Are you considering adopting a second bunny? You’re certainly in for some adorable moments! However, rabbits are a bit stubborn, and can be quite territorial. You’ll need to take some precautions to get your cute pets started out on the right paw. As your Marion, IA vet, I offer great veterinary care for bunnies. Read on for some tips on helping rabbits bond.
Both rabbits should be fixed, and fully healed from the surgery, before you introduce them. It will help a lot if they aren’t dealing with raging hormones!
Put the bunny cages near each other, but not close enough to allow contact or biting. Arrange your pets’ food dishes so they can eat ‘together.’
You’ll need to make introductions slowly. Start by letting your pets hang out under supervision for about 10-15 minutes at a time. As they get used to one another, you’ll be able to keep them together for longer periods. Don’t leave them alone together until they have bonded.
Pet and talk to both rabbits as they are bonding. This will calm them, and (hopefully) keep them from biting each other.
Rabbits can be quite jealous of one another. Pay both bunnies equal attention. Also, keep play sessions to neutral territory, such as a bathtub, a pen in a new area, or your garage.
Your pets may nip at each other, or even fight. This isn’t the end of the world. In fact, you can turn this discord to your advantage. Put them in a situation they both dislike. You can take them for a car ride together, or put them in an upside-down laundry basket on a washer or dryer that is running. Vacuuming near them can also help. The point here is that if they are frightened, they may cuddle together to seek comfort.
No luck? Try switching your pet’s cages. This will let them get used to each other’s scents. Another thing you can try is rubbing banana on one rabbit’s nose. The other bunny will probably lick it off, which may make Floppy think she is being groomed.
Be patient: it can take months for rabbits to accept each other. There may be some setbacks along the way. Don’t give up!
Please contact me, your Marion, IA veterinarian, for your bunny’s veterinary care needs. I’m here to help!