Owning a pet rabbit can be rewarding but also costly when it comes to food, housing, vet bills, and supplies. However, there are many savvy ways to curb expenses and still provide excellent care for your floppy-eared friend. This article will explore 10 ingenious tips that will have you exclaiming “What a great savings!” From growing fresh veggies to repurposing household items into bunny essentials, you’ll learn smart strategies to cut costs dramatically. With a little effort and creativity, you can pamper your rabbit right while keeping your wallet happy. Read on to discover these money-saving secrets that both you and Thumper will love!
1. Grow your own rabbit food
One of the best ways to save money on rabbit care is to grow your own rabbit food. Rabbits love fresh veggies and herbs. Consider planting a small veggie garden with some of their favorites like parsley, cilantro, romaine lettuce, kale, carrots, and broccoli. You can also grow wheatgrass and timothy hay which are nutritious greens for bunnies. Growing your own will provide them with fresh nutrients and save you money on buying pre-packaged greens. Start with just a few containers or a small plot if you don't have much space.
2. Repurpose cardboard boxes
Cardboard boxes can easily be transformed into free toys and housing for rabbits. Boxes of all sizes will provide hours of entertainment as your rabbit jumps in and out, chews, and digs. You can create maze games by cutting holes and openings in the boxes and connecting them with cardboard tubes. Old boxes can also be used as litter boxes, hidey houses, and platforms for climbing. Just be sure to remove any tape, labels, or plastic. Upcycling what you already have at home will save money on store bought supplies.
3. Don’t buy a cage
Traditional wire cages are expensive and too small for rabbit housing. A better solution is to rabbit proof a room or build a large pen from cheaper storage cubes or wood. This creates more space for them to hop around. If you're handy, you can build customized hutches, climbing structures, and tunnels. Let your bunny live cage-free and save your money.
4. Use vegetable leftovers
Don't let leftover veggies from cooking go to waste. Chop up vegetable tops, stems, peels, and leaves to feed your rabbit. Great leftovers include carrot tops, broccoli stalks, romaine hearts, celery ends, cabbage cores, wilted greens, and the tough outer leaves of lettuce heads. Just be sure to introduce new veggies slowly. This reduces food costs while providing nutrients.
5. Buy in bulk
Purchasing hay, litter, pellets, and toys in bulk quantities will save money in the long run. Oxbow and Small Pet Select offer bulk discounts online. You can also check your local feed supply or farm store for deals on bulk hay. Split large bags of litter or pellets with a fellow bunny owner. Buying in bulk means you have to store more, but the savings per pound/kilogram are worthwhile.
6. Make your own toys
It’s easy to make DIY bunny toys with household items. Fill empty toilet paper tubes with hay for nibbling. Make treat balls from paper or cardboard by folding and adding a small hole. Cut cardboard into shapes for hopping and climbing on. Dangle willow sticks or seagrass mats for chewing. Stuff an old sock with hay for burrowing and digging. Simple toys that tap into a rabbit’s natural behaviors won’t cost much to create.
7. Make your own treats
Homemade treats are cheaper than pre-packaged rabbit treats. You can make healthy snacks like dehydrated carrot chips, compressed hay cubes, fruit skewers, and natural chews. Check online for recipes using simple ingredients like flour, oats, fruits, and veggies. Making your own allows you to control ingredients and skip additives. Try out a few recipes to find your bunny’s favorites.
8. Take your rabbit for annual checkups
Yearly veterinary exams will keep your rabbit healthy and prevent costly medical issues. Most vets charge less for routine wellness checkups. Getting into a regular checkup schedule and addressing minor issues early on reduces emergency vet fees down the road. Annual exams, vaccinations, and diagnostics like dental assessments go a long way. Don't skip out on preventative care.
9. Buy treats at the supermarket
You can find budget-friendly rabbit treats at your local supermarket. Look for deals on produce such as bananas, apples, leafy greens, broccoli, berries, and papaya. Dried fruit without sulphur dioxide like unsweetened pineapple rings also make healthy nibbles. Herbs like cilantro, dill, and basil are inexpensive flavorful treats. With just a quick rinse and chop, supermarket finds make smart buys compared to pet store treats.
10. Adopt your rabbit
The most cost-effective way to add a bunny to your home is through adoption. Local shelters and rescue organizations have rabbits of all ages, breeds, and personalities in need of loving homes. Adoption fees typically range from $25-$100 and include spay/neuter surgery, vaccinations, vet exam, and supplies to get started. You’ll save hundreds over purchasing from a breeder or pet store. Plus you’re giving an abandoned rabbit a second chance.