Are you thinking of getting a lionhead rabbit? Awesome! After knowing what they are, their behaviors, and how to deal with them, it’s time to give you practical tips on what you need to know before buying one.
In this, you will get a whole lot of information on its pros and cons, its average associated costs as well as the licensing you need so that you will be well on your way to becoming a legitimate lionhead rabbit pet owner – should you decide to be one! It’s up to you! Read on!
If you are planning to acquire a lionhead rabbit as your pet, there are certain restrictions and regulations that you need to be aware of. Licensing requirements for rabbits varies in different countries, regions, and states.
Here are some things you need to know regarding the acquirement of lionhead rabbits both in United States and in United Kingdom.
United States Licensing for Rabbits
Before you bring home a new pet, it is always a good idea to determine whether there are any laws in your area which require you to register or license your pet.
In many cases, a license or permit is only required for exotic or endangered animals – lionhead rabbits do not qualify.
There are, however, some local regulations which may require you to license your rabbit. For example, the state of Minnesota requires rabbit owners to license their pets at $15 a year – the cost may be higher if the rabbit is not spayed or neutered.
If you plan to breed and sell rabbits, you may be subject to an entirely different set of regulations. According to the Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) Animal Welfare Act, your business must be licensed unless you are only selling rabbits for meat or fiber. If you sell rabbits as pets, you do not need a license if your annual sales are under $500. As always, however, it is a good idea to research the regulations in your area before you do anything – it is better to be safe than sorry.
United Kingdom Licensing for Rabbits
Licensing regulations in the U.K. are always a bit different from the United States. For example, rabbit owners are not required to obtain a license or permit for their rabbits. If you plan to import a rabbit from outside the U.K. or export one outside the country, however, you will need to obtain an animal movement license (AML). This rule is in place because rabies has been eradicated from the U.K. and unregulated imports and exports of live animals could re-introduce the disease.
How Many Lionhead Rabbits Should You Keep?
For the most part, rabbits are naturally very social creatures so they enjoy being kept with other rabbits. It is not necessarily a requirement that you keep two of the same kind of rabbit either – as long as they are similar in size and their cage provides ample space for both, you can keep different breeds of lionhead rabbits together.
The best way to ensure harmony among your rabbits is to raise them together from a young age – ideally younger than 12 weeks.
Ideally one or two lionhead rabbits are fine; just make sure that before you get another one, you can provide for the needs of both rabbits.
If you keep more than two rabbits together, make sure there is no more than one male for every two females. The best combination is an altered male and female pair or a pair of brothers or sisters.
Do Lionhead Rabbits Get Along with Other Pets?
They may or may not get along; there are many factors to consider like their individual temperament.
Their tempers vary from one rabbit to another – some rabbits might be very docile and unflappable while others may be a little more nervous and high-strung. You also have to consider the temperament of your dog or cat.
Some pets have a very low prey drive so you don’t really have to worry about them chasing your rabbit around. Other breeds, however, particularly terriers and other hunting breeds, have a very high prey drive and if your rabbit has a high flight response, it could lead to a dangerous chase.
When it comes to lionhead rabbits getting along with cats, the response is also highly varied. Younger lionhead rabbits may look more like prey to a cat than an adult or full grown rabbit. If your rabbit is larger than your cat, it probably won’t be a problem but you still need to be careful.
The best thing to do is to introduce your pets to each other while they are still young so they grow up together. Even then, you should still supervise their interactions to be safe.
Cost of buying and owning a Lionhead rabbit
Owning a lionhead rabbit doesn’t come cheap! The fact is that, these rabbits require maintenance which means that you have to provide supplies and be able to cover the expenses in order to maintain a healthy lifestyle and environment for your pet.
These things will definitely add up to your daily budget, and the cost will vary depending on where you buy it; the brand of the accessories, the nutrients included in its food and the time being. If you want to seriously own a lionhead rabbit as a pet you should be able to cover the necessary costs it entails.
In this section you will receive an overview of the expenses associated with purchasing and keeping a lionhead rabbit such as food and treats, grooming and cleaning supplies, toys, and regular veterinary care. You will receive an overview of these costs as well as an estimate for each in the following pages of this section.
The initial costs for keeping a lionhead rabbit include those costs that you must cover before you can bring your rabbit home. Some of the initial costs you will need to cover include your rabbit’s cage, food and water equipment, toys and accessories, initial vaccinations, spay/neuter surgery and supplies for grooming, bathing and nail clipping not to mention the cost of the rabbit itself. You will find an overview of each of these costs as well as an estimate for each below.
Purchase Price: $20 – $125
The cost to purchase a lionhead rabbit can vary greatly depending on the breed, where you buy him and whether it was pedigreed or not. You can probably find a backyard breeder offering $15 or below, but you cannot be sure of the breeding quality for these rabbits.
Generally speaking, pet-quality rabbits sell for $20 to $125, maybe even more if.
If you want to invest in a show-quality rabbit, you may have to pay a much higher price – more than $50 and as much as $200 for some breeds.
Cage or Hutch: $35 – $120
When it comes to rabbit cages or pets in general, bigger is better! Rabbits are fairly active animals so they need a cage or hutch large enough that they have space to move around. It is also a good idea to let your rabbit out of the cage on a daily basis, but the cage still needs to be fairly large.
The cost of the cage highly depends on its size, and the materials from which it is made.
Food and Water Bowls: average of $20
In addition to providing your lionhead rabbit with a cage or hutch, you should also make sure he has a set of high-quality food bowls and a water bottle. The best materials food bowls is stainless steel because it is easy to clean and doesn’t harbor bacteria – ceramic is another good option.
