Getting a new pet can be expensive, and rabbits are no exception. There are many costs associated with bringing a pet rabbit home, from adoption fees to food and water, not to mention emergency and medical fees. It’s important to be prepared and know costs associated with rabbit ownership to make sure you can afford it. Here we go.
How much do Rabbits Cost? There are many costs associated with getting a rabbit, but overall a rabbit will cost around $1000/year not including upfront costs when you first get the rabbit.
Do All Rabbit Breeds Cost the Same?
No, some rabbit breeds are much more expensive than others. There are many different breeds of rabbit, and almost any breed can be expensive if the rabbit has a pedigree. Purebred rabbits bought from breeders will cost much more than rabbits adopted from a shelter, and certain breeds are more in demand such as Holland Lops or Lionheads. However, where you buy the rabbit has more of an impact than the breed of the rabbit when it comes to cost. Rabbits from a breeder or auctioned at a show may cost as much as $1000 regardless of breed, while you can adopt a Lionhead rabbit for as little as $20 from a shelter or rescue.
How Much Does a Pet Rabbit Cost at Petco?
Petco no longer sells rabbits due to pushback from PETA, and has not done so since 2009. The only rabbits you’ll find at this pet store chain are brought in by adoption agencies to be adopted at whatever price the agency sets. Petco has adoption events every weekend, which may include rabbits. You can also view adoptable pets in your area through the Petco website and contact the individual adoption agencies. Petco still sells ferrets, hamsters, guinea pigs, rats, and mice.
How Much Does a Pet Rabbit Cost at Petsmart?
Petsmart also does not sell rabbits due to petitions by PETA and its supporters. Petsmart stopped selling rabbits in 2007. Much like Petco, they will host rabbit rescues and adoption agencies to be adopted out at that agency’s prices. Petsmart has adoption events every weekend, which may include rabbits, but there isn’t a way to view adoptions or affiliate agencies online. You should call your local Petsmart to see if they plan on having any rabbit adoption events. Petsmart still sells mice, gerbils, chinchillas, rats, and guinea pigs.
How Much Does a Pet Rabbit Cost at Other Pet Stores? $25-80
Pet stores will sell rabbits for as little as $25-30 or as much as $70-80 depending on the store, their competition, and the breed and age of the rabbit. Expect to pay more for babies and rare breeds due to their popularity, and in areas where there are few or no other sources of pet rabbits. It’s not a good idea to buy rabbits from pet stores due to the conditions that the rabbits are kept in. Rabbits can often come from the store unhealthy or traumatized, which can cost a lot of time and energy in addition to money to deal with. Rescuing rabbits or getting them from a reputable breeder is a better option than going to a local pet store because pet stores aren’t held to any particular standard.
How Much Does a Rabbit Cost from a Breeder? $5-250
Rabbit breeders will charge a wide range of prices depending on the situation. If they are looking to get rid of rabbits quickly, they may sell them for as little as $5-10, especially if they are selling wholesale, the price they would charge a pet store. However, they may also charge up to hundreds of dollars, especially if they have a pedigree available for the rabbit to become a show rabbit rather than just a pet. Because breeders are individuals rather than companies, they can charge whatever they want. This means that prices can also vary greatly between breeders. If you buy a rabbit from a street vendor you may pay only a few dollars for it, although you should be careful in those situations due to the possibility of inbreeding or poor conditions. Always make sure the breeder you are buying from is reputable and treats their rabbits well.
How Much Does a Rabbit Cost from a Show or Auction? $250-1000
This is probably the most expensive way to get a rabbit. Show rabbits come with pedigrees and are often sold to the highest bidder, which means that competing bidders may drive the prices up. Purebred rabbits with show experience or that come from show bloodlines will be more expensive than any other rabbit due to the idea that the genetics are superior. Show rabbits are often bred to produce very expensive babies, which are then sold during shows or at other events. You may pay as much as $250 to buy a rabbit from a show, perhaps even more if it comes with a pedigree or show experience, and thousands of dollars to win a show or pedigreed rabbit at an auction.
