How to build a digging box for your bunny
It’s important for your bunnies happiness and healthy to enrich their environment and allow them to do many of the things they would naturally. One such important activity in the wild is to forage for young roots and shots in the undergrowth. Unfortunately, this behavior in your home can turn into digging up your plant pots, tugging up your carpet or flooring or shredding your soft furnishings, cushions and shredding your wallpaper.
That’s why a digging box is a toy you bunny is going to play with over and over again and the best thing is it also stops all the mess from the destruction going everywhere.
It can be placed over a spot of carpet that is being chewed or up against an area of wallpaper that your bunny has been chewing or shredding. It's the perfect distraction to keep your bunny out of trouble.
Remember not all bunnies are diggers and yours might not choose to play in the box so don’t be discouraged if it's not used straight away. You can encourage your bunny to play in it by placing the box some where you bunny will feel safe as if its in the middle of the room your bunny may not feel comfortable burying its head in it. You can also try hiding some treats in there to make it more attractive.
Make should you keep an eye on the digging box and if your bunny start eating a lot of the material then it’s probably best to limit how much it’s used. If you bunny accidental mistakes if for a litter tray and uses it as a toilet area, then its best to get rid of it completely and maybe try again another time.
How to choose the best box to use for a bunnies digging box
The first thing you are going to need is something big enough for your bunny and a load of stuff to fit in. It's purpose is also to contain the mess from the digging and shredding so it needs to have sides high enough to keep the stuff inside but still allow your bunny to hop in and out.
Cardboard boxes make an excellent choice as they are free and can be changed from time to time if they become tatty and to keep interest. Make sure it’s made of a safe material such as plain cardboard without heavy ink or a plastic finish and remove any tape or staples.
Plastic bowls or boxes will also work well although they can be slippery so make sure your bunny can get stuck inside. Some thin plastic storage containing can break leaving sharp edges so choose something robust.
A wicker basket would be great, you would expect it to get eaten though. Avoid anything that looks like it's been treated in heavy varnish in case its chewed.
What's the best filling to use in my bunnies digging box
If you are thinking of making a digging box for your bunny or are looking for some new ideas as to what you can put in it to make it more interesting then we we have put together this guide for you. We look at the good points and the bad points of some of the stuff people have tried in their digging box as well as things that should defiantly be avoided.
The obvious thing to put in a digging box is soil or sand, however we would not recommend this as it can be very messy leaving dirt in your home that is kicked out or spread about on your bunnies feet. It also does not leave many options for putting things in there that your bunny can forage for.
The favorite choice of filler for most people is shredded paper, like waste from a paper shredder that's cut into strips like confetti. Paper based packing material also make a great choice as its typically unprocessed and often makes a nice scrunchy noise which is a bonus. If you put any paper in avoid glossy print and make sure any staples are removed. Its best to avoid newspaper or magazines as the inks could be harmful if your bunny eats a lot of it.
Straw and hay are also good as its cheap and it's a good way of encouraging you bunny to eat more of it which is good for them.
Don't use bubble wrap or the foam pellet or block fillers. Any synthetic material may be an issue as this can cause a problem if digested.
It's best not to put any sort of material you use in their litter tray as your bunny may easily confuse this new box with another so make sure you use something different. If your bunny does start using their digging box as a litter tray you will need to remove it in case you disturb their good litter training behavior.
As well as a base material it can be good to through in a few interesting things to make give them something to forage for. There are lots of chew toys you can buy from a pet store that will work well such as willow sticks and balls as well as wooden chew toys. This can be a great place to give your bunny any of the chew treats you can buy as it will contain any mess as they fall apart.
You don't have to spend any money on toys for your bunnies digging box, toilet roll tubes, pinecones, and bunny safe twigs you can forage yourself can make the box just as much fun.
To keep your bunnies interest its best to keep swapping the content out every so often so there are lots of new things to find. This will help remove any soiled materials and keep your bunny coming back to see what they can find.
Materials you can use
- Shredded paper
- Toilet roll tubes
Materials you should not use
- Glossy magazines
- Inky news paper
- Foam plastic packing material
Need more help? Why not ask the Bunny proofing group!
We are a community of house rabbit enthusiasts that love to share our experiences of living with these special pets. We like posting tips on enriching our bunnies environments, preventing damage to our homes and making them safe for our bunnies to live in.