Rabbits are social creatures. They always require company that another rabbit can only give. However, there are some factors to consider before selecting a second rabbit. So, how to choose a second rabbit? How to introduce and take care of your second rabbit? Let’s find out all your answers in this article.
You should select a pair of rabbits according to size, fur type, breed, and age. Other factors to consider while choosing a second rabbit are health, personality, and gender. However, before their introduction, the rabbits should be neutered and have no underlying health problems.
This article will discuss things to consider while choosing a second pet rabbit. How to introduce the rabbits together? What are the other factors that need to take care of? So, let’s find it out.
- 1 Choosing my second rabbit
- 2 Things to consider while selecting a rabbit
- 3 Things to take care of after choosing a second rabbit
- 4 How to introduce and bond two rabbits together?
- 5 Conclusion
Choosing my second rabbit
Rabbits are very active and joyful creatures. They love to eat, jump or hop all around their rabbit-proof area. However, rabbits can sometimes become lonely or depressed if they don’t get their desired love or companionship.
It can be challenging for some owners to spend their whole time and attention on a rabbit. Even if you try to spend 3 to 4 hours with your single rabbit, this means they are gone for 20 hours or more; they would need more than that.
In that case, you must introduce another or second rabbit in your house so your current rabbit can meet its pair to prevent stress, depression, or loneliness and minimize troublemaking behavior and boredom.
The second rabbit can fulfill the space that your current rabbit requires in its life. In addition, pairing rabbits can make them happier, stressless, and more active.
After deciding to bring another rabbit into your house, it is essential to consider things while selecting a second rabbit.
You can choose a rabbit from humane societies like neighbors or relatives or adopt from rescue organizations or pet shops.
Visiting the rescue organization or any pet shop in the morning or evening would be best because rabbits are most active then. So it would be easy for you to identify a healthy and active rabbit.
It is essential to determine the rabbit’s size, age, color, fur type, or breed. Also, health, personality, and diet are other factors you must consider while selecting a rabbit.
Things to consider while selecting a rabbit
Rabbits prefer to live in groups because they are social animals. If you are not giving much time to your rabbit, you must adopt a second rabbit because single rabbits can become depressed or lonely if they don’t find companionship.
After deciding to adopt a second rabbit, there are certain things that you need to consider while selecting a second rabbit:
Ensure that the rabbit is healthy and has a neat and clean environment. Health is essential in selecting a rabbit, especially if you already have a rabbit at home. You may want to avoid bringing a sick rabbit, which can also spread illness or infection to your current rabbit.
It can be pretty challenging to sense whether a rabbit is healthy, but you can ensure that it appears healthy. You can naturally look out for the signs of illness. So, while selecting, ensure that the rabbit has no bald patches on its body, running eyes, nose, or dirty bottom.
Also, if you are adopting a rabbit from a pet shop or rescue organization, ensure that the rabbit is active and its cage is clean. Ask to see if the rabbit’s teeth are evenly trimmed.
If one tooth is longer than the other, then there is the possibility that the rabbit is having eating problems because of obsess, molars, or inflammation.
Most rescue organizations wouldn’t give you the rabbit without health checkups. However, if you adopt a rabbit from neighbors or other unknown people, you must ensure these things.
Every rabbit has a different personality. But you may want a rabbit that fits in your group. The best way to select a suitable personality in rescue organizations or pet shops is to look for a rabbit in the group. You can quickly identify the shy, dominant, or tame rabbit in the rabbits’ group.
However, there is no assurance that the rabbits will get along. They will fight for dominance or may live happily together, depending on their temperaments.
The personality of a rabbit matters a lot. Adopting a rabbit with the same energy level as your current rabbit can be the best pairing. You can adopt a calm and confident rabbit if your rabbit is shy. The new rabbit may encourage your rabbit to come out of its shell.
Fur type breed
The fur of a rabbit should be shiny, healthy, and soft textured. If you are choosing a second rabbit, you must also ensure the fur type breed of the rabbit.
Every breed of rabbit has a different personality. For example, some rabbit breeds don’t want to be handled, while others don’t want to come near humans.
Because of that, it is essential to know which breed of rabbit will be friendly with your current rabbit and you.
Many domestic breeds of rabbits can be chosen as second rabbits depending on their care requirements and temperaments. Either adopt the same breed rabbit or go for other affectionate rabbit breeds, such as Rex, Jersey Wooly, Mini Lop, Polish, Himalayan, or Harlequin; all types of rabbits can understand and communicate with each other.
