Is getting a second rabbit really absolutely necessary?

Discussion in 'General Rabbit Discussion' started by BlackVelvet, Sep 18, 2019.

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  1. Sep 18, 2019 #1

    BlackVelvet

    BlackVelvet

    BlackVelvet

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    I currently live alone with my bunny in a one bedroom apartment. When I’m home, he’s completely free roam, but when I’m not, I put a very big x-pen around his play area (which has lots of soft things to sit on and a lot of space). I live in California and the weather can get super warm, but I leave the AC on for him when I’m out, so he’s never hot.

    I work 8-4 daily (his general sleepy time) and spend nearly all of my off-the-clock time at home with my bunny (I’m a huge homebody in general, and I miss him dearly when I’m away from home). We cuddle a lot and have a great bond. He binkies nearly every morning after getting his breakfast and flops about a dozen times a day. I give him fresh produce daily (in addition to fresh unlimited hay) and filtered water. I make and buy him natural toys that he loves to chew and throw around. In short, most people who meet him think he has a wonderful life, and I’m inclined to agree…excluding the fact he’s a solo bunny.

    I have a lot of reasons that I’m hesitant, if not outright unwilling, to get a second bunny. I’ll list them below.
    -I’m mildly allergic to my bunny and strongly allergic to pretty much any kind of hay. I combat this by keeping my apartment meticulously clean/vaccumed (hay/hay dust/hair). I also use an inhaler. But it’s a LOT of effort for even just one bunny to keep my allergies under control. I’m scared getting a second rabbit would impact my health and drive me insane with absolute constant cleaning. My bunny sheds like crazy and I can’t imagine that being doubled.
    -My bunny is ridiculously well-behaved by bunny standards. Never, ever bites, super sweet/affectionate, not timid at all (loves to curiously sniff my guests and solicit petting) and doesn’t ever chew my beloved coffee table, which I consider a minor miracle (it’s wood and he just flops under it daily). He’s not at all a destructive chewer - overwhelmingly sticks to his toys and hay. I’m scared I’ll end up with a destructive or somehow ill-behaved second rabbit. I’m also scared such a second bunny might negatively influence his behavior and ruin our peaceful/happy status quo. I’ve had two friends with bunnies and both seemed to think his behavior was not the norm (particularly the lack of chewing my wood stuff).
    -My landlord has a one pet only policy. Now, I THINK I could get him to revise this if I really convinced/pushed him. He’s seen how well behaved my bunny is many times (e.g., he’s just flopping around and not peeing everywhere or chewing the baseboards). I’m also concerned about future living situations. It seems like most landlords are much more open to a single pet than 2+. But in general, my landlord might not cave and getting a second bunny might not even be up to me.

    Of course, I have additional concerns like cost, certain bunny-only diseases getting caught (head tilt really scares me), etc. But overall, I just seem to have a “it doesn’t seem broken…do I really need to fix it?” mentality. It seems like most bunny blogs/rescues act like there’s no choice to be made here and a second bunny is necessary. But I don’t know, because my bunny seems perfectly happy to me! I’d like some advice.
     
  2. Sep 18, 2019 #2

    Poopy Poo

    Poopy Poo

    Poopy Poo

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    I wouldn't try to fix it your situation sounds perfect to me well I don't know what is his age and how long he lives with you because he can change if he still 2-3 months old baby.

    In my experience, some rabbits are quite happy on their own especially if he's your only pet and you spend time with him, and as you say he's free-roam.

    Getting another rabbit can change things dramatically, if you decide to to that you should read a lot about bonding and maybe get him neutered, then the easiest way would be to get already spayed female from your local rescue and let them meet a few times before you are taking her home to make sure they like each other and will bond. But as I said, your situation sounds really nice and I'd just leave it as is if everyone's happy. Good luck in any way you choose and please keep us updated and post some pics of your happy rabbit(s).
     
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  3. Sep 18, 2019 #3

    JenGibs

    JenGibs

    JenGibs

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    Well hello!
    I would say I am super jealous of your bun! LOL....
    I have been on both sides of the coin. I will tell you that there is nothing better than seeing your bun cuddling with a friend. They are so happy.
    Is it necessary? No. I got a second one because I knew my buddy was home alone all day long and I just felt bad. BUT I will also tell you that adding another one is really not much additional work- except the lack of hands to pet them both all the time!
    I am not sure if you have your state chapter of House Rabbit Society near you. My GA chapter is about 3 hours away. Well worth the trip there! They are awesome! You can bring your bun and they will let them have bonding dates to see if there is a match. They have so many deserving bunnies and since they know all their personalities, they are good at selecting those they think will fit your needs and your buns personality. You can take as much time as you like and have as many sessions as you like. If your bun does seem to find a match, you can foster for a few weeks to see how it goes. If it is bad, you are not obligated.
    Their buns are also medically cleared! You can also try for a bond with one around the same age to minimize losing one way before the other.
    There are upsides and downsides to this and I will be honest.

