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BINKYBUNNY FORUMS > Welcome ! > Hello! Not a rabbit owner...YET
Last Post by KytKattin at 1/01/2010 6:43 PM (9 Replies)
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User is Offline Cassandra
19 posts Send Private Message
12/29/2009 4:21 PM

Hi everybody! I love rabbits. I have never had a rabbit before, but I really want one (or two). I have a few questions for rabbit owners...

1.  On a scale of 1 through 10, with 10 being the most challenging pet ever, how hard is it to take care of your rabbit(s) on a daily basis?

2.  How much do you spend on your rabbit(s) a month?

3.  What advice/information can you give to someone who's thinking about adopting a rabbit?

Anyway, I'm Cassandra. I'm a high schooler and I have two guinea pigs, Maggie and Sophia; and a dog, named Riley. I live in sunny California and enjoy reading, writing, and going to the beach.


User is Offline Monkeybun
Hillsboro, Oregon
10458 posts Send Private Message
12/29/2009 4:42 PM
I'll start with #2: I spend a good 200 a month on my 2 buns, more if I'm a bad girl and buy them more toys than they can or want to play with

1: I spend alot more time with my buns than I ever have in the past with cats and such. My 2 require lots of supervision, as Moose is a BIG chewer, and Monkey is just Evil Incarnate.

3: What information can I give.. well.. bunnies are NOT cage animals. They need lots and lots of time to run around and play, its about as sensible to cage a cat all day as it is to cage a bunny

Buns are sooo full of personality, don't let the "timid woodland creature" thing get into your mind, as they are anything but!

They can be litter trained, and make wonderful house pets, they do much better indoors that out as they are domesticated animals now, not wild. I suggest reading all the info there is to be had on this site, and the house rabbit site.

User is Offline Barbie
1584 posts Send Private Message
12/29/2009 5:06 PM

Hey! Welcome!

1.  I would say bunnies (for me) are a 7.  It probably depends on the person though.

I've had hamsters, fish, frogs, toads, and those were pretty easy... I've also had a chocolate lab, and becasue of his size (he can stand on his hind legs and reach the counters, and his nails scratch the heck out of our wood floors) and his activity level and his expenses (food, vet bills) I would rate him a 7.5. 

I've also had a horse, and she was probably an 8 or 9 too becasue of the amount of time and money required for her care (I worked at the barn part time and had to up at 4 am to get to the barn by 5 every weekend morning )  and becasue I raised her from a baby and trained her by myself. 

I think Leroy takes just as much time as a dog or horse.  Also, bunnies are MISCHEVIOUS and because of their small size, they get into EVERYTHING. However, he's small and I can pick him up/nudge him out of the way if he's doing something bad. And litter boxes are easier than combing the yard for dog poop or mucking stalls... so I'd rate bunnies a 7.

2.  As for expenses.... Um... $40-50? (Yearly vet check ups, at my bunny vet, are $50 + any additional meds or procedures)

I don't buy a lot of pet store toys since Leroy doesn't like them anyway - we do phone books and TP rolls and a cardboard tunnel for running through and the like.  Also, I save money by buying hay in bulk - I'm about halfway though a square bale of hay that I got back at the end of August (free from a good friend! bales generally run $5-15).  I use wood stove pellets ($5 for a 40lb bag that lasts me ~5 months) and newspaper (next to free) for litter.  Veggies and pellets are what's the most expensive.  I don't skimp on the veggies - he gets about 2-3 cups per day of 3-5 different veggies, and I buy them weekly from the grocery store ($7-10).  A bag of Kaytee pellets (5lb) is ~$13 and lasts me 3 ish months - I haven't found anywhere to buy good quality pellets in bulk yet!

That's not including the initial cost of the rabbit itself and spay/neuter (if you adopt, most shelters desex them before letting them go home! so that's a huge money saver since spaying/neutering can be upwards of $200) and the start up costs of a cage and bunny proofing supplies and a boatload of toys

You can definitely find ways to spend more $ though!

