It’s important to plan ahead before purchasing a rabbit. Figuring out costs of owning one is a responsible way to begin your research! Also making sure to buy quality products can help reduce costs in the long run. Make sure your family can financially afford to care for them for the long term. The average life cycle of a rabbit is nine years. I am going to break down costs for you and give you valuable resources of where to purchase feed, hay, cages, treats, and toys.
Water is the most crucial and valuable thing to remember to give to your rabbit. It’s important that they have fresh water daily. There are three different types of water containers that are commonly used for rabbits that I will list the pros and cons to. Some great websites to check out is Chewy.com, Petco.com, Petsmart.com, or Amazon.com. You may also compare prices at your local pet/ feed stores. We’ve found that the most unbeatable prices are between Chewy.com and Petco.com. Petco price matches and they also have a rewards system to earn $5 for every 100 points earned.
The standard water bottle attaches to the cage. Prices can range between $4-$20.
Water bowls are the more natural way for them to drink out of. A heavy ceramic bowl is the best option to use because light plastic bowls can easily be picked up and thrown around the cage. If your rabbit chooses to throw their bowl around you can purchase a bowl that attaches to the cage so it cannot be moved. Prices can range between $1-$15.
These are mainly used for dogs or cats but can also be operational for rabbits. Prices can range between $7-$38.
Providing a quality feed is so important to your rabbits overall health. Don’t be misguided by the brands that state that their feed is “premium” or “made with all natural ingredients.” Look for the ingredients on the nutritional label and make sure they have a high fiber content. Fiber is what pushes everything through the digestive system so be sure to try to find a fiber percentage of 16-18%. The higher, generally the better. We feed our rabbits Modesto Mills Organic Rabbit Feed. It’s corn and soy free which I am not against either of those ingredients but those are more fillers than nutritionally beneficial. The main ingredient should be grass based such as timothy or alfalfa. Cost of rabbit feed depends on quality of feed and size of bags. I suggest purchasing your feed online because it usually ends up being cheaper. Amazon.com, Chewy.com, or Petco.com are great places to order Oxbow, a brand we recommend along side Modesto Mills. Modesto Mills is milled in Oregon and sold in limited stores around the Pacific Northwest. Do some research around your area and see if there are any locally sourced rabbit feeds nearby.
For Oxbow, expect to pay around $12 for a 5lb bag, $25 for a 10lb bag, $39 for a 25lb bag. Holland Lops usually eat about 4 ounces of food a day. So let’s do some math…
5 lb. Bag of Oxbow $12
4 oz/day x 4 days = 1lb/4 days
4 days x 5lb bag food = 20 days
$12 bag food / 20 days = $.60c per day
$.60c per day x 30 days = $18 per month
25lb. Bag of Oxbow $39
4oz/day x 4 days = 1lb/4 days
4 days x 25 lb bag food = 100 days
$39 bag food / 100 days = $.39c per day
$.39c per day x 30 days = $11.70 per month
For the most part, buying in bulk is usually the best option for saving money in the long run. On the flip side, I wouldn’t recommend buying a 50lb bag of feed if you have only one rabbit because the food may go stale before you finish the whole bag. Nutrena is another brand that is nation wide. We used to use them until we went organic. I don’t prefer this brand but we never had a problem when we used it. I will compare the prices for this brand to the Oxbow brand.
25lb. Bag of Nutrena $14
4oz/day x 4days = 1lb/4days
4days x 25lb bag food = 100 days
$14 bag food / 100 days = $.14c per day
$.14c per day x 30 days = $4.20 per month
Hay is 80% of your rabbits diet and they must have access to it at all times. Hay is high in fiber and keeps their digestive track healthy and moving. Check with your local farmers to see if you can get ahold of some local fresh timothy, oat, or orchard grass hay. A good place to check is Craigslist.org. It is much cheaper to buy a bale of hay which can weigh up to 100lbs for $10-$25 depending on where you’re located. Although if you only have one rabbit I suggest buying smaller quantities so the food doesn’t go stale.
Cages/ Free Range Spaces
Rabbits can be kept indoors or outdoors. If you’re keeping your bunny housed outside be mindful of weather and temperature. Rabbits are heat sensitive but there are ways to keep them cool in the heat of the Summer such as putting frozen water bottles in their cage or keeping a fan on for them. When looking for a hutch I recommend buying one that has enough space for them to run around in. Also make sure to have a boxed in area for them to hide in. This also keeps them out of the bad weather. Hutches can range between $20-$400 depending on where you buy them. Craigslist or any phone app similar to offer up is a good place to check out for used hutches. This will most likely be your best bet for finding the cheapest one. Although Amazon has pretty reasonable prices too and they are brand new. When looking online to order one make sure to read the dimensions because their pictures can be deceiving and make them look a lot bigger than they are. Reading reviews is also a good idea.
If keeping your new pet indoors, there are many different options for housing them. Our favorite cage is the World Living Habitat Cage in a large or extra large size. Petco or Amazon is a great place to order these cages. They usually range between $70-$120. Once potty trained it’s also a fun idea to section off a free range area in the house for them. Either use a dog exercise pen to keep hem contained or look on Pinterest for awesome ideas. You can easily set up a play/ living area for them for under $50.
It’s important that your bunnies have things to occupy them and chew on. There are so many products to choose from and most are very inexpensive. Petco.com, Chewy.com, and Amazon are all great places to purchase these items. Apple sticks are always a big hit. You can even find sticks in your yard for free for them to chew on. Just check and make sure they are ok for your rabbit to have. Hay mats are also a great thing for rabbits to have. Rabbits teeth continuously grow so it’s important they have things to chew on the help control their teeth growing. Check online for all the fun toys there are and compare prices. Online is usually a lot cheaper then going into a pet store. Pet stores have such a high mark up price on their products. For instance Petco will be more expensive in store than online most of the time. Always check online first! Toys will range between $1-$12.