What Should I Do If My Dog Ate Rabbit Poop?
We are searching data for your request:
Upon completion, a link will appear to access the found materials.
Adrienne is a certified dog trainer, behavior consultant, former veterinarian assistant, and author of "Brain Training for Dogs."
It happens so quickly: One moment your dog is sniffing some grass, and the next he's eating rabbit poop like there's no tomorrow. What gives?
If you're a dog owner and live in an area with lots of wild rabbits, chances are high your dog will eventually encounter rabbit poop. Rabbits eat continuously throughout the day, so they also tend to poo frequently.
- Why do dogs eat rabbit poop? We'll discuss that here.
- Will it make them sick? Probably not, but we will see what veterinarians have to say.
- How can I stop them? We'll discuss the "leave it and drop it" command.
What Makes Rabbit Poop Irresistible?
Most dogs are naturally drawn to rabbit poop. They'll gulp down those pellets really fast.
Rabbits produce two types of poop. The most common type is the fecal pellet type. For the most part, these pellets are undigested hay and grasses. They have no odor, are round and dark brown in color. This is the type of rabbit feces that a dog is most likely to find and eat.
Then there are cecotropes, which rabbits produce at night with the intent to eat them again for nutrition. This "feces" resembles a bunch of grapes pressed together and has quite a distinct odor. Note the word "feces" in quotation marks. That's because cecatropes aren't really feces, but actually nutrient-packed digestive items, according to scientist Dana Krempels. Because they are so easily ingested by bunnies, cecatropes usually aren't left around long enough for a dog to time them.
My Dog Ate Rabbit Pellets. Should I Be Worried?
Most people who live in the country aren't much concerned about their dogs eating the occasional rabbit poop pellet and accept it as a normal part of their dog's behavior. However, here is what veterinarians say about the risk of worms or other diseases.
Some dogs get an upset stomach after any change in their diet. Eating too many rabbit pellets can cause the same discomfort for a dog who isn't used to them.
If this happens to your dog you will notice signs of nausea or stomach pain. These include loss of appetite, vomiting, drooling, and lethargy.
If your dog remains lethargic for more than a few hours, still refuses food, and/or vomits any blood, take them to the vet right away.
What About Parasites?
It's a myth that dogs can get tapeworm from eating rabbit poop. According to VCA animal hospitals, tapeworm can only establish in a dog's body if the dog eats the actual rabbit. It's not unusual for dogs who eat rabbit poop to also eat any dead rabbits found on the property if they are let outdoors unsupervised.
Another factor to consider is that dogs more commonly get tapeworms from eating infected fleas. Rabbits, just like dogs, can have fleas. So if there are fleas in your dog's environment, they can be the cause for your dog's tapeworm infestation.
However, if you are concerned, it may be helpful to know that the passage of tapeworm segments in dogs who eat rodents or rabbits can be seen in the dog's feces between six to eight weeks after consumption.
Other types of parasites, including coccidia, giardia, and cryptosporidia, can affect animals. However, these parasites are "species specific," according to veterinarians, and should not cause any symptoms in either dogs or cats.
"Rabbit form of coccidia is not the same type of coccidia that can affect dogs, and it just simply passes through the dogs body, explains veterinarian Dr. Ivana Vukasinovic. The rabbit form of coccidia derives usually from the genus Eimeria, while the dog form is from the genus Isospora.
Coccidia may be present in the dog's stools during a fecal flotation test, but this doesn't mean that the dog is infected or that the coccidia from the rabbit are reproducing in the dog.
Dogs are therefore more likely to get the type of coccidia that triggers illness by swallowing contaminated soil, water or foods contaminated with coccidia oocysts rather than from the ingestion of rabbit poop.
Most parasitologists believe that Giardia is species specific so it definitely is not common for a dog to get Giardia from bunnies.
— Dr. Alleyne
Are There Any Benefits?
Yes, actually. Rabbit poop comes loaded with nutrients. It is mostly undigested hay, so it is a great source of fiber.
"Rabbit poop is one of the richest sources not only of digestive enzymes, but also B vitamins," says veterinarian Karen Becker. "Dogs on entirely processed, dry-food diets, who eat no living foods at all, will intentionally seek out other sources of digestive enzymes to make up for their own lifelong enzyme deficiency."
How Can I Stop This Behavior?