3.  Well my first bit of advice would be to do your research and check out a good informative website, like BB or rabbit.org.  But you've already done that!  I think the big thing for you is to consider how much time you have to devote to a rabbit?  You've mentioned that you have other pets, so a rabbit might be adding too much.

I'm in college right now so my schedule is pretty flexible and I can spend a lot of time at home, letting Leroy play.  Bunnies need companionship and also a few hours of play time out of the cage per day.  Leroy has to stay in his cage when Im not home or when I'm asleep becasue he's naughty   But he gets ~8+ hours out of his cage... and even though I've bunny proofed, for most of that time I have to be near by to keep him from getting into stuff. 

I know how busy high school is and it's only going to get busier with college apps (if you choose to go that route) and such as you get closer to graduation.  Also.  keep in mind that dorms don't allow pets and most colleges require that you stay in the dorms at least one year.  Are your parents willing to take care of the rabbit properly when you're in school?

Also, as with any pet, there can be HUGE unexpected expenses - ie. vet bills and as a student or a young adult trying to find a job just ouf of high school, if you have no savings, you're going to run into major problems. 

Oh, and keep in mind that, like any pet, you'll need to care for them regularly... meaning you have to be home every day to care for them, and you have to either bring them or arrange a bunny sitter for vacations and the like.

I'm not trying to talk you out of a rabbit or to scare you, but... rabbits are a lot of work.   I think its GREAT that you're doing your research and trying to make an informed decision.

Hope that helps!

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User is Offline Barbie
1584 posts Send Private Message
12/29/2009 5:07 PM

Dang it! I had a huge post typed up but I lost it all. Grrr...

ETA... No I didn't! Lol

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User is Offline Kokaneeandkahlua
Edmonton, Alberta; Canada
Forum Leader
11452 posts Send Private Message
12/30/2009 1:30 AM

Welcome!!!

1. On a scale of 1 through 10, with 10 being the most challenging pet ever, how hard is it to take care of your rabbit(s) on a daily basis?

I think rather then a scale I'd say it's a lot like owning a horse in terms of expenses, frequent vet bills, and time and energy. Except you can't ride them. Are you good with that? Spending a LOT of time and money? They definitely aren't cheap or easy

2. How much do you spend on your rabbit(s) a month?
Totally totally depends on the month. If everyone is healthy not too much-but I buy supplies in bulk and that's not always an option.

Also spay/neuter is necessary not optional and can be quite pricey as well  


Right now I have a prolonged illness so on top of 1300 or so in vet bills I'm spending lots on puppy pee pads (for incontinence) three to nine  a day (50 are 16$) and approximately 20$ on veggies every three or so days, and then meds to boot... It's quite pricey.
That's not including laundry detergent washing bedding, the crib I had to buy to put them in for a safe enclosure during the illness.

So I think it's a LOT like owning a horse. If they are healthy then it's doable. BUT when they are sick-and they WILL get sick or elderly it can cost a small fortune.

Is it worth it-You bet

3. What advice/information can you give to someone who's thinking about adopting a rabbit?

I think I covered it-it's a LOT more then I ever thought possible in terms of expense. It's also like a lifestyle change-I live in ahouse we bought with a bedroom specifically for the buns. They own two closets as well and have about 9 crates-I only have four rabbits btw. They will take you over They are unlike any other pet

I guess my big question rather then advice would be-can you change your life around the rabbit? Can you afford/make it work when vet bills happen? Can you change your house around the rabbit(it will need to be bunny proofed just like if you brought a baby home)? Can you let your bunny run around 4 hours plus every night no matter what at least?



 

Photobucket Photobucket Photobucket Kokanee & Chuck My Bridge Bunnies-you left paw prints on my heart

User is Offline Barbie
1584 posts Send Private Message
12/30/2009 2:30 AM
Posted By Kokaneeandkahlua on 12/30/2009 04:30 AM

Right now I have a prolonged illness so on top of 1300 or so in vet bills I'm spending lots on puppy pee pads (for incontinence) three to nine  a day (50 are 16$)


Just to clarify.....  KK has a bunny with a prolonged illness that nees puppy pee pads, not her!
 

