What are bonded pairs?

Adopting just one animal is a big responsibility, but have you ever been faced with the idea of adopting two at once? This could happen if you ever fall in love with a Waif in a bonded pair.

Lucas and Lucy, adopted May 2019

A bond between two animals is more than just a friendship. Animals form bonds with each other out of psychological need. Wayside’s waifs in bonded pairs are considered completely attached to one another, so they have to be adopted together. These bonds aren’t just about having another animal to play with, but also about feeling secure.

While both dogs and cats of all ages can form these bonds with one another, more often bonded pairs consist of adult dogs. These bonded pairs are not always siblings, although siblings can become bonded. Usually, animals in bonded pairs have grown up together or at least spent a good chunk of their lives living together. Sometimes bonded pairs are created in a shelter environment when two animals of the same species find comfort in having a best friend. Both animals benefit from the relationship and actually become more social, build trust, and begin to really blossom as pets.

Wayside has found homes for many bonded pairs over the years, but here are some of our favorite bonded waif alums:

At Wayside, we know that the separation of bonded pairs can cause emotional and psychological stress––some research has actually found symptoms of depression in separated pairs––and if prolonged, this stress could lead to physical health issues. These issues might include fatigue and refusing to eat, which could result in weight loss. Wayside’s team closely monitors the behavior of our bonded pairs to ensure both animals are mentally and physically healthy in the relationship.

Recently, Wayside had a bonded pair of dogs, Lucas and Lucy! These two cuties are siblings and inseparable. Lucas is the more confident of the two, and Lucy tends to get stressed, shy, and fearful when she’s away from her brother. Both Lucas and Lucy are great, lovable dogs on their own, but when apart, they lack confidence, and when together, they open up. These two were adopted together so that they can feel comfortable enough to continue building their confidence in their forever home.

Lucas and Lucy, adopted May 2019

Waifs in bonded pairs need their companions by their side in order to live emotionally and physically healthy lives. When you adopt a bonded pair, you’ll know that your pets will always have a friend to hang out with when you aren’t home. Bonded pairs mean twice the love! You can learn more about Lucas and Lucy on our website.

Pet Adoption Center Hours:

Tuesday-Friday Noon – 8 PM

Saturday 10 AM – 5 PM

Sunday 10 AM – 5 PM

Written by Annie B.


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