Normally the leave it and drop it command works wonders to stop a dog in his tracks from eating something potentially dangerous, but it takes a really sharp eye to catch a dog before he wolfs down those small pellets! And of course, it may be impractical if you leave Rover in the yard unattended for any period of time,
Your best option therefore remains erecting some type of fencing or barrier that prevent rabbits from entering your yard.
Teaching the Drop it Command
Questions & Answers
Question: What if my dog eats a lot of rabbit poop?
Answer: Most likely, digestive issues will follow if your dog ate a whole lot.
Smenden on August 01, 2020:
Omg Yorkshire Terrior is over 13 years old and he’s always eating rabbit poop. When he does he gags and coughs. And after a day if he doesn’t eat any he’s ok. But as soon as he eats some he gags and coughs. My Yorkiepoo gets diarrhea when she eats rabbit poop . She only eats it if he starts she runs over to him and eats his rabbit poop.
Adrienne Farricelli (author) on April 07, 2020:
Irene, I can feel your frustration, it's not easy. You may need to install chicken wire and make sure that it is at least 2 feet high to prevent the rabbits from jumping and buried 3 to 6 inches deep.
Irene on April 06, 2020:
My dog ate rabbit poop and got sick and vomitted 18 rabbit poop pieces were found. She was scared and now resting. How do I get rid of these wild rabbits in my backyard?
Deb on February 24, 2020:
Our Rottie has gotten quite sick several times frim eating rabbit turds. Do yourself a favor and do not allow this habit to continue!
Sam on February 19, 2020:
Our dachshund has gotten sick 5 times within the last 3 months from eating our bunny's pellets. She gets severe vomiting and diarrhea for at least a week. It always takes a vet visit for fluids, anti-nausea and anti-diarrheal medication. I think you should be concerned until your dog doesn't show any signs, because every dog is different so you never know. We try to be as diligent as we possibly can and have moved the bunny to a different room and gated the door, so hopefully this doesn't happen because it can add up going to the vet!
Diane on January 20, 2020:
My 6 month old puppy just came back from the vet with bad bacteria in her tummy, could be rabbit poop, could be wood she chews on, could be anything. I was sad to see her so uncomfortable whining. She loves to dig her nose down in the snow and i have no idea what is under there.
Dog and bunny Lover on December 29, 2019:
I have a dog and just got a bunny. I first caught him eating my bunny’s pellets them I caught him eating his poop and I feared. But now after reading this I think he will be fine.
John murphy on December 18, 2019:
Our dogs eat yard skilled rabbit dropping’s . They been doing this for months and they are fine. They still eat their breakfast and dinner. I say if it’s not broke don’t fix it
3DogMama on December 03, 2019:
Our small breed dogs had severe diarrhea for several days after eating rabbit poo. It always requires veterinary intervention. Fast Balance (strong probiotic), Bland Diet, Pumpkin, and Slippery Elm.
Laura Lampley on December 03, 2019:
So... my puppy is seven months. He knows several tricks, along with the basics- sit, stay, down, etc. He is very exciteable and tunes out all commands when he's focused on something else. We live in the country, and there is SO MUCH rabbit poop. He is OBSESSED!! He'S not gotten sick yet, but I'm worried. Are there any other ways to stop him from eating it?
savannah m on July 30, 2019:
I have two pet rabbits and no matter what I do I cant seem to stop them from eating the poop straight out of the cage (theres a small gap where poop gets lodged, they eat it where the tray pulls out and whatever gets kicked out) I have three dogs, all mixed breeds but all between 30 and 50 lbs and they've never had an issue, not to say that wild rabbits poop might have more cause for harm than domestic since I control their environment and have far less exposure to potential parasites
Jessica on July 08, 2019:
My mastiff, terrier mix eats rabbit poop. No matter how many times i tell him no, he does it anyway. He wont touch anything else i tell him not to, he just cant resist the pellets.
toby on March 26, 2019:
Our dog has a pancreatic deficiency and receives daily doses of panc-aid. She has been eating wild rabbit poo in our back yard, they have been in our yard all winter enjoying the mixture of seeds we feed the squirrels and birds. As a result we have huge amounts of rabbit poo, our dogs love it. As soon as the weather permits we will clean it up. Today our two dogs threw up and one dog who suffers from the pancreatic deficiency had what seemed to be a seizure. She recovered and then threw up rabbit poo. After a spell she behaved quite normally and later are her dinner happily. Weird!