Also, choosing or selecting a second rabbit depends on the climate, environment, and maintenance of a specific rabbit breed.
Therefore, ensure to take care of a specific breed according to its nature and conditions and fulfill its requirements.
The other factor to consider while choosing a second rabbit is the size of the rabbit.
They could be a good pair if you pair a tiny Netherland Dwarf with the flemish giant rabbit. However, due to the vast size of a rabbit, there is the possibility of injuries too.
A rabbit’s diet also plays an essential part in selecting the rabbit. So, while choosing a second rabbit, you must ask about its diet and what it has been fed and handled so that it would be easy for you to meet all its requirements.
A proper diet emphasizes the healthy life span of a rabbit. If the rabbit is not eating well or has a loss of appetite can be the cause of illness, and they may appear low, less active, or dull.
While selecting, ensure that the rabbit is well-groomed. A rabbit’s fur is to be shiny or silky, have no bald patches or wounds, and its teeth and nails should be perfectly trimmed.
The fur of a rabbit should not be matted or wet, especially around its tail or chin. Otherwise, it could be a sign of health issues. You must also ensure that the rabbit has no crusty skin around its nose or ears and no discharge coming from its eyes or nose.
Therefore, it is essential that the rabbit lives in a clean cage or environment and eats and drinks healthily.
You may want your rabbits to have companionship and live happily, but gender plays an essential role in choosing a second rabbit because every gender has its personality or temperament.
Also, it would be best if you introduced the rabbits slowly. It may take some time, but it can make the pairing successful.
Also, read: Are Rabbits Aggressive?
Male and female:
It would be the best pairing if you had both male (buck) and female (doe) rabbits. A female rabbit may rarely show its terrorism in front of a male rabbit. But, it is essential to spay or neuter the rabbits before introducing them.
Male and male:
Two male rabbits can live with each other; however, it may not be a successful pairing because both may show their dominance which causes terrorism. However, if you want to adopt another male rabbit, you must neuter both. Neutering a rabbit makes them calm and prevents fights.
Female and female:
It could not be a good choice if you are adopted another female rabbit. Two female rabbits can be territorial against each other, which may cause fights and serious injuries. However, if you want a successful pairing, you must adopt another rabbit from the same litter as your current rabbit came from and spay both to avoid fights.
It would be an excellent pair if both the rabbits were adults and of similar age, because they would have similar energy levels and personalities.
However, if you have a 3 to 4 months old small rabbit at home, you must choose a second rabbit of the same age. Ensure to neuter or spay them after. Male rabbits can be neutered after 10-12 weeks, whereas female rabbits can be spayed once they reach 4 to 6 months.
Things to take care of after choosing a second rabbit
After choosing a second rabbit, taking care of some things required for your rabbit’s healthy life span is essential.
Spayed or neutered
The first thing that you need to do after choosing your second rabbit is to spay or neuter the rabbit. It is essential to neuter the rabbit whether you are pairing male-female, female-female, or male-male. This can prevent terrorism and dominance, which makes it a successful pairing. Ensure to spay both rabbits before the introduction.
Also read: Should I Neuter Or Spay My Rabbit?
A new rabbit can become stressed after entering a new home environment. And because of stressful conditions, a rabbit may not eat or drink properly, which may cause health issues. Therefore it is essential to provide a safe environment and spend some time with the new rabbit so that they become familiar.
Other pets you have
When introducing the second rabbit in the house, you must make sure about the other pets you may have. A new rabbit can become very stressed by interacting with other animals like dogs or cats. Therefore, ensuring they live in a safe environment is essential.
Don’t separate them once both rabbits are paired.
Maintaining the bond between your current rabbit and another rabbit is essential once they have paired up. If one of your rabbits requires veterinary care, then you must take another rabbit along with it. Together they will make themselves comfortable around each other.
Do not put the second rabbit in the cage of your current rabbit. Instead, you can choose another wired cage with hay or newspaper bedding so your new rabbit can see out of it. Introducing the rabbits separately by putting their cages side by side is essential to avoid dominance or fighting. Allow your rabbits to go outside for exercise at different times or in other rooms.
Once you have introduced both rabbits in your house, you must provide a large cage or pen so they can comfortably sleep and exercise. Provide large pens or cages depending on the size of the rabbit. Even if you have a small rabbit, ensure how big it will become when they grow up and accordingly provide the cage.
