The cost of owning rabbits
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 if you can give your bunnies plenty of space and the right kind of company, it’s important to think about 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 really important to understand the lifelong cost you’re committing to.
So, how much does owning rabbits really cost?
Rabbits are social animals and should be kept in pair or small groups so they have company of their own kind. All of our costings are based on caring for a pair of rabbits.
You should expect a pair of rabbits to cost at least £6,500 - £9,000 over their lifetimes.
This is the minimum amount you’ll need to spend to meet your rabbits’ welfare needs. Your rabbits might need lots of health care or you might decide to spend more on them which will increase the cost involved – they could be as high as £30,000!
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.
Starting out: the cost of getting a rabbit
It’s really important to make sure you’ve got everything you need to keep your rabbits happy and healthy. This includes things like:
- waterproof home
- exercise run
- initial course of vaccinations
- food bowl
- water bottle
- grooming equipment
- pet carrier.
The average cost for these is £570.
This doesn’t include the cost of buying a pair of rabbits. It’s important to think carefully about where you get your rabbits from to make sure they’ve been raised in a suitable environment. We recommend rehoming rabbits from a reputable rehoming centre. You can read more advice on our ‘getting a rabbit’ page.
Monthly care: the ongoing cost of caring for your rabbits
Your rabbits will need lots of things each month to keep them healthy and happy. This includes things like:
- health checks and booster vaccinations
- flea and worm treatment
- flystrike prevention
- pet insurance
- toys and enrichment.
The average monthly cost for a pair of rabbits is £70.
How we worked it out
Here’s how we worked out the lifetime cost of owning rabbits:
- First, we worked out the average cost of first getting a pair of rabbits and then the monthly ongoing cost of caring for them.
- 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 first getting a pair of rabbits to find the full cost of caring for them over their lives.
These numbers are all averages and don’t include vet fees. The lifetime cost of caring for your rabbits could vary but you can use this sum and our breed information to work it out for your rabbits – or the rabbits you’re thinking of getting!
Of course, cost is only one thing to bear in mind when you get rabbits. You’ll also need to make sure you can meet their 5 welfare needs to keep them happy and healthy.
* 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.
5 welfare needs
Do you know about your dog's 5 welfare needs and your legal responsibility for their care?