DebMark Rabbit Education Resource

Questions Submitted About Raising Rabbits

Companion for my rabbit.

Question I am writing to you in efforts to decide if I should get a puppy. I did have 2 rabbits: one Dutch (Spice), the other, an unknown breed (Sugar). Sugar was smaller, 4.5 lbs, age 4, and recently passed away. Spice is 6.5 lbs and has always been a "happy/playful" rabbit. I think he still is, but I'm concerned about him being lonely. Spice too is 4 years old and I'm uncertain of how long he should live. I've heard 3-5 years, or 7-10 years. Spice has full run of the house and has been litter box trained since he was 2 months old. Spice seems OK , but I think he's lonely when I'm not here.

I've thought about getting a dog, maybe a Bulldog because I heard they were very docile and gentle and could get along with any pet. I would like to know if there are any other breeds you could suggest or if I should get one at all.

I'd appreciate any suggestions you may have.

Thank You

Answer Thank you for your question as to getting a friend for Spice. I used to have an English Bulldog. She was always rambunctious and hard to control. Of all dogs, I think English Bulldogs are the dumbest. Though they are very friendly, perhaps they are too friendly. They also slobber all over the place. The size difference between a bulldog and a rabbit will probably present a problem. If you want to get a dog, it would probably be best to get a smaller one. If you want one similar to a bulldog, get a Pug or a Boston Terrier. In any case, get a more docile dog and one that is small.

Cats get along well with rabbits too. Of course, you could get another rabbit. In any case, make sure you get a very young animal so that both Spice and his new friend will have a chance to get used to each other without the other pet having any preconceived ideas that a rabbit might make a good meal.

As to whether Spice is lonely, that may very well be true. Raising rabbits outside in hutches, we always keep them separated from each other except when breeding. Males will fight other males and females will fight other females. But I always have noticed that rabbits need some companionship every now and then. Of course, there are some cantankerous rabbits, usually female, that don't want anyone or any rabbit near them. Each rabbit has its own personality. The males are usually more affectionate and appear to need companionship more.

My first recommendation would be to get another rabbit. If it is a male, they may end up fighting. If it is a female, you may end up with more rabbits. If you get an older female rabbit that is not fertile, this might be the best match you could get. Or, you could have one of them neutered.

If you really want a dog, however, get a small breed, a very young one.

I hope this is helpful for you.

Good luck,
Dr. Mark Waldo


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This page last updated on 5/1/98