Are you thinking of getting rabbits? It’s a really exciting decision to make, but one which takes a lot of consideration to make sure you’re able to meet their welfare needs.
As well as thinking about whether you can give your bunnies plenty of space and the right kind of company, it’s important to consider how much it will cost to care for them. Finances are easy to forget in all the buzz of getting a new pet, but it’s vital to understand the lifelong cost you’re committing to.
How much does owning rabbits really cost?
Rabbits are social animals and should always live in pairs or small groups so they have company of their own kind. All of our costs are based on caring for a pair of rabbits.
Over their lifetimes, you should expect a pair of indoor rabbits to cost at least £6,800 - £9,300 and slightly higher at £7,100 - £9,800 for outdoor rabbits.
This is the estimated minimum amount you’ll need to spend to meet your rabbits’ welfare needs. If your rabbits need lots of health care or you decide to spend more on them, the costs could be considerably more.
Apart from neutering and vaccinations, these costs don’t include any vet fees. If your rabbit has an accident or develops a health problem, the cost could be much higher. It’s important to be prepared, which is why we recommend rabbit owners get pet insurance.
Getting started: the initial cost of getting rabbits
It’s really important to make sure you have everything you need to keep your rabbits happy and healthy. Some of their needs will vary depending on whether they are indoor or outdoor bunnies:
- Initial course of vaccinations
- Hay and food
- Food bowls and water bottles/bowls
- Grooming equipment
- Litter tray and scoop
- Bunny proofing for the house
- Indoor pen
- Waterproof home
- Exercise run
- Flystrike prevention
The minimum cost is £909 for indoor rabbits and £879 for outdoor rabbits. However, this doesn’t include the cost of buying a pair of rabbits.
We recommend getting your rabbits from a reputable rehoming centre. You can read more advice on our ‘getting a rabbit’ page.
Ongoing care: how much rabbits costs per month
Your rabbits will need lots of things to keep them healthy and happy which you will also need to budget for, including:
The minimum monthly cost for a pair of rabbits is £70 for indoor rabbits and £74 for outdoor rabbits.
Remember, many of the things bought when you first get your rabbits may also need to be replaced over their lifetime as they wear out, which will increase these costs.
How we worked out the costs
The costs above are the basic minimum costs to meet a pair of rabbits’ five welfare needs - you could spend much more throughout your rabbits’ lifetime, especially if they have expensive tastes or need ongoing vet care for an illness or accident.
Here’s how we worked out the minimum lifetime cost of owning rabbits:
- First, we used the items listed in the bullet points above to work out the estimated cost of getting started with a pair of rabbits.
- We multiplied the monthly cost by 12 to get an annual cost.
- We multiplied the annual cost by the average life expectancy for rabbits*.
- We added this number to the average cost of getting started with a pair of rabbits to find the full cost of caring for them over their lives.
Costs were last calculated in 2023 using the current prices of products available online.
You can use these figures, together with your own research and our rabbit breed information to calculate how much you could spend on your rabbits through their lifetime.
What’s not included
These numbers are all estimates and don’t include vet fees should your rabbits become ill, or the costs of buying or adopting rabbits. Extras – such as boarding or a pet sitter if you go away, or costs for a special diet (e.g. in case of a medical condition) - are also not included.
* Rabbit 7-10 years (RWAF)
Where you get rabbits from can have a big impact on their future health and happiness. Here's what we recommend at PDSA.
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