Why buy a rabbit harness?
You probably don’t think of a rabbit as a pet that can be taken on a walk, but they actually can be leash trained, a prospect appealing to many rabbit owners. It’s nice to give your pet some fresh air and outside time on days when the weather is nice. But if you don’t have a yard or playpen where they can run and jump freely and safely, it can be hard to provide this for your bunny. A harness with a leash attached can be a handy way for you to bring your bunny along to the park or other outdoor space so that you can enjoy some bonding time together while your pet gets some fresh air and nibbles at the grass.
Keep in mind that you or someone you trust should always be in attendance when your rabbit is outside with their harness and leash. Never stake them to a pole and leave them alone. You run the risk of them getting snatched by a predator, tangling themselves in the leash, or slipping or chewing out of it and running away. Also be careful to gently guide the rabbit and follow along behind them while you’re walking them, rather than sharply pulling, dragging, or tugging on the leash and harness. And bear in mind that wearing the harness and leash will require an adjustment period for most rabbits, so be patient.
What should you look for in a rabbit harness?
- Safety: When picking a rabbit harness for your little furry friend, you’ll want to choose one that is safe and comfortable for them to wear. Avoid collars, figure-eight harnesses, or any other type of harnesses that latch mainly around the neck. These put undue strain on your rabbit’s neck, which can lead to injuries. Instead, you’ll want to seek out an H-shaped harness (it’s shaped like an H when unfastened and laid out flat), a vest harness, or a shoulder harness. These wrap around the bunny’s back, belly, chest, and sometimes shoulders, as well as the neck. This distributes any stress from the leash more evenly and away from the bunny’s neck, which reduces the risk of injury. You’ll also want to make sure the harness won’t be too tight or too loose on your rabbit. A too-tight harness can restrict their movement and also cause injury, especially since they’re animals that startle easily and make lots of sudden movements. But they might be able to slip free of a harness that is too loose. Some models are made for a certain-sized rabbit or come with adjustable buckles, which may be your best bet.
- Comfort: You want your pet rabbit to be as comfortable as possible when wearing its harness. Many bunnies do better in softer mesh or cloth harnesses that fasten with Velcro and clips. Harnesses with these types of fastenings also tend to be easier and quicker to get on and off your pet, so they’re more convenient for you as well. If you opt for a more rope-like harness, make sure it’s made of a soft material like nylon. Regardless of which type of material you pick, the more flexible the harness is, the better. Flexible harnesses not only tend to be more adjustable but give your rabbit more freedom to run and jump. Many harnesses come with their own leashes, and some pet owners prefer a stretch or elastic leash since they feel it provides more flexibility and freedom for their bunny.
- Style: As rabbit harnesses grow more popular, they come in a wider range of styles and designs. Regular harnesses come in a wide range of different colors or even patterns. And there are some models that are essentially a little costume for your rabbit when they’re walking along. Some popular choices include harnesses that are designed to look like or come with their own dresses, capes, aprons, vests, or bowties. Some of these will come with extra accessories like bells, hats, buttons, or even tiny purses. These are fun options if you want a rabbit harness that is cute as well as functional or if you enjoy dressing up your pet.
How do you pick the right size of harness for your rabbit?
Like most pets, bunnies come in different shapes and sizes, so you’ll want to ensure that you pick the proper size to fit your rabbit. This will both make the harness safer for your pet to wear and reduce the risk of them slipping free from the harness. Most rabbit harnesses will give you a rough idea of the weight or size of rabbits (and other rodents) they’ll fit, but it’s important to take other steps to ensure the new harness fits your pet properly. Before buying, use a soft measuring tape or a piece of string to measure the circumference of your rabbit’s chest just behind the front legs. Take note of this measurement and then refer to the harnesses sizing chart provided by the specific harness you’re looking at buying; different companies have different metrics so be sure to check the chart of each individual harness.
A properly fitted rabbit harness should be snug but not too tight. When worn, you should be fit one or two fingers between the harness and your rabbit’s body. The straps should not be too loose to allow your rabbit to escape, nor too tight to restrict their movement or cause discomfort. Watch your rabbit’s behavior while wearing the harness. They should be able to move comfortably without any signs of distress or discomfort. If the harness appears too tight or causes irritation, consider trying a larger size or a different style that better suits your rabbit’s body shape. And be sure to check the fit each time you put it on, as bunnies may grow, gain or lose weight, or change shape over time; this is why rabbit harnesses with adjustable straps are ideal, as they’ll often save you from having to buy a brand new harness altogether.
