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Rabbits are highly social animals and should always ideally be kept in companion pairs. We strongly recommend a neutered male and a neutered female pairing to reduce aggressive behaviours and unwanted pregnancies, however pairings will depend on individual bunnies. Most pet owners get rabbits in pairs when they first acquire them, but one rabbit sadly passes away, they may be nervous about getting a new companion for an older rabbit.
If you’ve decided it’s time to introduce a new bunny to your existing pet, well done! A friend is the best enrichment you can give a rabbit and, once bonded, provides them a stimulating companion and lowers stress levels. The best place to find a new bunny is at a rescue centre and they will often help with the bonding process. The following advice is to help ensure a stress-free, safe introduction of new rabbits for both bunnies and owner. Be aware that this can be a time consuming process, and some bunnies just won’t click. Be patient, it can take hours up to many weeks for bonding to be successful, and if you need help speak to your vet or a rabbit behavioural specialist. Once your bunnies are bonded, keep the love alive! Don’t separate them unnecessarily, which means always bringing them to the vet together too!
Step 1: Preparation
Step 2: Sights and Smells
Step 3: Physical Introduction
Step 4: Permanent Roomies
Here’s a handy list of different behaviours to look out for during the bonding process: