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How much do rabbits cost to keep?

How much do rabbits cost to keep?

If your kids have been driving you as mad as a march hare asking you for a rabbit, then it’s worth knowing the costs before you hop to it and bring that furry friend home. From the food, to the hutch, vaccinations and the insurance, the average cost of owning a rabbit is said to be around £500 to £1,000 a year.

But remember – rabbits are social animals so ideally need to be kept in pairs. Although they’d be able to share bowls, hutches and bottles, any costs below you’re going to need to pretty much double.

How much do rabbits cost to buy?

It’s recommended to head to a rehoming centre run by an animal welfare charity when getting your rabbit. Blue Cross and the RSPCA have many centres across the UK and will have health checked any rabbit before handing them over to you.

Of course, these aren’t the only places to get your rabbit but PDSA recommend checking the health standards of the rabbit and the living conditions before going ahead and buying, especially if you are getting your bunny from a pet shop or from a sanctuary.

The cost of a bunny depends on the breed, prices can vary from £15 to £55 from breeders and pet shops and from rescue adoption centres fees usually range between £25-60 – depending on whether the rabbit is neutered and vaccinated.

One-off costs

Like with any pet, there are going to be initial costs that can’t really be avoided. Getting a hutch for your rabbit is one of the first things to buy, and prices can range from £60 to £300. It all depends if you want a hutch to keep your rabbit indoors, or an outside hutch with a run/pen attached.

Bowls, toilet trays, a carry box and bottles are all initial necessities too and will cost around the £50 mark.

Average cost of rabbit food

Rabbits need to be fed a well-balanced diet, don’t just expect to shove some hay in the hutch and be done with it. Grass or hay is a big part of their diet but so are pellets and vegetables.

Depending on the size of your bunny, hay would cost around £10-£20 a month, pellets around £50 a year and unless you grow your own, vegetables would be around £20 a month. Totalling a yearly spend of: £400 - £530 (if you add in some treats then it’s another £50+ on top).

Average rabbit neutering and spaying cost

If you have two rabbits of the opposite sex and have no plans of becoming a bunny breeder then getting your rabbits spayed/neutered is going to cost on average £80 each.

It’s also seen as an option if you have two males together, as it can help prevent fighting and improve their temperament.

Average rabbit vaccinations cost

There are vaccinations that you need to ensure your rabbit has from the get go.

Whether buying from a rehoming centre or from a pet shop, rabbits must be vaccinated for Rabbit Viral Haemorrhagic Disease (VHD) which is around £15 and Myxomatosis which is another £15. These are yearly vaccinations so budget another £30 into your yearly costs (£60 if you’ve got two bunnies).

Average medical costs for rabbits

There are common medical issues with rabbits that you need to factor in when considering getting a rabbit.

  • A cost to bear in mind is if their teeth become overgrown - Their top front teeth grow at a rate of 3mm a week, so keeping them trim is essential. They’ll naturally wear down with hay and a natural diet (the most common cause of overgrown teeth is a muesli-style diet), however if they get too long then you need to take a trip to the vets. Getting your rabbit’s front teeth filed can cost anywhere between £50 to £100. If the problem is more complicated then prices increase, as your bunny will need to go under general anaesthetic.
  • Some rabbits can encounter common eye issues such as ulcers (caused by fighting or hay) or conjunctivitis – Depending on the issue, a tear duct flush can cost from £30 to £80, eye treatment from £20 and eye drops from £12.
  • Ear problems, especially common in lop breeds – RSPCA state that costs for ear problems can total £400, although if CT scans or surgery is required then this cost could exceed £1,000.

Average rabbit insurance cost

Compared to a cat or a dog, the number of insurers to choose from for your rabbit is relatively limited. You’re looking around £6 to £16 a month, and the insurance normally would cover vet fees, complementary treatments, advertising and rewards for missing bunnies and pet boarding fees.

Unlike cats and dogs, the breed of your rabbit is said to not make any difference to the cost of your insurance.

Average rabbit cremation cost

It’s not the nicest of topics to talk about but it’s worth knowing the cost when the time comes. If you wanted to cremate your rabbit and scatter or keep their ashes, then the cost all depends on the size of your rabbit.

If you used a pet cremation service, then the ashes of a small rabbit put into a pouch to scatter would cost around £30 -£70. If, however, you took your rabbit to the vets, then a common option is for cremation to be made with other animals, although you wouldn’t get their ashes back – this costs from £6 to £15.

An individual cremation from the vets with your rabbit’s ashes given back to you is a lot more. Prices range from £80 to £100.

They might seem like a pet that is relatively cheap to keep, but bearing in mind you ideally need two together, and that they live for around 8-12 years, you’re potentially looking at around £24,000 for two bunnies for 12 years.

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