You can buy a pet from a variety of sources including breeders, pet shops and rescue centres.
Cost of keeping a rabbit
Rabbits are social creatures and ideally should live in compatible pairs or groups. So if you are not currently a rabbit keeper, you may like to think about keeping two! In addition to the initial cost of buying a rabbit, it's important to remember there are ongoing costs such as food, veterinary fees and treatments and pet insurance.
Choosing a rabbit
Before you buy a rabbit (or rabbits) it’s wise to think long and hard about whether your new pet will suit your personality and lifestyle. Rabbits are great to live with but their needs have in the past quite often been misunderstood.
Considerations should include:
- Whether you’d like to purchase a male or female / kitten or adult
- Does the rabbit you’re considering suit your home, family etc?
- Are you prepared to play with your rabbit and let them run around on a daily basis?
- Can you make a lifelong commitment to your rabbit?
- Will your new rabbit get on with other pets in the household?
- Lastly, whether you can afford to keep a pet.
The secret to choosing a rabbit is to do lots of research and it’s also advisable to find out more about potential health problems and characteristics.
There are 67 breeds of rabbit. For further information on breeds, please visit The British Rabbit Council.
Hints and tips on new ownership
Once you’ve decided that you’re going to purchase a rabbit, do a bit of planning so that your pet’s first days in its new home are as easy and pleasurable as possible.
- Equipment for your rabbit: all rabbits should live in an environment which meets their physical, social and behavioural needs, e.g. to run, jump, graze, dig, rest and stand up on their hind legs without their ears touching the roof. You will also need water bowls and/or bottles.
- Buy some pet food for your rabbit. Complete food provides all the nutrients in the correct amounts and proportions. Also you will need to buy good quality hay – rabbits need continual access to quality fibre based material such as hay or grass.
- Depending on your pet’s vaccination history, you may need to phone your vet and book an appointment for vaccinations. Your vet will also carry out a ‘nose to tail’ MOT.