Also, I want to second what KK said about bunnies being worth the work.  They are incredibly rewarding as a pet, and so much fun to have bouncing around the house   Yeah, the whole house.  Lol.  Leroy owns my apartment.  I just pay rent and make sure the food keeps raining from the sky, so he lets me sleep there

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User is Offline Beka27
Cleveland, Ohio (USA)
Forum Leader
15654 posts Send Private Message
12/30/2009 7:12 AM

LMAO @ K&K and Barbie!!!!!!!!!!!  K&K has a small health issue... but she'll be alright.  ;o)  (Just kidding...)


I think it's so great that you are doing your research.  It's very important to have a handle on what can happen and what to expect... and even if you choose not to get a bun until a better time for you, you'll have a great deal of knowledge on the subject.

BB has made a cost page which should be helpful for you:  www.binkybunny.com/BUNNYINFO/Costof...fault.aspx

Her prices are averages, some will spend more, some will spend less.

For our pair... we spend about $15-20 a week on veggies.  This depends on the season and what we buy, and if anything is on sale... but we definitely spend AT LEAST $40 a month per bun for veggies.  They get pellets in a very limited amount... one 10 pound bag will last one bunny months. 

Hay and litter are the BIG expenses.  You have to find it in bulk or else it will end up costing a lot.  We get 50 pound boxes of high quality hay for about $60-70, we buy bags of wood stove pellets for about 6 bucks for a 40 pound bag.  The issue then becomes storage.  Wood stove pllets are only available seasonally... so we are buying 8 bags at one time and having to store the bags somewhere dry for the entire year.  Big hay boxes or hay bales require special storage as well.

 

You were asking about difficulty of caring for the bunnies.  It's not HARD.  Not any harder than caring for a dog.  But it is DIFFERENT.

You can't go buy food anywhere, pellets must meet special nutritional requirements.  You can't go buy good, safe toys anywhere.  You can't go to the petstore and buy a $50 cage and be done.  You will be at the grocery store buying fresh veggies more often than you shop for youself.

My parents have 3 dogs and they buy the big 50 pound bags of food and as long as they remember to feed and water them, and let them out, they're fine.  Caring for rabbits is much more... Intricate.  My parents can let the dogs in the fenced-in back yard and they are fine out there all day (weather permitting, of course.)  Many rabbits require supervision when they are out for 3-4 hours a day.  While they can be littertrained, they are not always 100% with the litterbox.  They chew what they are not supposed to, they go where they shouldn't.  Some rabbits are like having a toddler who never gets past the "terrible twos". 

 

I've kind of hopped aorund a bit... lol.  But you can ask us something like this and you'll get a hundred different responses.  My responses may vary according to what day it is and what kind of mood I'm in... 

 

EDITED TO ADD:  One of the best things you can do is stick around on the forum and read new threads.  Binkybunny is a "microcosm" of the rabbit experience.  All the miscellaneous things that can and will arise when rabbits are involved have been mentioned and discussed ad nauseum.  And don't be fooled, there is no "perfect rabbit".  So you might not have one problem, but something else may be an issue, and you're not going to know this until you have the rabbit.

Meadow..... Photobucket ...... Max, my angel bunny

User is Offline FluffyBunny
Boulder, Colorado
1170 posts Send Private Message
12/30/2009 11:34 AM

Agh! I had a really long post, then I deleted it by mistake! D:

Question one...I think I'd rate them about 5.5.

Question two...For veggies, hay, pellets, litter and toys, I think it's about 40-60 for one rabbit.

Question three...Do lots of research before getting a rabbit, and don't have unrealistic expectations about them. They're very intelligent animals with strong personalities, not always like the cuddly, docile bunnies you see in kids' arms around Easter. Before getting a rabbit, you should make sure you can provide a safe, indoor home, vet care (that includes spay or neuter), toys, attention and good food for the rest of the rabbit's life - which could be 8-12 years or longer.

Rabbits make wondeful, rewarding pets when they're cared for right! I'm glad you're doing research before getting one. Welcome to BB!

