The Cost Of Owning A Rabbit

Rabbits May 1, 2020
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The Cost Of Owning A Rabbit

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A pet rabbit is a wonderful addition to any family. These pets are cute, fluffy, and friendly by nature. As is true with any pet, however, they have certain requirements.

If you want to be a responsible rabbit owner, you need to research your rabbit’s needs and make sure you can provide for them completely. This includes setting your rabbit up with a quality environment, providing a healthy and nutritious diet, and meeting the rabbit’s needs for exercise and interaction.

Buying a pet rabbit may only cost you $20 or so, but there are other costs to consider.

Before you bring home a new pet, it’s important to think about everything you’ll need to create the ideal rabbit habitat. You’ll also need to think about the cost to feed your rabbit and take him to the vet.

Here’s what you need to know about how much it costs to purchase a pet rabbit and to keep him well.

Bringing Home A New Rabbit – One-time Costs

Rabbits make wonderful pets because they are absolutely adorable and can become quite friendly and affectionate as well. Keep in mind, however, that rabbits do best in bonded pairs – you may need to factor in the cost to keep two rabbits rather than one.

When purchasing a new pet, factor in the one-time costs such as the cage and supplies.

In addition to basic necessities, you should also think about other initial costs like a vet visit, vaccinations, and spay/neuter surgery. These costs aren’t required for every pet, but it’s worth thinking about them as part of your decision.

Here’s what you need to know about one-time costs for pet rabbits:

Buying A Rabbit

There are many different breeds of rabbit, but not all are popular as pets.

Here are some of the most popular pet rabbit breeds:

  • American
  • Holland Lop
  • Netherland Dwarf
  • Lionhead
  • Flemish Giant

The cost to purchase a pet rabbit depends largely on the breed and where you get it.

If you’re planning to buy a rabbit from a pet store, you’ll find different breeds in different places. The selection could vary greatly from large chains to local pet stores. Prices range from $20 to $50.

Adoption is a great option for rabbits because you’ll often save on the adoption fee and the rabbit will already likely be spayed or neutered. Adoption fees range from $50 to $75 but, again, the rabbit has already been altered.

For rare breeds or specific colors, you may need to buy directly from a breeder. These prices can be as high as $100, depending on the breed.

If you’re going to keep two rabbits, it’s important to choose a pair that is already bonded. Rabbits can be finicky and same-sex pairs aren’t guaranteed to get along.

When you’re adopting an adult rabbit instead of purchasing a juvenile, consider getting the rabbit first and then talk to your local shelter about introducing your rabbit to others to see if you can find the right pairing. Rabbits from the same litter may be more likely to bond, but both need to be altered.

If you don’t plan to keep more than one rabbit, be sure to interact with your rabbit on a daily basis.

Rabbit Cost by Breed

Breed Average Cost (Low) Average Cost (High)
American $20 $40
Holland Lop $15 $60
Netherland Dwarf $25 $40
Lionhead $20 $50
Flemish Giant $20 $50

Supplies And Setup

Rabbits are very active pets and they require a lot of space. The best thing you can do for your rabbit is give him plenty of time outside the cage, though you’ll still want a cage to house his litter box and to keep him contained overnight and when you can’t watch him.

A good rabbit cage can be expensive and you don’t want to skimp here.

Look for a large cage made from sturdy materials. It should have plenty of floor space for your rabbit to explore and a solid floor – wire flooring can hurt your rabbit’s feet. If you plan to keep more than one rabbit, you’ll need a cage big enough for both.

You should plan to spend $75 to $200 on a nice rabbit cage. On top of the cage itself, you’ll also need a litter box (or two), food bowls, a hay rack, and water bottles. Your rabbit may also enjoy some toys.

In addition to the supplies to set up your rabbit’s cage, you may want to gather some other things.

Rabbits have soft coats and they groom themselves in much the same way cats do. Even so, they can sometimes use a little help so you might want to buy a rabbit brush in addition to nail clippers.

Aside from essential supplies, there are some veterinary costs to think about when bringing home a pet rabbit for the first time.

You should have your rabbit checked out by a veterinarian the first time you bring him home. If your rabbit hasn’t already been vaccinated, you’ll also need a vaccine for rabbit viral hemorrhagic disease (RVHD) and myxomatosis.

The cost for vet visits varies, but you should expect to spend about $45 for a visit and $15 per vaccine. Another cost to consider is spay/neuter surgery – this should average $50 to $200.

Rabbit Supplies and Setup

Cost Type Average Cost (Low) Average Cost (High)
Cage $75 $200
Cage Supplies $25 $50
Initial Food and Bedding $25 $50
Spay/Neuter Cost $50 $200
Initial Vet Visit/Vaccinations $45 $75
Total = $220 to $575

Annual Medical Expensescost Of Rabbit Ownership – Annual Expense Breakdown

After you’ve made sure you have all the supplies your rabbit needs, it’s a good idea to set up the cage before you bring your new pet home. Your rabbit will already be stressed from the trip in the car and you’ll want to give him time to settle in right away.

Before you take that trip to pick up your rabbit, do another check of your expense sheet. Make sure you can cover all of the initial costs as well as the monthly costs to keep your rabbit well.

Being a pet owner isn’t cheap and you should be prepared for additional expenses if your rabbit gets sick or injured. It never hurts to have an emergency fund on hand, so consider waiting a little longer to get your rabbit so you can save up for emergencies.

