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Forum HOUSE RABBIT Q & A Vacation care worries

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    • GlennTheLionhead
      Participant
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        Hello,

        Me and ny partner are due to go on vacation from the 25th may – 12 june… Suppose to be a relaxing time but I am just worrying beyond belief, i have never left the buns is anyone elses care other than my partners

        We have arranged rabbit care from two difference people (week each) who will stay at our house while were away. One is an family member who’s an attentive animal lover with a bit of rabbit experience and will not have other commitments (work) during her stay – the other is not experience with rabbits but is a trusted friend of my partner that is good at following instructions and experienced with dogs but will have occasional work commitments.

        We have a bunny camera that will be on at all times and there will be a written instructions booklet and small containers of pre dispensed meals to make things as easy as possible.

        My worry is that Nellie is prone to tummy aches and gas, we are not entirely sure why, maybe hair, we’ve been trying to work on it – but at the rate she is going were looking at a 50/50 chance of her getting tummy upset and needing medication administered and a possible vet trip while we are away – we probably treat her for gas twice a month on average at the mo.

        We are trying to keep them in a familiar environment where they can be relaxed, we can watch them on the camera and have trusted people stay but my worry is, will boarding with a rescue ultimately be better for a bunny that is prone to getting ill, given one of the sitters is not experienced with rabbits, whereas boarding at a foster based rescue will mean well qualified people but a different and unsettling environmental… Which is also difficult due to Nellies anxiety, she usually will not willfully eat for 1-2 days when in a new environment and trembles during car journeys…

        Perhaps this is all just normal cold feet from an anxious bun mum before a trip.

        Based on that info what opinions do you have? I know its quite circumstantial and people can’t really decide for me but I’m not even sure what my gut is telling me, one minute it says im over reacting, the sitters are smart and the buns will be comfy at home and the next minute im thinking rabbits ate complex and an experienced hand would be better.


      • LBJ10
        Moderator
        16932 posts Send Private Message

          I’ve definitely been there. OMG, going on vacation is SOOOO stressful. Some bunnies are stressed out regardless. They may be in a familiar environment, but they may not know the person coming to feed them. So… I don’t see the harm in weighing your options.

          So one person is experienced with bunnies… the other is not. But each is only staying for one week? Is it possible for the first person to just pop in and check a few times during that second week?


        • DanaNM
          Moderator
          8954 posts Send Private Message

            I’ve done bun-sitting both ways (having a nice but less experienced person stay with them, and sending them to board with a super experienced person from the rescue).

            Personally, I have had better piece of mind with the person from the rescue whenever the trip has been longer than a week, especially if I was going to be out of contact (such as a backpacking trip). For short trips when I’m in communication I think it’s best to have them just stay home. Normally I would think the buns would be fine either way, but with Nellie’s history I think making sure whoever cares for them can at least give simethicone is important. Since it’s a longer trip, I think they would have plenty of time to adjust at the boarding location.

            I do think they would probably be fine either way, but I think it would give you more piece of mind to have them with the rescue foster. Do you think there’s anyone at the rescue that might be willing to be a local contact in case an issue pops up and the sitter isn’t sure what to do? That might be a best-of-both worlds scenario.

            Are Nellie and Glenn still bonded? I can’t remember if they had a split due to their medical issues? If so, they will have each other for comfort either way. One tip for if they go to the foster is to let them sit in the carrier together for about 30 min before putting them in their new enclosure. It tends to help them get used to the new smells and sounds in a less overwhelming way, and helps prevent problems with the bond from occurring in the new environment.

            . . . The answers provided in this discussion are for general guideline purposes only. The information is not intended to diagnose or treat your pet. Seek the advice of your veterinarian or a qualified behaviorist.  


          • GlennTheLionhead
            Participant
            361 posts Send Private Message

              Hey!

