The importance of companionship for rabbits

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Rabbits are sociable animals who live in groups in the wild, so it’s important that they have opportunities to socialise, especially in the colder months.

Rabbits shouldn’t be kept with other species, as they are prey animals and may feel stressed or threatened around larger animals. They should also be kept away from smaller animals like
guinea pigs, as they may bully them or pass on harmful bacteria. However, it is beneficial to keep more than one rabbit together – neutered and bonded male and female rabbits make ideal pairs!

The process of getting two rabbits to form an attachment is known as bonding, mixing or pairing. If you are introducing rabbits to each other for the first time, you should introduce
them slowly and follow the advice of your vet or a rescue centre.

Ensure their accommodation is clean, warm and dry, and if moving them to a new environment, move them during the daytime so they can adjust properly. Don’t put one rabbit in
another’s housing area, and use temporary housing whilst getting one area ready if needed. You can also move your rabbits inside if it is very cold outdoors.

Ensure their space is large enough for them to seek isolation if they want to, and monitor any changes in behaviour or signs of aggression or discomfort. For two standard sized rabbits, the Rabbit Welfare Association and Fund recommend a minimum living area of 3m x 2m by 1m high on a single level, including their sleeping area. We still recommend the biggest possible area full of enrichment and activities. Within this, their sleeping area (for example, a hutch or cage) should be a minimum of 1.8m x 0.6m by 0.6m high.

Speak to your vet, or your local rehoming centre for further advice about keeping your rabbits happy during winter.

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