Frequently Asked Questions

Got questions about boarding your pets with us?

Below are some of the common queries we get about staying at Willow Woods and our custom-built indoor boarding spaces for rabbits and guinea pigs, but please don’t hesitate to get in touch if there’s something else you’d like to know! You can also check out our customer reviews and pet boarding rates for more information.

Contacting Us

Why is it so difficult to reach you by phone? I rang at 7 am on Sunday and again at 11 pm on Monday, but no one answered our calls.

Willow Woods is a small hobby business without reception staff manning the phone full-time.

During business hours, we spend the bulk of our time attending to the care of pets in our facility or attending to check-ins or check-outs and may not be able to attend to emails or phone calls immediately.

Sending an SMS or an email is the easiest way to reach us. We may reply emails after business hours at our discretion. However, we will only respond to SMS messages during business hours.

You may book a boarding stay online using one of these links:
Rabbit Boarding
Guinea Pig Boarding

Boarding Reservations & Bookings

I need to make an urgent, unplanned overseas trip. Are last minute bookings possible?

Yes, we accept last minute bookings, subject to availability of boarding spaces. However, we still require proof of up to date (ie. within one year prior to last day of planned boarding stay) calicivirus vaccination for bunnies and flea/mite treatment with Revolution for both bunnies and guinea pigs.

When should I make an online booking for my bunny’s or guinea pig’s boarding stay?

It is advisable to do so as soon as you have confirmed your holiday bookings to avoid disappointment. However, please familiarise yourself with our refund policy for cancellations. It is advisable that you strike a balance between missing out on a boarding spot and risking a cancellation fee in the event that your holiday is cancelled.

I prefer to make a boarding reservation over the phone instead of booking via the online calendar. Is this possible?

No, we do not take boarding reservations over the phone.

However, we accept reservations via email, if you provide the boarding dates, number of rabbits or guinea pigs, choice of accommodation, and your full contact details (ie. all the information required in our online booking form). If there is availability, an invoice for boarding fees will be sent in response to your email.

Your reservation will only be confirmed upon receipt of full payment via direct debit or cheque. Any delays in full payment may result in all spots being booked up by other customers via our online calendar prior to confirmation of your reservation.

If there are no available spots when your payment is received, your payment will be fully refunded.

In summary, the fastest and surest way to ensure that your reservation is confirmed is to book via our online calendar as there is instant confirmation without any delays.

How do I check availability of boarding spaces?

Availability is shown in green on our online calendars. Dates are shown in red indicate that we are fully booked out. All booking calendars record bookings & availability in real-time.



Why do you require full payment to confirm my booking?

Unfortunately, we have had a few customers who made bookings, but did not show up as arranged and did not answer our calls/emails when we tried to follow up. In doing so, they deprived other customers of their spots and wasted our time taken to prepare their bunny’s or guinea pig’s accommodation, bedding, litter trays, bowls, etc. ahead of their scheduled arrival. Therefore, we have revised our policy to require full payment for all bookings, which is not unlike the practice of airlines,  hotels and travel agencies.

There are no spots left! Can you please squeeze in my bunny/guinea pig?

Unfortunately, once all our spots are booked out, we are unable to accept additional boarders. For the health and wellbeing of our boarders, overbooking is prohibited at Willow Woods to avoid over-crowding and downgrade in service levels. Our advice is to book well in advance in future, especially for Christmas and other holiday seasons.

Are boarding services available all year round?

Boarding services are currently available only during peak holiday seasons as we no longer offer boarding 365 days a year.

When do calendars open for booking?

Available dates on our calendars will be updated approximately 2 months ahead of time, eg. sometime in late October for Christmas/New Year bookings.

Rates & Discounts

Why can’t you charge on a ‘per night’ basis, just like hotels?

We would love to charge in the same way that hotels do! We can then levy weekend surcharges, early check-in or late check-out charges, laundry charges for cleaning blankets, charges for treats and snacks from the mini bar, and internet charges for providing photo updates.

But we don’t.

Instead, our rates are charged on a ‘per day’ basis, so that your bunny’s or guinea pig’s experience is the same throughout its entire stay with us.

Your bunny or guinea pig receives daily servings of vegetables/fruits, including the first and last day of its stay. Its accommodation is also cleaned daily, including a wipe down before your bunny or guinea pig checks in, and a morning clean on check-out day. After your bunny or guinea pig checks out, we clean its accommodation once again, ie. accommodation is cleaned twice on check-out day.

We do not double book rabbits into the same accommodation on the same day, in order to allow ample time for thorough cleaning, disinfection and complete drying of the accommodation between use.

Are your rates negotiable? Are you able to offer discounts for stays less than 30 days for regular customers?

Our rates are not negotiable. A discount of 10% on the base rate is automatically calculated by our booking system for all stays over 30 days. Nearly all our customers are regular customers who board their rabbits for less than 30 days at a time. If we were to offer discounts to all regular customers, we may as well lower our rates, which is not possible if we are to remain a viable business.


Is there a surcharge for boarding my rabbit or guinea pig on Sunday?

