My Dog Won’t Stop Eating Rabbit Poop

If you live in an area with a large rabbit population, you may struggle with keeping your dog away from their poop.

Eating rabbit poop is a common behavior that many dogs take part in, no matter how gross it may seem to us. 

A dog eating rabbit poop will not likely cause serious illness, but it can lead to complications surrounding GI upset.

So what could happen if a dog eats rabbit poop, and why do they eat it in the first place?

In this article we will help you better understand this strange canine behavior, and how you can best protect your poop-eating pup going forward.

My Dog Ate Rabbit Poop

Why Do Dogs Eat Rabbit Poop?

If you have a canine friend in your life, you may have witnessed them eating strange things from time to time.

While some dogs like to dig into the trash at any given opportunity, some enjoy snacking on rabbit poop in the backyard. Though this may seem like a gross habit to you and I, scavenging is a normal canine behavior.

Many once believed that dogs ate poop due to a nutritional deficiency, but experts no longer believe that to be true.

Many canine friends with a well balanced diet will still dive into any form of stool they come across, proving that diet is an unlikely cause behind the stomach turning habit.

The main driving force behind a dog eating rabbit poop is likely just in interest in doing so.

The most common reasons behind a dog’s poop eating habits include general curiosity, a need to scavenge around their yard, boredom, and even hunger.

A dog that eats rabbit poop is usually just jumping at the opportunity if it’s there, and not necessarily struggling with an underlying complication.

However, if it seems like your dog is constantly eating strange things outside of their normal diet, we do suggest seeing your veterinarian to rule out pica.

Pica is a condition in which dogs crave and eat non-food items. (Source)

Will My Dog Get Sick After Eating Rabbit Poop?

Serious illness from eating rabbit poop is quite rare in our canine friends, but it can lead to GI upset in some cases.

Poop of any kind can be a breeding ground for bacteria, and eating the rabbit poop can give this bacteria a direct route to a dog’s gut.

A regular habit of eating rabbit poop can introduce a plethora of bacteria to the stomach and intestines, allowing the potential for GI infection.

Not only can bacteria be present in rabbit poop, but so can intestinal parasites. Though most parasites present in rabbit poop are specific to rabbits only, you can’t rule the danger out completely.

Many of these eggs will pass right through a dog’s GI tract if they are rabbit specific, but the risk of parasitic infection is always on the table.

So while your pup may not become gravely ill from eating rabbit poop, it is an activity that should be discouraged.

There are much safer snack options available to our pups, all of which are free of microscopic threats.

What If My Dog Eats A Rabbit?

Eating rabbit poop may not be a serious threat to our canine friends, but eating a rabbit can be. Rabbits themselves can not only harbor tapeworm pockets within their muscles, but they can carry deadly bacteria that lead to serious illness.

Not only can these organisms cause harm to our canine friends, but they can be passed on to us as well.

Rabbits have even been known to carry fleas that harbor the bacteria responsible for the bubonic plague, and that is not something to take lightly.

While eating rabbit poop may not be a reason to rush your dog into the vet, it should be considered if your pup eats the rabbit itself.

Inducing vomiting at your vet’s office can be beneficial if you catch your dog in the act, or even making an appointment in the days following to have them dewormed is ideal.

Signs Of Illness After Eating Rabbit Poop

If your dog is not feeling well after eating rabbit poop, there are a few symptoms they may experience. Most complications from eating rabbit stool will impact a dog’s digestive health, meaning they will often struggle with different forms of GI upset.

Some of the signs of illness in dogs after eating rabbit poop include:

  • Vomiting
  • Loose stool or diarrhea
  • Decreased appetite
  • Stomach gurgling
  • Increased flatulence
  • Lethargy

If your dog is experiencing any of the above symptoms when they have a habit of eating rabbit poop, we always suggest reaching out to your vet for further guidance.

When To See The Vet When A Dog Eats Rabbit Poop

If you catch your dog eating rabbit poop, you may wonder if you need to visit your vet’s office for medical care.

Most dogs will not get sick when eating rabbit poop, but there are a few ways to ensure their safety just in case.

First, we always suggest just reaching out to your vet to inform them of the situation.

They may suggest deworming your pup for good measure, especially if your dog is not up to date on their monthly heartworm prevention.

Every vet will vary in how they choose to handle the situation, so we suggest reaching out to them for guidance.

If your dog is up to date on their monthly heartworm prevention and is not experiencing GI upset, your vet will likely suggest monitoring your dog closely at home.

Again, most dogs will be just fine after eating rabbit poop, but you may need to keep a closer eye on them in the days following for good measure.

How To Keep Your Dog Safe Going Forward

If rabbits enjoy spending time in your yard, there are a few ways to protect your pup from any health complications going forward.

To ensure your pup’s safety moving forward, let’s list some of the best ways to act proactively when it comes to your dog’s poop eating habits.

  • Make sure your dog stays up to date on their monthly heartworm prevention. Heartworm prevention not only protects against heartworms, but it can also protect against the most common intestinal parasites that our dogs can come in contact with. Because there is a small chance of harmful parasites being present in rabbit poop, this can help to protect them throughout their poop eating habits. 
  • Monitor your dog outside if they cannot stay away from the rabbit poop. While this can be frustrating and time consuming, it can help to break the habit if you can correct your pup in the act. 
  • Try your best to keep rabbits away from your yard. This is not always possible, but you can help to deter rabbits by eliminating bushes and other foliage they may hide in, blocking off your perimeter with adequate fencing, and cutting down on any crops they may like to snack on in your yard.

Final Thoughts

Eating rabbit poop may not be a life threatening issue in our canine friends, but it can come with its own set of risks.

Be sure to review the information discussed above if you have a poop-eating pup on your hands, and you can best determine how to protect them going forward.

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