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[Nov. 17th, 2012|06:27 am]
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Should I get a pet bunny, TQC?

I'm torn because on one hand, I'm going through a lot right now and could really use a companion friend. I love bunnies, I haven't had a pet since high school, I'm responsible enough to take good care of one. It would be therapeutically helpful for me to have a little buddy right now.

On the other hand, I'm about to move to another state for a few months [I would be picking up my friend from a reputable shelter shortly *before* moving due to lack of good shelters in the other areas] and another one in another 3-4 months. Would it be too stressful for a bunny to go through those moves? I'm not concerned about being able to take care of it in either place.

I want to make sure I'm not doing anything bad by getting one. My mom thinks it's a stupid idea, but she isn't an animal person in general so I don't know whether to listen or not.
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Comments:
[User Picture]From: kinkakinka
2012-11-17 02:41 pm (UTC)

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Yeah, I think waiting to adopt might be the best idea here. Rabbits are prey animals and it upheaval can be pretty stressful on the little guys.
From: twelvehandshigh
2012-11-17 02:48 pm (UTC)

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I would wait, bunnies get stressed by moving and it can literally just kill them, their little hearts stop :[
[User Picture]From: kaelstra
2012-11-17 02:49 pm (UTC)

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If this were about a dog or a cat, I'd tell you to go for it and adopt it. They don't always like moves, but they can handle them a thousand times better than most rabbits. Rabbits are prey animals and by nature very skittish and easily scared. It can take months before a rabbit bonds with you, and moves during that time could destroy a bond and cause the animal to be a wreck the rest of it's life. So if you're really hellbent on getting a rabbit, wait until after all your moving is done and you're in a more stable situation.
[User Picture]From: pandorathewise
2012-11-17 02:52 pm (UTC)

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Bunnies are notoriously fragile. A move would be stressful on the bun, until you have a stable place to live you really aren't equipped to properly care for it.

Look at it this way; how many buns do you see people carrying around in purses? You don't, because even that "small" amount of travel is extremely hard on delicate systems. And an actual move, being exposed to different elements (cold/heat, bacteria, allergens) is really especially rough on little, delicate systems. </p>

Wait until you're settled in a place, and going to be there 6 months or longer. Then consider a cat (if you talk to a shelter you can find a cuddle bug, but cats don't generally require as much attention as bunnies), or a small dog (needs more attention, not as much as a bun). A bun might need more attention than you can anticipate at this stage in your life, and in my experience you're less likely to get a bun you can cuddle, which will defeat the purpose of getting one.

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[User Picture]From: noodledays
2012-11-17 04:34 pm (UTC)

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it depends some on the type of dog too, I'd guess.
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[User Picture]From: pandorathewise
2012-11-17 08:20 pm (UTC)

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I never said "you're not equipped to get X animal that needs a lot of attention - get Y animal that needs a lot of attention instead!"

I did say that OP isn't equipped at this stage in her life, specifically because she isn't living in a stable place for more than 6 months at a time, so she shouldn't consider ANY pet until she has more stability. And a cat or a dog will require less immediate attention than a bunny often does, so that might be a more suitable pet WHEN she is stable.
[User Picture]From: pandorathewise
2012-11-17 08:20 pm (UTC)

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I never said dogs didn't need attention or proper care.

However, I've never known a dog to require fairly consistent monitoring that a bunny needs. Their health can decline so extremely fast that they do in fact require a lot more attention than a dog.

Further more, I haven't known of a single dog that I've ever come in contact with (let alone owned) that dropped dead at the sight of a predator (or the perception of a predator).

I've also know of only a very few rare instances where a rabbit could be trained to not leave pellets all over the place, dogs on the other hand can be trained to defecate and urinate virtually on command.

Few dogs are likely to have spinal injuries if you aren't very, very careful in how you pick them up (I'm not saying to pick a dog up improperly, which can result in spinal injuries), bunnies need to be handled very gingerly (which a lot of people don't realize).

