You often see pictures of cute rabbits wearing collars. Rabbit owners have different reasons for putting a collar on their pet rabbit. Not everyone thinks it’s a good idea. I suggest you research why a rabbit needs a collar. In fact, I get asked by people all the time if collars are okay for rabbits. So, can rabbits wear collars.
Should A Rabbit Wear A Collar?
Among rabbit owners, there is a great debate about whether a rabbit should wear a collar. Both sides have strong opinions because it involves the care of their pet rabbit. It’s a sensitive topic. Here are the two arguments for and against rabbit collars.
Against Rabbit Collars
- Injuries-Those against rabbit collars say they are dangerous for rabbits. Rabbits love to explore their surroundings whether it involves crawling under a bed inside or hiding under a bush in your backyard. Those against collars reason, that if your rabbit is wearing a collar while exploring, she could get caught injuring her neck or possibility even strangling herself. They point out that rabbits have gotten their paws or jaws caught in side the collars while trying to get it off.
- Abrasion on a rabbit’s neck- A rabbit’s neck is very thin under all their fur. The skin on their neck is sensitive and cut or irritated easily.
For Rabbit Collars
- Identification-Rabbit owners can put an identification tag on their rabbit’s collar with information in case the rabbit escapes.
- Know where your rabbit all the time-Similar to belling a cat, you can put a bell on your rabbits thin collar so you know where she is all the time. Collars with bells are good to keep track of your inside rabbit is when she’s hopping all around the house.
Is It Okay To Put A Collar On A Rabbit?
It might be okay to put a collar on your pet rabbit as long as you follow these safety suggestions.
- Purchase a kitten collar with a breakaway/quick release feature on it. When pulled, these collars snap open. This prevents your rabbit from accidentally strangling herself or getting caught.
- Never leave your rabbit unsupervised in your house or yard when she’s wearing her collar. Keep an eye on her the entire time so you can quickly remove her if she gets tangled or caught.
- Be sure the collar is snug enough so she can’t get her jaws or paws stuck in the collar. It’s common for a rabbit to try to get out of a collar. They use their jaws and paws to try to remove the collar.
What Is A Rabbit GPS Collar?
A GPS collar helps you find your rabbit if she escapes. They fit snugly around your rabbit’s neck sending a signal to your hand-held device so find your bunny. Research shows that there have been rabbit deaths contributed to GPS collars. Neck abrasions and other injuries have occurred. Rabbits have gotten their legs and jaw caught under the cable type collars.
Can Rabbits Walk On A Leash?
Rabbit owners suggest that if you want to walk your pet rabbit, use a harness instead of a collar. Collars can pull on your rabbit’s neck. Here are several of the most recommended types of harnesses to use for your rabbit.
The H harness is very popular. You can buy them at a pet store. They’re called an H harness, because when laid out flat they form an H. The harness has two buckles-one for around your rabbit’s neck and the other one for around her waist. They are adjustable. Some disadvantages are that a belly strap on the H harness can make it easy for your rabbit to escape out of the harness. There is also a neck strap that rabbits like to chew on. Also some rabbits don’t like a neck strap, it’s too restrictive.
Coat or Vest Harness
Coat or vest harnesses fit snug around your rabbit’s body. The harness closes with a velcro fastener at the neck and waist. Some have buttons that need to be checked. There is a ring at the top to clip a leash on. Coat or vest harnesses are very safe and less prone to causing injuries when walking your rabbit.
Shoulder harnesses are popular. You can’t buy these at a pet store , but you can find one online. This harness uses straps around your rabbit’s chest and the other goes around her belly. There is less of a strangling feeling for a rabbit than with the H harness. A shoulder harness is good for a rabbit that pulls a lot.
Whatever type of harness you choose for your pet rabbit, it’s important that it fits your rabbit snuggly. When you put a harness of your rabbit, you should be able to fit two of your fingers between your rabbit’s collar or waist. If it’s too tight, your rabbit may get stressed. If the harness is too loose, your rabbit may chew it or slip out of the harness while you’re walking her. Rabbits are furry, so you can’t decide if the harness fits just by how your rabbit looks.
Walking Your Rabbit On A Leash
The benefit of walking a rabbit on a leash is that you can keep your rabbit from running away when she’s outside. When you’re walking your rabbit, she won’t follow you, you’ll follow her as she explores. Pulling on your rabbit will make her stressed. Never restrain your rabbit with the leash unless there is a danger.
Never force your rabbit to walk on a leash
Don’t drag her or make her jump over obstacles bribing her with treats. Never let a child walk your rabbit. Rabbits have very thin bones, if they get scared or tangled up, they can break their back or a leg. If your rabbit is getting stressed while you’re walking her, pick her up and return home. Calm her down with a soothing voice. Be patient and try again later. Over time your rabbit will learn to enjoy walking. Also choose a quiet place to walk your rabbit. A meadow is a great place to walk your rabbit. She can graze to her heart’s content. Just be sure there are no predators around when you walk her. Rabbits can sense danger, she might suddenly bolt fearing something is after her, so hold on to her leash tight.
What About E Collars On Rabbits?
E Collars or Elizabethian collars, are the plastic cones vets put around animals’ necks to prevent chewing on sutures or an injured area of their body. Many vets have stopped using these collars as often because they cause unnecessary stress on recuperating rabbits. This stress can make a rabbit stop eating. These collars also prevent a rabbit from eating her cecotropes because she can’t reach backwards. Research shows that when a rabbit damages or disrupts a surgical site, it’s not because they didn’t have on a e collar, but because of a poor surgical technique or inexperience with a rabbit surgical procedure. Today, most experienced rabbit vets reserve the use of e collars for extreme circumstances.