The daily rates are as reflected in our calendars. If your rabbit or guinea pig checks-in and checks-out during our business hours, there are no surcharges. The only time a surcharge is incurred is when you choose to drop off or pick up your rabbit or guinea pig outside our business hours.

(Our business hours are 10 am to 1 pm and 2 to 4 pm on weekdays and 10 am to 1 pm on Saturdays. We are closed on Sundays and Victorian Public Holidays.)

If you opt to check in or check out your pet outside of business hours on weekdays and Saturdays, the surcharge per half hour block or part thereof is $35.

If you opt to check in or check out your pet outside of business hours on Sundays and Victorian Public Holidays, the surcharge per half hour block or part thereof is $65.

I have paid the outside business hours surcharge. Why did you decline my request to collect my bunny at 8:30 pm?

In the interest of safety, we reserve the right to decline requests for very late check-ins or check-outs as we are located in an industrial estate. Moreover, the gates to the complex shut at 7 pm on weekdays, 2 pm on Saturdays and are closed throughout Sundays. Generally, check-ins or check-outs are strictly not possible between the hours 6 pm to 7 am everyday. We do have a life after all!

Inspections / Tours

Why can’t we enter the premises for check-ins / check-outs or first time inspections?

As part of our Covid-safe plan, our doors remain shut to visitors while boarding is in progress. If any of our staff were to contract Covid-19, it will impact on our ability to provide the best of care for your rabbit or guinea pig. 

Changes to Booking Dates

My travel plans were disrupted with flight cancellations. May I please extend my pet’s stay?

Yes, this is possible subject to availability of cages/play pens, so please let us know as soon as you can, so that we can make arrangements to accommodate the extension. A fair amount of administrative work is involved in attending to this, including adjusting our booking calendars at the back-end to avoid double booking of our cages/play pens.


Why is a minimum stay of 4 days imposed?

We do not charge a cleaning fee for a full vacate clean which takes up to 2 hours to complete. Therefore, it’s not viable for us to provide daycare or short stays of less than 4 days.

Is it possible to customise larger play pen set-ups for my bunny?

Yes, we can combine deluxe play pens to form larger accommodation areas, subject to availability. For example, if you would like a play pen measuring 3,2 m by 1.6 m, simply book two separate deluxe play pens which measure 1.6 m by 1.6 m (each), and advise that you would like them to be combined via our online booking form.

My bunny/guinea pig is used to free ranging at home. Will you allow my bunny/guinea pig to free range in your facility?

We are unable to allow any bunny or guinea pig boarders to free range the facility, to prevent fights and injuries between boarders through the bars of cages or playpens.

Play time/floor time outside of their accommodation is not offered, in the interest of infection control and safety.

If you would like larger spaces for your bunny, you may consider booking 2 or more deluxe pens and have them combined into one large space.

For guinea pigs, there is the option of upgrading to the 5 x 2 C&C Grid Pen.

I prefer a home boarding environment. Are you able to provide this?

Our boarding facility is styled like an indoor, home environment with lots of creature comforts from home, such as, toys, hide-outs, climate-control, soft music in the background, plants and wall decor. Please note that we have a council permit to provide rabbit boarding services which means our services are regulated by the council.

[Be aware that home boarders may not have been granted permits by their local councils to operate boarding facilities, as animal boarding is usually not permitted for residential homes in most suburban planning zones.]


Are you insured?

Yes, we have public liability cover for all bunnies and guinea pigs in our care.

Mite / Flea Treatment

Why do I have to treat my bunny or guinea pig for fleas/mites?

It is one of our conditions of entry to minimise the risk of diseases being spread amongst our boarders via vectors such as fleas/mites.

This requirement will not be waived even if your pet lives indoors or your vet certifies your pet to be free of fleas/mites.


Do I have to vaccinate my guinea pig?

No, there are no vaccinations available for guinea pigs.

Do I really have to vaccinate my bunny? It has always been healthy and lives indoors.

Yes, it is one of our conditions of entry to ensure that all bunny boarders are healthy and do not transmit calicivirus to one another.

Vaccinations are also stipulated in DEPI’s Code of Practice for the Operation of Boarding Establishments, which we strictly adhere to.

What are the benefits of vaccinating my bunny against calicivirus?

The calicivirus causes a haemorrhagic viral disease, which affects a rabbit within 12-18 hours. The mortality rate is high and nearly all infected rabbits die from the disease. Annual calicivirus vaccinations protect your bunny against this fatal disease.  

Is it ok to vaccinate my bunny just before boarding?

If it is a booster vaccination, it is not an issue to vaccinate your bunny just before boarding. However, if it is your bunny’s first vaccination, the vaccination should be done at a very a minimum of 2 weeks prior to boarding, as it takes approximately 2 weeks to develop immunity after the vaccination.

Is it ok if my bunny’s calicivirus vaccination expires during the boarding stay?

No, we require vaccinations to be current for the full duration of the stay. Therefore, please ensure that your bunny’s last vaccination was no later than 12 months prior to check-out date.

Special Requests

Is it ok if I drop off my bunny or guinea pig 5 minutes before closing time?

