A digging box is one of the best free toys you can make for your bunny. All you need to do is fill a cardboard box with things your bunny would like to forage around in and they will be happy for hours, and the best thing is it contains all the mess.
In this guide we look at the pro's and Con's of different types of boxes and show you the best way to prepare a cardboard box.
We also go into details about what's good and bad to use as fillings for the box.
A bored bunny is a nighty bunny so keep them out of trouble by building one of these brilliant toys.
It's important for your bunnies happiness and health to enrich their environment and allow them to do many of the things they would naturally do in the wild. One such important activity is to forage for young roots and shoots 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 digging boxes are such great toys that your bunny is going to want to play with over and over again. It satisfies your bunnies need to forage for food and also stops the mess from destruction going everywhere by containing it.
First choose a container big enough for your bunny to turn around in and low enough to easily jump in and out of.
Cardboard boxes are best as your bunny will enjoy chewing and wrecking them as well. Make sure you remove any tape or staples.
Next fill the box with anything you think your bunny will like. Straw, paper and old toilet roll tubes work well, Plastic and paper with heavy incs should be avoided. Sand and soil are OK but can be messy.
One additional benefit of a digging box is that 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 somewhere you bunny will feel safe as if it's 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 sure you keep an eye on it and if your bunny starts eating a lot of the material or accidentally mistakes it for a litter tray and uses it as a toilet area, then it is best to get rid of it completely and maybe try again another time to break the habit.
The first thing you are going to need is something big enough for your bunny and a load of stuff to fit in. Its 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 containers 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 it is chewed.
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 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 definitely 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 makes a great choice as it is 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. It is best to avoid newspapers or magazines as the inks could be harmful if your bunny eats a lot of it.
Straw and hay are also good digging box fillers as they are cheap and are also a good way of encouraging your bunny to eat more of 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 throw in a few interesting things to 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, pine cones, and bunny safe twigs you can forage yourself can make the box just as much fun.
To keep your bunnies interested it is 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.