Since I got my first house rabbits seven years ago, I have never left them at a boarding facility when I’ve gone away. That’s because I hire a bunny sitter to come to my apartment three times a day and feed, clean and take care of my two rabbits instead.
Of course, rabbit boarding can be a good option if you don’t have a bunny sitter you trust to come to your home, If you do have a choice between leaving your rabbits with a bunny sitter you trust or at a rabbit boarding facility, however, I urge you to choose the former and here are the reasons why.
Staying at home is less stressful – If rabbits aren’t one of the most stressed animals on the planet, I don’t know what is. Mine love to be in the same cage, in the same pen and in the same environment — all the time. Moving them from my apartment in Bangkok to a rabbit boarding facility on the opposite side of the city would not only stress them half to death just getting there in a taxi, having to stay in the boarding facility would probably do them in.
That’s because moving a rabbit from an environment they love and trust to one they’ve never been to before can be incredibly stressful, and in some rabbits can cause illness or even death. If you have a choice, hire someone to come in and take care of them at home and you’ll come back from your vacation to much happier bunnies.
Size of living space at a rabbit boarding facility – When I considered leaving my two rabbits at a boarding facility for a month, I checked out the spaces beforehand. While probably large enough for a rabbit that’s not used to a lot of room, mine live in a huge cage and pen and have free-roam of most of the apartment during the day. The facilities I saw, on the other hand, had living spaces for each rabbit that was simply too small.
Sure, if I had an emergency and was going out of town for just a day or maybe two and I couldn’t find anyone to take care of them, I’d consider leaving my house rabbits at a boarding facility. For a month? Absolutely not.
Rabbits get used to their carers – While some rabbit boarding facilities will have the same people taking care of your rabbit every time you go, many of them will not. As rabbits get used to their carers and start to trust them, the last thing you want to do is to introduce more new people into their lives as it can be very disruptive.
My bunny sitter is my maid, (I’m not rich, it’s just that most middle-class on up people in Bangkok have maids, and I’m no exception), and she is wonderful with my rabbits. She feeds them, cleans them out very well, grooms them, plays with them and even sings to them and plays them music. Consequently, my two rabbits love her and are so excited when she arrives, which is also why I know I’m leaving them in capable hands.
I also pay her 50 percent of her monthly salary on top of her normal salary just to take care of my rabbits for a month, so she benefits from the arrangement as well. If it was possible, I think she’d like me to be gone permanently.
Bunny sitters may notice illness a boarding facility might miss – Many rabbit boarding facilities are very busy. What that means is they only spend a few minutes a day with your rabbit and, in that short of a time, can easily miss a health problem or an illness that suddenly occurs.
My bunny sitter knows to check my rabbits over at least once a day and, if she even suspects there may be something wrong, she also knows a trip to the vet is entirely appropriate.
Less stress for you – I don’t know about you, but the thought of moving two rabbits, their toys, their food bowls and numerous other rabbit-related items to a boarding facility does not appeal to me at all. Neither does having to pick my rabbits up when I arrive home.
Having a bunny sitter, on the other hand, means my rabbits are at my apartment when I leave and they’re still sitting there waiting for me when I come back. That’s convenience and, to me, well worth paying a little more money to ensure my bunnies are taken care of at home by someone I trust and someone whom my rabbits adore.