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How Much Does a Rabbit Cost? (2021 Update)

Kristin Hitchcock

Pet rabbits are becoming more and more popular. However, taking care of a rabbit is different from taking care of a cat or dog. They need extra care and have different costs.

When you adopt a new pet, you must have the finances to take care of them. Rabbits can be a bit more expensive than you may think. They need an enclosure, as well as lots of other equipment.

This article will help you plan out the expenses of owning a rabbit. Preferably, you should have all the money needed set aside before adopting your new bunny.

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Bringing Home a New Rabbit: One-Time Costs

When you first decide to bring a bunny home, you’ll be spending money on the rabbit and its long-term care needs. Your new pet will need things like an enclosure, food bowls, and other one-time purchases. These can vary depending on what you buy, but they will likely be substantial either way.

Below are some of the short-term costs you’ll need to consider when you first bring your rabbit home.

Free

Sometimes, you will find rabbits for free. These rabbits are typically from owners who did not spay or neuter their pet and ended up with an accidental pregnancy. While these are free, they are not necessarily the best option. Usually, breeders of this sort do not always follow the correct nutrition guidelines while their rabbits or pregnant and may not correctly raise the babies.

For this reason, you never know what you’re going to get with these rabbits. They could make great pets or be riddled with health issues.

rabbit-baby-pixabay
Image Credit: Tiluria, Pixabay

Adoption

  • $50 – $100

Some animal shelters also keep rabbits, so you may be able to find one incredibly cheap from these locations. Usually, these rabbits were surrendered by owners who were unable to care for them anymore. Generally speaking, stray rabbits aren’t a thing. If a rabbit gets out, it will usually not be caught by someone and brought to a shelter.

These rabbits are usually older and may have preexisting conditions. However, they are a bit cheaper than getting a rabbit from a breeder in most cases.


Breeder

  • $50-$100

If you purchase a rabbit from a breeder, the price can vary quite a bit. Common breeds of rabbits usually cost around $50 or lower. Rare rabbit breeds may cost as much as $100.

Because rabbits breed quickly, they are generally not as expensive as some other animals. For example, most dogs only bred once a year, while rabbits can have multiple litters. There are more rabbits to go around, so they tend to be cheaper than other animals.

Show rabbits and those from champion lines may cost more. However, they usually do not cost more than a few hundred dollars.

American Rabbit: $20 – $50
Dutch Rabbit: $20 – $40
Flemish Giant Rabbit: $50 – $100
Harlequin Rabbit: $50 – $100

Supplies

The enclosure you keep your rabbit in is important. The bottom should not be made of wire, as this can cause life-threatening damage to your rabbit’s feet. Instead, you’ll need some smooth bottom. This automatically makes these enclosures more expensive than what you may purchase for other small animals.

You will also need a decently large hutch. Typically, you can expect to spend about $150 – $200. Yes, this means the enclosure will likely cost more than the actual rabbit.

Indoor hutches are usually less expensive. However, you should still expect to spend at least $100.

In many cases, you can save money by building your hutch. This is much easier than it sounds. You can find many guides online. In this case, the only cost you have to consider is the cost of supplies, which will vary depending on your location and which tutorial you’re following.

You will also need to purchase things for the enclosure, like a water bowl and hay rack. These are typically very inexpensive. You can buy both food and water bowls for less than $10.

There are a few other expenses you may want to consider. For example, you’ll need to factor in bedding and chew toys. You’ll probably buy a few things for your rabbit that isn’t completely necessary (like an outdoor playpen), so plan on saving more money than you think you need.

List of Rabbit Care Supplies and Cost

Hatch: $150-$200
Bowls: $10
Hay Feeder: $50-$75
Litter Box: $10
Play Pen: $70
Nail Clippers: $25
Chew Toys: $20

Annual Expenses

After your rabbit’s startup cost, you can also expect to spend a decent amount on food and other supplies each year. You will need to consider health care and grooming as well. Individual rabbits require more grooming than others, typically depending on their coat length.

Rabbit in the bath
Image Credit: Ligfo, Shutterstock

Health Care

Rabbits are usually pretty cheap when it comes to health care as long as they are adequately cared for. Rabbits can quickly get sick or develop injuries from improper care – they are not particularly robust animals and can be very sensitive. However, a rabbit that is cared for properly usually stays pretty healthy and will not need much vet care.


Check-Ups

  • $20-$50

Yoru rabbit will need a checkup every year. This is important particularly for your pet’s feet and teeth, which are the leading cause of chronic health problems. Their feet need to be in tip-top shape and are easily injured, so they need to be checked by a vet. Furthermore, their teeth may need to be shaved down, which can be done at this appointment.


Vaccinations

  • $20 – $30

If your rabbit needs any vaccinations, they will usually get them at their checkup. In circumstances where they need a vaccination, you can expect to add about $20 to the annual checkup. In the beginning, it may be a bit more since they will likely get many vaccinations at a time.

