Pet rabbits require daily exercise to stay healthy, and an easy way to do that is to take a walk. Many pet rabbit owners are coming around to the idea of walking their pet rabbits outdoors using a harness to exercise the pet. Walking rabbits is a new concept, but you can do it by training your pet rabbit.
You can also enjoy some fresh air and get out of the house when you take your pet rabbit for walks. We will educate you on preparing and training your pet rabbit for outdoor walks with a harness.
Can You Take Pet Rabbits for a Walk?
Yes. You can take your pet rabbit for a walk without worrying it will run away with the use of a harness. However, not all pet rabbits require a harness when you are walking outdoors.
Some pet rabbits take walks with their owners without a harness, and they don’t run away.
It is essential to note that rabbits can outrun humans any day, and you shouldn’t let your rabbit walk free if it is a flight risk. You won’t be able to catch up to your rabbit if it runs away.
Therefore, use a harness if your pet rabbit has a habit of running away from humans when it is free in the house.
Preparing to Take Pet Rabbits Outside for Walks
Several steps will help you train your rabbit and prepare you for your outdoor walks. It would be best to train your rabbit in the house until you are ready to go outside for walks.
Buy a Harness
Walking a pet rabbit will require the use of a harness if your rabbit is a flight risk. Never use a collar on your rabbit as it may cause injuries, or your rabbit can get out of the collar.
A harness is the best way to keep a hold on a rabbit with minimum risk of causing bodily harm.
An ideal harness should have an H shape that has openings for a rabbit’s front legs. It should have adjustable closure to ensure it fits a rabbit snuggly but not tightly.
Test your new harness on your rabbit to see if it’s the right fit or you need another size.
Check the leash attached to the harness to ensure that it is comfortable to hold. Choose a harness that won’t tangle when you are outdoors.
Also, the hand loop should be soft and comfortable on your palm. Avoid any leash material that will cut into your hand when your pet rabbit tags on the leash.
Train Your Rabbit
Train your rabbit in the house or backyard so that it is comfortable walking with a harness. Start by wrapping the rabbit harness on the pet rabbit and let it hop around the house or cage.
It will allow your rabbit to get comfortable with wearing a harness.
After a while, attach the leash and let your pet rabbit lead you in the house it would outside. The exercise will help your rabbit learn how to walk around with a leash on the harness.
It can take a week or two of training in the house or backyard for your pet to get used to a harness and leash.
Find the Best Walking Route or Park
Walk around your neighborhood and find a park or walkway that is suitable for walking your rabbit. The ideal area shouldn’t have predators like dogs or other animals that will try to eat your pet rabbit.
Also, it should have some shade to prevent heat strokes.
Take Short Outdoor Walks
When you are ready, put your rabbit into a harness and take a walk outdoors. Hold the leash firmly, but don’t tag it when the rabbit goes fast.
You can use treats to slow the rabbit down when it goes fast.
Start by walking for 5-10 minutes sessions several times a day before increasing the sessions to 10-20 minutes. Your pet will get comfortable walking outdoor during the short walks over time.
When the rabbit is used to going for walks, you can increase the time to long walks.
Things To Do Before Going for Walks
- Carry snacks to reward your rabbit when going for walks.
- Ensure your pet rabbit drinks enough water to stay hydrated.
- Ensure the harness fits snuggly, and your rabbit can’t wiggle out of it.
- Ensure the weather is suitable for outdoor walks. Please don’t take a pet rabbit out when it is raining or snowing.
Taking A Pet Rabbit For a Walk Without a Harness
Some pet rabbits won’t be comfortable with a harness. Some will freeze in place when you attach a leash and refuse to move. Other pet rabbits will make an effort to remove the pet harness if they find it uncomfortable.
You will have to find an alternative way to train your rabbit to take walks without a harness.
The best solution is to use a rabbit playpen. Let your rabbit roam freely in the playpen when you are home.
Friendly rabbits tend to drift towards the direction of the owners. Use that to your advantage with the help of some snacks.
Walk around the playpen and wait to see whether your pet rabbit will follow you. Reward your rabbit when it hops to follow you around the playpen.
Repeat the process several times before you opt to try the tactic without a playpen. You can walk around your living room to see whether the rabbit will walk alongside you to keep up.
Once you are confident that your rabbit won’t run away from you, take a walk in the backyard. Ensure you reward your rabbit whenever it stays next to you as you walk around the backyard.
After several walks in the backyard, you can try taking walks on sidewalks or a park nearby.
Are There Dangers to Walking Pet Rabbits Outdoors?
Several risks come with taking your pet rabbit outside for walks. Being aware of the dangers ensures that you keep your pet rabbit safe whenever you walk in open areas.
Overall, the threats are easy to prevent by staying vigilant when your pet rabbit is outdoors.
Your pet can decide to run away if you let it out to the public without a harness, so you a pet harness to keep your pet rabbit near. Also, ensure you have a sturdy leash that won’t break when a rabbit tags on it.
There are possibilities of pet rabbits getting injured when you tag in the leash hard to slow your rabbit. Also, they can step on sharp objects like broken glass and get a wound.
Ensure you find other ways to slow your pet rabbit instead of tagging in the leash. Also, take walks in clean areas where the pavements don’t have sharp debris.
Pet rabbits can pick up bugs like fleas during your outdoor walks. Keep an eye on your pet when you start walking.
Note any excessive scratching and inspect to see if your pet has bugs on them. Use appropriate treatments to kill any bugs you find on your pet rabbit.
You can safely take your pet rabbit outside for walks as a form of exercise. You need to train your rabbit on taking walks in the comfort of your house or backyard.
Don’t let an aggressive rabbit run around without a harness because you will lose it. Training can take about 2-4 weeks, depending on your rabbit’s temperament.
Remember that different rabbits will respond to various training methods, and you have to find the best training method for yours. Don’t just choose one tactic because your friend uses it or someone recommended it.
If one approach fails, look for another one and give it a try.
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