Digging is one of the rabbit’s natural behavior and to help satisfy this behavior, you should allow these pets to dig. Unfortunately, if you allow them to do so in your secured garden or yard, they will cause damage to your yard and lawn and they might escape, or predators may tunnel in.
Also, your rabbit’s run or shed should be paved, have a wire mesh or a base with concrete to avoid these pets tunneling out or predators tunneling into these cages or sheds.
Therefore, to help satisfy this behavior, you should provide alternative things for your furry friends to dig. Remember the digging behavior has been associated with happiness, and it will help in exercising your pet, wearing out their nails and so on. It is a healthy enrichment.
How to make a rabbit digging box
Making one is not a very difficult task. All you need is a box and a substrate they can dig and shred. The box should either be unchewable or safe in case they chew it.
Step 1: choose a box to use
When choosing a box, it should be large and deep enough to allow your furry friend to burrow deep into it. Some of the good options you should consider include the following:
- Untreated wooden box (avoid using pine or cedar as they are poisonous)
- A cardboard box
- a metallic one
- Untreated willow basket or basket made from any other rabbit safe materials
- Some tunneling toys including cardboard concrete tubes, runaround rabbit tunnels, among others.
- Pots such as flower pots
- Plastic boxes, washing up bowls, and storage containers
Some items such as an old towel, rug, or blanket do not need any substrate and your bunnies will enjoy digging them. However, they may be harmful if ingested especially if they cause blockages.
Also, your furry friends will also enjoy shredding phonebooks (with glossy outer covering removed), old newspapers and so on. This will also help satisfy the urge to burrow.
Step 2: Choosing safe substrates to use
Once you have a box, basket or tunnel to use, you should look for a suitable substrate to use to fill it with and some of the safe substrate to use include the following:
- Untreated wood chips or pellets except for those from pine and cedar
- Shredded newspaper and paper shavings
- Soil and baby safe sand
- Shredded cardboard
- Straws (hay that has turned brown)
When choosing the substrate, avoid dusty ones as they may affect your pet’s respiratory system or those that can cause intestinal blockages if ingested.
Step 3: Fill the boxes with a substrate
To have it, simply fill any of the substrates into the digging box and you are done. It is nothing so difficult that you cannot do.
However, do not fill it to the brim as your furry friend scatter the various substrates all over their cages or runs as they dig.
Rabbit digging toys
If you prefer buying a digging toy, there are many brands in the market which you can go for. You can buy the Sisal Carpet Chewing and Digging Station Rabbit Accessories or Small Pet Select Hand Made Digging Platform.
Alternatively, filling digging and shredding materials into the Pawhut Small Wooden Bunny / Guinea Pig House or WARE Rabbit Den will make them good digging toys.
Best rabbit digging boxes ideas
While researching, we found the following great ideas for burrowing areas for your furry friends and they should inspire you as you try to make your own.
Can you use a sandbox for rabbits and Is sand safe for rabbits?
Sometimes, you may consider the use of sandpits filled with child-friendly sand and let your furry friend burrow inside them. However, we do not recommend sand in general due to the following reasons:
- It can stick on your bunny’s fur even if he or she is a fastidious cleaner as it will often go near their skin
- Some bunnies may swallow sand particles and if they accumulate, they can cause gastrointestinal issues. Also, sand can end up in their lungs.
- Sand may accumulate around its ears and possibly cause infections
- It could create a mess if your bunny tosses the sound outside of the box
Despite all these reasons, you can still use soil or child safe sand since even in the wild, bunnies dig in soil and sand.
The rabbit digging behavior should not be punished. Instead, you should consider the various toys and boxes available.
Finally, you need to encourage and train your bunnies to use these burrowing areas including boxes, pots or baskets. This will reduce their urge to do this on other things and thereby cause damages.