How Much Does Rabbit Cost from an Adoption Agency? $5-150
Adopting is usually the cheapest and best way to get a rabbit. Typically, it will be cheaper than anything other than a very generous or very desperate breeder, and you also get to give a rabbit a new chance at a good life. Adoptions can be as low as $5 in some places or as high as $150 in others, but this usually includes vaccines and spaying or neutering, which other sources will not include. Because vaccines and fixing can cost hundreds of dollars, it’s a smart idea to adopt from a rescue that has already done those things for your rabbit or will do them when you adopt. Rescues can also give advice and will sometimes sell hay and other resources to help you get started.
How Much Does a Pet Rabbit Cost Per Year? $750-1000
The average cost of a rabbit per year is about $750-1000 per rabbit, not including emergency vet bills. This includes food, water, litter, insurance, and routine vet visits. This doesn’t include the upfront costs of getting a rabbit such as fees and initial investments in cages or toys, and also doesn’t include the upkeep on items such as toys and beds that may need to be replaced at varying intervals throughout your rabbit’s life.
How Much Does a Rabbit Cage Cost? $30-100
A good rabbit cage shouldn’t cost less than $30. Some cheap cages advertised as rabbit cages are much too small, and your rabbit will be unhealthy and miserable. It’s better to buy a dog pen or build your own rabbit cage out of NIC grids. NIC grids are the best bet and will usually cost $50-100 to build an entire cage depending on how many rabbits you have. This lets you customize the size and shape of the cage as well as build multiple levels, and the materials are sturdy and rabbit-proof. Make sure your rabbit enclosure is at least 12 square feet, with more depending on how many rabbits you have. Using NIC grids, you can fit this amount of space into any shape to fit your household.
How Much Do Rabbit Toys Cost? $5-10
Rabbit toys can be very inexpensive if you’re creative. Rather than paying a lot of money to a pet store for a toy that your rabbit is probably just going to destroy, go to a dollar store and get simple toys like balls and rope toys for your rabbit to play with. These should only cost $1-2 each. You can also get sticks from your own backyard and stick them in a toilet paper roll to make a practically free chew toy for your rabbit. Rabbit toys will either get chewed up or ignored, so there’s no point in spending a lot of money when you could be creative instead.
How Much Does A Litter Box Cost? $5-15
Litter boxes are not that expensive, especially since rabbits only need a simple open-top box. You can purchase a cat litter box if you have a smaller rabbit, which will run you between $5-15. You can also use a cement mixing tray from a hardware store if you have a large rabbit, which will run you around $8-10, which will be cheaper than buying a dog litter box or a specialty box that’s bigger. Litter can be a bit more complicated as you can only buy certain kinds for your rabbit and you’ll go through it fairly quickly. Don’t buy clay or clumping litter for a rabbit, or any litter than has a scent. It’s best to use brands like Yesterday’s News that provide paper litter, as this is the safest for your rabbit.
How Much Does A Rabbit Hutch Cost? $10-200
A rabbit “house” such as a hutch can cost anywhere from $10-200 depending on the size and quality. Cheaper usually isn’t better, as this means that the hutch is smaller and may be made of treated wood that could be harmful for your rabbit to chew on. You should expect to pay between $100-200 for a nice hutch, or you can build your own for just the cost of materials; it just depends on how handy you are and whether you have the time and energy to build a rabbit hutch.
How Much Does Bedding Cost? $20-40
Bedding is fairly cheap, but you’ll use a lot of it to keep your rabbit’s hutch clean and fresh. For a large bag of shredded paper bedding such as Carefresh brand, you’ll pay around $20. The quality of these bags can very even just from batch to batch, so be careful when buying these less expensive options. More expensive brands such as Small Pet Select will run you about $40 per bag but typically are softer and smell better than other brands.