Niteangel Adjustable Soft Harness with Elastic Leash for Rabbits (L, Blue)
A soft, safe, and strong mesh rabbit harness that comes with an extending elastic leash.
Pros: The harness is made of durable, padded mesh that is soft and extremely comfortable for your rabbit to wear. It won’t grip them too tightly or rub against their fur and skin. The harness closes with clips and Velcro at the chest and stomach. Both closures are adjustable, thanks to the extra nylon strap with the snap buckle, so you can better alter the harness to fit your rabbit’s body. The included elastic leash extends between 47 and 98 inches long to give you better control and your pet plenty of freedom to roam as far or close to you as they want. This large size is suitable for most grown rabbits that weigh between 3.5 and 6 pounds. If you need a larger or smaller harness, there are three other size options, small (for baby and dwarf rabbits under 2 pounds), medium (for rabbits between 2 and 4 pounds), and an extra-large (for rabbits that weigh above 6 pounds). All models come with the leash regardless of size. And no matter which size you buy, the harness comes in seven colors, so you can pick whichever best suits your rabbit’s fur or your own personal style.
Cons: Be sure to measure your rabbit before ordering to ensure a proper fit, as the sizing of the harness may not be completely accurate. The excess material on the harness may also not provide a snug and comfortable fit for fluffier bunnies. And the part of the harness that fits around the neck may be too thick for some rabbits, namely rabbits with smaller necks.
Bottom Line: Picking out the proper harness for a rabbit can be a tricky enough task on its own, much less finding the perfect leash to go with it. Fortunately, this vest-style harness comes with its own elastic leash included in your purchase.
Outus Adjustable Rabbit Harness
A highly adjustable rabbit harness made of super soft but strong nylon with a matching leash.
Pros: This rabbit harness is designed with an emphasis on adjustability, ensuring a comfortable fit for rabbits and other small animals, like guinea pigs. The adjustable straps ensure a snug fit, giving you peace of mind that your pet won’t slip out of the harness; it’s not only comfortable but also escape-proof when correctly adjusted. The clips are conveniently located on the top of the back, so you won’t have to reach under your pet’s belly to attach the leash. Made from high-quality materials, this harness and its included leash are built to last and provide a secure and stylish option for walks and outdoor adventures. Both pieces come in a range of beautiful colors, allowing you to express your pet’s unique personality. And the strappy design helps prevent overheating, keeping your pet cool and happy during outdoor activities.
Cons: Some users have reported that the harnesses didn’t fit larger rodents, such as bigger rabbits or ferrets, even with its adjustability. Thus it’s a better option for smaller bunnies. Additionally, other customers found the leash to be too short, and the back strap too small, limiting the adjustability. For those with larger animals or specific requirements, additional modifications may be necessary.
Bottom Line: If you’re unsure about the proper harness size for your rabbit, you’ll want to spring for a harness that is as adjustable as possible. This strappy harness offers maximum adjustability, so you can better modify it to fit your bunny properly, especially if they’re on the smaller side.
Weewooday 3-Piece Rabbit Leash and Harness Dress Set
Three adorable, colorful dresses that serve as the actual harness rather than a costume that fits over a harness.
Pros: These adorable little dresses each have a hook on the back that you can clip the leash right onto; the dress doesn’t go on over a harness; it is the harness itself. Designed with comfort in mind, these dress harnesses are perfect for rabbits, especially smaller and younger ones who may be nervous or experiencing their first outdoor adventures. The dresses not only add a cute and fashionable touch but also provide extra comfort, wrapping your pet in soft material rather than straps. They’re lightweight and well-constructed, ensuring a comfortable fit without compromising on quality. The charming wooden bunny button details add a delightful touch to the overall design. And not only do you get three dress harnesses and three leashes with your purchase, giving you better bang for your buck, but there are three different styles of dress harnesses to choose from. They’re especially ideal for harness training indoors, allowing your bunny to explore in style before venturing out into the wider world.
