Why Do Rabbits Dig Holes?


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In the wild, a rabbit’s moves are so interesting and attractive to see. It nods it’s nose, grooms whole face, flops around, tries to stand up and others move you can see a rabbit does and these scenes are really cute to watch. Remember, every time it do these staffs it means the rabbit has any meaning. You may see it digs holes and it is also normal to rise a question,

Why Do Rabbits Dig Holes?

Generally, a rabbit digs holes to hide, to make a playground under mud, to get a comfort zone or sometimes it just digs holes for no reason. Actually this instinct is in their behavior by birth. And it also happens that your rabbit is digging holes for gaining your attraction.

Can all rabbits dig holes?

Digging holes is a basic instinct for a rabbit. In wild they do so when they can. But not all kinds of rabbits are familiar with this behavior. Just the breed called Cottontail is exceptional. They prefer living in over the ground, such as in any nest or any existing holes but they don’t dig holes mostly.

Hare is different from rabbit. Hare is more likely to dig holes. So, if you find your rabbits are digging holes frequently then understand that they are hares.

Now let’s find out why rabbits dig holes.

The reasons for digging holes.

If you find your rabbit is digging holes then don’t worry. It is doing its basic instinct. But there are some reasons when a rabbit digs holes. Check them out here:

  • Privacy and Safety: Rabbits are prey animals. They are little in body shape and soft than most other animals in the wild. So they have many predators around them and that’s why they become scared at any noise. For this, they try to hide quickly as fast as they can at that moment. And guess what? A hole can be the best option for them at that time. So, they try to dig holes to use them when the rabbits need.
  • Temperature: Rabbits are sensitive animals. They can be sick when it is very hot and they can be sick when it is much cold too. So, they try to find a place where the temperature is good for them and they can be safe there.
  • Shelter while Raining: Rain is harmful to a rabbit. Rabbits are those animals that got fever easily. And if they get wet in rain then it is really bad for them, they can’t get dry soon and that causes cold and fever which can lead them to death. But if they find any holes in the yard, they can hide them there and that can save them from rain.
  • A place to run away if chased: Rabbits can climb tree, but it takes time for them. And it is also hard work for them too. But a dug hole is much easier place they can run into and can save themselves. That is another reason they dig holes.

But they will do none of the above if they find any safe place for them in your house. It means if you make a hutch for them then they will not search for any hiding place and they will stop digging holes too.

Is it harmful to rabbit?

Well, if rabbit grazes around the wild then they become familiar with soil. Some soils are hard and some are soft, they become familiar with them and then they select the place of digging. Of course, those places where they don’t get hurt while digging. But is it the same happens with the domestic rabbit?

The answer is “NO” 

Actually those rabbits in domestic as pets, they are not so familiar with the soil. And while doing this they may hurt their nails and teeth. So, of course, they can hurt themselves while digging holes for not understanding the condition of the soil. And if they stuck soil into their nails or teeth then you may find the nails or teeth become yellowish by getting poisoned which is a serious problem for your rabbits.

How to stop them from digging holes?

Rabbits like to graze around. They become bore for staying in the cage for a long time. So they hop around and that’s kind of game for them as well as exercise. But if you set them free then it is normal that they will try to dig holes wherever they can.

So, these are the steps you can stop them from digging holes:

  • Set Fence: Try to fence the place where you want to set your rabbits free. This will help them to get familiar with the place they hop generally. Try to set the fence on the larger ground so that your rabbits don’t feel they are in the cage again.
  • Spraying: Well this may sound crazy but it works sometimes. This is the process you spray some strong scent wherever you don’t want your rabbits to hop. Actually they get repellented by those scents and don’t go wherever they smell those.
  • Use Harness: Harness using can fix your rabbits’ grazing place. You can tie them and fix their place by pulling the rope when you want but this step is quiet boring as you need to stay closer to your rabbits and monitor them.

These steps will help you to stop them from digging holes. But if you find the soil area is not bad for them to dig in then it is okay, free them. Because it is good to practice them that behavior that they naturally do.


So digging is not bad for them as well as it is also harmful if they try to dig some hard soil or if the soil is poisoned. You may let them dig holes if you ensure the place they try to dig won’t harm their teeth or nails. Still, you can give them places where they can do anything like hopping, hiding, playing and so on without digging holes.

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