Monday, 24 January 2011

Rabbits - not a cheap childrens pet.

Many people are surprised at how much it costs to properly care for two rabbits, so here is some information that everyone who is considering getting a rabbit should read before they take the plunge. Unlike Cats and Dogs which are not usually available from pet shops, rabbits are readily available and can be bought on impulse, without the full facts being known. It is not acceptable to keep a single rabbit confined to a hutch, yet it happens all too often, making rabbits the most neglected pets in the UK. Please don’t make the same mistake and cause unnecessary suffering.

It’s very common that a few months after purchase, the cute fluffy babies are fully grown rabbits and become unwanted, and either end up in rescue, or even worse, neglected at the bottom of the garden. Rabbits should live up to 10 years, but often don’t make it to four because of poor diet and living standards. A hutch simply is not enough – read on to see what rabbits need and how much you should expect to pay.

Initial set up costs
2 rabbits £60 - £100
(Rabbits should never be kept alone, they do get lonely)
Neutering of 2 rabbits - up to £180
(rabbits need to be neutered to live happily together and prevent accidental litters of rabbits)
Hutch / Run / Enclosure - £200 would be the minimum but could be up to £500.
(We recommend a 6ft x 2ft x 2ft hutch as a minimum with an attached 8 ft run, and you will really have to be lucky to get this for less than £400)
Bedding, bowls etc - £30
Toys £10
Hay / food - £20

Total initial set up costs - allow £930

Then monthly costs of
Hay - £15
(if buying pre packed, dust free from pet shops)
Good quality food £10
Bedding - £10
Fresh Vegetables - £20
Insurance - £15
Total Monthly costs - £70.00
Per annum this is £840


Then annual costs of
2 x myxi vaccines per year, per bunny - £100 on average
1 x VHD vaccine per annum per bunny - £50 on average
2 weeks in bunny boarding while you have your annual holiday - £70
Total annual costs in addition to usual monthly costs - £220

Added to usual monthly costs per annum the cost is £1060

Dental disease is very common and is very often due to poor diet, e.g. lack of hay, or lack of exercise, i.e. not letting the rabbits out of their hutch, so please don’t think that you can save money by cutting corners, because this usually ends in an ill rabbit and a huge vet bill. Dental procedures can be around £80 per bunny, and are usually avoidable if the diet and accommodation is right.

Rabbits should live on average for 10 years, so including the set up costs, to keep 2 rabbits properly will cost you on average over £11,550. Are you sure you still want to buy the children a pet rabbit now?!

Cutting corners and doing things on the cheap by keeping one rabbit alone in a small hutch, with a poor diet etc, is not an option that any decent person should consider. If you can’t afford to do it right, then don’t do it at all. There are other animals that may be more suitable .

Thousands of rabbits end up in rescue centres every year because children pester their parents for a cute fluffy bunny and then the novelty soon wears off. How many of your children’s toys are they playing with 6 months later? Let alone 12 months, 2 years, 10 years etc. Don’t be another statistic, do it right.

You should only consider taking on rabbits if you can put the time to them and give them a life that they deserve - A HUTCH IS NOT ENOUGH

4 comments:

  1. These costs seem rather inflated compared to what I have paid.
    In my vets the mixy jab is £20 and when I got my rabbit neutered it was £28, nowhere near the costs of what is written here, maybe there are regional differences?

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  2. I agree the costs are overinflated here. If you get your rabbits from a rescue, most will neuter before you adopt. And the indoor setup for my buns cost less than £100 for a 4ft dog crate with an attached 6ft pen.

    My vet charges more than most, being in London, but each vaccination costs around £35 per bun.

    Bedding is also unnecessary for indoor bunnies.

    All the food is expensive though, I'll give you that - I probably spend far more than stated here!

    I was also quoted around £40 a month for insurance so didn't bother - obviously I do need to make sure I can afford any unexpected vet treatment though.

    I realise the purpose of this article is probably to make potential owners think seriously about it but it may be scaring off people who would be great owners!

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  3. good article. i think the costs here are conservative. i spend 40 a month on average on good quality hay and it makes a massive difference. but the point is it's putting some hard figs down on paper which will make the ones who buy on the spur of the moment (or giving their kids a new 'toy') think twice about the actual financials if not the responsibility. a difference of a few £s won't put the genuine ones off who are committed to giving bunnies a really great home.

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  4. The costs are in fact pretty much as shown here. While some vets may charge less for vaccination, they might charge more for essential procedures and it does balance out close to the prices shown. And of course the better you look after your rabbits, the more you love them, the more you will want to give them, and that is extra expense which adds up to a huge expenditure. Nobody should go into rabbit ownership thinking they are cheap, they most certainly are not

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