Rabbits and Digging
Do rabbits dig out of boredom, fun or general mischief? We look into the behaviors of our floppy-eared friends and dive deeper down the rabbit hole to discover why they dig. There are some simple Omlet approved hacks that might just do the trick!
In the wild
Wild rabbits live in burrows, a network of underground mazes where they feel safe and protected from predators such as foxes and dogs. Digging is a necessity, a matter of survival. Without it, they would be left open to attack, which is why rabbits have evolved into these digging machines!
Have you ever noticed just how big their paws are? All the better for pounding away at the dirt as well as their sharp claws and teeth, perfect for scraping at the earth. Maintaining their burrows is a big job too, no one else is going to do it!
All rabbits have their own behaviors and personalities, but females tend to be the most determined diggers because they instinctively prepare themselves for nesting. Certain traits like this will be apparent in our domesticated bunnies as often this behavior is innate in them.
Fun & Exercise
Digging is not just instinctive though, it is a fun activity and also great exercise (think Zumba for rabbits!), so rather than trying and eliminate it completely it’s a good idea to give pet rabbits ways that they can use this natural behavior without destroying areas of your home.
At Omlet we developed the Zippi rabbit tunnel system, so that our pet bunnies can feel at home and comfortable, while also keeping your garden intact!
The tunnels provide an extensive playground of interconnecting tunnels that keep rabbits entertained, similar to the burrows their wild ancestors would be used to.
Play is fundamental to the well-being and mental health of all animals and it’s a good sign when they play, though some are more mischievous than others.
Constant digging and disruption will not only cause havoc and be a general concern to you, but it could also be a sign that your rabbit is bored or lonely. These bunnies are naturally very sociable little creatures and love company, whether it’s from other rabbits, guinea pigs or even cats and dogs (this will depend on the nature of each animal, don’t take our word for it!). We do, however, recommend giving your rabbits a housemate or two, because they really do thrive in this environment. If you do only have one rabbit, then they will need more attention and entertainment than those who cohabit.
Space to explore
If you start to notice some aggressive and disruptive behaviour in your rabbit it could be due to lack of space. Just because they are small mammals, they can still outgrow their living environment and will thrive from more space and stimulation. The Zippi Rabbit Playpens will provide your rabbit with more room to grow and explore in a safe environment.
They are simple to install, move and maintain and they can be easily extendable, offering endless possibilities and endless fun!
“The devil makes work for idle hands”, which can easily be applied to rabbits! The idler they are, the more trouble they will cause. So, keeping busy equals less digging. Provide lots to do to keep your rabbit busy! Listed below are a few tips, or as we like to call them, bunny proofing tactics.
Place a cardboard box or a plastic box (which may last longer) in the hutch and fill it with soil, paper, twigs, anything that will provide a little resistance, so that the rabbit can satisfy the urge to dig while also burning some excess energy!
Scatter your rabbits’ favorite treats around a designated “digging spot” to reward their burrowing efforts and hopefully sway them from digging elsewhere. It may not work the first time, but over time, they should get used to the new routine, while being rewarded with some tasty rabbit snacks.
Indoor and outdoor rabbits enjoy organizing! In other words, they like to pull, bite, tug and scratch the materials around them. This is called “bunching”. Not only is this a great source of entertainment, it also keeps them physically and mentally busy. Use some old bath mats, rugs or towels and let them “bunch” as much as they want, providing a good distraction from creating a huge hole in your flowerbed. Be careful with the type of fabric though, if anything shreds too easily it could become a choking hazard so keep an eye on it and be sure to change the fabric if it becomes too thin.
Some rabbits will dig out of frustration and the need to escape and find a mate. Spaying your rabbit will mean that it won’t have this impulse which could also lead to behavioral problems. It is also recommended that rabbits are spayed if they are living with other rabbits, even same-sex ones.
The Omlet Eglu Go Rabbit Hutch, is made from a strong steel mesh that deters predators! It also comes with an underfloor wire that can be placed in the run. This will not only prevent your rabbit from relentless digging, but it will also stop them from burrowing under the run and escaping. It is still recommended to have grassy areas for your rabbit to enjoy, but if you are really worried about escape then this is the ideal solution. It is more hygienic than a solid floor, with big enough gaps in the mesh so that it still provides the comfort of grass rather than uncomfortable hard ground or metal.
At Omlet we dedicate our time to developing products with the animal and the owner in mind. For ease of use, comfort and safety and they are great to look at! A perfect addition to any pet lovers’ home. View all our rabbit related products and join the Omlet family!
This entry was posted in Pets