I am a bunny parent. Bun may be under five pounds, but she is full of more sass and snark than people expect. I find her perpetual grumpiness endearing, and she has been my companion for about a year and a half. She came with me to the U.S. from Korea, and then she crossed the country with me. She is an important fixture in my life, and it is imperative that she be able to accompany my everywhere. I discovered during the moving preparations that there is surprisingly little information about moving a lagomorph friend. I hope that this post can be helpful to others with bunny family members, because the limited amount of available information did nothing to reduce my pre-move anxiety levels. I will post another one about moving a bun internationally.
The requirements vary by state, so I suggest starting off preparations by calling the Department of Agriculture in both the current home state and future home state. This is important because rabbits typically are classified as livestock instead of pets. My home state did not have any export requirements, but Maryland requires all incoming rabbits to have a medical examination within ten days of travel and APHIS Form 7001. Most veterinary clinics do not prepare this form for buns, so be sure to call ahead and find one which does. It’s possible that your regular clinic does not.
Right now, United is the only airline which allows rabbits in the cabin and has a sufficient coverage map. I will not send Bun with checked baggage, but that can be an option with Westjet and Frontier (this could have changed). Most airlines, unfortunately, have a no-bun policy. I’m hoping this will change, but in the meantime United is my only option. I had to book my ticket with an agent over the phone, which meant that I couldn’t benefit from any Orbitz or Kayak pricing.
On flight day, make sure to have an empty water bottle (or dish to place in the cage later, if your bun does not like water bottles), some foods, and something soft and comforting to place in the carrier. Bun will not use a water bottle, so I made sure to pack some cucumber, carrots, and other foods with high water content compared to kibble. I also like to pack some lettuce leaves and mist them with water before giving them to her. She doesn’t like to eat while flying, but I feel better knowing that she has the option. I also put a puppy pee pad in her carrier just in case she needed to go.
It took Bun a few days to get comfortable in the new place, but she settled in and started chinning everything in sight. She is with a foster at the moment because I am trying to bond her to a companion bun, but all-in-all it was a positive experience.