The real cost of a rabbit isn’t £20-£25.

Rabbits Dunster House

It constantly sickens me that rabbits are sold for so little. Indeed Fluffle and Puffle, 2 of my rabbits, were bought from a pet store (I would prefer to rescue but I felt these needed help) as they had been reduced to sell! Sickening! I am upset at how little they’re sold for because generally the public aren’t educated by the seller about how much they will cost to run.

Rabbits need neutering to give them happier lives and to prevent breeding between opposite sexes. This can cost between £50 and £250 dependant on the level of care you want your rabbit to receive. I have never lost a rabbit during neutering but it has always cost north of £200 to carry out. I recommend that you ask the vet to explain options available to you during neutering. One is fluids, where your rabbit is put on a ‘drip’ like a human would be if you were undergoing an operation. The other is ‘bloods’ where the rabbit is tested to see if it has any illnesses that may cause problems during the neutering operation (I have always been told by my vets that ‘bloods’ make more sense on older rabbits rather than younger, healthy looking ones).

Rabbit food isn’t particularly expensive, a bag of Readigrass or Hay bought online will do a month for 2 rabbits for about £15-£20 per month. Nuggets are also required (do not feed your rabbits ‘rabbit muesli’ as this can cause serious problems and potentially death), but as you only feed a handful between 2 rabbits this isn’t a great expense. You’ll also need fresh veg though and this will add up, a good idea is to buy from your local market or suitable veg on offer at your supermarket.

Rabbits destroy toys so you can either make your own and there are lots of videos and tips online or budget about £10 per month for toys, more or less depending on how much you want to give your rabbit.
Vet bills or insurance. Setting aside about £30 per month per rabbit to pay for the inevitable pet bills wouldn’t be a bad suggestion, remember, rabbits, as prey animals, hide their illnesses to ensure predators don’t pick them off as the weakest animal in the group so be vigilant. A sneezing rabbit may seem cute but it could mean it’s in real trouble so look for anything different to the norm in the behaviour or wellness of your rabbit and take no chances. A recent example of this is one of my rabbits, Wiggles, had a slightly runny nose. Taking Wiggles to the vets revealed respiratory problems and tooth problems. Thankfully it was caught early enough that Wiggles could be treated but it really does remind us all how vigilant you have to be with rabbits.

Housing… Rabbitopia isn’t your only option, though we think it by far the best as it is ONLY designed for the EXACT Rabbit Dunster Houseneeds of a rabbit and no other animal. If you wish to go another way other than buying a Rabbitopia, here are some other suggestions. Ignore the inadequate hutch/runs you see in pet stores and similar online and look for a bespoke run manufacturer. There are a few about and have them over to give you a quote.

Alternatively draw up some pictures and sizes and ask them to quote on that. If you’re handy at DIY, why not consider a shed and aviary arrangement, either made from scratch yourself or buying components and bodging them together. Please however ensure that the mesh you use is at least that of Rabbitopia, Galvanised, 20×20, Weldmesh, to stop foxes/cats/dogs getting in and killing your rabbits. Don’t forget things like shelves for your rabbits to climb on and fox guarding to prevent your rabbits from being scared to death. Be careful in selecting an aviary supplier as the mesh suitable for keeping birds in is not necessarily going to stop foxes etc getting in. Allow upwards of £600-£700 for housing your rabbits adequately unless you have some components already. Suitable mesh alone will take up a good chunk of that budget but will ensure your rabbits are safe.

If you’re looking at this article and haven’t yet bought rabbits, please think about what you’re about to commit to. Rabbits make fantastic pets for adults, they are totally unsuitable for children despite looking like Teddy Bears. They hate being picked up and cuddled and prefer to be interacted with at ground level, or at least on what they consider to be ground, hence the SkyBurrow Tower in Rabbitopia.

To adequately house a rabbit will cost a fair amount of money whether through purchase of a Rabbitopia or making something yourself. Rabbits, properly looked after, should live for between 8-12 years, are you prepared for that level of commitment? They need understanding to gain the most from them. Once understood and when they trust you however they make fantastic members of the family.

Alex Murphy

Hello, I’m Alex, I love rabbits… and cars, erm, enjoy designing, GSOH, hang on this isn’t a personals ad, also GSOH is debatable, I have a sense of humour, but is it good? My son means the world to me as do my family whom I am lucky to work with, Mummy, Daddy and Baby Brother, except Baby Brother’s in his 30’s and an inch taller than I and as I too am hardly a child ‘Mummy’ and ‘Daddy’ are terms of endearment to them. I haven’t gone ‘ga ga’ in quite some time, though again some may debate this. When I say I love rabbits I don’t mean in a creepy way but as children, at time of writing I have 7, I actually have 2 sat next to me in my office as we’ll be going to the vet for a check up later. All of my rabbits have a sob story of one kind or another and I love mangling my home to make it more rabbit friendly, they all have large indoor and outdoor spaces to run and jump in and I keep extending their accommodation which my wife would prefer I stop. I love designing, I never fail to have a project on the go (or frequently 3 or 4 meaning boxes and tools all over the house), my rabbit accommodation is intricate, I’ve pulled down and built walls in my house and this is why I love my job where I get to design for other people. I constantly review the market and ensure that we always sell the best product for the price. My extremely clever brother and father do so as well, meaning you always get the best available, designed in the UK FOR the UK! Find Alex Murphy on: Google+

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December 4, 2014

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