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Rabbit-Welfare / Back

The Real Cost of Keeping a Pet Rabbit



Rabbit with Money

It’s sickening that rabbits are sold for so little, and generally the public aren’t educated by the seller about how much they will cost to keep. (These costs are based on Company Owner, Alex’s, own experiences of caring for his much loved rabbits).


Rabbits need neutering to give them happier lives and to prevent fighting and breeding between opposite sexes. [49] This can cost between £50 and £250 dependant on the level of care you want your rabbit to receive. It’s recommend that you ask the vet to explain options available. See Importance of Neutering for more information.


Green Leafy VegetablesRabbit food isn’t particularly expensive, a bag of Readigrass or Hay bought online will do a month for 2 rabbits, for about £15-£20 per month. Nuggets are also required (do not feed your rabbits ‘rabbit muesli’ as this can cause serious problems and potentially death [32]), but as you only feed a handful between 2 rabbits this isn’t a great expense. You’ll also need fresh veg though, and this will add up, (a good idea is to buy from your local market or suitable veg on offer at your supermarket). See Diet – What do Rabbits Eat for more information on what to feed your rabbit.


Rabbits destroy toys, so you can either make your own, and there are lots of videos and tips online, or budget about £10 per month for toys, more or less depending on how much you want to give your rabbit, (they will need some kind of stimulation to prevent boredom).


You’ll also need to consider vet bills and pet insurance. Setting aside about £30 per month per rabbit to pay for the inevitable pet bills wouldn’t be a bad suggestion, remember, rabbits, as prey animals, hide their illnesses to ensure predators don’t pick them off as the weakest animal in the group [65], so be vigilant. A sneezing rabbit may seem cute but it could mean it’s in real trouble, so look for anything different to the norm in the behaviour or wellness of your rabbit and take no chances. (A recent example of this is one of my rabbits, Wiggles, had a slightly runny nose. Taking Wiggles to the vets revealed respiratory and tooth problems. Thankfully it was caught early enough that Wiggles could be treated, but it really does remind us all how vigilant you have to be with rabbits).


The Bunnery Rabbit Enclosure

Housing… On this website, you can find housing designed for the EXACT needs of a rabbit and no other animal. If you wish to go another way, here are some other suggestions. Ignore the inadequate hutch/runs you see in pet stores and similar online. Look for something that complies with at least the minimum requirements of the H.E.A.R.T Standard, or find a bespoke run manufacturer and have them over to give you a quote.


Alternatively, draw up some pictures and sizes and ask them to quote on that. If you’re handy at DIY, why not consider a shed and aviary arrangement, either made from scratch yourself or buying components and fixing them together. Please, however, ensure that the mesh you use is strong enough to stop foxes, cats, dogs etc. getting in and killing your rabbits. Don’t forget things like shelves for your rabbits to climb on and fox guarding to prevent your rabbits from being scared to death. Be careful in selecting an aviary supplier as the mesh suitable for keeping birds in is not necessarily going to stop foxes etc getting in. Allow upwards of £600 - £700 for housing your rabbits adequately, unless you have some components already. Suitable mesh alone will take up a good chunk of that budget but will ensure your rabbits are safe. See Housing Standards for the full recommended specification.


If you’re thinking about it, but haven’t yet bought rabbits, please think about what you’re about to commit to. Rabbits make fantastic pets for adults, and are totally unsuitable for children despite looking like Teddy Bears. They hate being picked up and cuddled and prefer to be interacted with at ground level, or at least on what they consider to be ground. [67]


To adequately house a rabbit will cost a fair amount of money, whether through purchase of suitable housing or making something yourself. Rabbits, properly looked after, should live for between 8 - 12 years [2], are you prepared for that level of commitment? They need understanding to gain the most from them. Once understood, and when they trust you, however, they make fantastic members of the family.