It’s nice weather outside, and you thought, why don’t you go for a walk outside? There you saw a person walking his dog. There you thought that you wanted a pet as well but you wanted to get a cute one, so why not a bunny?
But now that you’re thinking about getting a bunny, you’re probably filled with questions. How will you take care of your rabbit? Is it possible to take your rabbit on a walk? Do you have to put a leash on them? Do they have to wear a harness?
This is when we come into the picture. This article is all you are looking for. We know what “new pet owners”, especially rabbit ones, have to go through. You just need to keep on reading and finding detailed answers to all the questions you have. Don’t forget to take notes!
Can I Take My Bunny For A Walk?
It’s a worldwide fact that bunnies are domestic animals and love to spend most of their time inside. They just need a wide area to jump around and play in. They mostly don’t need any companion to have fun with; they love their own company.
But according to some studies, it has been confirmed that it is good for bunnies to take them out in the fresh air and under the warm sunlight. They love to enjoy the cold grass below them. And in no time, they’ll get comfortable roaming all around.
But keep in mind that they will need a little time to take this “new environment” into consideration. The most important thing you need to keep in mind while taking your rabbits on walks is that they love freedom and want their own space to enjoy, run, and play.
They will not prefer anyone to guide them on a “walk”. They like to free-roam and get more exercise than what their owners want them to. It is not cruel to keep them inside all the time, but it is also beneficial for them to explore outside.
It is good for their health if you take them on a walk or give them their own “playtime” outdoors, where they not only have a larger area to be mischievous but also the sunlight will make their bones and teeth strong. This also affects their mental health.
Can You Walk A Rabbit On A Leash?
If you are thinking of taking them out on a walk, give them their “bunny-proofed” space to play. They will get better exercise while roaming around. However, some rabbits get training to go along outside, for exercise, or for some other specific purposes.
If you are thinking of training your bunny to walk on a leash, you need to give them proper training with a proper harness too.
There are many great harnesses for bunnies. Some are Niteangel Adjustable Soft Harness, Calunce Soft Rabbit Harness, Kaytee Comfort Harness & Stretchy Leash, or H-style harness.
If you find difficulty in getting them in the rabbit section, check the cat section of a pet store. In the rabbit section, you might find something like a “comfort harness”, which is also nice and can work.
Try to steer clear of the “eight-figure” variety of harnesses, as they can be tight around your bunny’s neck and can cause severe injury.
That is the same reason why you should avoid collars too. If you want to actually train your pet to not just walk behind them wherever they go, choose a regular leash for dogs or cats.
Try to find the harness which fits just right for your bunny, neither too loose (it might give them a free escape) nor too tight (which might make them uncomfortable and cause them injuries). All of this is important to remember when taking them for a walk on a leash/harness.
How To Train Your Rabbit To Walk On A Leash
When you take your rabbit outside and provide them with enough training, this will create some other-level experience not only for your rabbit but for you too!
When we think of domestic rabbits, we forget that rabbits are wild animals and their instincts come from them, and how wild rabbits are so mobile and exercise more just by running on the grounds in search of “food and shelter”.
And after keeping them indoors, we usually forget how much exercise they need to stay happy and healthy.
Walking your bunny not only improves their health by burning off energy but also provides them with a sense of safety, allowing them to enjoy being outside.
So, here are some steps for you to train your rabbit while on a walk:
- First of all, when you are beginning something new, you need to gain your bunny’s trust.
- Keep the harness or leash between your rabbit’s toys and let them get comfortable with that new thing to “play” with.
- Start the training indoors first. This will make them trust that these things around them are no harm to them.
- Then find a place outside that makes them feel safe.
- Start with small sessions outside. Don’t force your rabbit to overdo their exercise. Keep in mind that the purpose of all of this is to give them a large and open space to play, stretch, and exercise.
- Let your rabbit decide when it’s the right time to begin the long walks.
Rabbits are smart creatures. They will more likely learn how to walk on a leash, ignoring the age factor. But everything has a cost, and here, that is your time, patience, consistency, and of course, lots of treats for your little buddy.
Do Bunnies Like To Be Walked?
If you want to get your rabbit out of their depression or stress and give them a reason to be happy and healthy, this is good exercise and a mind-refresher. So, the answer to your question is a straight “YES!”
Whether they live inside in their perfectly-formed bunny house or outside in their self-made hole, they love to play and explore new things!
They also find it mesmerizing; green grass, fresh air, warm sunshine, cold shadows, and other animals walking and playing outside, not in a closed four-wall room. This will give them a different experience and give them a lot of space to run around and explore new things.
They are highly intelligent and social creatures. So, in no time, they will create bonds with other rabbits too.
Once you gain your rabbit’s trust, you are good to try a leash or harness on your rabbit. Not to keep control over them, but to provide a safe environment for them to roam around and do whatever they want.
Frequently Asked Questions
Are leashes bad for rabbits?
Leashes are quite controversial and pretty dangerous for rabbits. Some rabbits might go out for a walk wearing that, but not all of them like them in the first place. Leashes or harnesses are meant to provide them a sense of safety, not some toy to control your bunny. The harness covers the entire belly along with the chest and neck area, so if it tries to run away and get restrained, it doesn’t cause the extreme jerk over his neck but it gets distributed all over his body, which helps them to avoid injuries. They have thin bones which can break easily, so find the right fit. Not too tight, not too loose. Don’t use stringy leashes because they could easily break those delicate thin bones. Remember that leashes and harnesses for dogs and rabbits are different! Also, don’t let your bunny out of your sight while on a leash or even a harness; they might tangle themselves in the bushes or even cause some major injuries.
How to walk a rabbit?
Even if your rabbit runs around in your house, it is better to take them out for a walk on a leash and give them proper training. Here is a step-by-step tutorial to do so:
1. Find them a proper fit harness (an H-style harness is best).
2. Let them choose whether to put the harness on or not. If not, try several attempts. Give them assurance that it is safe!
3. Let them be comfortable with that thing wrapped around their belly.
4. Start small walking sessions inside first.
5. Find a suitable and familiar spot outside for the walks, and take them regularly or alternately, so that they can adjust to the new place.
6. Let them do the big task, which is long walking.
7. Make sure they are safe outside. Don’t leave them alone. Keep them as far away from predators as possible, even big pets or stray dogs.
8. Check to prevent heatstroke.
Taking your rabbits outside is good for their health. We usually forget that keeping them inside and contributing to their lazy behavior can have a lot of effects on their health and even on their mental health.
It’s better to take them on a walk even if you want to put them on a harness or a leash for their own safety.
Keep the instruction in mind that is discussed above in the article, and then what? You are good to enjoy your rabbit’s new fun activity!