How to make a digging box for your rabbit

Bunnys naturally love to dig and forage for treats so making a digging box is one of the best toys to let them play and keep them out of trouble when they want to dig and shred. They are free to make, are great for containing the mess normally caused by shredded paper and can help stop the damage from pull up and chew your carpet or dig in your plant pots and shredding your wall paper. Follow the guide below to see what what other bunny owners put in their digging box and what should be avoided.
Rabbit playing in digging box

Build a digging box and let your rabbit play without damaging your home or making a mess.
It’s important for your rabbits 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 create burrows to live by digging into the earth and forage for young roots and shots in the undergrowth. Unfortunately this behaviour in you home can turn into digging up your garden or plant pots, tugging up your carpet or flooring or shredding your soft furnishings, cushions and wall paper. That’s why a digging box is a toy you rabbit is going to play in over and over again and the best this is its free, stops all the mess from from the shreddings going everywhere and it can make a great distraction to keep your bunny out of trouble. It can be placed over a spot of carpet that is being chewed or up against an area of wall paper that your rabbit has been chewing or shredding.
How to choose the best box
Rabbit playing digging box
The first thing you are going to need is a large container, its purpose is 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 rabbit to hop in and out. Card board 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. Some wicker baskets can come treated in heavy varnish and even fire retardant chemical so avoid anything that looks to artificial in case its chewed.
What to use as a filling
two rabbits playing in digging box
Next you will need to find a material your rabbit is going to enjoy digging and shredding. You can use soil or sand however this can be very messy leaving dirt in your home and your bunny will be just as happy with an alternative that’s more manageable. A better choice can be shredded paper of some sort, the waste from a paper shredder that’s cut into strips like confetti is a great choice. If you put any paper in avoid glossy print and make sure any staples are removed. Paper based packing material also make a great choice as its unprocessed and often makes a nice scrunchy noise which is a bonus. Don’t use bubble wrap or the foam pellet or block fillers. Straw and hay are also good as its cheap and you rabbit may enjoy eating it. News paper or magazines don’t make a very good choice as the inks can be very heavy. Paper based litter is an option however your rabbit may confuse this will its litter tray so make sure you use something different. Often a variety of material works best as long as its make from a natural and untreated materials and not plastic as these could be harmful I’d digested.
Material

Good materials

  • Shredded paper
  • Straw
  • Twigs
  • Pine cones

Bad materials

  • Glossy magazines
  • Inky news paper
  • Foam plastic packing material
  • Litter
  • Soil
  • Sand
Encouraging use
Digging box for a rabbit
Remember not all rabbits are diggers and yours might not choose to play in the box so don’t be discouraged if its not used straight away. You can encourage your rabbit to play in it by placing the box some where you rabbit will feel safe as if its in the middle of the room your rabbit may not feel comfortable burying its head in it. You can also try hiding some treats in their to make it more attractive.
Keep a close watch to ensure its used properly.
Make should you keep an eye on the digging box and if your rabbit start eating a lot of the material then it’s probably best to limit how much it’s used. If you rabbit 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.

Need more help? Why not ask the Bunny Proofing group!

We are a community of house rabbit enthusiasts with a specific interest in sharing our experiences of living with these special pets. We like posting tips on enriching our rabbits environments, preventing damage to our homes and making them safe for our rabbits to inhabit.