Can You Go For A Walk With Rabbits? The Best Tips And Tricks
If you don’t have a garden of your own where your rabbits can enjoy nature from time to time, then a walk is a welcome change from set life.
Now we’ll tell you what you need to keep in mind when taking your rabbit for a walk:
- Choosing the right rabbit leash
- Putting the animal on a leash correctly
- 3 important safety tips
- 6 frequently asked questions
Is it possible to walk a rabbit?
Yes, in principle it is possible that you can go for a walk with your rabbit. However, you should keep in mind that a rabbit is not a dog that will walk well on a leash.
You should also keep in mind that your rabbit is a flight animal, which is why you should secure it especially well during the walk.
Fresh air and sufficient sunshine are absolutely necessary for a long and healthy rabbit life.
If you have a garden or a balcony, then you have the option of giving your rabbits secured free run in a fenced area.
If this option is not available, you can still offer your rabbits outdoor exercise by accustoming them to a harness and leash and then taking them for walks.
Be sure to consider your rabbit’s personality when walking them. Fearful rabbits need to be introduced to the new situation gradually so that they can really enjoy the walks with you.
If you go too fast, your rabbit will be stressed and will perceive the walk as a nightmare°.
Since this is not the goal, of course, but that walking your rabbit adds value and increases its quality of life, let’s take a closer look at what to consider when equipping it for walks.
Leash your rabbit properly
Before we get into how to put the leash on your rabbit and how to prepare your rabbit for walks together, it is important to clarify whether a collar or a harness is better suited for your pet.
There is only one answer here, and it is short and sweet:
Hands off a collar!
Since rabbits are prey animals and therefore have a more or less pronounced flight instinct, wearing a collar can lead to serious injuries or even a broken neck or strangulation if your rabbit panics and tries to escape.
For this reason, you should choose a well-padded rabbit harness that secures your pet but does not restrict its movements.
You should also make sure that the harness fits in such a way that your rabbit cannot easily escape from it. On the other hand, the harness should not be so tight that it causes your rabbit pain or even literally cuts off his air.
In addition, it is also important to clarify which leash is best suited for the walk.
You have the choice between a light leash, which consists of a cord and is usually between one and three meters long, and a so-called retractable leash, which measures up to five meters in length.
The advantage of a cord leash is, of course, the more direct connection you have with your pet, and also the fact that you have better control over your rabbit.
The retractable leash, on the other hand, allows your rabbit more freedom of movement and prevents your rabbit from getting tangled up in the leash, as the leash will retract itself as soon as your rabbit walks in your direction.
However, you may get burned on your hands if your rabbit goes into escape mode and you reach into the rope of the leash as it continues to unwind.
Also, the leash and handle may fall out of your hand, startling your rabbit and causing him to run away with the leash. Since the handle makes noises while being dragged over asphalt, for example, this condition puts your rabbit into an even greater panic, which is why it will not calm down on its own.
In view of the problems described above, it is recommended to use a fixed leash of about two meters when walking your rabbit.
It is best to use special leashes for rabbits and not dog leashes, because leashes for dogs usually have more weight and the carabiner is too big and too heavy for a rabbit.
How to put on the leash
Putting on the leash should be done calmly and with slow movements.
Avoid reaching down from above to put the leash on your rabbit. Instead, sit with your rabbit in the enclosure and wait for him to come to you.
You can then give him a treat and calmly put on the harness and leash coming from the side. This is a largely stress-free method that your rabbit will feel most comfortable with.
3 important safety tips for walking your rabbit (be sure to follow them!)
- be aware of your surroundings
When out and about with your rabbit, keep an eye not only on your rabbit, but also on your surroundings at all times.
Both many cats and some dogs are attracted to your rabbit, so you should spot these potential hazards early so you can act accordingly.
Another problem: garbage that could be dangerous for your rabbit
Meadows are also full of poisonous plants that your rabbit should never nibble on. Therefore, it is recommended that you first check your chosen walking place for dangers without your rabbit and remove them if necessary before letting your rabbit explore the area.
2. Observe your rabbit’s state of mind.
Is your rabbit relaxed right now?
This can change quickly and at any time – especially during the first few outings, as your rabbit is not yet accustomed to its environment.
Therefore, watch your rabbit closely during the walk to see what the mental state is and when it becomes too much for your pet.
