How to Buy a Rabbit: 14 Steps (with Pictures)

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How to Buy a Rabbit: 14 Steps (with Pictures)
How to Buy a Rabbit: 14 Steps (with Pictures)

Rabbits are very cute animals, which makes them very desirable pets. Still, cuteness shouldn't be the main decision point when choosing which animal to take home, as rabbits need a lot of specific care. By reading more about the subject and studying it before making a decision, you will certainly be a good guardian for a rabbit, making your pet happy and alive long.


Part 1 of 2: Buying or Adopting a Rabbit

Buy a Rabbit Step 1

Step 1. Avoid buying the rabbit at any pet store

The animals sold in stores without a breeding license typically come from mass-breeding facilities that focus more on profit than on promoting a healthy environment for the rabbits. These pets also often suffer from more digestive problems because of the stress of being exposed in a store and the dietary changes they go through.

When you go to the store, talk to the employees and find out about the origin of the animals. If it is not possible to verify whether they came from a recognized quality breeder, a shelter or an NGO, it is best to avoid doing business with the establishment

Buy a Rabbit Step 2

Step 2. Adopt a rabbit from a shelter or animal rescue NGO

Volunteers and staff at these facilities are far more likely to understand the care that rabbits need than staff at pet stores. Also, shelter animals tend to be healthier and more socialized as well.

  • Visit the shelter or NGO before buying or adopting the rabbit and find out about how the animals are treated, how they decide which animals go for adoption, what are the processes involved and what follow-up after adoption.
  • Shelters and NGOs often band together to find the best homes for the rabbits under their tutelage.
  • Do an internet search for rabbit-focused NGOs and shelters in your area. Although rarer than dog and cat shelters, you should find some options.
  • Another option is to look for an animal adoption agency that bridges the gap between adopters and shelters.
  • Adopting a rabbit from a shelter is usually cheaper than buying an animal. Although the adoption rate is usually high and equivalent to the purchase price of the pet, animals in shelters are often neutered, vaccinated, dewormed and chipped, which will save you money in the long run.
Buy a Rabbit Step 3

Step 3. Buy the rabbit from a reputable breeder

If you don't want to adopt an adult pet from a shelter, you can look for a rabbit breeder in your area. Be aware, however, that not all professionals take good care of their pets and take their well-being into consideration, as many only care about profit.

  • To find a suitable breeder, talk to a veterinarian or a trusted friend who has rabbits to get their contacts. If there is any competition or parade of these rodents in your region, attend and try to make some contacts.
  • A good breeder must be moved by a sincere and real love for what he does, not just a desire to earn money. This type of professional will have no problems sharing information about the rabbits, in addition to assessing whether a client is really capable of taking care of the animal.
  • When visiting the breeder, take a good look at his facilities, which must be very clean and organized, with the animals visibly healthy and happy.
  • Ask for information about the breeder's practices, as well as the breeding and genetic records of the animals.
  • A serious and reputable breeder will certainly have no problem passing on the contact of previous clients who attest to the quality of his work. He must also have a good relationship with an exotic animal veterinarian.
  • If you are going to do business with a breeder, make sure they provide a written health guarantee. Read the document carefully before purchasing a rabbit.
Buy a Rabbit Step 4

Step 4. See if the animal is very healthy

Even coming from a quality breeder or shelter, it's good to check the bunny for signs of trouble. For example, a runny nose can indicate trouble breathing or a respiratory infection. If the pet keeps tilting its head, it may have an ear canal infection.

  • Not sure how to examine the rabbit? Ask the breeder, shelter volunteer or a veterinarian to do a physical exam in front of you, explaining all the steps taken so that you know what signs to look for on a daily basis.
  • If the rabbit looks sick, ask about what treatment it will have and whether it would still be available for adoption in the future.
Buy a Rabbit Step 5

Step 5. Get a rabbit at the right age

No rabbit should be marketed or adopted under the age of eight weeks, which is the time it takes to be weaned and start consuming solid foods. Never do business with a place that sells baby rabbits, as this is a sign of unethical breeding.

Buy a Rabbit Step 6

Step 6. Assess if it is possible to catch more than one rabbit

As these pets are very sociable, they can be lonely in the cage. Still, having two of them at home is not that simple as they are picky about the company and you need to evaluate several points before making this decision.

  • The recommended thing is to join two animals of opposite sexes, but you can also have two of the same sex if they are two females, since two males together usually fight.
  • Only gather rabbits if they are neutered. Unneutered pets can become aggressive and develop destructive habits out of sexual frustration.
  • A good idea is to arrange a meeting for the two of them in a neutral location. The shelter should have a separate space for animal interaction that can help assess whether the pair would work.
Buy a Rabbit Step 7

Step 7. Purchase the starting materials

The rabbit needs a few things to be able to lead a healthy and happy life. You will need to buy a nursery or a cage with several floors, for example, as well as food pots, drinking fountains, litter box and chewable toys.

