As a pet parent, you know that your dog explores the world with his nose and mouth. However, what you might not have expected is that you would catch your dog eating rabbit poop while walking through the woods. Now, you’re concerned that it will harm your dog or make them ill.
In the majority of cases, there will be no need for concern, especially if they’ve only snacked on a small amount. Dogs that have eaten a lot of rabbit poop may find themselves with a stomach ache and diarrhea. In the article below, we’ll tell you everything you need to know about dogs eating rabbit poop.
Can Rabbit Poop Hurt My Dog?
If your dog only ingests a small portion of rabbit poop, he should be fine. However, you need to be careful, especially when it comes to wild rabbits. Domestic rabbits typically eat the same food daily, but wild rabbits have less freedom to select the ideal meal when food sources are scarce. If your dog has eaten the feces of a wild rabbit, he could end up with an upset stomach or diarrhea if it contains harmful bacteria and parasites.
What Should I Do?
If you find that your dog has ingested rabbit poop, whether from a domestic or wild rabbit, it’s best to contact your vet. The vet will probably tell you to keep an eye on your canine for the next 24 hours to ensure he has no signs of an upset stomach or illness. They will also be aware if there have been any problems in your area with rabbits or other dogs that have dined on their poop.
The vet will also check that your dog is up to date with their worming treatment, and if your dog isn’t on any regular worming medication, they may recommend a course of treatment. Although your dog cannot become infected with worms from eating rabbit poop, if they have been eating their poop, they might have been eating other things as well!
What Are the Signs of Sickness in Dogs that Have Eaten Rabbit Feces?
Here are a few signs that you need to watch out for if you’ve found your dog ingesting rabbit feces.
- Increased gas
- Loose stool
- Decrease in appetite
What Can My Dog Catch From Eating Rabbit Poop?
The most common infection that dogs can contract from eating rabbit poop is Giardia, a single-celled parasite that not only affects dogs but can also affect you and your family. If your dog has contracted Giardia, you need to get the dog to a vet for treatment and take precautions for your family.
Signs of giardia infection are watery diarrhea, which can sometimes contain blood and mucus, that doesn’t go away on its own. Your vet may recommend treatment based on clinical signs and history alone, but a fecal test to confirm infection is preferred, with another test to make sure the treatment has been successful at the end.
Why Do Dogs Eat Rabbit Poop?
There are various reasons for dogs eating rabbit poop, and we’ll list a few of them below.
Your dog may be just eating the rabbit poop out of sheer curiosity because dogs are curious creatures. Dogs explore the world through smell and taste, and a small pile of rabbit poop may be too tempting to ignore.
It Tastes Good
To your dog, it might!
It is possible that your dog is hungry, and the rabbit feces tastes good to him. Feeding a well-balanced diet and establishing a feeding routine can prevent your dog from getting hungry and sampling rabbit feces.
While this doesn’t happen often, your canine may be suffering from Pica. Pica is a disease that causes animals and humans to eat foreign objects they wouldn’t normally eat. If you feel that your dog has Pica, it’s best to contact your vet for an appointment.
It’s also possible that your dog is suffering from a nutritional deficiency. Rabbit feces are rich in B-complex vitamins and fiber, so if your dog is constantly trying to eat poop, you should check their diet to see what is lacking, or speak to your vet.
How Can I Keep My Dog Safe?
Now that you know why your dog might be eating rabbit feces and what to do about it, we’ll give you a few tips below for keeping your dog safe.
Stay Up to Date with Flea, Tick, Intestinal Worming and Heartworm Treatments
As we mentioned earlier, dogs cannot get worms directly from eating rabbit feces, but if there are rabbits and other creatures in the area, then parasites can be a risk. Staying up to date with recommended preventative treatments is the best way to be sure you are keeping your dog as safe as you can.
Stay Outside with Your Dog
While following your dog around when he goes to the bathroom can be aggravating, it’s the best way to keep him from eating rabbit poop again. If you are with your dog, you can stop him before he can ingest the rabbit feces or anything else that could make him sick. While this can be frustrating, it can also help break the habit with your dog.
Try to Keep Rabbits Out of Your Yard
Keeping your dog away from pet rabbits is simple, but it’s hard to control when wild rabbits enter your yard. You can try removing bushes and foliage that attract rabbits and putting up fences that the rabbits can get through, but that’s about all you can do.
Dogs can get into any number of things, which means most pet parents aren’t surprised to find their furry friend’s nose buried in a pile of rabbit poop. However, that doesn’t stop us from worrying that feces could hurt our canines.
While a small amount of rabbit feces won’t hurt your dog, it’s best to be safe and contact your vet if they consume some. Some bacteria and parasites can be transferred to your dog and your family if you’re not careful, so err on the side of caution and call the vet, especially if they become unwell or develop diarrhea.