Note: This article’s statistics come from third-party sources and do not represent the opinions of this website.
Rabbits are one of the most popular types of pets, typically after cats and dogs, as well as fish. They can be kept indoors or outdoors and are considered lower maintenance and easier to care for than cats and dogs.
However, owners do need to be aware that they can live for up to 10 or even 15 years, and they do have ongoing costs during this period. That means the total cost of keeping a rabbit, including buying, spaying, and caring for a rabbit throughout its life, can total $12,000 or more. Spaying is an important part of owning a pet rabbit because a single female rabbit can have as many as 144 kits in a single year, so unprepared owners can quickly be overrun by rabbits.
Below are 11 statistics related to pet rabbits in Canada, including how much it costs to own this type of pet and the effects of the Covid pandemic on rabbit ownership.
The 11 Pet Rabbits in Canada Statistics
- 57% of households in Canada have a pet of some sort.
- It is estimated that 2% of Canadian households have a rabbit or hamster.
- Rabbits are most popular with 18 to 25-year-olds.
- A pet rabbit can live up to 10 years.
- In one year, a single female rabbit can give birth to 144 kits.
- A new pet rabbit can cost anywhere from $50 to $100 or more.
- It costs $85 per month to keep a pet rabbit.
- It costs more than $400 to have a rabbit spayed or neutered.
- More than 60% of pet owners in Canada are spending more on their pets now than 2 years ago.
- Nearly 30% of Canadians adopted a new pet during the Covid pandemic.
- There has been a 1,000% increase in rabbits surrendered since Covid.
1. 57% of households in Canada have a pet of some sort.
One of the most common reasons for owning a pet is companionship. They are said to help combat loneliness. Some pets can also encourage their owners to exercise and get outdoors. Whatever the reasons for ownership, pets are popular in Canada with more than half of all households said to own at least one pet. About 57% of homes own cats, dogs, birds, fish, rabbits, and other pets.
2. It is estimated that 2% of Canadian households have a rabbit or hamster.
(Library and Archives Canada)
While the number of cats and dogs tends to be recorded and tracked, it is difficult to know exactly how many rabbits are kept as domestic animals. They are usually counted with other small mammals, including hamsters, and the most recent estimates suggest that approximately 2% of Canadian households do own at least one rabbit or hamster.
Rabbits are a popular pet for those that can’t own cats or dogs because of living conditions, or because they don’t have the time to commit to walking a dog. They are also popular with families, as an introduction to pet ownership for children. And, because they are small, can be affectionate, and are intriguing animals, they are popular in their own rights.
3. Rabbits are most popular with 18 to 25-year-olds.
When it comes to the people most likely to own rabbits, it is generation Z pet owners that are most likely to own rabbits. About 28% of generation Z survey respondents said that they own at least one rabbit; 19% of millennials said the same thing, compared to just 6% of boomers. For generation Z pet owners, this puts rabbits behind dogs, cats, birds, and hamsters or guinea pigs, but ahead of fish, lizards, and turtles.
4. A pet rabbit can live up to 10 years.
Rabbits are usually considered part of the small animal group of pets. This group includes hamsters, gerbils, rats, and mice. Rabbits are the longest living of this group of animals, typically living up to ten years and with some living as long as 15 years. This means that rabbits can live as long as cats or dogs and require a considerable commitment from owners.
5. In one year, a single female rabbit can give birth to 144 kits.
A female rabbit can give birth roughly once a month and have as few as 5 kits or as many as 15. This means that, over the course of a single year, one female rabbit could have 144 kits or more. Owners that are unprepared for this can quickly find themselves inundated with young rabbits and the problem will get worse as rabbits come to sexual maturity between the age of 3 and 9 months, depending on the size of the breed.
6. A new pet rabbit can cost anywhere from $50 to $100 or more.
There are many ways to acquire a new rabbit. Some owners get them from friends and family, some adopt, and some buy from specialist breeders. Adopting a rabbit usually costs around $50, while buying from a breeder can cost $100 or more. Considering the number of kits that a rabbit can have, it is always worth checking notice boards and online groups for your area, if you are interested in taking on a pet rabbit. There may be desperate owners looking to rehome young rabbits.