Here’s what you need to know about annual costs for pet rabbits:

With a healthy diet and proper care, your rabbit can live 8 to 12 years.

Taking your rabbit in for routine veterinary care is the key to keeping him healthy and well. Your vet will be able to check your rabbit’s teeth and weight, plus he’ll be able to monitor developing health problems, so they don’t get worse.

Here are some of the common health problems known to affect rabbits:

  • Overgrowth teeth
  • Uterine tumors
  • Myxomatosis
  • Pasteurellosis (snuffles)
  • Rabbit viral hemorrhagic disease
  • Trichobezoars (hairballs)

Your rabbit needs an annual vet exam which costs about $45.

Keep in mind that many veterinarians only see cats and dogs, so be sure to call first or shop around for a vet that covers exotics and small animals. It’s a good idea to take your rabbit to the vet within a week or two of bringing him home for his first checkup.

In addition to an annual exam, your rabbit needs two vaccines each year – one for rabbit viral hemorrhagic disease (RVHD) and one for myxomatosis. These cost about $15 each.

To help offset veterinary costs, you may be considering pet insurance.

Unfortunately, many pet insurance policies don’t cover rabbits – they usually only have a policy for small pets, and it may not provide enough benefit to make it worth the cost. Instead, set aside the money you’d spend each month on the premium in savings for emergency veterinary care.

Estimated Medical Costs for Rabbits

Cost Type Frequency Average Cost
Veterinary Checkup Annual $45
Dental Cleaning N/A N/A
Vaccinations (RVHD & Myxomatosis) Annual $30
Flea, Tick, and Worm Treatments Occasional $15
Emergency Expenses Occasional $100 and up

Food And Supplies

Your biggest expense in keeping a rabbit is keeping him well fed.

Rabbits are herbivores, which means they only eat plant matter. The primary component of your rabbit’s diet is fresh hay – grass hays like timothy, orchard grass, and oat hay. Your rabbit should have unlimited access to fresh hay.

To supplement your rabbit’s diet with essential nutrients, commercial rabbit pellets are recommended. Your rabbit only needs about ¼ to ½ cup per day, depending on his size.

Fresh vegetables and the occasional fruit are also part of your rabbit’s diet.

The cost to feed your rabbit depends on his size and the type of food you choose. A bag of commercial pellets costs about $10 and will last more than a month. Fresh hay and veggies will cost a little more, probably $20 to $30 per month combined.

In addition to your rabbit’s food, you also need to provide litter and bedding.

Rabbits are fairly easy to litter train and it saves you from a lot of cleaning. Provide your rabbit with a large litter box filled with pellets or recycled paper litter and a layer of hay.

Bedding may or may not be necessary, depending on the type of cage you use. Many rabbit owners use fleece lining because the bedding doesn’t get dirty as long as the rabbit is litter trained. If you’re looking for something to just dump and replace, however, bedding in your rabbit cage may be a good idea.

Other recurring costs may include toy replacements and cleaning supplies.

Also Read: What Do Rabbits Eat?

Food and Supply Costs for Rabbits

Cost Type Frequency Average Cost
Food and Treats Monthly $20 to $40
Bedding Monthly $15
Litter Monthly $15
Toys Occasional $5
Additional Supplies Occasional $5
Total = $35 to $80

Total Annual Cost Of Owning A Rabbit

When considering a new pet, it’s important to think about all of the costs – not just the purchase price of the pet. Rabbits may not be the most expensive to buy, but they do require a lot of care.

Here’s a quick summary of the estimated annual cost for keeping a rabbit:

  • Purchasing/Adopting = $20 to $100 (single)
  • Cage and Setup = $220 to $575
  • Annual Veterinary Costs = $75 (exam & vaccines)
  • Monthly Food and Supplies = $35 to $80

These costs will range depending what type of rabbit you choose, how many rabbits you keep, and how you choose to house them.

You can save money by growing your own veggies at home and litter training your rabbit to save on the cost of bedding.

FAQ

How much does a rabbit cost?

The average cost to purchase a rabbit is $20 to $40 but may depend on the breed. Pet-quality rabbits are usually easy to find in pet stores but show-quality rabbits generally need to come from a breeder and may cost $100 or more, depending on breed.

How much does it cost to neuter/spay a rabbit?

You can expect to pay $50 to $200 to have your rabbit spayed or neutered. Having a male rabbit neutered is cheaper than spaying a female rabbit.

How much does a rabbit vet checkup cost?

The average cost for a vet checkup is around $45 for rabbits. Your rabbit needs one annual checkup and two annual vaccines that cost around $15 each.

How much does it cost to microchip a rabbit?

The average cost to have a pet microchipped is about $45 and it is a one-time fee.

How much does rabbit food cost?

Rabbits require unlimited access to fresh hay and ¼ to ½ cup of pellet food per day. Commercial rabbit pellets are fairly cheap and you can save money by buying hay in bulk. Plan to spend $20-$40/month.

How much does a rabbit cage cost?

Rabbits require a lot of space, so you’ll need a big cage. You can get away with a slightly smaller cage if your rabbit is free roaming and only uses the cage for the litter box. You should plan to spend between $75 and $200 on a high-quality rabbit cage.

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Kate Barrington is avid pet lover and adoring owner of three cats and one dog, her love for animals has led her to a successful career as a freelance writer specializing in pet care and nutrition. She has been writing about pet care and pet products since 2010
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