The question that lingers in most rabbit owners’ minds is whether their furry pet can wear a harness. Just like dogs, bunnies can wear them. However, before you decide to purchase one, you should consider the harness type and quality. Additionally, let them get used to the idea of wearing it in the first place before taking them outdoors on a leash.
Is it safe to put a harness on a rabbit?
Yes, it’s okay for your bunny to wear a harness. However, even if it’s properly worn, always advisable to keep an eye out for your rabbit every time they’re outdoors. It’s also worth pointing out that your rabbit should not wear the harness constantly, but only when necessary for their own protection.
What type of harness is best for a rabbit?
Although there is quite a variety of rabbit harnesses on the market, choosing one that fits them comfortably when worn is key. In other words, choose a harness that isn’t too tight or too loose. An ideal rabbit harness is one that covers the chest, neck, and belly. Below are some of the factors to consider before choosing a rabbit harness type.
- Soft and durable material
One of the factors to consider when choosing a harness is its texture. Always go for the softer material that rabbits can comfortably wear over extended periods. For example, purchasing a harness that’s made from polyester material is always advisable. This particular material is also breathable and quite comfortable for rabbits. In addition, soft polyester is flexible and highly durable especially when it’s stretched or pulled over time.
- Harness that supports the body
Another factor that makes an ideal rabbit harness is one with a design that connects to the back. This is one of the best types since it essentially supports the entire body in case a rabbit suddenly dashes off. Under such circumstances, there is less pressure around their neck unlike when they’re only wearing a leash.
- Fastening options
The more ways you can fasten a rabbit harness, the better. An ideal harness is one with various fastening options such as zippers, buckles, or velcro. Additionally, a rabbit harness that comprises of hook and loop fastener or a snap buckle strap will definitely give your rabbits extra protection.
- Harness with a bell
A harness that comes with a bell attached to it is recommended especially if your bunny is a free roamer. A tiny bell attached to a harness comes in handy particularly when your rabbits are good at hiding or if they’re in a larger room or in the backyard playing.
Do bunnies like harnesses?
It all boils down to the type of harness your bunny is wearing. Is it comfortable enough? Some of the recommended ones include the coat/vest or shoulder rabbit harness. Another common one that’s also comfortable is the one that fits around a bunny’s neck and waist.
Can you walk your bunny?
Walking a rabbit on a leash becomes much easier when they’re wearing a harness. At first, your rabbit might not like the idea to an extent of trying to resist it. However, with time they’ll eventually get accustomed to it.
Your rabbit will eventually also get used to the fact that you’ll be constantly walking behind them most of the time. Additionally, it’s worth mentioning that rabbits will often take the lead while strolling. Lastly, unlike dogs, bunnies are more skittish, hence the reason why you need to be extra cautious when you’re walking them outdoors.
How do you train a rabbit to wear a harness?
Training your rabbit to put on a harness entails using treats as a form of reward. However, it essentially comes down to your dedication and patience. Below is a step-by-step guide on how to train your bunny to wear a harness.
- Build a bond
Before you even think of placing a harness on your bunny, you need to build trust with them. Create a strong bond with them and let your rabbits see you as less of a threat.
- Introduce the harness
The next step is to place the harness next to them and let them inspect it. Then try to put the harness on the rabbit’s body and reward them with their favorite treat. Let wearing the harness be associated with a treat.
At first, there’s a high likelihood that they’ll be uncomfortable wearing a harness. If they can’t stand it, unbuckle it and let it sit on for a few hours each day. Buckle it again and give them a treat until they eventually get used to the idea of wearing a harness.
- Attach the leash
After your rabbit has gotten used to wearing their harness, attach the leash and gently tug them until they get accustomed to it. Avoid hard leash pulls at all costs since it’s likely to stress your bunny. Lastly, when walking your bunny outdoors, ensure that they’re nowhere near bushes, trees, or places where their leash is likely to get tangled.
Are some rabbits easier to harness train than others?
Yes, it depends on your bunny’s temperament. A calm-natured or less skittish rabbit is most likely to easily harness train. Averagely, it takes about a week for your rabbit to not only adapt to a harness but also walk on a leash.
Some rabbit breeds are essentially easier to train than others. However, it all boils down to a little bit of patience, commitment, and most importantly rewards in the form of treats.
There are quite a variety of rabbit harnesses in the market, however, we always recommend going for the high-quality ones. An ideal rabbit harness should be lightweight, and easily adjustable with an elastic leash. Finally, it’s good to bear in mind that rabbits should only wear harnesses only for their own safety since they’re naturally free roamers.
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