Bonding animals, particularly bunnies, can be a long and tedious process! We offer various options for people needing help or confidence with bonding their animals. Rabbits are complex and mysterious creatures and, like humans, are fussy about who they like and dislike. We can never guarantee that a bond will be successful, but we will always try our best! We do, however, follow the guidelines of the RWAF and advise that all rabbits are bonded as they are sociable animals and much happier when kept in pairs or groups of their own species.
Bonding rabbits can be tricky and can also require a bit of confidence. It should be done by someone with a deep knowledge and understanding of rabbit behaviour and psychology. We offer a bonding service where you bring your rabbits to us and we can have a go at bonding them here with a neutral person in a neutral space where the rabbits are less likely to display territorial behaviours and there is no emotional attachment or humanising of behaviours from the owner. We understand how difficult it can be to watch your rabbits displaying certain bonding behaviours!
We offer two bonding services. If you have two or more rabbits who won't bond, we can try having them all here for bonding OR, if you have a single rabbit looking for a friend, we can try bonding them with one of our rescue rabbits.
We will NOT use any stress bonding techniques (e.g. spraying them with water or forcing them into a pet carrier together in the car) when bonding rabbits as these are harmful to your rabbits' mental wellbeing. More information about the process we go through can be found on the bonding page of our "Care and Advice" secition of our website.
External Bonding: bonding your own rabbits - £75 for a pair, £80 for a trio, £90 for a group of 4, £100 for a group of 5.
Internal Bonding: bonding one of your rabbits with one of our rescue rabbits - £40
This includes hay, bedding and housing. We ask that you either bring your own food or let us know what you feed your rabbit(s) for consistency of their diet. We will require proof of vaccinations prior to arrival.
What is required before my rabbits can be bonded?
We require that all rabbits are fully vaccinated and neutered (even females). All neutering must have been done a minimum of 8 weeks prior to the bonding.
What happens if the rabbits do not bond?
If the rabbits do not bond, we offer a 50% refund for the total bonding cost. Some rabbits will never like each other and we do not want to force them to do so - imagine being forced to live with someone you don't like!
Will being bonded change my rabbit?
A lot of people worry that their rabbit will be less affectionate towards them once they have a bonded partner. We have never found this to be true. The only change we see in rabbits is that they are a lot happier! If you have a friendly rabbit who likes human company, the chances are that they always will!
What happens when I take my rabbits home afterwards?
While your rabbits are bonding with us, we will advise that you do a thorough clean and disinfect of their environment to get rid of any existing smells. Some people find it easier to have new accommodation for newly bonded rabbits. When you get them home, we advise keeping your bunnies in a relatively small space and gradually increasing the area after a successful week of them living together. This should be done gradually. Do not be tempted to give your rabbits too much freedom too quickly. If things start going downhill and the bonding isn't going so well again, take things back a step and decrease the area again.
Please DO NOT separate the rabbits once they are bonding. If one goes to the vet, they BOTH go to the vet. Any rabbit-savvy vet will let your rabbit's companion stay with them overnight. If not, the rabbit visiting the vet will come home smelling totally different and risk the bond.
What should I look out for?
When you have your rabbits home again, watch out for any unfriendly behaviour returning. Mounting and a bit of chasing is normal in establishing dominance in the pair/group. Normally, it will cease in the first couple of days of bonding but it may return on getting your rabbits home into a different territory. Mounting heads should always be stopped in case of biting! Please ONLY separate the rabbits if there is a risk of injury.