              Thanks for the replies. Sorry I didn’t reply sooner we have now had extra stress of our airline pilots going on strike, so the whole trip is now uncertain anyway…

              Yes, so one pet sitter is somewhat knowledgeable and has cared for our bunnies short term in the past and the other is responsible and trusted but not experienced. Unfortunately the more experienced person will not be available the second week as she lives far away and just happens to be available that week, luckily we have family close by that aren’t super experienced but they’ve heard all our stories over the years and are willing to help out if the live-in sitter needs a hand. So we are well stocked with helping hands but not necessarily experienced hands!

              After reading the replies I did get in touch with the rescue and they unfortunately do not have availability for boarding so we will just have to work with our sitters. I am writing bunny guides for them and have decided to even ration out all their meals (excluding fresh veg) ahead of time to make everything as easy as possible for them. I will also be making Nellies issues very clear to them so they know to be extra cautious.

              We do have a rabbit camera which will be on the whole time so we can check up on them remotely but obviously they have hides and the camera wont necessarily help us detect signs of illness but will be peace of mind!

              Yes the buns are all bonded again! I had issues previously with posting so was not able to update my last post in the end but they rebonded after their spat after a 2 days of bonding so it was quite painless. They are pretty strong at the moment with the standard food aggression when they have their evening pellet mix but this never lasts or escalates outside of the evening feeding. I think they just get an over-excited rush that they take out on eachother – its always Nellie instigating, its almost like glenns binkying annoys her lol


            • Bam
              Moderator
              16892 posts Send Private Message

                It does sound like you are very, very well prepared! A responsible carer is likely to know when there’s sth they should contact you about, even though they dont have rabbit experience, assuming it will be possible to contact you of course.

                One member here let their sitter have access to their BB account (you can always change your password later), so they could ask us here if they noticed sth with the buns.

                I think its very wise to make pellet portions for each day. I do that when my mum bunsits just to make things simpler for her. It’s difficult to correctly gauge the amount of pellets buns actually need, since they pretty much always act as if they’ve never ever had any food their whole poor little lives 😄

                Great that your buns are rebonded! A little while ago the site suddenly didnt allow anyone to post, but hopefully that problem has been permanently resolved.

                I hope you’ll have a great vacay!

                 


              • GlennTheLionhead
                Participant
                361 posts Send Private Message

                  Thanks again for everyone’s help and advice.

                  Just an update on this.

                  We could not find a rescue with space available in the end, we did go away and had a wonderful holiday. All buns were well looked after and tended to by our two sitters, we were updated daily and had a few phone calls from them to double check any worries which turned out to be nothing!

                  So moral of the story is if you trust your sitters, leave very clear instructions (we chose x3 daily visits minimum) and remain as contactable as possible things will likely go well. Admittedly we put the fear into them a little as we were honest about the seriousness of stasis and Nellies health issues and I believe that helped them lean on the side of caution.


                • Bam
                  Moderator
                  16892 posts Send Private Message

                    Yay! I’m glad you had a wonderful vacay! Your sitters sound like great people, and it seems you gave them very good instructions!

                    Stasis is serious, so it is very important that a sitter understands this, even if its a sitter that has lots of experience with other types of pets. For example, for a person used to dogs, it doesnt seem much to worry about if a pet skips its breakfast -especially in the summer when its warm. Dogs can be positively lethargic during warm days, and then when temps drop in the evening, they want a good long walk and their dinner. If you’ve never had buns yourself, it’s difficult to understand just how quickly things can get really serious if a bun “skips” a meal. (Buns should never skip meals).


                  • DanaNM
                    Moderator
                    8954 posts Send Private Message

                      That’s great! Glad you had a good trip!

                       

                      . . . The answers provided in this discussion are for general guideline purposes only. The information is not intended to diagnose or treat your pet. Seek the advice of your veterinarian or a qualified behaviorist.  


                    • LBJ10
                      Moderator
                      16932 posts Send Private Message

                        I’m glad to hear things turned out OK. I’m sure it wasn’t any less stressful WHILE you were gone, but it’s good to know they were in good hands and I’ll bet you were relieved when you returned home.

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                    Forum HOUSE RABBIT Q & A Vacation care worries