Bunny Care Guide: Can Bunnies Wear Clothes?
Too cute for this shirt... so cute it hurts...
Can you put your bunny in clothes? Yes. Wicket is modeling a little pink sports sweater in the picture to demonstrate just how amenable bunnies can be to wearing clothing. It's a natural human urge to want to dress our pets, no doubt an extension of the maternal or paternal instincts that make us want to clothe our children. Keep in mind though that there are a few common sense precautions that you need to take ahead of time.
Is Your Bunny Handleable? If you haven't handled your bunny much and it doesn't like to be picked up or stroked or played with at all, then you should not be putting clothes on it. First of all, you will stress the bunny out by doing this, and increase the chances of you hurting it by mistake. Second of all, it may be very hard to remove the clothes if something goes wrong if your rabbit is not accustomed to regular handling. If you haven't got to the stage of trust with your rabbit where you can handle it safely and comfortably, then you need to take the time and do the groundwork to make friends with your rabbit. This could easily take several months, but if you have the patience and the time, you'll find that it pays off in far more ways than one.
Find clothes that fit. Sounds a little obvious, but it's really tempting to put clothes that don't fit very well on bunnies just because they are cute. The problem is that loose clothing, clothing that bunches in the wrong place, and clothing that gets caught up around the legs is a disaster waiting to happen. Remember that some bunnies have been known to break their own backs just from struggling whilst being handled, and that having clothing put on it is quite a foreign sensation.
Make sure your bunny is happy. Rabbits that are used to being handled may have no problem at all with having a little sweater put on them, and hop about quite happily that way. Other more highly stressed bunnies may find it quite distressing. If your rabbit fights you hard on this, then abandon the plan for another day, or perhaps altogether. As cute as a bunny wearing clothes is, its not worth stressing and hurting your bunny over.
Do not leave your rabbit unsupervised wearing clothes. They can cause it to overheat, get caught up on something, and they prevent the rabbit from grooming itself naturally. It might be cute to do for short periods of time, but give your bunny a break and let it out of the clothing before too much time has passed. I personally don't put my bunny in clothes for any more than 10-15 minutes.
Good luck. Remember to put your rabbit's health and happiness before your desire to see them do 'cute' things, and you are sure to have lots of fun with your bunny.
This article is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge. It is not meant to substitute for diagnosis, prognosis, treatment, prescription, or formal and individualized advice from a veterinary medical professional. Animals exhibiting signs and symptoms of distress should be seen by a veterinarian immediately.