Can rabbits wear collars? What you need to know.

Categorized as Bunny Care
White holland lop rabbit wearing a collar around its neck
"What are you looking at hot shot ?" by jpockele is licensed under CC BY 2.0

Last Updated on August 2, 2021 by Rei

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

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

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 your rabbits because rabbits 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 rabbits. Your rabbit could also get its paws and mouth stuck in its collar while trying to remove it.

Risk of putting collar in 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 them.
  • Neck hair abrasion – Because of the thin skin around your rabbit’s neck, putting a collar in your rabbit could lead to a loss of hair around their neck.
  • Strangulation – Your rabbit could also strangle themselves if the collar got 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 used.

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.

Microchipping your rabbits would make it easier to identify and return your rabbits to you if they ever get lost. Most veterinarian offers to microchip 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 it distributes the force in your rabbit’s body instead of just their necks.

Most harnesses can also be personalized to include your rabbit’s name and your contact information so that your rabbits 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 your rabbit.
  • Do not use figure 8 and rope harness to walk your rabbits.

Can rabbits wear E-collar?

A white mini-lop rabbit wearing an E-collar.
“E-Collar Bunny” by Jesse&Lisa is licensed under CC BY-NC-SA 2.0

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

You should bring your rabbit to a veterinarian when they’re licking their wounds after surgery because the likely cause of that is a 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. A better alternative would be to microchip your rabbits if you’re concern about identification in case your rabbit gets lost.

You can also use a break-away kitten collar so that your rabbits could easily remove the collar if they dislike it or when 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 lost your rabbits.

Cite this article:

Bunny Horde (November 14, 2021) 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 - November 14, 2021, https://bunnyhorde.com/can-rabbits-wear-collars/

Sources and further reading