7. It costs $85 per month to keep a pet rabbit.
(My House Rabbit)
The cost of buying a rabbit is not the only up-front cost and is really only a small portion of what a rabbit owner will pay over the life of their pet. Rabbits need grass hay, fresh vegetables, and pellets every day. They also need a litter box and litter and, at some point, will likely require vet services. Some owners also pay for grooming services. On average, it costs $85 per month to keep a pet rabbit, which equates to around $1,000 a year. If a rabbit lives to 15 years old, this means a total cost for food and ongoing care of $15,000.
8. It costs more than $400 to have a rabbit spayed or neutered.
(Global News 2)
One of the most important costs associated with owning a pet rabbit is paying for them to be spayed or neutered. One female rabbit can have more than 100 kits in a single year, and every female kit has the potential to go on and give birth to a similar number of kits herself. Spaying or neutering can cost around $400 per rabbit but is an important step that every pet rabbit should undergo.
9. More than 60% of pet owners in Canada are spending more on their pets now than 2 years ago.
Globally, pet owners spend more on their pets now than they did two years ago, and this figure is likely similar in Canada. Reasons for the increase in spending include an increase in the cost of goods but is also to compensate for the fact that, as people have returned to work after spending Covid working from home or unable to go to work, pets are being left alone for longer periods and owners are compensating for this.
The Effects of Covid
10. Nearly 30% of Canadians adopted a new pet during the Covid pandemic.
(Global News 1)
Covid had a profound effect on people around the world, and one of the ways in which a lot of people tried to overcome the solitude and loneliness of lockdowns was to invest in new pets. Nearly 30% of Canadians reported buying or adopting a new pet during lockdown. While many new owners took on cats and dogs for their companionship, some owners also brought rabbits into their homes and daily lives.
11. There has been a 1,000% increase in rabbits surrendered since Covid.
(Global News 2)
Unfortunately, Covid hasn’t proven to be all good news for pets. While more pets were adopted and bought during lockdowns, as people have returned to work and their daily lives have returned to normal, many owners find they are unable to properly care for their new pets. As a result, one rabbit shelter has reported a 1,000% increase in the number of rabbits that have been surrendered by their owners.
Frequently Asked Questions About Canada Pet Rabbits
Do Pet Rabbits Need Vaccinations?
Generally, rabbits do not need regular vaccinations, unlike cats and dogs that both require annual vaccinations. In some areas, however, vets may recommend regular vaccinations to avoid contracting conditions like hemorrhagic disease. This is only typical in areas where the condition is endemic and your vet will let you know if it is recommended. (VCA Canada)
Are Rabbits Good Pets?
Rabbits can make very good pets for the right owners. They do need appropriate housing, regular feeding, and ongoing care. They also need regular exercise, but it isn’t usually necessary to walk a rabbit in the same way as you have to walk a pet dog.
Do Rabbits Like to Cuddle?
Many rabbits do like to cuddle, but this isn’t always the case. Some rabbits prefer to be left alone and while some are happy in the company of their owners, this doesn’t mean that they like to be picked up and cuddled. Every rabbit is different and if yours tries to get away from a cuddle or refuses to be picked up, you shouldn’t push the issue.
Are Rabbits Easy to Take Care Of?
Rabbits are often viewed as being hands-off pets that do not require much care, but this isn’t strictly true. As well as providing housing and other items, you should give a rabbit regular petting and handling to help ensure they don’t bite and get the companionship they desire. You may also need to groom, ensure that claws are clipped, and you will also need to check teeth length.
Rabbits need exercise, typically provided in an outdoor run, so you may also need to move the rabbit from one area of their home to another and back again. Rabbits can make great pets, but they do require proper attention.
Rabbits can make excellent pets for people of all ages, but they do require proper care and attention. They can live up to 15 years, which means that taking on a pet rabbit is not a short-term thing.
And, while rabbits can live outdoors, they still need regular attention, especially if you want to be able to hold and pet your rabbit. The longer they are left without human contact, the less accepting they will be of future contact.
Although not as popular as pets like cats and dogs, rabbits are a popular pet, and it is believed that approximately 2% of Canadian households own at least one rabbit or hamster.
Featured Image Credit: Paul Reeves Photography, Shutterstock