Thinking of getting a rabbit? Great, but do you know how much these lovely pets cost?
Well, the cost depends on your location and where you get the bunny. But generally, buying from a breeder is quite expensive compared to adopting from a shelter.
You should also account for other related costs, like neutering costs, so you have an easy time taking care of your pet.
Let’s delve deeper into how much rabbits cost and other expenses that come with owning one.
How Much Do Rabbits Cost?
As I said, the cost varies depending on your location and how you acquire the pet.
A common mistake potential rabbit owners make when planning to get a rabbit is overlooking costs relating to the pet’s wellbeing and only focusing on the cost of getting the rabbit. Adopting a rabbit is a long-term commitment, so you must keep in mind that the pet needs a place to live, food, and constant health care.
The cost of acquiring one is nothing compared to what you’ll spend on taking care of the pet.
I recommend including all these expenses in your list so you can plan your finances. It’s also wise to have half, if not all, of the money before adopting a bunny. Some of the basic expenses to account for are:
1. Cost of the pet
The cost of bringing a rabbit home depends on where you get it and the breed you are going for. Rare breeds cost more than common breeds.
But generally, rabbits are cheaper than pets like dogs because they reproduce quickly and are readily available.
There are several ways you can own a rabbit. You can either:
Adopt from a shelter
You can acquire a rabbit from an animal shelter for a fee. Depending on the breed, adoption costs range from $50 to $100. You can spend close to $150 on a bonded pair.
In most cases, rabbits in animal shelters are brought in by owners who can’t take care of them anymore.
Most of them are adult rabbits, but you can get young ones surrendered by owners who didn’t neuter them and couldn’t cater to them after littering.
Buy from a breeder
You can also acquire a rabbit from a breeder. The cost will fall between $50 and $100, though it depends on the breed and location, so don’t be shocked if you pay more or less than this range.
Get one from a friend or relative
Most people get rabbits from a friend or relative who didn’t neuter them, so they have a number of them after littering. Usually, no cost is associated when a friend or relative gives you a bunny.
2. Initial costs
Now that you’ve brought your pet home, where does he stay? Whether you plan on living with him or keeping him outside, your bunny needs an enclosure.
Apart from that, he may need other things like water or a food bowl. All these fall under the initial cost because they are a one-time investment and you only need to replace them when they wear out.
Common initial costs include:
- Feeding bowls and water bottles: Your rabbit needs a feeding bowl to eat from and a water bottle to drink from. Depending on the brand and features, each of these items may cost $20. The price may increase if you go for a bigger or more luxurious feeder.
- Enclosure: For a sturdy hutch, expect to spend $150-$200. Cages are quite cheaper, as most fall between $50-$100. You can also build one with a simple design and spend less. Remember, your bunny needs enough space to run around, so get a spacious cage.
- Litter box: A litter box costs around $15. This is an important tool if you intend to potty train your bunny.
- Others: Your bunny needs chew toys, a hay bin, and a tunnel, among others. The cost of these items may add up to $60. However, most of them are optional but play a role in keeping your bunny active and entertained.
3. Neutering costs
Whether you are getting a female or a male rabbit, you need to neuter them to avoid reproduction and behavioral change. An intact bunny is more aggressive and stubborn. Neuter surgery may cost $300 to $600, depending on the location and gender of the pet.
4. Proofing costs
Rabbits are fond of chewing and digging around. That’s why you need to rabbit-proof him so he doesn’t get into trouble.
Some of the supplies you need include wire covers to protect wires, fencing cubes to prevent them from reaching a restricted area, scratching, and plastic mats to block them from carpeted areas.
These items may cost you close to $100 if you decide to get all of them. The good thing is, you can get one or two and do away with the rest. Alternatively, keep your bunny away from wires and carpeted areas.
5. Recurring costs
From pellets to hay and treats, your bunny will need a constant food supply every day. He also needs fresh vegetables once in a while. All these may add up to a recurring cost of $50 monthly, depending on where you get the items.
Though I must say, the amount you spend on your bunny’s food depends on his breed and size. Some breeds are larger, so they need to eat more.
In addition, he needs toys to play with, which may cost around $15.
6. Emergency costs
Like humans, bunnies fall sick and need treatment to get well. That’s why you need to set some cash aside as a responsible bunny owner to cater to his treatment.
You never know the amount you need for an emergency, so set aside as much as you can.
I know of bunnies who fell sick and needed immediate surgery costing $250. Others only needed treatment costing $50 to get well.
Are Rabbits Cheap Pets?
That depends on your meaning of “cheap.” What is cheap to you might be expensive to me, so it would be unfair to generalize.
But if we compare the cost of maintaining a bunny with other pets like a dog, then rabbits are cheaper to acquire and maintain.
If you think about it, most of what they eat is readily available. Things like vegetables can always be acquired from the farm for those who own a farm.
Besides, you can DIY things like their toys and build cages with locally available materials to reduce costs.
Maintaining a rabbit can be cheap or expensive, depending on your budget, where you live, and the surrounding environment.
Another thing is that it narrows down to your income and how much you are willing to spend on your bunny.
How to Own a Bunny on a Budget
For starters, get a common medium-sized breed. This way, you need less space for him and spend less on food.
Try to get one for free from loved ones, but if you can’t, go to an animal shelter as it’s way cheaper than a breeder. If you can, build a cage with locally available materials and ask friends for help if they have what you can use.
And if you must buy a cage, settle for a simple design, provided it’s not compromising on space and functionality. Also, take advantage of discounts to save a few pennies.
Don’t go for luxury, but prioritize function when purchasing any item for your bunny. We all know luxury comes at a cost, something you can’t afford if you are working on a budget. But get me right, don’t compromise on quality; find a balance.
Use what you have at home for things you can improvise. If you can, grow your own rabbit food or get it locally. You can also share things like fruits and leftover vegetables with your bunny.
Enjoy bulk buying discounts on things like pellets.
The cost of bringing a rabbit home varies depending on several things. However, acquiring the bunny is one step; taking care of it is where the task is.
You will spend more, some of which are recurring costs.
Luckily, you can use a few tricks to save a huge chunk. Focus on cutting costs wherever you can and prioritize your bunny’s health.