Best Rabbit Harness - Types and Characteristics
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Nowadays, it is becoming more and more common to keep a rabbit as a pet. This is not surprising, because rabbits are affectionate, intelligent, and sociable. When properly trained, they can be taken for walks just like a dog or cat. Like all animals, rabbits benefit from time outdoors, as they release energy and are mentally stimulated. As caregivers, it is our job to provide a safe environment, including outdoors. Harnesses can be the solution.
The following AnimalWised article explains the best harnesses for rabbits and their main features.
Benefits of the rabbit harness
The harness is an accessory made of intertwined ropes or a vest that is placed around the chest area of the rabbit behind the head and ensures that your rabbits do not run away. You must remember that rabbits are naturally shy animals, and the survival of their species depends in part on how quickly they can escape from a dangerous situation. Therefore, it is not surprising that rabbits will not think twice before jumping away from you in an open area when they sense danger.
This harness is specifically designed to allow the rabbit to explore the outdoors without compromising its safety or risk of escaping. Unlike the collar, the harness is not only more difficult to remove, but it also prevents physical damage to your rabbit, such as choking or injury to the neck if it makes a sudden movement.
Even if you do not plan on taking your rabbit for a walk, it's a good idea to put a harness on them when you go to the vet. This way, you'll make sure your rabbit is securely tethered and can not run away.
Taking your rabbit for a walk is not the only way to enrich your rabbit's environment. You can also transform your rabbit's cage, such as by adding toys. If you want to learn more about toys for rabbits, keep reading this other article where we will tell you the best toys for your rabbit's physical and mental well-being.
Types of harness for rabbits
Harnesses consist of a vest made of fabric or mesh and the interwoven ropes of cloth, nylon, leather and other materials that cover the body of the rabbit. In most cases, harnesses are attached to a belt that can be used to tie the animal down. The three main types of harnesses are the H-harness, the vest or coat harness, and the shoulder harness. We will go over the main features of each harness below:
The H-harness is the most popular type of harness for rabbits. It provides a secure and comfortable fit for your rabbit while preventing potential injuries from sudden jumps or movements. The reason it is called an H-harness is that it looks like an 'H' when viewed from the side while lying on the ground. There is a wide range of models and colors on the market. However, the most important thing is that you choose the right size. Usually there are two buckles at the waist and neck that allow you to adjust the size. Some models also have a chest strap for extra support. When attaching the leash, always connect it to the loop at the waist. Never attach the leash to the neck.
These harnesses are safe for all rabbits, but are more suitable for well-trained rabbits that are used to wearing a harness. They may also prove uncomfortable for rabbits prone to erratic movements. Shoulder harnesses function with a strap that goes around the chest and under the belly. As the name implies, the pressure is applied to the shoulder area, which is much more secure than the neck or back.
Vest or coat harness
vest harnesses have connectors on the top where you can hook a leash. Since it is a vest, it provides good support for the rabbit and is usually very comfortable. Most modern models have Velcro straps around the neck and at the waist. This makes them quick and easy to use. Rabbits can be very fidgety at first and are difficult to train with harnesses and vests, so these vests are good for the more difficult animals.
When caring for a rabbit, there are many details to consider so that your rabbit can live the best life possible. In addition to providing a species-appropriate environment, you also need to pay attention to whether there is something wrong with your rabbit. Continue reading this article to learn how to tell if your rabbit is sick.
What is the best harness for my rabbit?
It is especially important to choose a suitable harness for rabbits if you want to take them for a walk, because this way they will be safe, and you will be able to stay calm in case of emergency. The features you should look for are:
Rabbits are shy and flighty animals. Therefore, make sure to buy a harness that cannot be removed. The purpose of this harness is none other than to prevent your rabbit from escaping in case of a threat.
You should never use a collar for your rabbit. The kind of collars that dogs and cats wear are fine for them. But for rabbits, you need a harness that provides a good grip and is comfortable. Rabbits also have a sensitive spine and neck. If you try to use a collar with a leash, there is a real risk of injury.
The harness should only have enough slack to fit a couple of your fingers between the harness and your rabbit. If the harness is too tight, your rabbit will panic and tend to make uncontrolled movements to try to escape. If it's too loose, it will just slip out and run away. So take as much time as you need to find a harness that fits perfectly. All harnesses have adjustments, so you can keep tightening or loosening the straps until they fit just right.
This is another thing to pay attention to, as each rabbit harness has a different point where you can hook the leash. It's best to hook the leash on the back of the rabbit's body so that the force is distributed over the entire abdominal area. In other words, avoid harnesses that hook in front of the rabbit, as they restrict the rabbit's freedom of movement. It is also advisable to avoid those where the hook is directly on the neck.
To avoid a stressful situation for you and your rabbit, education, and training are crucial when walking with a harness. Learn more about rabbit training by reading this other article, where we give you some tips on training a rabbit.
If you want to read similar articles to Best Rabbit Harness - Types and Characteristics, we recommend you visit our Accessories and cosmetics category.
- Rabbit Jumping UK. (2012). Harnesses . Retrieved 17 Feb 2017 from https://web.archive.org/web/20121230015008/http://www.rjuk.moonfruit.com/harnesses/4548178681
- Rabbit Agility. (2006). About Harnesses . Retrieved 17 Feb 2017 from https://sites.google.com/site/iowahopping/getting-started-hopping-1