Petstock logo
HomeRight caret
BlogRight caret
Article Featured Image
February 2024

Should I Adopt a Bonded Pair?


What is a Bonded Pair?

A bonded pair goes beyond two animals that are from the same household, or a pair of animals that amicably enjoy each other’s company – rather, bonded pairs share a special connection wherein their separation would put both pets at risk of distress, anxiety, or even depression. They’ll usually share beds or sleeping areas, they’ll eat at the same time, play together, and will seek comfort from one another in stressful situations.

Bonded pairs can be comprised of two dogs, two cats, or even dogs and cats. They might be littermates or come from the same household, or they may have bonded after spending time together after being rescued.

Because bonded pairs do better together and separating them can risk their health and wellbeing, shelters and rescue groups avoid separating them wherever possible and attempt to adopt them out together. Unfortunately, this can mean that bonded pairs can have a lesser chance of being adopted as prospective owners weren’t necessarily seeking two new pets.

This is why we’re challenging those who are open to adopting a rescue animal to adopt

different. Maybe what you had in mind isn’t the only option that could fit into your family. Maybe you could give two animals a second chance instead of just one.

YouTube Video Thumbnail
Play Button

Do Bonded Pets Make Good Pets?

There’s a common misconception that bonded pets are too challenging or too much work, or that they’ll be difficult to incorporate into a family that already has another pet. While the needs of the individual animals need to be examined from a case-by-case basis, it’s not true that bonded pairs require double the work – and there are actually benefits to adopting a bonded pair that can make integrating them into your family easier!

Article Image

What are the Benefits of Adopting a Bonded Pair?

1. They Keep Each Other Company

Bonded pairs rarely separate from one another and enjoy their days sleeping, eating, grooming, and playing together. This means they're perfectly positioned to keep each other company, allowing you a break from constant supervision that can come with bringing a rescue pet home.

2. They Help Each Other Adjust to a New Environment

We all know the benefit of having something familiar in an unfamiliar situation, and pets are no different! Bonded pairs have a greater chance of adapting to their new home with relative ease as they find comfort in one another.

3. They Entertain One Another

Having a live-in best friend sure helps alleviate boredom!

4. Less Anxiety = Less Destructive Behaviours

Petstock trainer and dog behavioural specialist Tina Button flags that common destructive behaviours like barking, scratching, chewing, or damaging items around home could potentially be the result of separation anxiety and boredom. Luckily, bonded pairs are less likely to engage in these activities as they’ve got each other to contend with and they’re more self-sufficient.

5. They Can Share Resources

It’s a common misconception that bonded pairs create double the work and double the costs – but animals which are on a similar walking and feeding schedule take up a similar amount of time as a single pet. Bonded pairs are also prone to sharing resources – sometimes even choosing to sleep in one bed together over two and can share toys, water bowls, and litter boxes.

Of course, there are additional fixed costs which can’t be ignored – such as food, medications, vet visits, grooming, and board fees if you travel, so these must be considered when assessing if you’re ready to take on a bonded pair from a financial perspective.

6. Adjust Easily into Homes with Other Pets

Another common concern is that adopting bonded pairs will overwhelm a pet that’s already at home – but in many cases the opposite is true. Because the bonded pair behave comfortably as a duo, they’re self-sufficient and won’t be seeking out your current pet for unwanted playtime or attention.

7. It’s Double the Fur, Double the Love – and You Save Two Lives!

If opening your heart and home to a rescue pet is rewarding, then surely opening it to two has twice the benefit…right?

This was the case for Lyndall who adopted her bonded pair of rescue cats, Dave and Curtis, from Pet Rescue. ‘They’re a comedy show in themselves, they’ve got their own attitude, they’re own silliness…it’s double the fun.’

Article Image

FAQS on Bonded Paris

Can I Separate a Bonded Pair?

Most shelters will avoid separating a bonded pair as it can adversely affect the health of both animals.

What Happens if you Separate a Bonded Pair?

It’s not recommended to separate bonded pairs – it can result in one or both animals becoming intensely distressed. Refusing food, restlessness, moping, and even depression can occur after separating bonded pairs so once shelters and rescue groups have classified two animals as bonded, they will avoid separating them.

Do Bonded Cats Fight?

Like siblings, it’s possible a bonded pair of cats will fight on occasion. This is not a cause for concern however – separate them for short bursts and make sure you have two of everything to prevent resource guarding (even if they’re prone to share anyway).

Do Bonded Pairs Fight?

While playfighting is not uncommon, it’s rare for bonded pairs to fight in a way that would be deemed problematic. Bonded animals where the bond doesn’t serve both pets (this can happen when one pet is too dominant over the other) are separated at shelter stage.

Various sizes available