Pros and cons of adopting second bun

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lily2521

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We've been considering a second bunny for Gizmo for a while now. Gizmo is a 2 year old spayed Holland lop we adopted about 14 months ago.

Our local shelter will let us set up bunny dates, and suggests at least 2-3 separate meetings before bringing a new bunny home. We would make sure Gizmo had a say in what bunny we adopt, if we adopt.

I'm on board with a second bunny, my husband is 50/50, he's trying to weigh the pros and cons of adopting again, so I'm making him a list, here's what I've got:

Cons:
overall bonding process, but we're prepared for that, I just know own it will take some work and time.
Extra expense of hay, pellets, possible vet bills, etc.
More poop and fur, overall cleanup

Pro:
We have a xl dog pen so housing is already set up, we wouldn't need to get anything new
Companion for Gizmo
More bunnies to love!!



Can anyone add pros or cons to my list I'm not thinking of here? Trying to weigh the options to help make a decision one way or the other.

Thanks!!
 

Watermelons

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Regardless of how bunny play dates go you would still need a second cage. You cant just take the new one home after 3 dates and then let it live with your current bunny. There is also the chance any bond you do have between your rabbits can break.

Either way since you have a female, I would be looking into a neutered male.
 

lily2521

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Regardless of how bunny play dates go you would still need a second cage. You cant just take the new one home after 3 dates and then let it live with your current bunny. There is also the chance any bond you do have between your rabbits can break.

Either way since you have a female, I would be looking into a neutered male.
We do have a second cage we can temporarily use during bonding, it just wouldn't be a good permanant solution.

Do you know what can break up a bonded pair, or is it just something you take the risk of happening? How often does this happen? I didn't know bonded bunnies can un-bond. If that happens, can you re-bond them?

Thanks!!
 

Watermelons

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You always have to be prepared to house your rabbits separately when you have a bonded pair.

Who knows sometimes. Somebody looked at somebody wrong, someone stole a lettuce leaf from the other. Most of the time its fine, but you do have to be prepared they can fight for no reason then your bond is toast. And when bunnies fight they can hold a grudge. So especially when people attempt bonding in the first place and the 2 rabbits fight, its recommended to keep them separate for a good month in separate areas of the house so they forget the other exists before trying again.

Sometimes they may not fight but you have other reasons to separate them. Over grooming of 1. Somebody eats all the food for themselves. These are easier issues to work out vs fighting.

This is why I'm on the side of, get a pair as babys, spay/neuter then early, then you never have to separate them unless something happens down the line . It's usually harder when you have 2 adult bunnies and somebody already thinks the house is their own territory.
 

Whiterabbitrage

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A possible con is is bunny snuggle time. Seems to me that rabbits would rather spend time with each other than with us. If you get a second bun you won't have gizmo racing to see you, wanting to play tag with you or spending an hour grooming you. If you just pet gizmo sometimes than he would like a friend but if you have a deep bond with him that bond will change if you get him a friend I'll bet.
 

lily2521

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You always have to be prepared to house your rabbits separately when you have a bonded pair.

Who knows sometimes. Somebody looked at somebody wrong, someone stole a lettuce leaf from the other. Most of the time its fine, but you do have to be prepared they can fight for no reason then your bond is toast. And when bunnies fight they can hold a grudge. So especially when people attempt bonding in the first place and the 2 rabbits fight, its recommended to keep them separate for a good month in separate areas of the house so they forget the other exists before trying again.

Sometimes they may not fight but you have other reasons to separate them. Over grooming of 1. Somebody eats all the food for themselves. These are easier issues to work out vs fighting.

This is why I'm on the side of, get a pair as babys, spay/neuter then early, then you never have to separate them unless something happens down the line . It's usually harder when you have 2 adult bunnies and somebody already thinks the house is their own territory.
This is good to know, thanks!! I didn't know about this. We do have a cage we bought for Gizmo before we upgraded her to the dog crate, so if we do get a second I'll be sure to hold onto it just incase.
 

Watermelons

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Honestly most true bonds do work out. Sometimes the rabbits just tolerate each other and humans think its a bond.

You always have to be prepared for the worse.
My spare cage is stored in the garage, you never know!


Also check what the rescues return policy is. What if you do 3 bunny dates and their fine, but after a month at home you just can't get it to work out, will they allow you to bring the bunny back and try another one? As bad as returning the rabbit sounds, it doesn't always work out.
 

lily2521

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A possible con is is bunny snuggle time. Seems to me that rabbits would rather spend time with each other than with us. If you get a second bun you won't have gizmo racing to see you, wanting to play tag with you or spending an hour grooming you. If you just pet gizmo sometimes than he would like a friend but if you have a deep bond with him that bond will change if you get him a friend I'll bet.
Also good to know! Gizmo isn't much of a snuggler as it is, most of the time she keeps to herself, even when her cage is open for free range time so I wouldn't say she's deeply bonded to us. She has never groomed us, the most affection we get out of her is in the evening she'll jump on the couch to sit in my lap and nudge my hand for head pets. It's really cute, and I love that time of evening with her. But she's never groomed us, played tag, etc. I'd actually love it if she did those things with a companion, like grooming and playing tag with.
 

lily2521

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Honestly most true bonds do work out. Sometimes the rabbits just tolerate each other and humans think its a bond.

You always have to be prepared for the worse.
My spare cage is stored in the garage, you never know!


Also check what the rescues return policy is. What if you do 3 bunny dates and their fine, but after a month at home you just can't get it to work out, will they allow you to bring the bunny back and try another one? As bad as returning the rabbit sounds, it doesn't always work out.
I'm hoping the shelter can help us to know if it's a true bond, they are a rescue only for bunnies so do I really trust their judgment. And they said they will help me with the entire process, even after we bring a bunny home.

With that said, they highly discourage bringing one back due to the stress on the rabbit, as most of their rabbits up for adoption have already been abandoned. I appreciate that they have the bunnies best interest in mind, but like you said I worry about truly knowing about the bond before we bring one home.

The bunny dates are a good idea but I know that it will be a different environment other than our home.
 

BlackRabbits

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With that said, they highly discourage bringing one back due to the stress on the rabbit, as most of their rabbits up for adoption have already been abandoned. I appreciate that they have the bunnies best interest in mind, but like you said I worry about truly knowing about the bond before we bring one home.
Based on my personal experience both adopting rescues and working in an animal shelter, I'm dismayed by that rescue's attitude about returns. I'd be asking them this:

"Which do you think is less stressful on a rabbit - the adopter bringing it back if things don't work out in their home (including not being able to bond with their rabbit, forcing it to live alone) or the adopter selling it to someone who then feeds it to their snake, or dumping it outdoors in the winter to fend for itself, or any of the numerous terrible things that happen to unwanted rabbits? Isn't it your job to rescue rabbits from these things in the first place?"

My guess is that the reason they don't want to take it back is that they don't want to lose the space to take in more rabbits. And clearly they don't care what happens after they get rid of a rabbit. I steer clear of rescues that won't take pets back.
 

Nucky

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I actually don't have second cage, my buns are together full time in the large Oxbow Play Yard:



I have a few makeshift ideas (my sisters dog crate) if there is ever an illness and some medical reason why they may need to be split up.

Pros:
Happy buns, they are social animals by nature. Happy buns could mean less stress, less illness.
My rabbit seems MORE social with me now, not less. Maybe the overall happiness he's now feeling makes him happier with me as well.

Cons:
Vet bills. Although many vets offer a discount for bringing in both buns at once.
More frequent litter box cleaning (this takes me seconds though so i don't really care)
 
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