Why Do Dogs Eat Rabbit Poop?

Being a dog parent is one of the most underrated jobs in the world. As much as it can be fun, it is also stressful, especially when your furry friend exhibits weird behavior. As a dog parent, you already know that your dog will eat almost anything, including things like dirt, clothes, and even the shoes in your cupboard.

But it’s the grossest thing in the world when your dog eats rabbit poop. While this may not be the most pleasant topic, it is important if you are a dog owner. Eating rabbit poop is a very common behavior for many dogs, and there are several reasons why dogs eat rabbit feces.

Dogs eat rabbit poop because it smells surprisingly good to them. The same reason your dog loves sniffing your dirty laundry basket is why it enjoys eating rabbit poop. Dogs think anything that smells good is good food, even if they don’t realize it’s poop. Feeding dogs well and adequately is one of the best ways to curb this behavior.

If you have a dog that loves eating rabbit poop and is worried about the health effects, then this article is for you. I have outlined everything you need to know about the effects of rabbit poop on your dog and how to stop your dog from eating rabbit poop. But before then, let’s see why your dog eats rabbit poop.

Why Does My Dog Eat Rabbit Poop?

Image from Instagram:@pupu.tati

Dogs are attracted to anything that smells nice and tastes good to them. Rabbit poop is one of those things. Your furry friend may find rabbit poop tasty and will go ahead to eat it even without knowing what it is. Other reasons your dog is eating rabbit poop are:

Curiosity

Dogs are curious pets and always want to taste everything they see during their adventure around the home. Dogs have a very high sense of smell and whenever they find something strange, tasting it is their way of ascertaining what it is. 

If you have a rabbit in your home and your dog comes in contact with the rabbit feces in the field, the chances are that your dog will eat the feces even before knowing what it is.

Hunger

Dogs have the ability and natural instinct to search and scout for food whenever they are feeling hungry. Just like humans would eat anything edible when hungry, dogs act alike.

If your dog is hungry, the chances are that your furry friend will go hunting for food and will eat just anything, including rabbit poop or even its own poop. 

If you are looking to avoid this from happening, then it’s best you keep food for your dog, especially when you are far away.

Nutritional Deficiency

Getting the right nutrients for proper body functioning is essential for your dog. When your dog is deficient in certain nutrients, your furry friend will look for means to supplement, including eating substances that contain nutrients they lack. 

Rabbit poop is largely made of grass which contains lots of fiber and vitamins. This provides nutrients for your dog and serves as a supplement. Even though it sounds gross to you, the truth is that this might just be the reason your dog is eating rabbit poop.

Medical Condition

Medical conditions such as pica are another reason why your dog is eating rabbit feces. Pica is a condition where your dog derives pleasure from eating non-edible substances.

Coprophagy, or coprophagia, is the name given to the form of pica, where dogs eat feces or re-ingest their own excrement.

Pica is caused by behavioral issues like boredom, stress, and anxiety. It can also be caused by medical issues such as liver diseases and anemia.

Should I Worry If My Dog Eats Rabbit Poop?

Image from K9Cuisine

While eating rabbit poop is a dirty and bad habit for your dog, it is not particularly harmful and is nothing to worry about. Rabbit poop does not contain toxic or poisonous substances. 

However, there may be parasites in rabbit poop that can cause sickness such as stomach upsetdiarrhea, etc. If you observe strange behaviors in your dog after eating rabbit poop, then you need to consult the vet for a proper diagnosis.

Will Rabbit Poop Make My Dog Sick? 

Rabbit poop is not toxic and will not make your dog sick except if it contains parasites or when eaten aplenty. If your dog ever has a reason to eat rabbit poop, it should not be a regular thing and should not be consumed in large quantities. If this happens, then it can result in stomach upset or diarrhea.

It is preferred that you feed your dog sufficiently and properly with the essential nutrients, so there won’t be any reason for your dog to consume rabbit poop.

Can A Dog Get Leptospirosis From Eating Rabbit Poop?

Yes. Your dog can get leptospirosis from eating rabbit poop.

Leptospirosis is an infectious disease caused by a bacteria known as Leptospira. It can be a serious disease in dogs and is caused by ingestion of these bacteria via rabbit feces or urine.

Although this disease is commonly found in rabbits’ urines, it is also present within their feces, thereby causing some level of harm to your dog when ingested.

Can My Dog Get Diarrhea From Eating Rabbit Poop?

Yes, your dog can get diarrhea from eating rabbit poop, especially when in excess quantity. Rabbit poop contains several bacteria and germs that are difficult to identify, and a lot of them can cause sickness in your dog.

If your dog eats rabbit poop, especially in large quantities, your pup may experience stomach upset, diarrhea, and even lethargy. This is due to their body system reacting to the ingested feces.

Can Dogs Get Tapeworms From Rabbit Poop?

Yes. Dogs can get tapeworms from eating rabbit poop.

Like many other small mammals, Rabbits are carriers of various parasites and bacteria that can make your dog sick if it eats their feces. Tapeworms are parasitic and can stay in a dog’s body for as long as they keep getting nutrients.

How Do I Get My Dog To Stop Eating Rabbit Poop?

Dogs eat rabbit poop for various reasons, and if you want to stop your dog from this habit, you need to tackle the exact reason they eat rabbit poop. Here are a few things you can do to prevent your dog from eating rabbit poop.

Ensure Your Dog Is Given Proper Diets

If you want to prevent your pup from eating rabbit feces, you should always ensure that your dog is given food with all necessary nutrient requirements for good health. This will make your dog have no reason to feed on rabbit poop.

Never Keep Your Dog Hungry

Hunger is one of the major reasons that make dogs eat rabbit poop. Ensure your dog is well-fed, and if you are traveling or going to stay out for a long time, you should make sure that your dog is given access to food while you are out.

Mask The Smell

Dogs want to eat everything that smells and tastes good to them. Rabbit food is one of those things your dog finds very interesting.

You can prevent your dog from eating rabbit poop by placing pungent substances that your dog hates on the feces to mask its smell. One such example is the use of nail polish remover. This way, your dog will deem the feces as not good for consumption.

Image from ChomChom Roller

Teach Your Dog To Avoid Rabbit Food

Using dog commands such as “leave it” is an effective way to stop your dog from eating rabbit food.

If you notice your dog is about to eat rabbit droppings, tell your pup to leave it and watch its behavior. If your dog leaves the feces, then you should reward your dog with some treats. This act will encourage your dog to avoid rabbit poop.

Keep The Rabbits Away

One of the most effective ways of preventing your canine friend from eating rabbit poop is by keeping rabbits away from your home. This is most effective because your dog does not have access to any droppings of rabbit feces.

Take Your Dog To A Canine Behaviorist

If you suspect that your dog is suffering from conditions such as pica, then you should take your dog to a canine behaviorist. This will help reduce the rate at which your dog is eating rabbit poop.

If your canine friend has illnesses, such as liver disease or anemia, then you need to see the vet as soon as possible.

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Pete Decker