    Upside-
    Your bun would have a friend and seeing them play and snuggle will melt anyone’s heart.
    Your bun may actually live longer because they tend to want to be with their friend and can be overall healthier as they keep each other going.
    You will have 2 sweeties waiting on you to get home! If mischief has been caused, you will have two little faces looking at you like “well, it wasn’t me!” It’s kind of comical really.

    Downside-
    If you lose one, the other one can get depressed so you have to keep an eye on them for a little while.
    Your bun is an exception to the rule with the no chewing stuff. Another bun may chew - there are ways to help with that by giving them plenty to chew on.
    More vet costs.

    Either way, whatever is best for you. I would find a rescue or your state chapter of HRS and take your bun to even see if they may like a friend. They may not and there ya go! It doesn’t hurt and you will never know unless you see. I know I loved having my baby all to myself but when I saw her with her hus-bun, I wouldn’t have it any other way. She still lets me love on her but it is a little less because they are connected at the hip most of the time. But, at the end of the day, I do leave her to go to work and stuff and he is always there for her.
    I’m sure you will make a good choice.
     
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  4. Sep 18, 2019 #4

    SableSteel

    SableSteel

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    Not really necessary. Your rabbit seems to be happy as it is (and frankly, I'd be nervous about pushing that one pet policy) and adding another rabbit might throw off what seems to be the nice balance you've got here with his behavior. Some rabbits are more social than others - maybe yours doesn't mind being alone too much.
     
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  5. Sep 18, 2019 #5

    Imbrium

    Imbrium

    Imbrium

    Jennifer

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    A few rabbits *really* do best with a companion. A few rabbits are absolutely dug-in, adamantly against having a rabbit friend. Most rabbits, though, can happily go either way.

    We have one bonded pair and two solo rabbits. The main thing the solo rabbits seem to need from me that the pair doesn't is to run my fingers around their eyes to find/wipe away any little eye boogies once a day or so (and occasionally to help them groom their ears on the inner side) :p. I can tell they appreciate that (unlike cats, who act like you're trying to murder them) and I only started noticing the crusties on Nala after her bonded companion died. I already knew solo rabbits might need help with their ears at times, but I never realized about the eye boogies until then.

    Based on the detailed information in your post, I'm confident in saying that your bunny is happy, loved and well-adjusted - he's doing just fine without a companion. Might he enjoy having another bunn around? Maybe... but also, maybe not... and bonding can be quite arduous. Whatever he might gain from a companion, he clearly doesn't feel like he's missing it by being alone. He gets to be the center of attention and gets spoiled rotten. Adding another bunny, at least initially (until they were bonded and living together) can get a little bit costly and quite stressful (for both of you). Plus, what happens if the bond doesn't work out and you're stuck with two solo rabbits? I totally agree with "if it's not broke, don't try to fix it."
     
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  6. Sep 26, 2019 #6

    BlackVelvet

    BlackVelvet

    BlackVelvet

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    Thank you all for your replies that ultimately are echoing my own instincts! I recently started taking my bunny to a local rescue to get groomed (he gets a deep brush and nail trim every 6 weeks or so) and the rescue owner mentioned several times that he really "needs a friend" and seemed to really disapprove of him being alone...so I decided to ask the bunny-savvy folks here if I'm really in the wrong for keeping him solo. I see many bunnies online (even one of the big bunny YouTubers, Lennon the Bunny, keeps her rabbit by herself) that are the only bunny and seem super content with it. I do like the idea of him having a friend in the future/when I have a bigger and more liberal living situation, but for now, I think I'll keep things as they are. Thank you all again!
     
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  7. Sep 26, 2019 #7

    Alyssa and Bugs♡

    Alyssa and Bugs♡

    Alyssa and Bugs♡

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    I don't believe rabbits absolutely need a friend. I'm sure it's an unpopular opinion on the forum but in my experience it's what I've found to be true.

    Sure, when it's a love at first sight it's 100% worth it but the bonding process is hard on both humans and bunnies. I've had snuggly bunnies that were (from what I saw) ready to be considered bonded but had a big fight with injuries. I've had my bond with my bunnies be completely destroyed because of the bonding process. My male was my best friend until I decided to get him a girlfriend. The bonding process put him on edge and he was injured multiple times and would bite me if I touched him without him seeing my hand coming when he never did this before. I ended up trying to bond him with two different females and the last one we ended up keeping despite them not bonding. Her and I don't have much of a bond because of the bonding process. If they're not having a great time during bonding, they'll hold a grudge against the human and the other bunny.

    I'm sure that having bonded bunnies is amazing but the process imo isn't. You'll have to weigh the pros and cons. I wanted to get mine a friend so I didn't have to spend as much time giving him attention but now I have to give them both separate attention.
     
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  8. Sep 27, 2019 #8

    Imbrium

    Imbrium

    Imbrium

    Jennifer

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    From what I've seen, your opinion's pretty normal around here - most people agree that solo vs pairing is situational ;). You had a worst-case-scenario type situation, which isn't normal when bonding... but definitely can and does happen sometimes, making it a good argument against bonded pairs being the "best," "right" or "only" way to go. When it comes to solo vs pair (or trio and beyond), the best arrangement is the one that feels most natural. Follow your instincts and do what's best for you and YOUR rabbit(s), not someone else and theirs.
     
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