"Time flies when you have a bun!" | "Ask not what your bunny can do for you, but what you can do for your bunny."
Here comes Mr. Bunny-tail, hoppin' down the rabby trail.
Hippity hoppity, binkitty floppity, Bunbun's on his way.
Then hops down Ms. Rabbit-girl, hoppin' down the bunny
trail. Hippity hoppity, binkitty floppity, Rabby's on her way.


User is Offline Elrohwen
Hudson Valley, NY
Forum Leader
7322 posts Send Private Message
1/01/2010 3:43 PM
I would rate buns about a 5. My bun is honestly not hard to care for at all - I would say about the level of a cat. Then again, he's very well behaved, so I don't have to do much cleaning or supervising. If I was constantly cleaning up pee or having to watch his every move while he was out of his cage, I would rate him much higher. I also like that he's flexible - if I get home a few hours late, it doesn't really matter. With a dog, someone really needs to be home to let them out a few times a day. With Otto, we can feed him in the evening, leave for a party or something, and come back the next morning without worrying about him. Definitely can't do that with a dog. He definitely needs interaction to be happy, but for me that's the fun part.

I spend about $10 per week on veggies, and every 2-3 months I spend maybe $40 on hay and food. The fresh veggies are the most expensive part. Vet care can also get very expensive. I've had dogs get old and sick and require tons of vet care, so it's not that bunnies necessarily get sicker than dogs or cats, but their care is often more expensive because they're considered "exotics". Neutering was also extremely expensive, but if you adopt your bun will be desexed already.

I would advise doing lots of research and talking to bun owners, but I would also say not to be scared off. When I was researching I was overwhelmed by the reports of how hard they are to care for, but I haven't really found that to be the case. I spend little time doing care activities, and most of my time just hanging out with my bun - playing with him and petting him.
- Elrohwen

User is Offline KytKattin
California
1194 posts Send Private Message
1/01/2010 6:43 PM
1. On a scale of 1 through 10, with 10 being the most challenging pet ever, how hard is it to take care of your rabbit(s) on a daily basis?

Honestly, only a 3 or a 4. I change the litterboxes twice a week. The only reason they might be a 4 is because they need greens and that takes an extra 5/10 minutes to prepare in the evening. Now, I have a tarantula and she is like a -2. House plants take more work than she does. Nail trimming, gland cleaning, cage cleaning, ect are things I am incredibly used to doing, so it doesn't phase me. I've grown up doing that kind of stuff though, so maybe offer to assist at your local rescue and clean the rabbit cages, get used to handling them, ect. The glands and nail trims are something your vet can do if you are not comfortable, but that will add to your monthly costs.

2. How much do you spend on your rabbit(s) a month?

Well, it would be probably $20-$30 more if I had to buy greens and hay myself, but my parents consider the greens a grocery item and the hay I get free from the bales my mom has for her horse. I buy a 50lb bag or pellets every... probably 5 months. Costs $50. Though that amount won't work for someone who has only one or two small rabbits (get a flemish giant though and you'll wish they sold bigger bags!). Litter costs me about $12 a month. So, figure that if I had to buy greens, hay, food, pellets, ect, that would be about $50. Wow, I can't believe that I do things so cheap! I probably spend about $22 if you break up the pellets. That is for 3 rabbits. Now, initial costs were varied for each. I got two of them already spayed/neutered, but the other one I had to pay for her spay, and that cost about $110 plus pain meds. One of my rabbits does need his teeth done occasionally though, and that costs me about $150-$200 every 4-6 months. Ouch.

3. What advice/information can you give to someone who's thinking about adopting a rabbit?

RESEARCH! Yeah, and also volunteer to work with rabbits at a shelter if you can. Nothing beats hands on experience. Also, if you don't have a job, make sure your parents are on board with you getting a rabbit. Vet bills can add up quickly, and if you don't have the support of your parents then you are kind of (no pun intended) dead in the water. If you can, get VPI insurance. While it might add $20 to your overall cost, it might mean being able to do a life saving procedure on your rabbit. It is a lot easier to be able to make a decision for your rabbit based on what is best for him or her instead of if you can pay for him or her.
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