Best Rabbit Harness: How to Choose the Best Bunny Harness

Rabbits need exercise, and the hutch and run you provide can only do so much. Yet, as many owners have found out the hard way, it’s difficult to let them run free in the garden without escaping.

Rabbits are great at finding little holes to escape through, or digging through somewhere you didn’t imagine was possible. So having them on a lead is a great way to be sure they are going to be safe and secure while getting exercise.

It’s not always easy, rabbits are not like other domestic pets that take to harnesses, leads and being walked. But it is completely safe when done correctly, and your rabbit can be comfortable, happy, and enjoy being walked.

Picking the best rabbit harness is the most important part. You need a good quality, well-fitted harness that allows the bunny to move freely and not feel restricted. I will take you through the different types of harness on the market, and how to find the perfect one for your bunny.

Quick Comparison: Best Rabbit Harness’ Styles

ImageRabbit Harness StylePriceRating

Lupine Cherry Blossom Patterned H-Style Pet Harness, 1/2-inch/ 9 - 14 cm, S
£4.5

Trixie 61513 Harness for Small Animals for Rabbits Nylon 14 - 19 cm / 25 - 32 cm
£3.5

Kerbl Shoulder Harness Agility with Leash, Large, 2 m
£3

Plain Rabbit Walking Harness & Lead Set - Pet, Toys, Accessories, Outdoor
£3.5

Choosing the Best Rabbit Harness

Why You Should Not Use a Collar and Lead

Firstly, I have to point out for safety reasons that you should never use a neck collar on your rabbit. The kind of neck collars dogs and cats wear are fine for them. But for rabbits, you need a harness that gives good stability and is comfortable.

Rabbits also have fragile spines and necks. If you attempt to use a collar with a lead there is a genuine chance of injury. In extreme situations a rabbit can break their own neck, or strangle themselves by jumping or running quickly while attached to a collar and lead.

So never use a collar and lead. Not even indoors just for a practice walk, or for any other reason. Safety should always be the first and most important thought when choosing a harness. I cover this is great detail for each type of harness in this article, and always check that the products are completely safe.

Different Types of Harness and Fitting

As with any products it can feel a little confusing at first when you’re looking for the best rabbit harness. There are a few different types of harness on the market, and depending on your pet and requirements you need to find one to suit your bunny perfectly.

The main three types of harness are the H-Harness, Vest or Coat Harness, and Shoulder harness. I will look at these in more detail for you, but the fitting is always looked at the same. Whichever harness you choose needs to fit snug to your bunny.

You should only have enough give in the harness to fit a couple of your fingers between the harness and your rabbit. If the harness is too tight your rabbit will panic and be prone to erratic movement to try and escape. If it’s too loose, they are going to just slip out of it and run away.

So spend as long as it takes to find a perfect fitting harness. They will all have some adjustment components, so you can keep tightening or loosen the straps until you get it just right. Additionally, never leave your pet unattended in a harness, this is also dangerous.

H-Harness

Best Rabbit HarnessThe H-Harness is the most popular style of harness for rabbits, and it does a great job at fitting secure and snug on your bunny.

There is a wide range of types on the market. So you can choose a colorful, blingy, or just plain old simple one. But your first consideration is finding one that is the right size.

The reason it’s called a H-Harness is because when you look at the shape from the side laid on the floor – it looks like a ‘H’. There are typically two buckles that give you some fitting options, they are found at the waist and the neck.

Some models also have a chest strap for additional support. This is fine if you find it fits comfortably, but a lot of owners cut it off and remove it as they find it just doesn’t add anything to support. Actually making the harness a little more difficult to fit properly.

Some people are sure it makes it easier for the rabbit to escape too, which can be a huge problem. So I would say to be cautious and try to avoid chest straps, but see what you think when you’ve found a product.

When attaching the lead always connect it to the loop on the waist. That is how these harnesses are designed to be used. Never connect the lead to the neck, even though this is more intuitive as a typical lead and collar combination.

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Vest or Coat Harness

Best Rabbit Harness VestThe vest or coat style harness is typically designed for small animals such as rabbits. They have connectors on the top to hook a lead on. Being a vest it offers decent support all around the bunny, and these are usually comfortable.

