How to make a digging box for rabbits

Published: December 29th, 2020
Last Updated: April 9th, 2023
Written By: Bradly Spicer
Rabbit Digging Box

Are you sick of your rabbit ripping up your carpets? Biting your door frames or causing general damage? Well, you’re in luck, there may be a solution that’s easier than you think!

Rabbits are built to dig and burrow which explains the constant mess and replacing the corners of your carpets. But, obviously we want to keep our houses in tact, so what’s the fix?

A digging box can be a great way to focus your rabbits urge to dig elsewhere at a price point of next to nothing. Follow our guide and you’ll have a repeatable digbox toy that will keep your rabbit entertained throughout the day!

Our little helper making a rabbit digging box

What you need to make a digging box

Making a digging box for rabbits can be not only super cheap but also a lot of fun, here are all the materials you need:

Shredded paper/Hay is the core part of your rabbits digging box, I really do suggest making the pieces really short so they don’t wrap around your rabbits neck or cause them any form of stress. Shredded paper no longer than 10cm should be perfectly fine.

We like to sprinkle a few pellets into the mixture to get our bunny to really dig about, alternatively you can mix in some homemade hay based treats that should really get them excited!

How to make the digging box

  1. Get yourself a big or small cardboard box, low enough for your rabbit to jump in comfortably
  2. Fill the box with hay, pine cones, toilet roll tubes and treat hay.
  3. Regularly check to make sure the box isn’t being used for litter
  4. Do not add sand, if you want to add soil prepare for mess
  5. Occasionally sprinkle pellets into the hay

You can add shredded paper and newspaper that uses food coloring instead of ink.

Making a toilet tube treat is super easy, you simply grab a toilet roll tube you’re done with, fold in the ends on one side. Fill the other side with pellets and hay and close the other side.

How to make a rabbit toilet tube

If you’re not sure on where best to put your digging box, we like to put it in places where your rabbit will regularly dig.

This typically means you can slowly move the box to another location and your rabbit will associate digging with the dig box.

However, this isn’t always the case and can change depending on your rabbits behavior.

Additionally, not every rabbit will want to dig in a cardboard box, however, that doesn’t mean they won’t in time.

Spend some time engaging with your rabbit, adding treats in the box and covering your rabbit in the hay or paper is a fun and great way to create a personal connection.

What should I put in my rabbit digging box?

Your digging box can be filled with cardboard, strips of paper, toys, treats, pellets, hay and pretty much anything that your rabbit finds enriching!

Cardboard – Rabbits generally LOVE cardboard, it’s a perfect nibble toy and is generally coinsidered safe for most rabbits when not consumed as a majority of their diet. If you’ve opened toys for your rabbit and seen that they go straight for the packaging, you know they’re an absolute cardboard fiend. Throw in your toilet tubes filled with goodies and let your rabbit munch away at the digging box!

Plain Paper – Assuming you have left over plain paper or plain kraft paper, that should be perfect for your rabbit! Anything which doesn’t use traditional ink. Most newspapers now use vegetable dye for their ink, but you should still be extremely careful before giving anything to your rabbit. In some cases, you can use paper to cover the digging box to allow your rabbit to hide away in it!

Old shirts or clothing – If your rabbit likes being around you and often follows you, you may find an old shirt that smells like you is the perfect thing for your rabbit to dig. If you have a rabbit that is particularly fond of grooming you, you may find them suckling on your clothing as well!

Best things to addThings to avoid
Shredded PaperSand
Toilet Roll TubesMagazines
SoilFoam / Plastic
Hay / StrawLitter
Old Clothes

Can I use soil or sand in my digging box?

We typically recommend against doing this for a variety of reasons, one of the main reasons is simply due to mess. Sand and soil is extremely difficult to manage when you’re using a cardboard box and add a rabbit into the mix!

Along side this, if your rabbit consumes sand it can really mess up their stomach and cause dangerous digestive issues as well as possible respiratory issues. A much safer option is to simply let them dig in the box with paper and hay.

I’ve you’re insistant on having soil at the bottom, check out the Rosewood Nibble N Dig Meadow to put at the bottom of your cardboard box, it’s a great little toy for your rabbit but is very messy!

How to stop rabbits peeing in their digging box

Typically, if your rabbit has been neutered/spayed this shouldn’t be a problem. However, accidents do happen and bad habits do occur so if you do find your rabbit repeatedly peeing in their digging box it’s worth checking the following

  • Does your dig box have hay in it? If so, is that causing them to think it’s a litter box
  • Have you put litter pellets in the bottom of your digging box? If so, remove them
  • Is the dig box in the same location a toilet is/was?

If this isn’t solving the issue, you may find that having them dig in the litter box is the only way to proceed. This may result in your rabbit kicking up litter out of the toilet, so you’ll want a high walled litter box (Usually one for cats).

Why do rabbits need a digging box?

Digging boxes aren’t just a source of enrichment, they can be incredibly helpful to your rabbits wellbeing and attitude, especially if they’re extremely hormonal. In short, a Digging box can keep your rabbits front nails shorter, provide enrichment & let them unwind/blow off some steam.

Keeping your rabbits nails & teeth shorter

Filling your rabbits digging box with things they can nibble and dig at will not only keep them active but also keep their nails and teeth down.

Unfortunately, Rabbits are prone to incisor overgrowth which is why is why we suggest not only cardboard by pinecones and wooden toys inside your rabbits digging box.

If you have a Lop-eared rabbit they are typically more prone to dental problems, this is due to their skull shape which causes misaligned and overgrown incisors meaning it is incredibly important to tackle this directly (source).

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