Buy everything double
If you are adopting another rabbit, you must maintain its maintenance and needs. Therefore, you should buy double things such as toys, cages, a litter box, food bowls, and other stuff if you have a pair of rabbits. So, it is essential that if you are buying something for one of your rabbits, then you must also buy it for your other rabbit. Also, if you have adopted another rabbit, the vet’s expenses would double.
You must regularly groom both rabbits to identify the wounds or injuries. In addition, there is the possibility that your rabbit may not become aggressive in front of you but fights behind you. Therefore, it is essential to regularly groom both of your rabbits to identify any wounds and other health issues like mites or fungal infections.
Taking both rabbits for regular health checkups is essential, even if your other rabbit is healthy. Regular health checkups can identify the illness in the early stage. In addition, you can separate one of your rabbits from another so that they will not be able to spread infection.
It would be best if you fed both rabbits according to their requirements. For example, providing separate bowls of food and water to your rabbits is essential. Also, if you are treating one of your rabbits, you must give the same treatment to the other rabbit.
Also, read: Can Rabbits Eat Cucumber?
Ensure that your second rabbit is not allergic to something. Most of the time, some rabbits can become allergic to hay, with causes sneezing or nose irritation. And this allergy can be transmitted to your other rabbit. Therefore, if your rabbit is sneezing a lot around hay, you must change the hay, which is of the best quality.
Spending time with a single rabbit can makes another rabbit jealous. And jealousy in rabbits can be territorial towards each other. They can even attack or fight with each other. Therefore, it is essential to spend equal time with both rabbits.
If you have another rabbit in the house, you may require space for them. Give enough space to both rabbits so they can sleep, exercise, or hop all around the area. It would be best to provide a minimum 3m x 2m x 1m pen for both rabbits to run around.
Rabbit-proof your house
Once you have adopted a second rabbit, you must take care of both rabbits in your house. Rabbits like to dig and chew on everything. For that, you can rabbit-proof your home by covering the wires with hard plastic sleeves, protecting the baseboard with purring strips or plastic guards, providing puppy pens or baby gates to limit the areas, and keep the toxic plants such as tomato leaves, tulips, poinsettia, and holly away from rabbit’s reach.
How to introduce and bond two rabbits together?
In a short time, you can transform a pair of rabbits into lifelong rabbit buddies. Here are some things to consider while introducing and bonding two rabbits together.
- You should spay and neuter both rabbits before introducing themselves face to face to prevent aggressiveness and territorial fighting. This bonding procedure may take several days or weeks, but you must be patient.
- You must provide two cages for each rabbit and put the pen or cage next to each other so they can sit aside. However, don’t put cages too close; otherwise, they can nip or bite from the bars of the cages.
- Take both of your rabbits in a place they have not explored, for example, the bathroom, hallway, parked car, or garage. You can cover the neutral area with newspapers and introduce the rabbits to each other. One may sniff the zone, while the other can express its dominance by mounting or nipping another rabbit.
- Let both of your rabbits bond for at least 20 minutes. However, if you find that they are nipping each other and their fight is becoming dangerous, you must spray water on their faces. Due to this, they may stop fighting and starts cleaning up their faces. When you take them inside their cages, give them some treats.
- You can place the cages of your rabbit closer to each other so they can sniff each other’s noses. Also, it would be best to feed both of your rabbits simultaneously so they become used to each other while eating. If you are providing treats, you must give them to both of your rabbits.
- Take your rabbits to the neutral zone daily for at least a week. You should give 20 minutes of space to your rabbits and supervise their activities or actions. Also, you can switch the place in a few days. When you notice that one of your rabbits is grooming another, it signifies companionship.
- When both of your rabbits become friends, you can put them together in the same pen or cage only when you are in the house. They can permanently share their cages or pens once they ensure they will not fight. However, it is essential to put two water bowls and two food bowls in their shared space so they will refrain from fighting for it.
It is observed that bonding can even make a sick rabbit cover faster than being single. Therefore, pairing is essential for a rabbit’s healthy life span.
- Selecting a pair of a rabbit should include breed type, size, color, and age.
- Other factors to consider while choosing a second rabbit are personality, health, diet, and gender.
- Before introducing rabbits, they must be neutered and has no underlying health problem.
- Rabbits can sometimes become depressed or lonely if they don’t get their desired love.
- Companionship makes a healthy life span for rabbits.