Preventing Your Rabbit From Digging

Rabbits love to dig and burrowing is a natural activity for them. Thus, domesticated rabbits may end up digging furniture such as carpets or even soil when let out to play in the garden.
By Pets Team
Published on Thursday, 28 October 2010

Rabbits love to dig and burrowing is a natural activity for them. Thus, domesticated rabbits may end up digging furniture such as carpets or even soil when let out to play in the garden.

Here are some ways to prevent further destruction of your property.

1. Alternatives

  • Providing alternative areas for digging will help to keep both you and your rabbit happy. You can select an area in your garden where your rabbit is allowed to burrow. Cordon it off with fences so your rabbit knows its boundaries.
  • Or you can make your rabbit a digging box. A deep cardboard box with a hole cut out for your rabbit to enter will be perfect. Provide a thick layer of shredded paper, hay, or soil in the box for digging.
  • To make it more enticing, you can hide toys or treats in the digging box (or area) for your rabbit to uncover.
  • Placing shredded paper or hay in your rabbit’s litter box will also offer additional digging opportunities.

2. Teach with patience

  • Your rabbit will not know that he or she is not allowed to dig on your floor or furniture so as the owner, you need to teach him or her.
  • Try not to give your rabbit free run of your home in the beginning – pick a limited space and rabbit-proof it thoroughly to make training easier. Observe your rabbit closely during playtime so you may redirect your rabbit if it begins to dig your floor or furniture.
  • A simple “No” accompanied by stamping your foot or clapping your hands will get its attention, then you may redirect it to its digging box or designated area.
  • Never shout or hit your rabbit. Patience is essential during training.

3. Neutering and spaying

  • Neutering and spaying your rabbit will make it less prone to destructive behaviour. Take care that these procedures can only be done when the rabbit is of appropriate age.
  • As your rabbit gets older, digging should also become less of an issue.

4. Rabbit-proofing your home

  • After observing your rabbit during playtime, you will be familiar with the places where it likes to dig. To protect these areas you may want to cover or block out these areas.

 

[Source: http://exoticpets.about.com]