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Why companionship is important for rabbits

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Studies have shown that rabbits value companionship as much as they value food. If you have a single rabbit, then it is important for their welfare that you look into getting them a friend or friends. 

Companionship affords many benefits to both us as guardians and our bunnies:

  • As guardians we want to create as natural an environment as possible – and in the wild rabbits live and thrive in big groups! For rabbits, complex social interactions are important and companionship is really important. 
  • As prey animals, stressful situations like vet trips or journeys are doubly scary – with a companion they have a friend to look after them and give them security when they need it. 
  • Rabbits speak rabbit! As much as we bond with our fluffy friends, when we sleep they’re awake and when they’re uncertain they need a member of their own species to reassure them in ways we can’t. 

How can I find a friend for my rabbit?

And so how do we find them a friend? Well, it would be a lie to say there aren’t lots of options – but there is one ethical option and that’s by approaching a rescue. 

All rabbit bonding is based on personality – not gender, not age, not breed or size. It’s really important to listen to rabbits when they’re bonding and let them tell us who they want as their friend(s). How do we do this? By bonding ethically – and we strongly recommend using the 24/7 method.

What is the 24/7 rabbit bonding method?

The 24/7 method is a streamlined way of bonding that puts the rabbits first – it is based wholly on reading behaviours and listening when rabbits say ‘no’, and it is done in a small, neutral space with hay on offer. It doesn’t involve taking rabbits in or out and makes what is undoubtedly a stressful situation (no matter how you bond) a shorter experience for all involved, which is very important for prey animals! 

We run semi-regular bonding webinars which are appropriate for all interested in behaviour – keep your eye on our social media to find out when they’re scheduled for.

The benefits of a group of rabbits

Back to companionship and the what and why! Not only is it a welfare requirement for rabbits to have partners, but we recommend pairs as a minimum – and we absolutely champion groups. Groups are a wonderful not only for the rabbits but for us: 

  • If a rabbit passes, guardians are not put in a position where they have to rush to find a companion for a single bereaved rabbit. Guardians can grieve without pressure. 
  •  Again, if one rabbit in the group passes there is resilience for the remaining rabbits – no rabbit is left alone. 
  • Rabbits are all different and every relationship is different: what a rabbit gets from one friend they don’t get from another, giving more than one companion means a broader range of social interactions. 

Adopt a rabbit

The most ethical way to add to your family is by approaching an ethical rescue. Rescues will often do all the bonding for you which also takes the stress out of it for you! At The Bunnyjackpot Foundation we are very passionate about bonding and companionship. We are always looking for adopters who want to grow their family and support rescue – and we have a range of rabbits available for adoption. Please do get in touch if you’re looking to adopt, we also have an in-house bonding service.