Although pet rabbits are relatively cheap to buy, you may be surprised at the cost of keeping this popular family pet.
Tue 16 Jan 2018
Although pet rabbits are relatively cheap to buy, you may be surprised at the cost of keeping this popular family pet. It is really essential that you calculate whether you afford to keep your pets properly fed, housed, socialised and healthy for the duration of their life. So, just what is the financial cost of keeping rabbits?
Rabbits are pets who enjoy the company of their own kind, so you should really get two rabbits to ensure that they get this companionship and thus contribute to their wellbeing.
The price of rabbits can be anything up to around £50 each depending on the breed you choose.
There are various behavioral and health matters that make it a good idea to neuter your rabbits. Additionally, if you buy a buck and doe, you will of course be plagued with unwanted pregnancies too.
The cost of neutering a rabbit is between £50 - £100, cheaper for the male. You can avoid this cost by adopting a rabbit from a rescue centre.
A good quality and sufficiently sized hutch and run is a large expense for rabbit owners. Your rabbits will need plenty room so that each rabbit has a place to sleep and stretch out, can stand up fully on its hind legs and have a suitably remote area for toileting (where you may place a litter tray). The hutch must be strong, water proof, predator proof and escape proof. It must be comfortable and dry in all seasons (that includes not being too hot in summer). Additionally a secure run that can be moved around the garden is a must for your rabbit, even if it lives most of the time time indoors. If you cannot offer a rabbit this time outdoors owing to your living conditions, it would be wiser to look at owning a different type of pet.
Cost of a new ‘off the peg’ properly sized hutch and run to accommodate two rabbits £200 - 300
Your rabbits will need the following accessories:
Accessories: one off £30.00 per rabbit
On going accessories costs per rabbit per year (toys and litter) £100.00
Your rabbits must be fed properly to ensure good health. It is essential that hay is part of the rabbit’s diet to aid digestion and for its teeth. Fruit and vegetables can be offered and special rabbit pellets, as well as the occasional specially designed rabbit treats.
Yearly food cost per rabbit £530.00 per year
Rabbits must be vaccinated against VHD and Myxomatosis. These both require bi-annual injections (ie. 6 monthly). Additionally rabbits often need to see a vet for problems with teeth growth (if their diet is not grinding down the teeth sufficiently.) Rabbits need worming regularly, they also benefit from preventative treatments against fly strike etc.
Vaccinations: £60 per rabbit per year
Other veterinary visits: assume up to £150 for standard health care per rabbit. This does assume anything complicated like re-setting bones or major operations.
You may wish to take out pet insurance to cover your rabbits’ health needs. Do be careful to check the small print so you know what is covered and what is not included in the policy. Many common rabbit problems are not covered, though major illnesses and injuries may well be. Some owners argue that you are better setting up an account with your vet directly and paying what you would as an insurance premium into that.
Insurance premium depending on your rabbit’s age, health history and breed. Assume £10-15 per month.
If you have a longer haired rabbit breed such as an English Angora, you will have to factor in grooming and clipping costs which will need to be paid every few months.
To set up your pet rabbits you should assume a combined cost for two rabbits of around £650.00
For ongoing costs you should assume around £ 950 per rabbit annually.