Heat and Cold can be dangerous to a bunny, that is LESS true for a dog (though of course all animals are susceptible to weather conditions, and shouldn't be left out in them- but bunnies have a much lower tolerance).

Also the dental issues that some rabbits can have can generally be more involved than the dental care that a dog needs, though I'm not saying dental care can or should EVER be ignored in any animal.


In short proper care for a dog is much easier to achieve, than proper care for a bunny. It can be done, if the OP is really aware of all of the care a bunny needs and is willing to put in the time and energy. And I stand behind my belief that with the OP moving its not a good environment for ANY pet at the moment.


EDIT: I should also point out that cats do need proper care as well. No pet is by any meals self sufficient. And I never implied that they were, however cats are more likely to be happy cuddled up on a bed for 15 hours straight (but also needs interaction and stimuli, though its usually between a regular schedule of naps), where as a dog needs constant interaction and stimuli. Where as a bunny needs even more interaction and monitoring to maintain optimum health.
ALL ANIMALS NEED PROPER CARE, and that includes monitoring, interaction, stimuli, good food, plenty of water, vet care, AND much more- some animals need even more than THAT, and many people aren't in positions to provide it (even with the best intentions).

Edited at 2012-11-17 08:53 pm (UTC)
[User Picture]From: noodledays
2012-11-17 10:08 pm (UTC)

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you can be so super defensive, it's awkward to watch.
[User Picture]From: pandorathewise
2012-11-17 10:23 pm (UTC)

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I know, isn't it?! Its really weird how I hate when people pick apart things I write, or blatantly ignore in order to misconstrue things.
[User Picture]From: noodledays
2012-11-17 10:30 pm (UTC)

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yes, it's apparent you take this very, very seriously.
[User Picture]From: pandorathewise
2012-11-17 10:53 pm (UTC)

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Actually I don't. But I do enjoy defending myself, I'm really awkward that way.
[User Picture]From: noodledays
2012-11-17 11:02 pm (UTC)

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.....okay then.
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[User Picture]From: pandorathewise
2012-11-17 10:52 pm (UTC)

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Sorry about that, I had some types and corrections to make.
[User Picture]From: hey_kayla_jay
2012-11-18 01:37 am (UTC)

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My sister used to carry her bunny around in a purse like it was a chihuahua. I thought it was ridiculous but that bunny was remarkably laid-back.
[User Picture]From: noachoc
2012-11-17 02:52 pm (UTC)

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I would think it would be better for a bunny to be with someone who loves him than for a bunny to be in a shelter, even if the someone who loves him is moving him from state to state.
[User Picture]From: noachoc
2012-11-17 02:53 pm (UTC)

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After reading the other comments, though, I also think a cat would be better.
[User Picture]From: whataspacecase
2012-11-17 03:25 pm (UTC)

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I am tempted to agree with you on this but I realize that I am projecting my emotions onto a rabbit (I'd rather be adopted by someone who loved me and move a lot than not be adopted at all....), and who knows how rabbits feel?

[User Picture]From: kaelstra
2012-11-17 03:49 pm (UTC)

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The thing is, in theory, that's correct. In practice, rabbits can stress themselves out about shit so bad they kill themselves. And surely being adopted is great, but being adopted by someone who won't stress you out to the point of possibly giving yourself a heart attack is a better idea.
[User Picture]From: noachoc
2012-11-17 06:29 pm (UTC)

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I've only ever had cats, so I have no idea. How stressful is a shelter for a bunny? How likely are shelters to put bunnies down if they're not adopted?

(Not arguing here, just curious)
[User Picture]From: lost_garnet
2012-11-17 03:28 pm (UTC)

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I'm living with two bunnies at the moment, and they do stress very easily, so I'd wait for the sake of the bun, until you have a long-term home with the right kind of space.