Ninjamom71 on March 20, 2019:
My three year old lab eats rabbit (deer?) poop and pukes it up. Never on the hardwood floors, always on the carpet. Sigh.
Edna on March 09, 2019:
Penny is a Jack Russell mix and is now 10 years old. She has been finding rabbit turds in our yard since she was a pup. The first time it happened, she didn't want to get out of bed the next day and stayed under my bed. Later in the day she came around and was fine. The third time it happened I decided to take her to the Vet to see what was going on and after testing they couldn't find anything. This family of rabbits live under my shed so when Penny isn't feeling well this is usually the reason.
Allen on February 03, 2019:
We have a lab/ shepard mix an she eats rabbit poop all the time, she has never gotten sick and her appetite has not changed .
Winston March on February 03, 2019:
We rescued our dog, Winston, in May of 2016. Part terrier and part chihuahua, he’s a little guy that always has his snoot to the ground, searching for interesting scents AND rabbit poop. The first time Winston became sick from consuming rabbit poop was August 2016. Diarrhea, vomiting, lethargy, and dehydration are the common symptoms. With a more serious case, your dog can be hospitalized for pancreatitis and Acute Hemorrhagic Diarrhea Syndrome (AHDS). The first time he became sick, we were not sure why. We were told to bring in a sample of his feces which was first tested to see if he was infected by parasites (hookworm, roundworm, whipworm) or other organisms such as coccidia. The test came back negative and our vet asked us to bring in another sample to utilize a different test. They introduce an antigen to test for giardia. He tested positive for that. We were told that rabbit poop harbors this organism. Rabbits are clearly not affected by this organism, but canines can be. Additionally, this organism and the sickness that can occur is zoonotic, it can be passed from animal to human and vice versa.
Our vet put him on two antibiotics lasting two weeks. Panacur (a milky white substance dispensed via a syringe once a day) and Metronidazole (which in higher doses can cause neurological disturbances that require hospitalization). Before we left the vet that day, Winston has to be hooked up to an IV to receive fluids and IV Cerenia (an anti nausea/ anti pain medication). That was our first experience with what rabbit poop can do to our Winston.
Fast forward to January 2019. Noticed again that Winston was exhibiting symptoms that seemed really familiar. Vomiting, bloody/ black stools, lethargy. Saturday he was his normal happy, energetic self. We took a walk and I noticed he found a yummy pile of rabbit feces. Before I could stop him, he gobbled up a couple of the round balls. (Ever since our first experience with how sick Winston could get from eating rabbit feces, my husband and I are pretty vigilant at keeping him from eating them. You can imagine how hard that is with a terrier-mixed dog.) Sunday was when we saw the symptoms (mentioned above). We were up all that night taking him outside to be sick. We knew we had to get him to the vet and got him in that Monday. We didn’t get to see our normal vet that Monday. She noted that he was severely dehydrated. I detailed his symptoms and explained that he had eaten rabbit poop and had been diagnosed with giardia in the past after eating rabbit poop. She gave us a feces sample kit and a prescription for Metronidazole, put Winston on an IV of fluids and Cerenia, then sent us home.
The first four days, he was improving. By that next Saturday Winston was sick again, but this time was much worse. He was extremely lethargic, extremely dehydrated, his stools were shockingly bloody and extremely loose/ mucus-y. We went back to the vet immediately.
Winston was put on double the Metronidazole, Panacur was added, we continued his bland diet. Again he was put on an IV of fluids and Cerenia and the vet drew blood for a full chem profile. Shockingly, he was close to having pancreatitis and the vet wanted us to admit him. We didn’t want to and we settled on bringing him back in if he didn’t appear to be improving in two days.
Two weeks later, he is doing better. Due to the giardia, then the insufficient first course of antibiotics, to the doubling of the Metronidazole and adding the Panacur, his GI system is a mess. He’s continued to have soft stools, and has vomited. We called our usual vet and she ordered Science Diet, Tylan Powder, and oral Cerenia. He is starting to get better.
Long and short, from our experience, giardia is dangerous for dogs (and potentially humans). With over $700.00 dollars in vet bills, but more importantly, Winston being sick for about a month, we do not take lightly the consumption of rabbit feces.
Winston is taken to the vet for normal check ups and receives his recommended vaccines. According to our vet, there is no prophylactic vaccine for giardia.