Most of the modern designs have Velcro fittings. This means they are very quick and easy to use, and this is often a contributing factor to choosing one. Bunnies can be wriggly and difficult to train with harnesses and vests at first. Vests work well with the more difficult pets.

When using Velcro always be sure to keep the material clean and free from debris or it will lose its strength pretty quick. Some come with button and other types of fastenings, but the message is always the same – keep the vest in good condition and don’t risk the rabbit being able to escape.

There are some nice designs on the market and a lot to choose from with this style which is nice. When used on younger rabbits to help them become accustomed there shouldn’t be too many problems.

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Shoulder Harness

rabbit harness collar and leadThese are the types of harness you will probably have seen being used by rabbit trainers and the rabbit agility community. They are secure harnesses, but more suited to well-trained rabbits that are used to being in a harness.

They can prove uncomfortable for bunnies that are prone to erratic movements. But if you’re intended to get your pet well trained and use harnesses on a regular basis, I’d look into this style.

They are not as easily found and there isn’t as much choice, but knowing it’s the choice of professional’s means you can be sure you’re buying into a quality product. As with any harness, always be sure to check for a very good fit.

Shoulder harnesses work by having a strap going round the chest and under the belly. As the name suggests, the harness puts the pressure on the shoulder area, which is a lot safer than the neck or back.

So compared to the H-harness, this is often a much more comfortable option. It’s certainly better for agile rabbits and allows them to jump and perform tricks. If you’re unsure about the fitting in anyway there is a video below to help.

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Which Pet Harnesses Are Unsafe for Rabbits?

There are some unsafe harnesses and mistakes owners make. The main culprit is the figure 8 style of harness. This style has two loops that fit around the head and the waist.

The main problem here is that the figure 8 harness is made from one continuous piece of material. So if the bunny forces against it and applies pressure, the two loops can tighten up. This obviously causes discomfort and potentially an injury.

Personally I don’t recommend this style of harness. It can be used of course if you are cautious and keep an eye on the rabbit. It comes down largely to preference, what you feel comfortable using, and what fits your pet perfectly.

Training a Rabbit to Use a Harness

Almost all rabbits will need some training before they are comfortable wearing a harness and do not make sudden movements or panic. Some do take to the harness right away however, so if your bunny does not be too surprised. Count yourself lucky, put some time in to making it even more comfortable.

One of the main issues is the rabbit biting or chewing on the harness. They have very sharp teeth and can do some damage to even the strongest materials, so never take your eye off them for too long.

If you catch them chewing on it distract them with some food. Make it clear to them that they can’t be chewing on it and they will do it less frequently. Keep them busy by walking them and giving them a little fuss.

When first introducing them to the harness it’s also helpful to let them see and smell the harness on the floor first. Let them become more familiar with the smell and feel of the material. Then put the harness on them and adjust the straps to the correct fitting.

Don’t attach the lead yet, let the rabbit run around and get used to the feel of wearing it. Observe them for a while and see how they behave. They shouldn’t be able to escape or work the harness loose. Do this for 10-15 minutes, take the harness off for a while, then repeat the process.

Once you can see your rabbit is happy wearing the harness, coat, or vest, you can attach the lead. Keep your rabbit in surroundings it’s comfortable with, like their run or garden. Let your bunny run and jump around without applying any tension. You know them better than anyone, monitor their body language for any signs of anxiety or discomfort.

Rabbits thump their back feet or hide in corners when they are stressed, so look out for these signs. If you think it’s becoming a bit much, take the lead off and see if they will go back to hopping around in just the harness.

Once your rabbit is happy and comfortable in their harness in their own yard, it’s time to take them out for a little adventure. Now you can safely take them to parts of the garden they haven’t seen before. Or around your home.

Rabbits are curious creatures, they love investigating as I bet you know. It’s never going to be like walking a dog, rabbits tend to stop and start a lot as they check for danger or sniff things. It’s incredibly fun and satisfying seeing them enjoying the new surrounds, enjoy.