If you notice that your rabbit is getting stressed, you should stop the walk immediately and try again the next day.
- keep an eye on the weather
The weather is often unpredictable and can change in a matter of minutes.
Given this, it’s important to keep checking the sky so that you and your rabbit aren’t caught in a sudden downpour or thunderstorm.
If in doubt, it is advisable that you rather stay at home with your rabbit and postpone your walk to another day with better weather. Because not only are rabbits not fun in the rain, wetness can even be harmful to their health.
FAQ – frequently asked questions
Is it possible to walk every rabbit?
No, not every rabbit is suitable for a walk.
You should not take baby rabbits, sick animals or very fearful animals outside. In these cases, the walk will do your rabbits more harm than good.
How to get rabbits used to the harness and leash?
The key to success in this case is to have some intuition to gauge how quickly your rabbit will accept the harness and leash.
Some animals are more curious than others, so it is not possible to give an exact indication of how long it will take you to get them used to the harness.
Here is a step-by-step guide to help you get your rabbit used to the harness/leash as stress-free as possible:
Step 1: Place the harness in the enclosure.
In the first step, place the harness and leash near the enclosure so your rabbits can see the leash and harness.
Leave both the leash and harness in place for a few days without doing anything with them.
Step 2: Get to know the harness
After a few days, pick up the harness and sit with it in the enclosure with your rabbit. Let the animal come to you and show it the harness, let it sniff and get to know it.
It is important that your rabbit comes to the harness and not the other way around!
Step 3: Put on the harness
Now you can start petting your rabbit with the harness. If your rabbit does not show any signs of discomfort during this step, you can carefully put the harness on your rabbit.
If your rabbit immediately starts hopping around the enclosure as usual, then you have already successfully accustomed your rabbit to the harness.
However, if it stiffens up, then you should take the harness off your rabbit again and keep putting it on for a short time.
Some rabbits never get used to the harness and always find it constricting and uncomfortable. In this case, you should accept this circumstance as part of your rabbit’s personality and for the sake of the animal, refrain from walking it.
Step 4: Put on the leash
The last step is to teach your rabbit to accept the leash.
To do this, put the harness on your rabbit and simply hook the leash on without holding the other end.
Let your rabbit hobble around with the loose leash for a bit so he can get used to the feeling.
Step 5: Leading the rabbit on the leash
Now take the leash in your hand and test carefully how your rabbit reacts when a little pull is applied to the leash.
If your rabbit stays relaxed here as well, then you are ready for your first walk together!
Can you let rabbits run free while walking?
It is definitely not recommended that you let your rabbit run free during the walk.
Rabbits can run much faster than humans, which will cause you a serious problem if your rabbit gets scared and runs away. A leash is therefore mandatory for any responsible rabbit owner.
Can you walk more than one rabbit at a time?
If you take at least two animals with you on the walk, then your rabbits can provide each other with security.
However, you should keep in mind that your rabbits may want to explore their surroundings in different directions or at different speeds.
Given this, it is recommended that you take a second person with you on the walk and each of you lead one rabbit at a time on a leash.
Where is the best place to walk rabbits?
A rabbit is not suitable for a walk in the city!
Therefore, you should find a quiet spot in the woods or in a meadow to take your rabbit for a relaxed walk.
When choosing a place, make sure that there are few or no dog walkers.
In the beginning, it’s also a good idea to walk your rabbit to the same place every time, so that he can gain confidence in the outdoors – after all, such an outing is much more exciting than your own enclosure.
What should I keep in mind during the walk?
Always remember that rabbits are rodents and will not stop at biting through the leash.
Therefore, during the entire walk, pay attention to your animal and watch it carefully. This way you can intervene in time and prevent your rabbit from breaking the leash and escaping.
My name is Mark and the senior editor
I take great pride in being the best possible author and giving you the knowledge that i have on all different types of animals!
I have spent a lifetime learning about pets and animals, and have worked in the pet and vet industry for over 20 years now!
The website will draw have authors who are vets, pet owners, and local pet breeders. All who will contribute their fantastic knowledge which in turn will be able to help you i hope.
There is a lot of information on the internet so it may be hard to know where exactly is the best place to start learning. But we will write articles that get straight to the point, and give you all the information that you need with no fluff!
If you have any questions please leave a comment on the article, and i will reply to you!