Are you thinking about buying a rabbit but are unsure of the ongoing costs to keep your pet?
This helpful article is part of our exciting new guide to pets and costs in the UK.
On this page, we’ll cover the following:
- the purchase cost of a rabbit
- vaccinations and neutering
- ongoing vet bills
- optional insurance costs
- feed, bedding and other equipment
Cost to Buy a Rabbit
There are several breeds of rabbit to choose from and the prices do vary, but a glance through Gumtree would suggest a price of around £35 for a young rabbit.
Don’t forget that rabbits generally prefer being kept in pairs.
Maintenance Costs For The First Year
Here’s a breakdown of the costs you can expect to incur during the first year:
You should consider getting your pet rabbit vaccinated against VHD and Myxi.
The average cost is £40.
While you might be tempted to skip this procedure, it could cost you more in the long run if your pet becomes ill and requires veterinary treatment.
Booster vaccinations should be given every year.
Spaying and Neutering
If you intend to keep rabbits of the opposite sex together and you don’t want them to breed, then consider spaying/neutering them.
If you keep two male rabbits then this treatment can improve their temperament and prevent fighting.
The average cost of spaying and neutering is £80 in the UK.
While the equipment you keep is entirely your choice, most rabbit owners will own a hutch outside in the garden with an optional rabbit run. Inside the home, a cage will come in handy.
Some of the equipment is expensive if purchased from new, but these are one-off costs.
Bowls and bottle feeders are relatively inexpensive and we recommend purchasing new items rather than used ones, this is to prevent the transfer of illnesses and diseases.
Rabbit hutch – £100
Outside pen – £75
Indoor cage/playpen – £50
Bowls and feeders – £15
Carry box – £30
Pellets, Hay and Bedding
Hay – £125 per year
Pellets – £80 per year
Mixed fresh greens – £150 per year
Wood shavings/bedding – £150 per year
Collars, Toys, Disinfectant and Cleaning Equipment
Collars and toys – £40 per year
Disinfectant and cleaning equipment for the hutch – £20 per year
Ongoing Vet Bills
We won’t list every possible illness that your pet rabbit could suffer from but we know from our research that the average insurance policy for a pet rabbit is £200 per year and this includes up to £2000 of veterinary treatments per year.
While cheaper policies are available, these often have many exclusions.
Flea/Mite Treatments and Worming
Whether your pet rabbit will require these treatments and if so, how often, will depend on how many pets you own and where your pet is allowed to roam outside.
In general, worming should be done several times per year. Flea and mite treatments can be given as required but if you have other pets in the home, you’ll need to treat all the animals periodically.
We suggest a ballpark figure of £30 per year for worming and flea/mite treatments.
So How Much Does it Cost to Keep a Rabbit?
Based on our research, we think that the first year’s cost for buying and keeping a rabbit is around £1200.
Subsequent ongoing costs are slightly cheaper at around £850 per year.
As you can see, the bunny is the cheap part.
Don’t forget that the average lifespan of a rabbit is between 8-12 years!
The bulk of the costs are the initial purchases of hutches, pens and cages while the ongoing costs are mostly spent on food and vet bills/insurance.
You can, of course, save money initially by purchasing second-hand equipment, just make sure it’s thoroughly cleaned first and your rabbit is fully immunised.
Websites We Like
We are not associated with the websites listed below but we like them and think you will too:
The Hay Experts has lots of natural food products for rabbits and guinea pigs, they also stock a wide range of toys and accessories. Go check them out here.
The RSPCA has several documents for new owners of rabbits, go check them out here.
PetPlan offers dedicated pet insurance, so before you buy your rabbit, go and see how much they charge for coverage.