What is the reason behind rabbits digging holes in your yard and in their hutch?
Rabbits dig holes in their natural habitat to make a safe place to live and protect themselves from predators. They also use these holes as a cozy spot to have their babies.
Although our pet rabbits may not require these things, they still find digging for them enjoyable and mentally stimulating.
Why Do Rabbits Dig Holes?
There are several explanations as to why your bunny might be digging holes in your yard.
Rabbits dig holes to make homes called dens and warrens. These are safe places where they can feel protected from predators, stay cool, sleep, and have babies.
Many rabbits simply like to dig! It can be a fun activity for a lot of bunnies, including our pet rabbits.
If you’re not a fan of your rabbit digging up the yard, it’s a smart move to make them a special box just for digging.
We will examine this in more detail later in the article.
Do Wild Rabbits Dig Holes?
Digging is a natural behavior for domestic rabbits as well as the wild European rabbit that they descend from.
In fact, digging is vital for the survival of wild European rabbits. They dig warrens and live in large groups inside these warrens.
Warrens are a series of connected burrows that can offer wild rabbits safety, security, somewhere to sleep, and somewhere to give birth.
Wild rabbits are at a higher risk of being attacked by predators compared to our pet bunnies. Therefore, they dig nests, burrows, and warrens to find a secure hiding place away from predators.
Do Rabbits Need to Dig?
Our pet rabbits may not have the same needs as wild rabbits, but that doesn’t mean they don’t have a desire to dig.
Rabbits that live with humans are protected from predators, have cozy places to rest, can stay in a suitable environment, and we can decide if and when they have babies.
However, digging is something that rabbits naturally do. Besides serving specific purposes, it can also be enjoyable for rabbits and provide them with a good workout.
If your bunny doesn’t have a place to dig, they might end up digging things you don’t want them to.
Many owners consider their rabbits to be destructive diggers. But, it’s a very natural behavior.
If your bunny is scratching and digging on hard surfaces in your house, their cage, or the ground when they’re outside, they might enjoy having a designated spot where they can safely dig!
Do Rabbits Enjoy Digging?
Rabbits really like digging! So, it’s a good idea to find a secure spot for them to do this activity.
Rabbits dig holes to keep themselves mentally stimulated and physically fit.
In addition to that, rabbits may feel safe and cozy when they dig a small hole or burrow.
If your bunny is feeling stressed or too hot, digging can help them relax and cool down.
So, even though rabbits don’t need to dig to survive, it’s really good for their mental health and makes them happy.
Should I Let My Rabbit Dig?
If you have a yard, it’s a good idea to pick a secure spot for your rabbit to dig. However, remember to watch your bunny closely to ensure their safety.
Ensure that rabbits are protected from predators such as birds or cats. Make sure they cannot consume anything harmful and that they cannot escape by digging out of your yard.
Not everyone has a backyard where their bunnies can dig. However, this is not a big problem!
Even if you don’t have a yard or a safe outside space for your bunny to dig, there are still alternatives available to you.
Digging Box for Rabbits
If you don’t want your rabbit to dig outside, you can create a special box for them to dig in.
To make your rabbit happy, find a big box and fill it with a safe material for them to dig in.
Many rabbits also like tearing things apart. Therefore, possible fillings include: soil, shredded paper, hay, paper bags, and towels.
Don’t use anything that could bother your bunny or is known to be harmful to rabbits.
Why Do Rabbits Dig Holes? A Summary
Rabbits, whether they are wild or domestic, naturally engage in digging. This behavior allows them to create a secure space for sleeping, giving birth, and seeking protection from predators.
Digging is a fantastic way for your pet rabbit to get some exercise.
If your yard isn’t safe, you can create a digging box for your rabbit instead!
Is your bunny fond of digging holes?
More Great Rabbit Guides
- Why Do White Rabbits Have Red Eyes?
- What’s the Reason Behind Rabbits Licking Things?
- How Large Can Lionhead Rabbits Grow? A Guide to Lionhead Rabbit Sizes
- Why Do Rabbits Scratch The Ground?
- Why Do Rabbits Thump?
References and Resources
- Crowell-Davis, S. ‘Behavior Problems in Pet Rabbits’, Journal of Exotic Pet Medicine (2007)
- Gonzalez-Mariscal, G. & Rosenblatt, J. ‘Maternal Behavior in Rabbits: A Historical and Multidisciplinary Perspective’, Advances in the Study of Behavior (1996)
- Roony, N. (et al), ‘The Current State of Welfare, Housing and Husbandry of the English Pet Rabbit Population’, BMC Research Notes (2014)