Netherland Dwarf Rabbits are an adorable breed of domestic rabbit originating from the Netherlands. They’re one of the smallest rabbit breeds and, as such, don’t make the best pets for small children. They thrive in quiet and stable environments in homes with a lot of human interaction.
If you’re considering adopting one of these cute-as-a-button rabbits, you must first familiarize yourself with the costs associated with their ownership. These little guys can live to ten years, so you must be prepared to care for your new pet for a decade. Generally, you can pay $30-$100 if you adopt a Netherland Dwarf Rabbit, or $75–$400+ if you buy one from a breeder.
Keep reading to learn everything you need to know about owning a Netherland Dwarf Rabbit so you can budget appropriately.
Bringing Home a New Netherland Dwarf Rabbit: One-Time Costs
Before you start buying the supplies you’ll need for your new pet, you should first consider the costs of acquiring your Netherland Dwarf Rabbit. As with any other type of animal, there are three main ways you can get your new rabbit, each with its own pros and cons.
Potential Netherland Dwarf Rabbit owners that are on a budget may be able to find their new pet for free from a variety of sources. Sometimes people looking to rehome their rabbits will post them for free on community bulletin boards or online marketplaces.
While this is obviously the most cost-effective way to acquire your rabbit, it doesn’t come without its risks. Before you bring home any free pet, inquire with the previous owner about why they’re looking to rehome it. Also, ask for veterinary records to ensure the pet you’re interested in doesn’t have any special needs or diseases you should know about.
Another downside is that the pet you buy may already be a few years old and have poor behaviors that need to be addressed.
Adopting a Netherland Dwarf Rabbit from a local pet store or rescue is another popular way to acquire your new pet. The bonus of adopting through a store or shelter is that the rabbit will likely already be up-to-date on all of its vaccinations and will have seen a vet before being put up for sale. This will help alleviate some of the financial barriers you may have when first adopting a new pet.
The downside of adoption is that the animal you receive may already be a few years old, and its personality and behaviors will already be set in stone. This may mean you have to out-train bad behavior.
Buying a Netherland Dwarf Rabbit from a breeder may be expensive, but the extra cost may be worthwhile. Breeders have a lot of experience with their rabbits and often will start handling the babies from day one. Often, a shy and nippy rabbit is due to poor husbandry and insufficient handling, but this isn’t the case with a high-quality breeder who’s in the business for the right reasons.
Buying from a breeder also means you’ll get a purebred rabbit. Of course, there’s nothing wrong with mixed breed pets, but if a Netherland Dwarf Rabbit is your dream pet, you don’t want to settle for a mix.
The final price will depend upon many factors, including the rabbit’s color, age, show potential, breeding potential, and pedigree.
Initial Setup and Supplies
Your biggest upfront cost for Netherland Dwarf Rabbit supplies is likely to be the enclosure. There are several different kinds to choose from, including wire-sided cages, exercise pens, or hutches. Generally speaking, the more room your new pet has to run about, the better. An exercise pen will be much more cost-effective than a pricy hutch.
Of course, you can’t forget the other necessary supplies like bedding, grooming supplies, treats, toys, litter, and things you’ll need to protect your home from your rabbit (and your rabbit from your home).
List of Netherland Dwarf Rabbit Care Supplies and Costs
|Food and water bowls||$20|
|Litter box and scoop||$15|
|Hiding house (optional)||$25|
How Much Does a Netherland Dwarf Rabbit Cost Per Month?
$65–$220 per month
Your biggest monthly expense as a Netherland Dwarf Rabbit owner will be food as your pet needs pellets, hay, and fresh produce daily. Many of the other expenses we’ll review below are unnecessary or, in the case of grooming and toys, can easily be DIY’ed by savvy rabbit owners.
$10–$25 per month
Your rabbit should see the vet annually for a wellness exam, which will run you between $75 and $200. You should also ensure it gets its yearly vaccines, which will be around $50 for the year, in addition to the initial shots, which are around $100. The above-mentioned quote includes the yearly wellness exam and vaccines.
However, if your rabbit has medical needs, you should be prepared to pay a bit more for its care because it’s considered an exotic pet. Not every vet will feel comfortable providing adequate care for a rabbit, so it’s important to find one in your area with a lot of experience.
The Netherland Dwarf is considered a brachycephalic breed, which means it has a flattened face. This feature certainly makes them adorable, but it can also cause serious health complications if their teeth continue to grow and don’t line up correctly. Dental malocclusion can be life-threatening, so you’ll need to get into the habit of checking its teeth to ensure they’re not becoming overgrown.
If your Netherland Dwarf is healthy, you shouldn’t need a monthly budget for health care. We always recommend setting aside a small portion of your monthly income to cover unexpected medical costs. A single emergency visit can cost you $200 or more, so it’s never a bad idea to have some extra money to fall back on.
$40–$65 per month
The ongoing food costs for your Netherland Dwarf include hay, pellets, and fresh produce. How often you’ll have to buy the hay and pellets will depend on how much you buy in one go. For example, a 90-ounce bag of Timothy hay at Petco is around $22, but a square bale from your local farmer or feed store will cost approximately $15 on average. The bale will last you much longer than the bag, but you also need to consider if you have a place to safely store a bale, which can weigh 50 pounds or more.
Pellets ensure your rabbit gets the necessary vitamins and minerals that hay cannot provide. The cost will depend on the size of the bag, but it’s relatively low, considering a bag should last you several months.
The cost of fresh produce will depend on what type of fruits and vegetables you’re offering, where you live, and whether or not they’re in season. You can find veggies for less than $1 per pound, and a single shopping trip should last your pet a week or two. We recommend investing in a produce keeper to keep the produce fresher for longer.
