Rabbits are social animals and make wonderful pets. They enjoy playing and interacting with their humans and other rabbits. However, being an award-winning parent to a goldfish versus a rabbit are two very different things.
In fact, caring for a rabbit is much more like caring for a dog. Rabbits aren’t exactly low-maintenance pets, but how much does a pet rabbit cost? This guide has all the info you need!
How Much Does a Pet Rabbit Cost?
When compared to other similarly-natured pets, such as dogs, the average cost of a rabbit is substantially less. But, where do you even buy a rabbit? And for how much?
You can adopt a rabbit from a rescue for as little as $5, or pick one out at the pet store for $20 – $40.
If you’re looking for a specific breed of rabbit, expect to pay $100+, with champion bloodlines being the most expensive.
Rabbits are, sadly, a popular Easter gift. However, as they grow up they are often surrendered to rescues by people who didn’t realize how much work and care they require. Before buying from a rabbit breeder, make sure to take a look at your local rescue shelters first.
Finally, beware if you find a local listing for a free baby rabbit. This is often the result of unwitting owners leaving two unfixed rabbits to amuse themselves, and a contributing factor to the rabbit overpopulation.
The nutritional wellbeing of the mother through pregnancy and in the baby’s early life can have a large impact on their health. If not properly managed, it can lead to long-term medical concerns and pricey vet bills!
In short, you can expect to pay anywhere from $0 – $100+ for your rabbit.
Buying a rabbit is the first step, but what happens when you get that sweet little fluff home? Rabbits are social animals that love to play, chew, and hop. Pick up rabbit supplies and prepare your home beforehand so that your rabbit feels safe and can enjoy their new digs.
Rabbit Hutch or Cage
Depending on where your rabbit lives in your home, you’ll need to buy either a rabbit hutch or a cage. Indoor hutches can be the more expensive option and can run you anywhere between $50 to $350. However, it’s relatively easy to build your own for much less. An indoor cage can cost anywhere between $50 – $100.
Keep in mind that rabbit paws are quite sensitive, so using a cage with a metal grate bottom isn’t a good idea. One alternative is a plastic bottom dog cage.
Your rabbit will need time outside of its enclosure on a daily basis for enrichment and exercise. Rabbits love to chew, and dangerous wires and furniture are often at the perfect height, so the most feasible method of rabbit proofing is to purchase a playpen. This will cost you about $70.
A litter box will cost you around $5 – $10. This cost doesn’t include litter.
The greatest staple of a rabbit’s natural diet is hay. A hay feeder will cost anywhere between $50 and $100.
You’ll need a bowl for water and a bowl or bowls for food. Expect to pay around $10, but it all depends on the quality of the bowl that you purchase.
Rabbits love to chew, play, and socialize. Having a variety of fun, interesting toys for your pet to chew will aid their enrichment and help to keep their fast-growing teeth under control. Spending $20 on toys is usually more than enough, but keep in mind that you’ll likely have to replace them at some point!
Rabbits need their nails clipped on a fairly regular basis. A pair of animal nail clippers will cost you anywhere from $5 to $50.
In total, your upfront costs will be a minimum of $200, all the way up to $600.
General Ongoing Costs
On average, rabbits can live up to 10 years, so bringing one home is a long-term financial commitment. The total monthly cost of owning a pet rabbit depends on a few things, but, in general, you’re looking at about $85 a month.
It’s certainly possible to lower your monthly costs. Factors that can play into lower expenses are the size of the rabbit, where you live, and your own will and determination.
Higher expenses can be attributed to health issues, opting for top quality such as organic produce, and spoiling your furbaby with high-quality toys.
Hay makes up the majority of a rabbit’s diet, so it’s important that your rabbit always has access to fresh hay. Look for mixed-grass hay, such as timothy, oat hay, meadow, and orchard grass, to keep your bunny happy and healthy. Avoid alfalfa, clover, peanut, peas, and beans.
Typically, hay will set you back about $20. If you’re looking for ways to save, buy in bulk or find a local farmer to buy a bale from for around $5.
Fresh greens are the next most important staple in your rabbit’s diet. They like leafy green vegetables and need a bit of variety. Be sure to research what is and isn’t safe for rabbits to eat, but you’ll be safe offering lettuce (except iceberg lettuce), carrot tops, cucumber, watercress, sprouts, and herbs. On average, you can expect to spend about $40 on fresh vegetables.
There are a few tricks that you can use to save some money here, such as feeding your rabbit green vegetables from your own garden or saving the scraps from your own food prep. You can also share a bit of your apple or fresh berries; however, treats like these should be offered in moderation!
Pellets should make up the lowest percentage of the diet. While it’s possible to feed your rabbit a pellet-free diet, including rabbit pellets into their diet helps to ensure that they’re getting the right balance of nutrition. You can expect to spend about $5 a month on pellets.
Always remember to keep their water bowl full of clean, cool water!
Rabbit urine has a very strong odor and the litter needs to be changed regularly. Litter can run you anywhere from $5 to $50.
To protect your rabbit, use pet-safe cleaning products for cleaning out their cage/hutch, food and water bowl, litter box, and play areas. This will cost you about $2 a month.
You don’t need to spend top dollar to keep your rabbit entertained, as they’ll be more than happy to nibble away at cardboard and plastic chew toys. However, splurging on some of the higher-end toys can help keep him entertained, help to manage his fast-growing teeth, and last longer. You can spend anywhere from $2 to $50.
In summary, your total monthly expenses will be around $60 on the low end or go up to $200 for high-quality products and food.
As with any other pet, unexpected expenses can come up. As such, they need to be factored into the budget.
How much does a pet rabbit cost when it comes to medical care? This can depend on a few things. As rabbits aren’t common household pets, compared to dogs and cats, you should do some research to find a rabbit-savvy veterinarian. This can help you cut back on unnecessary tests and procedures.
Regular visits to the vet range can usually cost anywhere from $35 to $60, that’s including any medications, vaccinations, parasite treatments, and other care added to the final bill.
In order to minimize behavioral and health problems, it’s recommended that your rabbit be neutered. This usually costs around $200 – 250, with female rabbits costing slightly more.
In Case of Emergency
Emergency clinics typically cost more than your regular vet, and will often require payment at the time of treatment. While many of us don’t have a spare $1,000 laying around, this is toward the lower end of what can be incredibly expensive veterinary care.
Pet insurance can provide peace of mind when emergencies do come up. Basic coverage for rabbits can start at around $25.
A rabbit can be an absolutely wonderful companion. However, being good pet parents means creating a safe and happy home for your furbaby, and a part of that is asking how much does a pet rabbit cost? If you can manage the financial commitment, and take steps to put safeguards in place, then you’re heading down the right rabbit hole!