Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Question from the Audience: One or Two?

A question from Suzanna C. in Tampa, FL:
Q: I am thinking about adopting a pet bunny. I have been thinking and reading a lot about pet rabbits and now I'm fairly convinced that they would make ideal pets in my life right now. I just don't know if I should get one bunny or a bonded pair (of course neutered/spayed). We work full time so would be gone most of the day. My only concern with a bonded pair is that I don't know how affectionate they will be to us humans. What do you recommend?

A: It's great to hear that you're doing thorough research about rabbits before you adopt. Being completely aware of what to expect, knowing what you're getting into, and planning accordingly may be one of the most important steps in fostering a positive petcare situation.

As I frequently mention, rabbits are social animals. They are happiest in the company of others and since they are more occupied when in pairs, they're less likely to be destructive or get into trouble. Pairs also help groom each other, making for cleaner, healthier pets. And since you mentioned that you're gone for most of the day, I would especially recommend adopting a bonded pair. Pairs keep each other company while you're gone, and are therefore less bored and more happy!

Don't worry, it's not much extra care or effort to own two rather than one: a bonded pair can use the same cage, same litterbox, same food and water bowls, etc.

It's not uncommon to wonder whether or not a bonded bunny will like you the same way as a single bunny will. People often ask if their relationship with their single bunny will change once they get a second rabbit. However, because I've noticed that the relationship rabbits have with humans is separate from the one they have with each other, their status should really have no bearing on how they view you. Overall, the notion that the more attention you invest, the more attention you get back rings true regardless of how many rabbit friends are involved.

I recommend visiting some bonded pairs at a nearby rescue or shelter and seeing how you get along with them. Like all animals, rabbits have distinct personalities, unrelated to who they're already bonded with. All in all, bonded bunnies can be just as affectionate as single ones, and they'll sure appreciate having each other to snuggle with while you're gone during the day!

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