$0–$40 per month
Rabbit groomer is a relatively simple task that most owners choose to tackle themselves. You’ll need to brush its fur and remove any mats or debris as required. Its nails will also need to be trimmed. Rabbits have scent glands in various spots throughout their body, but the ones near their bottoms can produce a strong-smelly waxy substance that may need attention.
You will need to cut its nails monthly and brush its fur every few days.
If you prefer to have your pet professionally groomed, your costs will depend on the services your rabbit needs. A full-service groom, as quoted below, includes several services such as brush out, nail trims, scent gland cleaning, and ear cleaning. This service does not need to be done monthly but every three months or so if your rabbit needs it.
Please keep in mind that it can be incredibly difficult to find a professional groomer who offers rabbit services.
|Nail trim + scent gland cleaning||$30|
$0–$35 per month
Finding a pet insurance company that offers insurance plans for exotic pets like Netherland Dwarf Rabbits can be tough, but luckily, you have a few options. The cost of your plan will depend on what’s covered, but you can expect most basic plans to start at around $10 per month, keeping in mind the cheaper your monthly premium, the less coverage you’ll have.
Of course, pet insurance is not necessary, but it’s worth considering if it can fit into your budget. According to PetAssure, rabbits often have health issues like bladder and ear infections, gastrointestinal issues, and tumors. These health conditions can rack up vet bills very quickly, so investing in pet insurance can provide peace of mind knowing you’ll have help financially if needed.
$18–$42 per month
Your rabbit needs litter for its litter box. The best kind is paper-based and unscented, as it provides the best absorbency and odor control.
Providing the right bedding for your rabbit ensures it stays warm, safe, and comfortable. If your rabbit stays inside most of the time, you might not need bedding at all, provided your pet has access to soft flooring. Outdoor rabbits will need some bedding for insulation, however.
Unfortunately, rabbits often try to eat their bedding, so you need to choose something that will not cause any harm if it does try to eat it. We recommend paper, aspen shavings, or straw.
Cleaning supplies are necessary, but they don’t need to be a huge cost. For example, baking soda with water and vinegar mixtures are great if your pet’s home needs a good scrubbing. If you prefer to buy commercially produced cleaners, Kaytee’s Clean Cage Small Animal Habitat Deodorizer Spray is a great option. The bottle is $18, but it will last a long time.
Rabbits can be destructive little guys, especially if they’re not given the right type of enrichment (see Entertainment below). You may need to factor in the costs of furniture, carpet, or flooring repair if your Netherland Dwarf gets itself into some trouble.
$0–$20 per month
Rabbits need access to a lot of toys for mental stimulation. This will not only provide them with some much-needed entertainment but also prevent your pet from destroying things in your home out of boredom. Individual rabbit toys can cost anywhere between $5 and $20, but you don’t need to spend a single cent on toys if you’re savvy enough. Your rabbit won’t know the difference between a toy you’ve made and one you bought from the toy store. You can make toys from paper-based products like toilet or paper towel rolls or cardboard boxes.
Total Monthly Cost of Owning a Netherland Dwarf Rabbit
$65–$220 per month
You should expect to pay a minimum of around $65 per month to care for your Netherland Dwarf Rabbit. However, you don’t need to spend anywhere near the top end of our estimate, especially if you prefer a more hands-on approach to your rabbit’s care by tackling the grooming and toy-making processes yourself. If you opt out of pet insurance, we recommend putting aside a portion of your income into a savings account to ensure you have backup funds available in case of emergencies.
Additional Costs to Factor In
Other costs you may occasionally incur as a Netherland Dwarf Rabbit owner include veterinary bills for pet sitters when you’re away on vacation, emergency treatments, supply replacement due to wear and tear, and furniture and flooring repair or replacement.
You might not necessarily spend any money on these incidentals during your rabbit’s lifetime, but it’s good to know where unexpected costs can pop up so you can be prepared for them.
Owning a Netherland Dwarf Rabbit on a Budget
A healthy Netherland Dwarf Rabbit is one of the most inexpensive pets to care for. Not only is the purchase price much less than that of a dog, but your monthly costs are affordable in comparison, too. The exception is if your rabbit has special needs or isn’t in great health. Veterinary care for exotic animals can be very expensive, and you don’t want to skimp out on it, even if you’re trying to stick to a strict budget.
Saving Money on Netherland Dwarf Rabbit Care
Potential Netherland Dwarf Rabbit owners can save much money on their pets’ care by being creative and having some shopping savviness. You can DIY many things in your rabbit’s environment, including pricy things like its enclosure and things you’ll need to replace often, like its toys.
You can also save money by shopping around for monthly expenses like food. For example, scour pet store flyers to find the best deals on pellets and shop around to find the most cost-effective source of hay (spoiler alert: it’s going to be a local farmer or feed supply store).
Use technology to your advantage by downloading apps like Flipp or adding Chrome extensions like Honey to help you find the best deals and awesome coupon codes to save you money.
Potential Netherland Dwarf Rabbit owners can expect to pay between absolutely nothing and $400+ to acquire their rabbit. However, only those looking for a “show-quality” pet should expect to pay the higher end of that quote. The initial setup fees typically start at around $340 and can go up to $650, and the monthly costs for rabbit ownership can be as low as $65 or as high as $220. Savvy pet owners can save a lot of money by DIYing toys, shopping for the best deals, or buying second-hand things.
The most important takeaway as you consider if adopting a Netherland Dwarf is right for your family is that your pet, as with any other pet, will need your time, attention, and money. Therefore, be realistic with your budget in your decision-making process, as you won’t want to rehome your pet down the line if you find you can no longer afford to care for it.
Featured Image Credit: RATT_ANARACH, Shutterstock