If it is your bunny’s or guinea pig’s first boarding stay, allow at least 30 minutes to complete paperwork, brief us about your bunny or guinea pig, and ensure that your bunny or guinea pig has settled into his/her accommodation before leaving.

If your bunny or guinea pig is a regular boarder and all records are up to date, you may drop off your bunny or guinea pig at the reception, in which case, 5 minutes will suffice. However, if the check-in stretches beyond our business hours, then the outside hours surcharge is payable in 30-minutes block or part thereof.

May I bring my bunny’s or guinea pig’s favourite things?

Of course! We are committed to making your bunny’s or guinea pig’s stay an enjoyable one. You are welcome to bring anything that your bunny or guinea pig is accustomed to having, including toys, blanket, litter tray, bowl, food pellets, treats, vitamins and so on. All items must be labelled to avoid mix-ups or losses.

However, we ask that you clean all items thoroughly prior to bringing them into our facility and to bring only a reasonable quantity of items due to limited storage space. Everything that you bring must either fit into or on top of the accommodation that you have booked for your bunny or guinea pig.

Please note that we are unable to accept carpets, rugs, mats, etc. which are not washable or disposable. If in doubt, send us a photo of the items which you would like to bring, in advance of arrival. 

Can you not feed my bunny or guinea pig with strawberries, bananas or other food that are high in sugar?

We only provide small pieces of fruit as occasional treats to our bunny or or guinea pig boarders. We are happy not to provide such treats to your bunny or or guinea pig. However, we must be informed when your bunny or guinea pig checks in. You will have the opportunity to do so when you complete paperwork as part of our check-in procedure.

Will you cuddle my bunny or guinea pig on my behalf everyday?

Definitely! We pat and socialise all bunnies and guinea pigs in our care daily. If your bunny or guinea pig does not like being picked up, then we will not cuddle them to avoid stressing them out.


Will I receive regular updates about my bunny or guinea pig?

Definitely! We send photos/video updates via SMS, Whatsapp or i-Message twice weekly during your bunny or guinea pig’s stay. However, this service is complimentary and we reserve the right to withdraw this service at any time especially during busy periods. 


Why can’t Willow Woods send my bunny or piggy to the vet if needed?

Willow Woods is a small business with staff fully occupied with looking after bunnies under our care, attending to check-ins/check-outs, etc. We are not able to allocate manpower to transport bunnies/piggies to the vet’s which will more than likely incur a long waiting time (especially at popular rabbit/guinea pig savvy vet clinics). This is why we require all customers to organise their own emergency contacts beforehand, to help with the transportation should the need ever arise. Nonethless, where your emergency contact is unable to assist, we will take your bunny or piggy to the vet for an extra fee to cover transport costs and time spent at the vet. The health, safety and wellbeing of our guests will always be our top priority.

Why isn’t play time offered?

In the interest of infection control, boarders do not share any facilities during their stay. They remain in their accommodation for the full duration of their stay.

Unlike the practice by kennels, whereby dogs can run and play freely with one another in a fenced-off area, it is not possible to adopt a similar practice for rabbits and guinea pigs.

Firstly, communal playtime will result in fights and injuries amongst rabbit boarders and cavy campers with almost certainty.

Secondly, during separate playtime for each set of rabbits or guinea pigs (from one family at a time), excessive marking of territory will usually occur, with urine and faecal droppings left all over the floor. In between use, it takes approximately 30 minutes to properly wipe down and disinfect each playpen and enclosed floor space. At the current boarding rates, after deducting GST, the costs of food, rent, electricity, water and other overheads, this means our staff will be working way below the minimum wage in order to provide this service.

Will my bunny or guinea pig come into contact with other bunnies or guinea pigs?

No, your bunny or guinea pig will not be accommodated in the same cage or pen as bunnies or guinea pigs from other families. Whatever accommodation you have booked will be for your bunny’s or guinea pig’s sole use.

Will my bunny or guinea pig be brought outdoors?

No, all bunnies or guinea pigs will be kept indoors for the duration of their stay. They will have exposure to natural light through windows and skylights. We keep them indoors to ensure their safety from predators and mosquitoes.

May I board my non de-sexed bunny or guinea pig?

Of course you may! De-sexing is not a requirement for boarding in Willow Woods, since our boarders do not get into contact with one another. However, we strongly encourage you to de-sex your bunny or guinea pig for health and behavioural reasons, and most of all, to prevent accidental litters.

Do you board dogs, cats, rats, mice, ferrets or birds as well?

No, we board rabbits and guinea pigs only.

Can you please help to re-home my bunny or guinea pig?

No, we are a boarding establishment. We do not have a permit to run a shelter, and are therefore, unable to assist with re-homing of your bunny or guinea pig. Please contact the shelters listed on our “Useful Links” page.

Do you offer 24/7 care?

Someone will stay overnight on the premises when rabbits or guinea pigs are in our care. However, please be aware that our staff do need to rest after business hours, so phone calls and text messages may not be answered after business hours. For this reason, we no longer offer boarding 365 days a year. Boarding services are currently only available during peak holiday seasons and calendars will be open approximately 2 months ahead of time.