The vet gives an injection to a rabbit
Image Credit: Anna-Kharchenko, Shutterstock

Dental

  • $60 – $300

Rabbits have teeth that continuously grow, so they need to be filed. This can get expensive very fast. We highly recommend calling around to preferably find a pet groomer that can file your rabbit’s teeth. Many vets will do it, but they charge far more than a groomer would.


Treatments for Parasites

  • $50 – $200

Rabbits can get parasites just like every other animal. Parasites can be very expensive to get rid of in some cases. However, in most cases, a simple prescription medication may be able to handle this issue. You can expect the cost to be at the lower end of this range unless there are complications from the parasites that require more treatment.


Emergencies

  • Thousands

While we would prefer for our rabbits never to get sick, they will. Emergencies can cost thousands of dollars at a time. It is preferable to have an emergency fund set aside for these situations, as most people don’t have thousands of dollars laying around for these sorts of things. Emergency vet consultations are often more expensive than regular visits as well.

rabbit lying low
Image Credit: Åsa Lundqvist, Pixabay

Medication for On-Going Conditions

  • $500 – $800

Rabbits aren’t particularly prone to any ongoing problems. However, it is possible. Depending on the specific health problem, this can cost you over $500 a year. Rabbits with multiple conditions will need to double that number.


Insurance

  • $240 – $500

The cost of insuring a rabbit can be expensive. There are not many options out there, so you can’t do very much shopping around. You may be stuck with a higher price simply because that is the only option in your area. Either way, you can expect to pay at least $20 a month for a very basic plan.


Food

  • $300 – $600

Another significant expense is food. This is a reoccurring expense, of course. Rabbits need both hay and veggies. Your cost will depend on what you pick for both of these categories. There are expensive veggies and inexpensive veggies, for example. In general, you can expect that it will cost about $40 per month.

Rabbits are smaller animals, so they don’t eat that much.

lop eared rabbit
Image Credit: PublicDomainPictures, Pixabay

Environmental Maintenance

  • $300 – $800

You also have to consider the environment your rabbit is in. They need bedding and litter. You may also have to repair their furniture damage, as they like to chew quite a bit. Some rabbits cause more destruction than others, so it just depends. Of course, supervision also plays a role in how much your rabbit gets to chew on your chair legs.

Bedding: $100+
Litter: $150
Chew Toys: $50
Furniture Repair: $0+

Entertainment

  • $0 – $50

Entertaining rabbits doesn’t cost much. Most of their entertainment will come from food. They love all sorts of veggies and exciting things to eat. However, this will come from your regular food budget – not an extra entertainment budget.

You may decide to purchase a few toys, but this likely will not be very expensive in the least. You may end up spending nothing at all on this category.


Total Annual Cost of Owning a Rabbit

  • $500 – $800

Once all the costs are tallied, a rabbit costs about $600 upon adoption, not including any medical emergency fund or necessary medical care like vaccinations. After that first month, things will be substantially cheaper.

You’ll need to spend about $500 – $800 a year on average. Most of the cost will depend on how much medical care your rabbit needs and whether you’ll need to include any furniture repairs.

You will also need to factor in regular veterinary care. Again, you should have an emergency fund. A regular vet visit should also be factored into your budget, as well as dental care.

a rabbit with blue eyes
Image Credit: JackieLou DL, Pixabay

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Owning a Rabbit on a Budget

While rabbits are small pets, they can be quite expensive. They need specific care that you can’t get around like teeth trimming and grooming. These things can be expensive, and you really can’t skimp on them – even if you’re trying to stay on a budget.

However, there are some things you can cut costs on. For example, you can build your own hatch, which will substantially lower your startup costs.

Saving Money on Rabbit Care

The easiest way to save money on rabbit care is to shop the deals when feeding your rabbit. Buy hay in bulk to save some money overall and choose veggies on sale for that week. You can also shop deals on toys, food bowls, and similar supplies.

Call around for the best rate when it comes to grooming and teeth filing as well.

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Conclusion

Rabbit ownership can cost just as much as a cat or a dog. They require regular maintenance that can be quite expensive, like teeth filing. Those with long fur and higher grooming needs will be even more expensive. Even if you purchase a low-maintenance bunny, you will need to consider costs like repairing the furniture, food, and a hatch.

Some bunnies will cost more than others, but it is difficult to predict which bunny will love chewing on your furniture leg or require extra medical care. Generally, you should plan for the more expensive options we listed so that you’re pleasantly surprised when your rabbit cost less – not scrambling for money when an emergency pops up.


Featured Image Credit: Vezzani Photography, Shutterstock

Kristin Hitchcock

Kristin is passionate about helping pet parents create a fulfilling life with their pets by informing them on the latest scientific research and helping them choose the best products for their pets. She currently resides in Tennessee with four dogs, three cats, two fish, and a lizard, though she has dreams of owning chickens one-day!