Can rabbits wear collars? What you need to know.

Categorized as Bunny Care

Last Updated on July 23, 2022 by Rei Garnet

Putting collars on rabbits is not recommended due to the fact that rabbits have sensitive necks and could lead to abrasions. Your rabbits could strangle themselves when the collar gets stuck to something while they are playing in tight corners.

As an alternative, you can microchip your rabbits so that when they get lost and turned over to an impound, they can easily identify and return them.

A harness is also safer for rabbits compared to collars because the strain is distributed around the body.

Now that I’ve given you the gist of the article, read on as I explain the topic in more detail:

Should you put collars on your rabbits?

Brown holland lop rabbit wearing a red collar with a leash.

No, collars on rabbits carry a huge risk of injuring them because they have sensitive necks and they like to free-roam.

Having a collar is dangerous because it could get stuck on something while your rabbit is running, strangling your rabbit. Your rabbit could also get its paws and mouth stuck in its collar while trying to remove it.

Risk of putting a collar on your rabbits.

A brown mini lop rabbit wearing a black collar with a leash attached to it.

Here are the most common injuries rabbits sustain while wearing collars:

  • Injury: Your rabbit could get its paws and mouth stuck to the collar while trying to remove it.
  • Neck hair abrasion: Because of the thin skin around your rabbit’s neck, putting a collar on your rabbit could lead to a loss of hair around its neck.
  • Strangulation – Your rabbit could also strangle themselves if the collar gets caught on something while they’re trying to play.

Alternatives to collars for rabbits.

Because of the dangers of collars, here are some alternatives that you can try:

Break-away kitten collar

Break-away kitten collars can be used as an alternative to regular collars. As the name suggests, the break-away kitten collar “breaks” apart when enough force is applied.

This would allow your rabbits to remove the collar themselves if they want to, or if the collar gets stuck to something while your rabbit is playing. It would just split into two.

Microchip

If you are worried that your rabbit might run away and you’re planning on using a collar as a way to easily identify your rabbits, you can try a microchip as an alternative.

If your rabbits get lost, microchipping them would make it easier to identify and return them to you. Most veterinarians offer microchipping at a reasonable price.

Harness

A brown new zealand rabbit wearing a red harness with a leash.

A harness is also an option if you’re planning on using a collar for your rabbits. Most harnesses offer a safer solution than collars because they distribute the force throughout your rabbit’s body instead of just around their necks.

Most harnesses can also be personalized to include your rabbit’s name and your contact information so that your rabbit can easily be returned to you when lost.

Types of harness that are best (and safest) for rabbits.

  • H-harness
  • Coat or Vest Harness
  • Shoulder harness

Things to remember when walking a rabbit in a harness.

  • Never force your rabbits to walk on a leash.
  • Make sure that you have the right harness size before using it to walk your rabbits.
  • Make sure that the harness is securely installed before walking your rabbit.
  • Make sure that your rabbit is properly harness trained before walking it.
  • Do not use a figure 8 or rope harness to walk your rabbits.

Can rabbits wear an E-collar?

A white mini-lop rabbit wearing an E-collar.

E-collars, or Elizabethan collars, are mainly used to stop your rabbits from licking their wounds after surgery. E-collars are rarely used on rabbits because most rabbits dislike them, and the risk far outweighs the benefits.

You should take your rabbit to a veterinarian when they’re licking their wounds after surgery. The likely cause of that is poor surgical technique.

Conclusion

Putting a collar on rabbits is risky and could lead to dangerous injuries like a broken neck, skin abrasions, and strangulation. If you’re concerned about identification in case your rabbit gets lost, a better alternative would be to microchip your rabbits.

You can also use a break-away kitten collar so that your rabbits can easily remove the collar if they dislike it or if the collar gets stuck while your rabbit is playing.

And finally, you can use a harness to walk your rabbits or buy a personalized harness with your name and number in case you lose your rabbits.

Cite this article:

Bunny Horde (September 14, 2022) Can rabbits wear collars? What you need to know.. Retrieved from https://bunnyhorde.com/can-rabbits-wear-collars/.
"Can rabbits wear collars? What you need to know.." Bunny Horde - September 14, 2022, https://bunnyhorde.com/can-rabbits-wear-collars/

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Image credit – “What are you looking at hot shot ?” by jpockele is licensed under CC BY 2.0, “E-Collar Bunny” by Jesse&Lisa is licensed under CC BY-NC-SA 2.0

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By Rei Garnet

I’ve loved and cared for rabbits since I was 9 years old, and I’m here to share my passion for rabbits. My objective is to help rabbit owners give their rabbits the best life possible.