’t have a good time unless you feel you can trust the person they are with.
You might be surprised at the cost of a good boarding establishment but you tend to get what you pay for, and peace of mind whilst you are away is priceless.