Dogs do some really odd things. Any dog owner knows that. They sniff butts to say hello, roll in anything that smells disgusting, and, well, sometimes like to eat poop. And one of their favorite poopy treats? Rabbit droppings. There are a few reasons why a dog eats rabbit poop but the thing you really need to know is that it’s normal behavior and usually not harmful to them. But in all likelihood, it’s something you may want to stop them from doing.
So, why do dogs eat rabbit poop? Can it ever be dangerous? And what can you do to stop it?
Why do dogs eat rabbit poop?
It really doesn’t make all that much sense to us… but it does to them. Here are some of the most common reasons why your dog eats rabbit poop.
- They like it. I know that’s not what you want to hear, but your dog might just like the flavor of rabbit poop. Dogs have a really heightened sense of smell and are attracted to odors which we would otherwise avoid. Poop attracts them!
- Hunger. If your dog is searching through the grass for food (or poop), it might be because they’re hungry.
- Nutritional Deficiency. When a dog eats rabbit poop, it could be because they’re missing a specific nutrient from their diet. Rabbit poop is rich in fiber and B vitamins.
Can dogs eat rabbit poop?
Generally speaking, there’s not a lot to worry about if you catch your dog eating rabbit poop. Rabbits are herbivores and the bacteria and nasties found in their poop are pretty species-specific. For example, the rabbit form of coccidia won’t affect your pup but simply pass straight through them. Of course, if your dog starts to vomit or have diarrhea after eating rabbit poop, take them to the vet just to be sure.
The real problem isn’t in dogs eating rabbit poop but rather dogs being in contact with or eating wild rabbits. Rabbits can have tapeworms, fleas, and ticks which can carry potentially lethal diseases. If you suspect your pup has been with rabbits or has eaten one, take them to the vet to have them checked.
How to stop dogs from eating rabbit poop?
Even though it’s generally harmless for your dog to snack on rabbit poop, it may (understandably) be something you want to stop them from doing. After all, it’s the same mouth that licks you awake in the morning. So, what can you do?
- Teach them commands. Training your dog to respond to commands such as “drop it” or “leave it” can help if you see them heading towards some poop!
- Keep them on the leash. If you’re going through an area where you know there are lots of rabbits, keep them on the leash so they can’t be tempted.
- Always be watching! One of the best ways to stop your dog from eating rabbit poop is to stop them before they’re tempted. Watch them when they’re playing and try to entertain them with toys to distract them from tastier things.
- Protect your yard. If you live somewhere with a lot of rabbits, you should consider getting a type of dog fence to go around your yard. Not only do dog fences stop your pet from escaping, but they also stop other animals from getting in and pooping!
Dogs eating rabbit poop shouldn’t be too much of a concern. In most cases, it’s normal behavior and just one of those weird things dogs love to do! If they do get sick though, make sure you take them to a vet so they can look over them.
Have you noticed that your dog likes eating rabbit poop? Do you let them or do you try to stop the behavior?
I’m Charlotte, a content and copywriter from the North of England and currently living in Berlin. Animals have always been a huge part of my life, so writing about dogs is a total pleasure! I love all kinds of dogs and their cheeky personalities, but I’d have to say Weimaraners are my favourite!