The average cost for a quality stainless steel bowl and a rabbit water bottle is about $20. Depending on the brand, some equipment could cost more than the average.
Toys: $50 and up
You need to buy quality toys for your rabbit because these toys help to provide your pet with mental and physical stimulation to prevent boredom. Many toys can also be used as chew toys to help wear down your rabbit’s teeth.
You might want to start off with an assortment of different toys to see which kind your rabbit likes. Plan to budget a cost of around $50 for toys just to be sure you have enough.
Initial Vaccinations: $20 and up
Rabbits don’t need as many vaccinations as cats and dogs, but they should be vaccinated for calcivirus around 12 weeks of age. Your veterinarian can tell you if your rabbit needs any other vaccinations. To cover the cost of these vaccinations you should budget about $20 or more just to be prepared.
Spay/Neuter Surgery: $50 – $150
If you don’t plan to breed your lionhead rabbit you should seriously consider having him or her neutered or spayed. Unfortunately, the cost to spay or neuter a small mammal is fairly high – around $50 to $150. However, if you keep two rabbits of the same sex together, it may not be necessary.
In addition to purchasing your rabbit’s cage and other accessories, you should also purchase some basic grooming supplies like nail clippers, a brush, and mild antiseptic ear-cleaning solution.
You should also purchase a litter box if you want to litter train your rabbit.
The cost for these items will vary depending on the quality and also quantity, so you should budget about $50 or more for these extra costs.
The monthly costs for keeping a lionhead rabbit as a pet include those costs which recur on a monthly basis. The most important monthly cost for keeping a rabbit is, of course, food. In addition to food, however, you’ll also need to think about things like your bedding, litter, toy replacements, and veterinary exams.
Here is the overview of each of these costs as well as an estimate for each need.
Food and Treats: $20 – $30
Feeding your lionhead rabbit a healthy diet is very important for his health and wellness. Rabbits usually eat about 1 ounce of food per pound of bodyweight, so you can expect a 5-pound rabbit to eat about 9 pounds of food per month. Rabbit pellets usually cost about $8 or so for 5 pounds of food. For a lionhead rabbit, you should budget about $10 to $20 per month for food, depending on the rabbit’s appetite and size. You should also provide your rabbit with fresh hay and vegetables which can cost an extra $10 a month or so.
…Bedding and Litter: around $20
Whether or not you need bedding for your rabbit cage will depend on the type of cage you use. Even if you don’t use bedding in the whole cage, you should still provide some kind of hideaway lined with comfy bedding for your lionhead rabbit to sleep in. It is also recommended that you replace your rabbit’s litter once in a while. You should plan to spend about $20 a month on bedding and litter for your rabbit cage.
Veterinary Exams: average of $7
In order to keep your rabbit healthy you should take him to the veterinarian about every six months or so. The average cost for a vet visit for a rabbit is about $40 or more, if you have two visits per year, it averages to about $7 per month.
Other Costs: around $15
In addition to the monthly costs for your rabbit’s food, bedding, litter, and vet visits there are also some other cost you might have to pay occasionally. These costs might include things like replacements for worn-out toys as well as cleaning products. You should budget about $15 per month for extra costs.
Summary of costs
|Purchase Price||$20 – $50…(£16.02 – £40.06)|
|Cage or Hutch||$35 to $120 …(£28.04 to £96.13)|
|Food/Water Equipment||$20 (£16.02)|
|Spay/Neuter||$50 to $150…(£40.06 to £120.17)|
|Total||$245 to $565…(£196.27 to £452.63)|
|Food and Treats||$20 to $30…(£16.02 to £24.03)|
|Veterinary Exams||$7 (£5.61)|
|Other Costs||$15 (£12.02)|
|Total||$62 to $72…(£49.67 to £57.68)|
Pros and Cons of Lionhead Rabbits..
Before you bring a lionhead rabbit home you should take the time to learn the pros and cons of the breed. Every rabbit breed is different so you need to think about the details to determine whether the Lionhead rabbit is actually the right pet for you. In this section you will find a list of pros and cons for the lionhead rabbit breed.
Pros for Lionhead Rabbits
- Lionheads are cute and generally a low-maintenance pet.
- Lionhead rabbits come in a variety of colors depending on the breed which allows you to choose the best option.
- Generally a good pet for smaller living spaces such as condos and apartments.
- Lionhead rabbits are easily trained to use a litter box – makes it easy to clean up after them.
- Generally a friendly, docile pet as long as there is proper introduction or socialization at a young age.
- Lionhead rabbits are easy to care for in terms of their diet – they eat mainly pellets, hay, and fresh veggies.
Cons for Lionhead Rabbits
- Lionhead rabbits are easily frightened, you may need to train and socialize them at a young age, otherwise it could result to potential aggression.
- Lionheads are mostly timid compared to other rabbits.
- Rabbits cannot be kept in their cages 24/7 – they need space and time to explore.
- May not be a good choice for a household that already has cats and/or rabbits.
- Generally not recommended for very young children who don’t know how to handle a rabbit.
- Lionhead rabbits require regular grooming.
- Can be a long-term commitment – most rabbits live anywhere from 8 to 12 years.
- Cost for maintenance will definitely be additional expense.
Need more? Read the Ultimate Guide for Lionhead Rabbits
If you’re still looking for more detail on breeding your rabbits, I’d recommend reading “Lionhead Rabbits: The Ultimate Guide for Lionhead Rabbits”. You can find it on Amazon in paperback or on Kindle.