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I estimate that our rabbits cost us about £50 per month average out over the year. Some months they may only require feeding, but others may include a trip to the vet.
Is this more or less than you think your rabbits cost you?
£50 a month is a guess – an educated one, but a guess nonetheless, and it’s the amount I set aside for my rabbits in my budget.
How much does it cost to feed a rabbit?
TECHNICALLY, your rabbits could live very cheaply, food-wise, on grass and weeds that you collect from your garden.
But in terms of cost-effectiveness, that doesn’t quite work out, because you can encounter issues down the line. Also, collecting enough grass and dandelions to sustain a rabbit would be hella time consuming.
The cheapest way to feed your rabbit and the best way to keep them really healthy, is to encourage them to eat their damn hay.
Yes, some rabbits flat out refuse – I actually have an articles on encouraging rabbits to eat hay – but it’s worth taking them time to try different hays to work out which ones they like, and encourage them to eat it by mixing in pellets or banana or whatever treats your rabbit can’t resist.
The price of hay varies a lot, especially if you have a picky rabbit. I like in a pretty rural location, and my local pet store sells big bags of hay for £5. These last a couple of weeks.
It’s worth shopping around to find out where it’s cheapest. Ask on rabbit Facebook groups where other people local to you buy their hay.
Hay should be 85% of a rabbit’s diet.
Next up we have pellets. I buy the Burgess rabbit pellets, but in the US I believe Oxbow is the go to brand.
The important thing is that you use actual rabbit pellets, rather than that old fashioned muesli stuff. If that’s all that’s available to you, your rabbit is better off with just hay and veggies.
Then we have fresh greens.
I personally buy romain lettuce for my rabbits, which is pretty cheap, and lasts well.
If you’re on a budget, you could pick dandelions from your garden – just be sure to wash them thoroughly and don’t pick them from anywhere next to busy roads.
We don’t want bunny ingesting car fumes or dog pee.
I don’t know if you can still do this, but when I was a kid my dad would send me to the greengrocers for greens – I’d be given a big bag of all the fallen leaves from cauliflowers and broccoli, and I’d diligently sort through for all the stuff my bunny would like. Free, and preventing food waste!
If you have the skills, you could grow your own. If you don’t, those pots of living herbs from the supermarket are often pretty cheap and last a few days
So, overall, if we say that a bag of rabbit food (£5) lasts a month, and you can get a couple of bags of hay for £10, and greens cost say £5 per week, that’s £35 per month on feeding bunny.
How much do rabbit setups cost?
If you free roam your bunny, you’re looking at a few quid for litter per month, and the cost of a box. But for the rest of us (hey, fellow renters that don’t want chewed up carpet) it costs a bit more to get your bunny palace up and running.
Hutches and cages are very expensive, and not great environments for rabbits to live in. Sure, you might want one for your rabbit to call a home base, but you don’t need to spend a lot of money.
Your rabbit will be just as happy in a cardboard box as they will be in a £150 hutch.
X-pens are a far better idea, and you can get a good one for £30-£40. They allow you to give your bunny their own space, and they’re really customisable. IF you want to rearrange your space you can configure the x=pen into whatever shape you like.
Do not spend a lot of money on rabbit toys.
They don’t care.
My rabbit can have more fun with a cardboard box and a towel than £100-worth of proper rabbit toys.
Actually, they do enjoy a good tube, so those cat tunnel things are usually well-received, but don’t be surprised when they scratch the bottom out.
Rabbits love chewing sticks, so a nice pice of applewood would be a good toy, or some willow sticks which you can buy from pet shops.
Rabbits also love throwing things, so baby toys like plastic keys and stacking cups are always a big hit. A toilet roll tub stacked on its end so the rabbit can push it over is a great free option.
Let’s be realistic – you need something that’s durable, cheap, easy to clean, and easy to replace. Or stone floors (which you’d have to cover in rugs anyway, so your rabbit doesn’t damage their joints.
We’ve tried a lot of different options, but we’ve settled on carpet remnants. You can get a couple of metres for about £10 and you can clean it with soapy water and a scrubbing brush well enough.
Your rabbit will shred it, but once it’s done its job you can chuck it and replace it with another. The cheaper the carpet the more durable and easy to scrub it seems to be, and it won’t be too plush.
If the floor of your pen is too squishy, your rabbit, if they’re anything like mine, will pee on it. And rabbits seem to love lying on hard, uncomfortable surfaces, so it’s a win win. It’s still grippy enough that your rabbits can tear about though.
I’ve tried rubber matting. They all smell like a mechanics. No thanks. We had to use it under our old rabbit’s pen when she became old and incontinent, and that worked ok – the carpet over the top held the smell in.
The rubber mat is a couple of years old now (it’s in the shed) and it STILL stinks.
I can’t give you a price estimate for this, because it’ll hugely depend on what you need to proof. I just wanted to highlight that if you’re a cost analysis for a rabbit, you’ll need to factor this in.
Assume you’ll need to rabbit proof EVERYTHING your rabbit can get at.
How much are average rabbit vet bills?
Again, this varies hugely and insurance is an option.
I can’t tell you how much certain procedures cost, because it varies wildly, so again, it’s worth asking on Facebook how much people are paying for vet care in your location.
Ask how much it costs for:
- A spay/neuter
- Nail/teeth trim
- Ear/eye infection
- GI stasis treatment
These are common things you’ll need a vet.
Also consider stocking a rabbit first aid kit.
How much is pet insurance for rabbits?
A quote I got a couple of months ago was for £30 for two rabbits.
I have a whole post dedicated to rabbit insurance and came to the conclusion that it isn’t worth it for us at this time. That £10-£20 per month could be put to better use. I’d prefer to save it in a separate account and use it for any potential vet bills.
But if your vet is far more expensive than mine, insurance might be the right choice for you.
Other costs you may want to consider if you’re planning on adopting a bunny
Repairing your stuff.
Please please please EXPECT your rabbit to chew your stuff. They’re chewers. It’s what they do. They have teeth that continuously grow and they…chew. Set up a special fund for charging cables and headphone. I’m only kind of kidding.
Getting another one
They’re super cute and once you have one, you’ll just want more.
Or a pet sitter. If you’re looking to use a boarding facility, your rabbit will need u to date vaccinations. In the UK your rabbit will probably need RVHD2 as well as the Myxomatosis/RVHD1 combo vaccine. I’m not sure about the US. The whole RVHD2 thing is a nightmare for you guys at the moment.
Final tally of how much getting a rabbit could cost you
I’d budget £500 if I was getting a pair of brand new baby bunnies.
Except I wouldn’t do that. I’d get a pair from a rescue for, say, £100, thus negating the cost of the spay/neuter and vaccinations.
Rabbit(s) – £100
Pen (+ litter tray, litter, flooring toys, rabbit proofing) £100
Food (pellets, hay, greens) £35
Other (brush, meds, nail clippers) – £50
£500 sounds like a lot, and it is. But rabbits aren’t cheap. They can be, but they probably won’t be. Besides, if you have the £500 saved up and only spend £300 of it, you have £200 to donate to your landlord
when if the rabbit chews the carpet.