How Much Does Grooming Cost? $20-200
If you are comfortable grooming your rabbit, you’ll only pay a one-time cost of the materials it requires to groom it. However, do your research and be careful when it comes to trimming nails or teeth. It will cost about $20 for nail clippers and a brush to groom your rabbit. You typically shouldn’t attempt clipping teeth at home, and this is typically done only in emergency situations. If you do encounter one of those situations, you may pay as much as $200 to have your rabbit’s teeth trimmed. When it comes to regular grooming, groomers will typically charge around $15 for a nail trim or $40-50 for a full grooming.
How Much Does Food and Water Cost? $300-700
Food and water for a rabbit will usually cost about $300 a year per rabbit. This includes hay and pellets but does not include any fresh fruits or vegetables you may want to feed your rabbit to keep their diet interesting. Hay will cost around $250 a year and pellets will cost around $50 a year. Depending on how much you feed your rabbit and how many rabbits you have, this could cost an additional $200-400 dollars a year. It’s slightly cheaper to get your hay directly from a farmer rather than a pet store, saving you around $60 a year.
How Much Does Rabbit-Proofing Cost? $130 and up
Rabbit proofing will cost different amounts depending on the size of your house and the size of the area you plan to let your rabbit free-roam in. For a medium sized house, you will probably spend about $35-40 in cord protectors unless you can hide most or all of your cords, and about $70 in plastic carpet runners to cover spots in the carpet where your rabbit tries to dig or chew. Baby gates will cost about $25 unless you go for a higher end one. If your rabbit destroys an item in your home, you’ll also need to factor in the cost of that item. It’s wise to remove expensive or precious objects from rooms where your rabbit will be staying.
How Much Does A Travel Carrier Cost? $25-40
A good travel carrier will cost you at minimum $25, usually closer to $35-40, especially if you have a bigger rabbit. While you may be tempted to skip this cost, you’ll need the carrier to take your rabbit to the vet on at least a yearly basis, in addition to other locations such as to board the rabbit when you go on vacation or to take the rabbit for grooming sessions.
How Much Does Medical Care Cost? $100-1000
Medical care will cost different amounts based on the needs of your rabbit and the situations you find yourself in. Some of the more expensive procedures include x-rays at as much as $300 and administering anesthesia at up to $300. Typical vet visits will vary in price based on your area. Keep in mind that normal vets aren’t trained to take care of rabbits, so you’ll need to find a specially trained vet in order to have your rabbit checked up on. If you have very few rabbit vets in your area, the cost for a checkup could be as much as several hundred dollars, whereas if you have several available vets you can price shop and find the best deal, sometimes as low as $50-100.
How Much Does Rabbit Insurance Cost? $120
Nationwide is the only insurance company that offers rabbit insurance, and they typically charge about $10 per rabbit per month. This comes out to $120 a year and covers a certain cost per trip to the vet. It may cost more if your rabbit has special health needs or has had health problems in the past.
How Much Does Spaying or Neutering Cost? $250
Spaying or neutering your rabbit can be fairly expensive, usually around the $250 range, which is a good reason to get your rabbit from a rescue or shelter. Those rabbits are usually already fixed or will have the fixing included in their adoption fee, which is usually much less than the cost of getting a rabbit spayed or neutered at the vet.
How much money should I have before I get a rabbit? You probably want around $500 for the upfront costs and a good source of income to provide the $1000 for the next year. You may also want to set aside $500-1000 for emergency situations such as vet visits.
What if I can’t afford to take my rabbit to the vet? By not going to the vet you could be putting your rabbit’s life in serious danger. Discuss payment options with your vet or reach out to others for help with vet bills rather than putting it off.
How much food should I get for my rabbit? A single rabbit can go through as much as 10lbs of hay in a month, which will usually cost around $20-30 depending on the type of hay and where you get it from. To get the cheapest possible hay, buy from farms or rabbit rescues.