STAR Vets explain why rabbits need a companion
July 14, 2022
Rabbits are highly sociable animals and in the wild they live in large groups called colonies. Domestic rabbits also thrive – just like humans – when they have a friend. Without a companion, rabbits can quickly become sad and lonely whereas living with a companion can have a hugely positive impact on your bunny’s wellbeing.
STAR Vets’ team offer some thoughts below on how to ensure your rabbit has the right companion. We’re also keen to hear what you think about this topic so please let us know and ask questions on our Facebook page.
Finding & introducing the right pal
Best place in Appleby Magna to get a rabbit
It’s a good thing to welcome a rescue rabbit into your family and a rescue centre is the ideal place to find a companion for your pet. One bonus of this approach is that your new rabbit will probably be neutered and vaccinated already.
Pairing male and female rabbits
Getting two rabbits to live together is called bonding, mixing, or pairing. Usually, the best rabbit pairings are male and female, but two neutered male or female rabbits can also live harmoniously. It’s important that neutering is undertaken before the rabbits are matched. This is essential to avoid the rabbits having babies and will reduce the chances of them fighting with each other.
Managing the rabbit age gap
According to our Appleby Magna Vet Nurses, the age of your rabbit’s new companion matters. Older rabbits may be less energetic and will prefer a friend of a similar age. For a younger rabbit, an equally exuberant mate will help them to feel comfortable with each other.
How to introduce a new rabbit
The process of introducing a new rabbit to your existing pet should be carefully considered as a new rabbit suddenly appearing can result in aggression. Minimise stress by putting the rabbits in adjacent enclosures so they can get used to each other’s scent. Once the rabbits are more familiar with the sight and smell of each other, they can be placed together for a brief period of time in a neutral area. Increase time spent together gradually and they’ll get used to each other and will be able to share a space. The aim is to build the relationship slowly so that friendship will blossom.
There are more ways you can help your rabbits bond and be happy. So, if your rabbit is alone and you have questions about getting a companion, why not post them on our Facebook page? We’ll answer them there, which will make it easy for you to share our advice with others.