Surprisingly, rabbits are one of the most popular pets in Thailand. Many Thai girls (or their boyfriends!) buy rabbits, and so do some of the expats who live here. Thousands of rabbits are sold every month at markets all over Thailand.
I’ve bought several pet rabbits over the years at one of the local Bangkok markets. From my experiences buying a rabbit in Bangkok, Thailand, I’ve learned the best places to buy a rabbit and also what not to do when you buy a rabbit. These tips will show you how and where to buy a healthy pet rabbit in Bangkok, Thailand, so you don’t end up with an unhealthy bunny and a skyrocketing vet bill.
1. Don’t buy a rabbit on the street – Every night on hundreds of streets in Bangkok and in the rest of the country, you will see little stalls set up with rabbit breeders selling rabbits. These rabbits are squashed into tiny cages, or perched on the top of them and tied with a string around their necks so they don’t fall off.
They’re often wearing little dresses (which I think is an incredibly cruel thing to do to a defenseless rabbit), and they sit there for hours breathing in the poisonous fumes from the horrendous traffic in Bangkok.
I made the mistake of buying a rabbit from one such breeder (primarily because I felt so sorry for the little thing, stuffed into a teeny tiny cage and wearing a little pink tutu). The rabbit I bought was sick from the minute I got it and it died less than a week later. Thai friends have told me they have had similar experiences, so don’t buy a rabbit from a street stall.
2. Make sure you know what sex the rabbit is – As much as most Thais are incredibly nice people, you can’t always trust sellers when they tell you about an item they’re selling. Case in point, don’t let them sex a rabbit for you.
I bought two rabbits at Chatuchak Weekend Market and asked the breeder what sex they were. She was adamant they were two boys so I bought them. Five months later, I had two new arrivals – which is weird, as I didn’t know two males could mate and produce babies.
Make sure, if you buy a rabbit in Thailand, you either sex the rabbit yourself or take a friend who can do it for you. Sexing a baby rabbit is difficult but, especially if you’re buying more than one and don’t want rabbit babies, it’s important to be sure what sex the rabbits are.
3. Buying rabbits at a Thai market – Many rabbit breeders in Thailand sell their rabbits at local markets. At Chatuchak Weekend Market there are probably more than 50 rabbit breeders selling rabbits. Make sure, though, if you buy a rabbit at any local market in Thailand, you walk around first and check out all the rabbit breeders.
If their shops are dirty and the rabbits don’t look well taken care of, or if there are many rabbits stuffed into one tiny cage, you can guarantee they have not been taken care of back at the breeding farm either.
Only buy from a rabbit breeder at a Thai market that has a clean shop, clean cages, offers to sell you (or give you) good quality rabbit food and doesn’t pressure you too much to purchase.
4. Buy from a breeder who knows about rabbits – Surprisingly, many rabbit breeders in Thailand don’t always know much about rabbits. The woman I bought from gave me bad information about the sex of my rabbits but she did have some good advice about which cage to buy, what food was best, she knew about Timothy hay, what rabbit food is healthy and sizes of food portions etc.
A lot of the breeders at markets in Thailand don’t speak much English, but they will usually speak enough that they can tell you a little bit about the rabbit you want to buy and what you should feed it. If they don’t, move on to a rabbit breeder that does.
5. Prices for rabbits in Thailand – The price of rabbits in Thailand does differ quite a bit. You can buy a Thai rabbit from some Thai market breeders for as cheap as 150 baht (around US $4.25).
My recommendation though is to pay a little bit more as, from personal experience, the cheaper ones don’t always live very long. I paid 250 baht (US $7.20), for each of mine. I had the first pair for nine years before they died. Now, my second pair are two years old and doing just as well as the first.
You can, of course, also buy imported rabbits, but they tend to run upwards of 6,000 baht ($169), so be sure you really want one before you pay that kind of price.
6. Buying a rabbit cage and rabbit toys in Thailand – Once you’ve picked out and bought a rabbit, you will also need to buy a cage, rabbit pellets and vegetables, and water dishes, and some fun rabbit toys. Thailand is cheap for all of these items.
I spent 400 baht (US $11.25) on my first rabbit cage and it housed two rabbits nicely for the first six months until they outgrew it.
My current cage is an enormous metal cage with a removable tray at the bottom to easily clean the poop. It nicely houses two large rabbits with lots of room to spare. I paid 600 baht (US $17.70) for it.
I also bought a large, foldable metal pen for 400 baht (US $11.25), which I have set up right outside the cage, so I can leave the cage doors open and the rabbits can run around in the pen free all day.
Many markets in Thailand sell rabbit cages and rabbit supplies and they’re very inexpensive. There are also a few pet shops here, but they are few and far between and are expensive. The little pet shops at the local markets are the best and, if you’re in Bangkok, Chatuchak Market has many pet shops that sell rabbit supplies.
7. If you’re wary about buying a rabbit, check with a Thai vet – If you’re still not sure if where you’re planning on buying a rabbit from is reputable, you can also check with a Thai vet. Most of them will be able to give you the name and address of a breeder although, if you’re in Bangkok, make sure they’re close to where you live.
Bangkok is huge and you don’t want to have to travel for two hours in a taxi to get the rabbit and then two more hours home, accompanied by a freaked out rabbit in a carry cage.
Overall, use some common sense when you think about buying a rabbit in Thailand. Don’t believe everything the seller tells you and don’t buy at the first rabbit breeders you see. Shop around a bit before you make your decision.
Buying a rabbit in Thailand though, can be a lot of fun. Just please make sure, before you buy a rabbit, that you really want one.
Too many Thai girls buy rabbits and, after a few weeks, have either managed to kill them from neglect or have passed them onto a local zoo because they don’t want them any more. Please don’t do the same thing. It’s cruel.