Also my house's bunnies are rather social--the first one was best friends with the cat at his old house, then housemate moved, and the rabbit got very lonely and sulky. He has another rabbit for a friend, now, and is much happier. If you're considering a rabbit, perhaps consider two. (Spayed/neutered, obviously.)
[User Picture]From: kaelstra
2012-11-17 03:58 pm (UTC)

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Yeah, rabbits bond with each other, and sometimes other animals. It sounds like that bun bonded with the cat, and when the bond is broken, it can really devastate a rabbit. I've even heard stories of one half of the bond dying, and then the rabbit just dies a few days later, presumably from missing their friend.
[User Picture]From: lost_garnet
2012-11-17 05:37 pm (UTC)

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Oof, luckily the bun didn't suffer health problems at the move/separation aside from some months of rabbity brooding which ended pretty quickly after his mum got him a friend.
[User Picture]From: heyfashion
2012-11-17 03:35 pm (UTC)

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I suggest waiting until you have settled down somewhere. Like the others have said, bunnies get stressed out very easily. Have you had a bunny? Maybe in the meantime you can read up on the little guys so you are super prepared when you get yours.
[User Picture]From: cathubodva
2012-11-17 04:20 pm (UTC)

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My experience with rabbits is apparently different from other people's here...

Any animal can be stressed out by a move, but I don't think that in and of itself is a reason to not get a pet. Animals are resilient and mostly care about getting food, water, and love! My two bunnies went through several moves over the last seven months (from their previous owner to my rental house in March, from my rental house to my in-laws' house in July, from my in-laws' house to our newly purchased house in October) and are none the worse for the wear.

I'm also involved with show rabbit groups (our rabbits are a rare heritage breed - we don't show yet but know lots of people who do), and show rabbits get moved around ALL the time. We know people who take their rabbits to one or more shows a month, and they travel hours to get to each one. The rabbits do just fine.
[User Picture]From: 911pleasehold
2012-11-17 05:50 pm (UTC)

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I agree with the ability to move. People say cats hate moving...my kitty moved like 5 times in his first year of life and he was fine with it. If anything, because he was so young, I think he just thought this is what we do, we move. lol.
[User Picture]From: due27south
2012-11-17 05:41 pm (UTC)

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I personally wouldn't. My pet rabbit is more maintenance than my cats and my fish tanks, combined. It would also be stressful for bunny to move.
[User Picture]From: 911pleasehold
2012-11-17 05:49 pm (UTC)

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I would get a cat, not a bunny.
[User Picture]From: ellelelle
2012-11-17 05:58 pm (UTC)

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I don't get the appeal of rabbits, but I personally can't justify getting a pet until my living situation is more stable, I move on average once a year and it's too much upheaval for me, never mind for an animal.

Also in my experience, bunnies are really easily stressed.
[User Picture]From: drowningmermaid
2012-11-17 07:01 pm (UTC)

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Personally, I'd do it. But then I'm an animal lover and I don't really care what anyone says is a bad idea -- if I want a pet, I'm getting it. Especially if I feel like it'll do well for my mental health and be a good friend.

As far as the move goes, so long as you're attentive to the bunny frequently while you're traveling and let it get some fresh air from time to time when you make pit stops, it should be fine. I'd put some blankets on the seat and then put the cage on that though, because the vibrations of the moving car are what I'm blaming for my hamster dying while I moved from FL to GA many moons ago. That, and he was old.
[User Picture]From: wristtattoos
2012-11-17 11:41 pm (UTC)

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Your mom is right, you should wait.
[User Picture]From: phronistes
2012-11-18 05:49 am (UTC)

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Rabbits can make awesome friends/pets! But really try and test out their personality beforehand. The two breeds that in my experience had the most calm demeaner was the New Zealander (that my ex still has..*grumble*) and Mini Rexes. New Zealanders are big bunnies but the one I had was sweet as all hell. They chitter when content, like when cat's purr. My N.Z. used to chase the cat around in a playful manner. The cat would come up thinkin' it found a new toy and shyly bat the bunny's butt. The bunny would turn around and hop after the cat for a bit until the scary cat would run off to watch the bunny from afar. Also, when they're really happy they'll jump and do crazy kicks called "binkies". They totally can be house trained too. Just make sure to put the wires up.