Finding your rabbit a companion.
Bunnies enjoy the company of other bunnies. They love to nuzzle and groom each other, to sleep on top of each other and to share a big plate of salad or a box of hay. The sight of two bonded rabbits enjoying each other’s company brings joy to all who witness their happiness.
Although they are naturally sociable, rabbits do not always know this important fact about themselves. Introductions can be a thorny business and stressful for all involved.
The first step to choosing a companion for your rabbit is to ensure that your bunny is spayed or neutered and has been given time to allow its hormones to die down-about 4-6 weeks. Then, keep in mind your rabbit’s sex as male/female pairings are the easiest. There is some debate over whether male/male or female/female pairings are the most difficult; it will ultimately depend upon the personalities of the two rabbits involved.
Before bringing home a second rabbit, you need to plan for the bonding process. Where will the two rabbits live before they are bonded? They must be housed side-by-side but separately to give them time to get to know each other. All introductions must occur in neutral territory; a place that your rabbit has not frequented or can call its own. Bathrooms, kitchens, patios or spare bedrooms can work well for this.
Once bonded, where will the newlyweds live? You will likely need to create a larger living space to include the new rabbit. Also, if your current rabbit is free run, do not assume that your new rabbit will be able to handle that level of freedom. Plan to keep both rabbits confined during the bonding periods and maybe afterward, when you are not home to supervise.
Rabbits typically prefer to choose their new companion. Impulsively bringing home a new rabbit to meet your bunny can often end in disaster. Especially if you are current bunny is female. It is best to take your rabbit along with you to meet new bunnies at the shelter or local rabbit rescue, to allow them to pick out a new friend. The process for this is very similar to the dating process. Do yourself a favor – let your bunny choose.