  • You also need to buy lining for the cage or the aviary.
  • A shovel to collect faeces and a safe disinfectant for animals are important for cleaning.
  • The rabbit will also need a house to rest and sleep.
  • The rabbit will need feed, hay as well as fresh vegetables.
  • The store's employees can provide the necessary assistance, helping you to buy everything you will need to take care of the pet.

Part 2 of 2: Making a decision

Buy a Rabbit Step 8

Step 1. Calculate the expenses you will have with the rabbit

It is normal that initial and long-term costs end up accumulating and generating high values. The initial cost depends on the species of rabbit and where the purchase will be made, and may vary from R$ 60 to R$ 400. The monthly costs to keep the animal should be around R$ 50 - including feed, lining. for the cage and other supplements, but does not include veterinary consultations. Before making the purchase, make your budget calculations and see if this animal fits in your pocket.

  • The initial expense includes a cage, feeding pots, protectors for electrical wires - since rabbits like to bite everything around the house -, a litter box and toys.
  • Monthly costs include cage lining, feed, toys, hay and fresh vegetables.
  • There are also other varied costs, such as veterinary appointments and treatments and the exchange of furniture and toys for the pet.
Buy a Rabbit Step 9

Step 2. Assess whether you have enough time to care for the pet

Keeping a pet rabbit is time consuming. You need to feed it twice a day, take care of its cage every day and do a thorough cleaning of the pet's space once a week. All this without counting his daily mental stimuli, such as games and exercises.

  • The rabbit needs to play outside the cage for at least an hour a day. This can be done in a playpen or in a closed room that does not present any risks to him.
  • Healthy rabbits can live up to ten years. Assess whether you are ready to commit for that long before buying or adopting a pet.
Buy a Rabbit Step 10

Step 3. Study more about the behavior and temperament of rabbits

Just like any animal, rabbits have unique personalities. Some don't like being held and can bite anyone who tries to handle them, while others love a lap. Many rabbits don't mind human interaction at all, while others are very fond of petting.

  • Knowing the different possible temperaments for a rabbit can help you decide if this pet is right for you.
  • A rabbit's personality can also be influenced by the socialization it has had with humans.
  • Rabbits are not good pets for young children, as they may not understand that the pet does not necessarily want to be cuddled or held.
Buy a Rabbit Step 11

Step 4. Choose a breed of rabbit

There are about 50 breeds of rabbits around the world, and it may seem crazy to research them all, but this time will be well invested, believe me. Also understand that some breeds are good for pets, while others are better suited for breeding and presentations.

  • The most popular breeds for domestic breeding are: lion's head, English angora and Dutch dwarf.
  • There are several websites with information about the different breeds of rabbit available in Brazil.
  • For more information about breeds, see a veterinarian, a rabbit owner or a breeder.
Buy a Rabbit Step 12

Step 5. Assess the desired age for the rabbit

As cute as puppies are, they are in the habit of eating and biting everything to strengthen their jaw muscles and explore the environment. While natural and expected, this behavior can be quite destructive. In addition, they don't like to be held in the lap, and this ends up increasing the time needed to form a bond with the tutor.

  • "Teen" rabbits (about three months old) have a lot of energy and get fed up quickly. To catch a rabbit in this age group, invest in lots of toys and free time to keep the animal entertained.
  • Adult rabbits, especially after neutering, are calmer and like to be laped more. These are best suited for those who have children at home.
Buy a Rabbit Step 13

Step 6. Choose between a male or a female

Male rabbits tend to be more aggressive before neutering, while females are more moody. The choice is yours, but, as you can see, there is a pattern: the ideal is to guarantee the neutering of the animal before purchase.

Buy a Rabbit Step 14

Step 7. Find out if anyone in your house is allergic to rabbits

A considerable portion of the population is allergic to rabbits or the hay these animals eat. Ideally, therefore, you should see an allergist to find out if any of you have allergies before purchasing or adopting a rabbit.

  • If you discover an allergy, try to find another type of pet for your family.
  • Many rabbits end up being abandoned because the guardian (or someone in his family) has an allergy to the animal or hay. Identifying this type of problem in advance will minimize problems and prevent you from having to hand over your pet to an NGO.


  • There are many rabbits abandoned in shelters and NGOs. Therefore, research the subject well and understand what care this little animal requires before buying one.
  • Rabbits are not usually good pets for young children, as they are not very fond of being squashed and are stressed by sudden movements and sounds.
  • The ideal is to castrate the animal between three and a half months and its months of life. The male's castration is usually done when his testicles descend, becoming visible.
  • Castration minimizes territory marking, the tendency to bite things, and aggression.


  • A rabbit bite can be quite destructive. So make lots of toys available for the pet and replace them often.
  • Rabbits can injure themselves and also bite when trying to escape from the guardian's hands. Be careful and try to interpret what the animal is feeling when you pick it up so as not to stress or frighten it.

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