Why Do Dogs Eat Rabbit Poop?

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Every dog owner knows that dogs can be indiscriminate eaters, and some pet parents worry about the potential consequences of dogs eating rabbit poop.

But why do dogs eat rabbit poop?

If this is an issue you are dealing with, keep reading to find out whether you need to take action and what you can do to help your dog stop eating rabbit poop.

Rabbit eating a flower in a field

Related: Why Do Dogs Eat Deer Poop? Is it Safe?

Why Dogs Eat Bunny Rabbit Poop

Rabbits have one of the most nutritious droppings of any animal. Rabbit poop contains enough fiber and protein for even humans to consume.

Because of this, it’s no wonder why dogs are attracted to eating it. Here are some reasons why your dog might be eating rabbit poop.

Making Up for A Nutritional Deficiency

If your dog isn’t getting enough nutrients from their regular food, they may start looking for them elsewhere.

Unfortunately, this includes eating rabbit poop.

If you are concerned that your dog is not getting enough nutrients, talk to your veterinarian about what you can do to correct the deficiency.

Coprophagia

Coprophagia is the scientific term for when an animal eats their feces1.

This behavior is more common in puppies2 or dogs left alone for long periods.

Pets might become bored and turn to their feces to entertain themselves.

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If you think that your dog may be engaging in coprophagia, consult with your veterinarian to see if there is a behavior modification program that can help.

Related: 2023‘s Best Coprophagia Deterrents for Dogs

Stress Relief

In some cases, dogs may start eating rabbit poop to relieve stress.

It’s a typical problem in puppies going through changes in their lives, such as moving to a new home or being introduced to a new family member.

Use toys and games to keep your dog amused and reduce their anxiety if you believe that your canine is consuming rabbit feces as a way to alleviate stress.

Coping With Separation Anxiety

If your dog suffers from separation anxiety, it may turn to rabbit poop as a way to cope.

Dogs that suffer from separation anxiety may become destructive or vocalize excessively when left alone.

If you think your dog may be trying to cope with separation anxiety by eating poop, consult your veterinarian about treatment options.

Is it Ok for Dogs to Eat Rabbit Feces?

In short, yes, it is ok for dogs to eat rabbit feces, and it will not cause them any harm.

Keep in mind that rabbit feces may contain strains of giardia that could cause problems in your dog3.

Rabbit feces are low in bacteria and toxicity. Therefore, dog owners have nothing to worry about if their pet eats a small amount of rabbit poop.

However, if your dog has eaten a lot of rabbit poop, keep an eye on your pet for a day and make sure it does not become ill.

Can Dogs Get Sick From Eating Rabbit Poop?

Can Dogs Get Sick From Eating Rabbit Poop?

Is bunny poop bad for dogs? While it is ok for dogs to eat rabbit poop, there is always a small risk that they could get sick after doing so.

This is because rabbit feces can contain harmful bacteria, such as E. coli, that can make them sick.

If your dog ingests rabbit dung and begins to exhibit symptoms, such as diarrhea or vomiting, take them to the veterinarian immediately.

What to Do When Your Dog Eats Bunny Poop

If your dog has eaten bunny poop, there is not much that you need to do.

As long as your dog does not start showing any signs of illness, it will be fine. You can clean out their mouth if their breath is bothering you.

However, if you are concerned about your dog’s health or if your dog has eaten a lot of rabbit poop, you should take them to the veterinarian for a check-up.

How Do I Get My Dog to Stop Eating Rabbit Poop

How Do I Get My Dog to Stop Eating Rabbit Poop

If your dog is eating rabbit poop, there are a few things that you can do to try and stop them.

Scolding or punishing your dog is not going to work, as they will just think that you are angry at them for eating and will likely continue doing so.

Instead, try to redirect your dog’s attention to something else. Here are a few tips:

Manage Your Dog’s Environment

If you leave your dog alone for long periods, make sure that they have plenty of toys and activities, like this treat puzzle, to keep them entertained.

It will help reduce the chances of your dog eating rabbit poop.

Train Your Dog

One of the best ways to stop your dog from eating rabbit poop is to train them.

This can be done with the help of a professional dog trainer or by using a book, video tutorial, or a course like Doggy Dan’s. Reward them for not eating the rabbit poop.

Feed Your Dog A Balanced Diet

A balanced diet is essential for maintaining the health of your dog and will help to reduce the chances that they will start eating rabbit poop.

Make sure to feed them high-quality dog food that is made for their breed and age.

Provide Fresh Water

Dogs require a large quantity of clean water to remain healthy and hydrated.

Make sure to provide them with plenty of clean, fresh water at all times.

If your dog is constantly drinking water, it may be a sign that they are trying to flush out the harmful bacteria from eating rabbit poop.

Use A Crate

If you are unable to keep an eye on your dog at all times, using a crate can be a helpful way to prevent them from eating rabbit poop.

Crate training can be difficult, but it is worth the effort to keep your dog safe and healthy.

Final Thoughts

Dogs eating rabbit poop is not usually a cause for concern, as long as they are not showing any signs of illness.

However, if your dog is eating a lot of rabbit poop, you should take them to the veterinarian for a check-up. 

There are a few things that you can do to try and stop your dog from eating rabbit poop, such as managing their environment, training them, and feeding them a balanced diet.

FAQs 

Is Rabbit Poop Dangerous for Dogs?

While rabbit feces can contain harmful bacteria, it is not usually dangerous for dogs to eat. Some common symptoms of sickness after eating rabbit poop include diarrhea and vomiting. 

Worms can also be found in rabbit feces and can cause health problems for dogs. If your dog has eaten rabbit poop and starts showing any signs of illness, take it immediately to the veterinarian

Resources

  1. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5980124/
  2. https://vcahospitals.com/know-your-pet/dog-behavior-problems-coprophagia#:~:text=Coprophagia%20is%20a%20common%20problem,explanations%20suggested%20for%20this%20behavior.
  3. https://www.reddit.com/r/puppy101/comments/i78ga1/if_you_have_a_new_puppy_dont_let_them_eat_rabbit/

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