Cons: The sizes of these harnesses do run smaller than expected, with the harnesses fitting only very small animals, so this is another option better suited to smaller or younger bunnies. As your pet grows older and becomes more adventurous, you may need to switch to a more heavy-duty harness for added security. Furthermore, some customers have reported difficulties with the clips, finding them hard to clip and unclip. It may take you some more use and time to get used to the clips for them to become easier to manage.
Bottom Line: Thanks to this little dress harness, you don’t have to settle for just practical or just cute when it comes to picking a rabbit harness for your pet. You can dress your rabbit up and walk it at the same time, whether for everyday use or special occasions like holidays.
Pettom Bunny Rabbit Harness with Stretchy Leash Cute Adjustable Buckle Breathable Mesh Vest Harness and Leash Set for Kitten Small Pets Holland Lop Bunnies Walking (S(Chest:10.8-12.9 in), Pink)
A rabbit harness made to accommodate younger or smaller breeds of bunnies.
Pros: This harness was designed specifically with baby and smaller breeds of rabbits in mind; it’s suitable for rabbits that weigh between 3 and 6 pounds. (A slightly bigger model for bunnies between 4 and 8 pounds is also available.) It’s made of highly breathable mesh that won’t overheat your pet even on warmer days, and the material is both soft and padded for as gentle and comfortable a fit as possible. The plastic hook and loop closure plus the chest buckle keep the harness secure so that your rabbit can’t slip free. The Velcro around the neck and chest plus the attached elastic let you adjust the fit to better suit your pet and reduces the strain on their chest, neck, and belly. A strong buckle is fixed at the back of the harness for the included elastic leash to clip onto.
Cons: The included leash may be too short for everyone’s liking, limiting your pet’s range of movement. Additionally, there have been reports of the leash being easily chewed through by rabbits, requiring the use of a sturdier replacement leash. The Velcro attachments on the harness also sometimes become entangled in long-haired rabbits’ fur, causing discomfort or even ripping off the harness. Take care to ensure the Velcro doesn’t catch on your bunny’s fur when you’re putting it on them.
Bottom Line: If you have a pet baby bunny or a smaller species like a dwarf rabbit, standard rabbit harnesses may not fit them. That doesn’t mean they have to miss out on walks thanks to this particular harness that was designed with smaller breeds in mind.
Multipurpose Rabbit Vest Harness and Leash Set Small Animal Adjustable Soft Harness with Button Decor Formal Suit Style for Bunny Rabbit Kitten Small Animal Walking (L)
A cute, dapper vest that is both a harness and an outfit for your rabbit.
Pros: The gray plaid pattern of this vest harness, decorated with a pair of buttons and faux pockets, will look cute on any rabbit with any fur color, and the vest is shaped to resemble a real vintage suit vest to make your bunny look more dapper. It’s adjustable at the neck and chest, so you can alter it to be more comfortable and a better fit for your pet. Your rabbit can even wear it without a leash (sold separately) if you ever want to use the vest as just a costume indoors. The two secure buckles keep it firmly in place around your rabbit’s neck and belly, and they’re easy to undo or snap into place for both dressing up and dressing down. It won’t restrict your rabbit’s movements, so they can run and hop and explore to their heart’s content. Small, medium, and large sizes are available; a small will fit rabbits with a 7- to 9-inch neck and 10- to 11.4-inch chest, a medium will fit a 9- to 10-inch neck and 12- to 14.9-inch chest, and a large will fit a 9.8- to 11.8-inch neck and 13.4- to 17.3-inch chest.
Cons: Rabbits have a natural inclination to chew, and there’s a chance your rabbit will chew through the harness straps or leash. It’s also not an escape-proof harness—the v-neck design of the vest may allow your rabbit to slip out if they make a concentrated effort to do so. Therefore, this harness isn’t the most secure option for outdoor activities. And although it’ll cute on any rabbit, the harness isn’t particularly strong either, especially compared to the much more durable straps.
Bottom Line: Lots of people like to dress up their pets, but it can be tricky to find clothes or costumes that fit over their harnesses. This cute, dapper little vest solves this problem, as it is both a harness and a vest in one.
Rabbit harnesses offer a safe and controlled way to give your pet rabbit supervised outdoor time and enrichment for your pet bunny. By selecting the right-sized harness, properly fitting and adjusting it, and introducing it gradually, you can provide your rabbit with enjoyable outdoor experiences and freedom while still ensuring their safety.