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When is it wrong to keep a solitary pet
03-13-2013, 07:31 PM,
#1
Rube Offline
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When is it wrong to keep a solitary pet
When I say "solitary pet", I'm not talking about dogs and cats, because these enjoy human companionship, and many of them can meet others of their own species when they go out. I'm not so sure about keeping a solitary pet if it is the type of animal that would naturally live among others of its kind.

I feel sad when I see a solitary rabbit in a hutch, or a single canary in a cage? I don't even like to think of a single fish on its own in a fish tank.

I used to keep rabbits and guinea pigs in the same hutch. My 2 budgerigars shared a cage with a canary, and various small finches shared an aviary. I still felt guilty when one little bird wove a neat nest out of grass and then laid an egg in it. Obviously the egg was sterile as she was the only one of her species in the cage.

Do you think that it is wrong to keep certain types of pet in solitary confinement? And which species are quite content to live alone?
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03-14-2013, 01:25 PM,
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4sweed Offline
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RE: When is it wrong to keep a solitary pet
I don't know if I would go as far to say that it is wrong to keep one type of an animal by it's self, but I do believe it is wrong not to have interactions with your pets. All animals in one form or another crave attention. Dogs and cats, of course. Birds like other birds to talk with, but will do fine if their owner spends quality time with them.

Rabbits kind of do their own thing but do enjoy company in the form of other pets. I have owned rabbits and they did ok together, but seemed to enjoy each having their own space. Horses enjoy the company of other horses, as do cows and sheep and pigs, etc..
So I guess most animals prefer companionship, but are willing to go it alone if their owner does his or her share of giving time and attention to the animals they own.
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03-15-2013, 02:20 AM, (This post was last modified: 03-15-2013, 02:23 AM by jenb128.)
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RE: When is it wrong to keep a solitary pet
While it's usually best to keep at least two birds, every bird is different. Canaries are solitary birds and usually prefer to be alone (especially the males). My cockatiel is an "only bird." I actually would like to have two birds, but my Buzzy is a rescue who had previously been kept in an overcrowded cage, and the other birds bullied him and pulled his feathers out. His neck is still bald, over two years after his rescue. Because of that, he does not like being around other birds. At all. He seems to prefer being around people, and he seems to enjoy having an entire cage (an entire room, really) all to himself. I spend about 4 hours with him every day on average (sometimes a little more, sometimes a little less), so he does get plenty of social interaction.
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03-20-2013, 09:24 AM,
#4
trishgl Offline
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RE: When is it wrong to keep a solitary pet
I always think of animals from my point of view that if I was in a cage all day alone what would I feel. I think that belief was reinforced when I saw that cartoon "Happy Feet" where they kept him and several penguins in a "display room" for visitors to the zoo and it was like they were slowly being driven mad. I only have cats and dogs. My dog gets walked by different family members 3 times a day since I want to be sure she is able to socialize with other dogs. We also have a big yard for her, the neighbors dogs and the cats to play in.
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05-05-2013, 11:51 PM,
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sakee Offline
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RE: When is it wrong to keep a solitary pet
When we got our first guinea pig, the first recommendation I heard was to get him a companion because they are herd animals. After about 6 months we did get another. They share a cage together now. I noticed the difference in our first piggie after a little while. He is more active, makes more noise, and I suspect he likes to try and be the boss of the two. He seems to get pleasure from asserting himself. I think animals should have the right to companionship from their own species if it is a natural drive for them.
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05-10-2013, 02:07 PM,
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amundy8 Offline
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RE: When is it wrong to keep a solitary pet
I think that it is only wrong if the pet is the type that is sociable but the owner has no time for it or doesn't have other animals with it. As long as it has come positive attention, then it should be ok. If there is no one spending time with it, no matter what type of pet it is, then that's when it is a problem.
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05-28-2013, 03:35 PM,
#7
cmdr-apollo Offline
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RE: When is it wrong to keep a solitary pet
It varies a lot. Some animals are naturally solitary animals while some are herd animals. Even with fish, many types will be driven mad due to the stress of being alone and will actually die because of it. Many just can NOT be put with another fish (aside from the opposite sex during breeding). You also mentioned rabbits - rabbits (I believe all of them but maybe it varies by type?) are social and need affection daily. People also tend to lump animals like guinea pigs and hamsters together but their needs are so different! Hamsters are solitary by nature, while guinea pigs are very social and need affection from other guinea pigs. Basically, it all comes down to understanding your own pets personal needs and doing research before you buy one. There's no need for someone to buy only one of a certain animal if their research tells them they should be with another. That's just cruel!
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05-29-2013, 09:49 AM,
#8
nafretiti Offline
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RE: When is it wrong to keep a solitary pet
Depends on the animal I suppose, if you have an animal that is used to being around others and being interactive then you should probably have a companion for it, on the other hand if that animal is used to being alone and having human contact only it is ok to do that to. In a previous post someone said their bird was quite content to be alone with only humans around,in a case such as that it's true that a lot of birds and things are quite content with being alone. Animals are precious and do need to be interacted with if you intend on petting it,touching it and handling the animal often. If it is a specific type of animal you just want to keep and it has wild instincts yet,then maybe or maybe not for a companion with it,depends if you want to breed it or not I would think. Just think of the animal like a human,we all want some sort of contact and sometimes we don't and prefer the solitude.
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