Every new family member, be it furry or not, will increase the monthly expenses of the household. Before getting any pet it is a good idea to do the math and figure out if you can afford to support it. Here’s what our 2 bunnies cost, so you get an idea what to expect if you are thinking of adopting a rabbit or can compare your own expenses if you already have one (or more).
Bunny and Bailey eat approximately 2-3 cups of fresh vegetables every day. To make sure they get the best out there, we try to buy organic vegetables for them, but it’s not always possible. Either way, this adds up to about $15-20 per week. If fennel is out of season, it might even be $25. They also receive unlimited amounts of hay (2 different kinds), which costs us about $40 every 2-3 months. I’d also add another $10 per month for healthy treats, such as tree sticks, flower petals, dried food mixes, and more. Interestingly, adding Bailey to the family did not double the rabbit food costs.
Total Food: $90-110 per month.
We go through 1 (large) package of Critter Care/Carefresh every 4-6 weeks. This isn’t the cheapest, but also not the most expensive option. Prices will vary based on the kind of litter/bedding you use.
Total Bedding: $15 per month
Rabbits, just like humans, are supposed to go to regular check-ups. If the bunnies are healthy, the yearly exam costs us $45 each in North Carolina. There is always at least one additional occasion that requires a visit to the vet, which adds another $85 each. We also get flea medication (just in case, since we take them outside regularly). Rabbits can get sick very suddenly, though, and it’s a good idea to have a few hundred dollars saved in case of an emergency.
Total Vet: $160+ per year per rabbit
Even though there are some toys that can be used over and over again, it is important to keep our rabbits entertained, challenged, and too busy to attack furniture. Therefore, I will add another $15 a month for entertainment.
Entertainment: $15 per month
Total Average Monthly Expense: approximately $135+
Rabbits need nail clippers, a brush/comb, and a litter box. Prices for the litter box range from $5 for a simple plastic one to $50 for a nice wooden one. Both male and female rabbits should get fixed for health and wellness reasons, which can range anywhere from $35 to $300, depending on your location. We paid about $120 for Bunny and Bailey was already spayed when we got her.
If you want your rabbit to be confined, a cage will probably be the biggest one-time expense. Most cages found in pet stores are way too small and should only be used in combination with extensive free-time or an enclosed space surrounding it. Large cages/Playpens start at $80 and come as expensive as you like. Since everyone needs things to call their own, you may want to get rabbit-friendly furniture, such as wooden houses, ramps, and tunnels. These can be made out of cardboard, too, so the expense is really based on what you choose. We built a “castle” out of wood, which cost about $50 and a lot of frustration, but was worth it. We still have it 2 years later. Rabbits also need a bowl for water and food. Add a nice cotton towel to your stash to make your bun extra happy.
Make sure you bunny-proof your house, which includes hiding all cables, because otherwise you will need to add a nice chunk of money to the budget for replacement of cables. And they always go for the expensive ones.
If you have a backyard that is not fenced in then you may want to consider a playpen, fence, or other means to let your bun roam outside.
Before publishing this article, we asked around on facebook and it seems that costs vary greatly based on location, diet, and other variables. However, the overall recurring costs seem to be around $110 a month for 1-2 rabbits assuming there are no major health issues.
This is a wonderful article!
Have you written an article specifically on the costs of surgery as well? I know this cost can also depend on location. It would be great to educate people about the fact that they have to choose a rabbit vet and not necessarily the same vet to which a dog/cat would go and that surgery can easily cost over $1000 depending on the issue. I know I could have bought a car with what I spent on my bun once he got sick… :/
While I certainly don’t want to discourage people from owning a rabbit because it is wonderful, I had no idea how much surgery would cost when I got my rabbit. I am very thankful that I was able to afford it, but my experience as a volunteer with the rabbit shelter here is that people are typically unaware of the potential cost, delay treatment, and then bring the bunny to a shelter and surrender him/her because they cannot afford the bun’s medical care. This is a horrible financial burden for the rabbit shelters, who must take the rabbit in immediately to the vet. I don’t think many people take this into account, and while many rabbits stay healthy throughout their lives, so many of them develop some sort of pesky tooth, abscess, or intestinal problems after 5+ years.
Perhaps you’ve already posted about this in the past. This wonderful article just reminded me of my own ignorance when I first got a bunny long ago. I wish Bunny Approved had been around back then! Thank you for all of your work!
Hello Kristina! Thank you for your comment; glad you like the article! That is a good suggestion. I wonder how open vets would be to discussing their prices, though. It probably fluctuates a lot, too. I will look into it! At least those people don’t just dump their sick rabbits… But yes, that sounds like a terrible burden to shelters!
Perhaps bunny owners will share their costs with you? I would be happy to tell you what I’ve paid for procedures in Los Angeles.
I’d be quite happy to share my vet costs from rural Montana, if needed!
I respectfully disagree with this whole article. I have 2 rabbits and they each separately cost 20 dollars a month, so i don’t know how you got to 135 dollars a month.
Maybe you live in a cheaper area or have access to cheaper/free produce and hay that we have to pay for. Or maybe your rabbits have a different diet – so many factors play a role.