I have started to research ways to boost Winston’s GI health to better fight against giardia. Our vet told us we could give him Panacur for five days each month to fight against it, but I’m not sure that’s the best choice. We’ve learned that giardia is a potentially life threatening organism that lives innocuously enough in a poop that dogs seem to be wild about.
OhioMan on November 21, 2018:
2 of the 3 of my dogs will eat rabbit turds and loves following my rabbit around the living and dining room and just eat as it drops and saves me from having to vacuum them up with the canister vac as I dont have any carpet. No one gets sick or anything and has been doing this for years.
Kay on October 29, 2018:
My 10 month old Frenchie seems to graze on rabbit poop. She vomits in the middle of the night when she does. Even if we go out with her, she seems to get a few pellets in her mouth. We don`t know how to avoid her from eating it. Our 10 year old Mini Schnauzer never eats it. He did once when he was a puppy, as far as I know, he never did it again.
Lou5050 on October 19, 2018:
My mini poodles love to eat rabbit poo and I hate it! I am finding that one of them has lost weight since the rabbit have started to come into our yard, about a year ago. Will have them tested for worms. It does worry me and I wish I could find a way to stop them eating the poo or get rid of the rabbits!
Sherri on September 24, 2018:
My dog has been eating these "yard skittles" for the past few months. He has been very sick, and keeps getting re-infected with hookworms and coccidia. Fatigue, Diarrhea, vomiting, it has been a costly and tiring past 2 months. At this point, we are just hoping that winter will kill off the parasites.
john williamson on September 06, 2018:
my dogs have 1/2 to 5/8 inch long white worms in there poop what are they ?
ladyruby2007 on July 18, 2018:
my dog.did indeed get sick from. eating rabbit poop,a visit.to the vet and 100$ later...hes on the mend....bugs bunny.was a.costly.
Elisa Simkovitz on May 01, 2018:
My dog usually eats rabbit poop. My 10-mth old puppy seems to have no problem with it. My 15-yo terrier mix usually eats it but he must have gotten too much one day and he was so sick! Vomiting 7+ times a day. Explosive diarrhea. Did not eat or drink for at least 24 hours. Took him to the vet they gave him antibiotics, Flagyl, an injection for nausea and an injection of Pepcid. I will never let him eat rabbit poop again. I’m thinking of buying a muzzle so at least he can sit outside and enjoy the grass in the sun without being tempted by the rabbit poop. He’s 15. I cannot allow him to be sick like that again.
Mdmt72 on March 18, 2018:
My Bernese Mountain dog did get worms from eating rabbit poop. Was cleared with medication from vet.
Lucky Idle on February 22, 2018:
Beshapoo 1 1/2 years old ate quite a bit of rabbit poop. He ate his dinner but that evening he had awful diarrhea and threw up once the next morning. He appeared weak and listless. After vomiting he started to eat normally and is fine now.
Twinkie's Mom on February 13, 2018:
My toy poodle, 18 months old now, ate a bunch of rabbit poop and then vomited it! She was fine after that. When she was younger she ate her own feces but finally stopped doing that after about 1 year.
Henry on December 13, 2017:
Two of our dogs loved rabbit poop. One a 43 lb. pointer-lab mix lived to age 15. The other was a 30 lb. black lab mixed with a dachshund-beagle mix. She lived to age 17. They had rare visits to the vet between yearly checkups.
ingrid on October 24, 2017:
...I have 2 dachshunden and an Irish terrier. They love rabbit poop. Thankfully it does not make them sick. The rabbit spends the night in my yard and every morning the dogs chase them all over the place. One of these days I hope they'll catch it. Last spring they killed all the baby bunnies from several nests. Rabbits are so stupid! They must know by now that this place is not safe. But noooooo.
beverly wilson on October 01, 2017:
my dog got sick eating rabbit poop the next day after ingesting dark pellets with vomiting and red diahrrea, only drink water for the next 24 hours.
Jodie on July 23, 2017:
My dog usually has no problems eating rabbit poop but this time- he must have gotten into a bad batch??? He had horrible diarrhea, vomiting (with rabbit poop in it) and now excessive drooling and now he's very tired . I'm going to have to do the rice and boiled beef if not better off to the vet!
Mary on June 28, 2017:
He gets a bacterial infection which results in vomiting and diahrrea. I have to do the chicken rice diet and a 2 week dose of Cipro.
