Do you know why do rabbits dig? Digging is considered a typical rabbit behavior, together with burrowing and chewing.
To bond with your pet bunny, it is helpful to understand their unique language.
A well-behaved rabbit is a happy and healthy rabbit.
Rabbits are very sensitive creatures and have very different behaviors compared to other animals. They have so much personality more than people credit them for.
Digging is essential for physical and psychological pleasure. There are several reasons why rabbits dig.
Mainly, they escape and hide from their predators; with this, they can have a comfortable and safe place to sleep; and lastly, to have their babies.
Here’s what you should take note of:
You need to know that your rabbits must have the ability to dig for them to meet their behavioral needs.
There are many things for you to know, and this article will serve as a guide for you to be a well-informed rabbit owner.
Are you ready? Then let us now dive right into it.
Reasons Why Rabbits Dig
Rabbits are hard-wired to dig.
Some rabbits dig more than others, and dirt is not necessarily needed. They sometimes make dig motions anywhere they want. You can read a similar article on our website about why do rabbits dig holes?
You can’t exactly ask your rabbit why they dig, can you?
But you can make an educated guess.
Really- why do rabbits dig?
Here is a shortlist for you:
#1. Primordial instinct
In the wild, rabbits live in burrows by using their paws.
Burrows provide some safety from predators and protection from extreme temperatures.
Even when they are domesticated, this habit does not merely go away. It is just only their nature.
#2. They feel out of place
They can either be feeling anxious or maybe not feeling well. This generally means discomfort.
It can also mean that they are looking to attract our attention when they feel ignored or alone.
#3. To trim their nails
Doing so naturally files their nails down.
You can opt by having a vet cut the nails, or else they will be having trouble, and they will be having difficulty hopping around. If you are going to cut your rabbit’s nails, you should know how to cut an aggressive rabbit’s nails because rabbits can be aggressive if they sense any danger to their safety.
#4. To fight boredom
They are digging imaginary holes as one of their little pastimes. You can help by giving them some attention by playing with them.
I am getting more comfortable in an attempt at building a nest by digging and kneading material.
Do Female Rabbits Dig More Than Males?
Rabbits’ personality is very much influenced by their breed, sex, age, and living conditions. Gender plays a significant part in the personalities of your pet rabbits.
They respond to stress differently, so you need to acknowledge even the subtle changes in your rabbit’s behavior.
Rabbit experts have observed that females dig more than males.
Here are some explanations for this.
- Female rabbits tend to be more territorial than males. They will dig holes and claim for themselves, especially unspayed ones that will have this particular behavior.
- They give birth to the young. So nesting and digging are a big part of their behavior.
- In the wild, digging holes is done by the females in rabbit colonies.
- Females tend to be sometimes less social and outgoing than the opposite sex.
- Males tend to be more relaxed than females and are often described as timid and passive.
Male and female rabbits are distinctly different from each other, even after de-sexing them.
However, most rabbit breeders and enthusiasts would often associate female rabbits as being keener diggers than males.
You should bear this in mind when you choose to keep a rabbit.
However, it is impossible to conclude that one sex is better than the other.
Behavior Of Rabbits
Rabbits are natural diggers. They dig to make burrows that will serve as their home in the wild.
When we see a rabbit digging, we often imagine that they are trying to construct a shelter.
However, that is not usually the case. They search to find food, to expose cold earth to rest on, and sometimes, to try to get attention.
They dig by loosening the soil using their forepaws by pushing it underneath and behind themselves.
Digging is an instinctual behavior, but it can be bothersome and destructive when it gets out of hand.
We want them to be able to search, but we also don’t want them to escape. This means that we need to provide them with appropriate ways to express healthy behaviors to meet their needs.
Here are some tips on how to stop them from becoming a problem.
Tips To Prevent Rabbits From Problem Digging
To reduce your rabbits’ desire to dig elsewhere or to try to escape, you should provide them with things and activities to do.
And what do you think is best for them?
Try giving them things that are stimulating.
Not just that, but offer them opportunities to explore places that you are comfortable for them to do so.
#1. Make sure they are entertained
You need to make sure to provide different varieties of enrichment activities to keep them busy.
Bunnies are social species that should be housed with other rabbits. Before getting them a compatible partner, you need to make sure that it is desexed.
#2. Outdoors, provide your rabbit with “digging boxes”
You can be creative with digging boxes for rabbits, you can buy them from a pet store, or it can be something that is repurposed.
You can fill them with shredded paper, dirt, or child-friendly sand that they can dig with.
#3. To encourage them to dig around, you can place their favorite food
I sometimes place carrots and cucumber because it is my pet Thumper’s favorite food.
Indoors: Beddings, pillows, towels, or rugs may be used.
If your pet likes to push, pull, or bite these objects until they seem to be just right, they are also likely to enjoy bunching.
#4. Desex your bunnies
Desexed bunnies have less desire to escape and dig out of their enclosure to find mates.
You can house them in pairs without worrying about potential behavioral problems because these are often associated with responses of them being unhappy and alone.
So make sure they are well taken care of.
#5. Allow them to exercise
Provide them exercise by having a safe outdoor space with dirt available in a fenced backyard.
But it is important to supervise them during outdoor playtime.
Digging is essential for your bunnies to be happy and healthy. It is one of the things they would naturally do. This is why a digging box is vital.
They could play over and over, and the best thing is you can control the mess and destruction and keep your dear pet rabbits out of trouble.
Be sure to keep an eye on your pet and make sure that they are safe and well by digging away!
I hope you learned some useful information by reading this blog post on why do rabbits dig.
Thank you very much!
Maria Schultz is a talented writer and a passionate animal lover who brings her expertise in the pet industry to the Petcosset team. With a degree in English and years of experience writing for various pet-related publications, Maria deeply understands the latest news and products in the pet industry. She is dedicated to providing pet owners with the most accurate and up-to-date information to help them take the best possible care of their small friends. When she’s not writing about pets, Maria can often spend time with her beloved pets, including a rescue dog and several cats.