Linda on May 27, 2017:
Dogs can get tularemia from eating rabbit pellets. It can be fatal.
Adrienne Farricelli (author) on May 07, 2017:
Emily, it could also be because rabbit poop is something that he doesn't normally eat, many dogs get digestive upset when eating anything new in certain amounts.
Emily on April 30, 2017:
My 2 year old Fox Red Labrador Retriever, Lucius, is usually good at not eating poop, however we went into a field where there was rabbit poop everywhere and he wouldn't stop eating it - even after we told him off and he ignored us (very unusual for him). The next day he had the diarrhoea and was generally unwell but it only lasted the day and the next day he was back to normal. I think the reason was because he has a sensitive stomach and has certain food allergies (such as wheat) and probably had an allergic reaction to the poop (just a guess). He hasn't been back in the field since but if we do take him again I will watch out for his poop picking.
Adrienne Farricelli (author) on March 19, 2017:
Yes, dogs can get tapeworms from rabbits, but more than from the poop, my sources say it's likely from consuming the rabbit or parts of the rabbit. Another way to get tapeworm is from ingesting an infected flea which is the most common ways dogs get it. http://research.vet.upenn.edu/Default.aspx?TabId=7...
Jackie on March 18, 2017:
ITS NOT IMPOSSIBLE FOR YOUR DOG TO GET WORMS FROM EATING BUNNY POOP!!!! It's happened to my dogs three times. Watch for white, miniature, rice like parasites in your dogs stool! These are parasites from eating the poop!
Eberry on January 24, 2017:
My dog who only has free reign when in my huge fenced backyard had worms at her last annual checkup. The vet assistant told me it was from rabbit poop. Now she has a bacterial infection and she was again eating rabbit poop. Our yard is fenced, but the rabbits are able to somehow slip under and there are quite a bit of rabbit pellets in our yard at any given time.... :-(
Sophie on January 11, 2017:
Yes, our dog (14 mo old cocker) eats rabbit droppings and has developed coccidiosis three times in the past few months. My vet would not agree with this article that it is unlikely rabbit coccidia can cause problems in dogs.
kAREN on January 04, 2017:
My dog ate the poop in the late night. I did not know this until the next day when she vomited the pellet like poo. She was a bit lethargic the morning after and did not want food. We withheld to see if she would vomit again. Not until 24 hours later and she had a scrambled egg and a tablespoon of boilded chicken breast. Called vet, suggested we give her pepcid AC or pepto and watch her closely. We are withholding food for another 24 hours. Will let you know
beccala on October 27, 2016:
I have 4 dogs, 2 Papillons and 2 American Eskimo Dogs. They have all been snacking on rabbit poop (unbeknownst to me) Until my 14.5 year old Eskimo became violently ill with HGE and Pancreatitis last weekend. She was hospitalized for 3 nights/3days. The day before she was discharged, my 13 year old Eskimo was "off" and by Tuesday also violently sick, vomiting and bloody diarrhea. He is still in hospital 2 days later and not responding to treatment, getting an ng tube today. He is unable to eat or drink, has not eaten since Monday, and his stomach and esophagus are inflamed. They need to suction the stomach acid out of him. No HGE diagnoses, but suspect pancreatitis and?? colitis I think is what the vet said.
All of this from silly rabbits???
Funny Farm on October 08, 2016:
If your dog is eating something so quickly that you can't stop him, it is possible that if your dog has gotten sick, that the poo belonged to another kind of animal.....dogs like kitty poo! I have seen some possum poo and some of the possums in live traps poo smells extra foul. I would be more worried about the "other" animal poo.
* I have a bunny hutch so there's no doubt that my dogs are there selecting a piece or two when I watching. They don't get sick from it. They will eat a few pellet food pieces each week too...none of them get sick from it.
Adrienne Farricelli (author) on October 03, 2016:
Pat thanks for sharing your comment about your dog who got coccidia from eating rabbit poop, I hope he gets better soon!
Adrienne Farricelli (author) on June 17, 2016:
You should find a way to fence your yard so those pesky bunnies stop pestering Lincoln tempting him to eat bunny poop.
Emily on June 13, 2016:
I have a little bunny business called the bunny barn, and my little poodle name Lincoln loves bunny Poop. When ever he can he will eat the Poop, and I'm worried that he will get sick or something bad will happen, also he knows that he shouldn't eat the Poop because when ever he eats it and I say his name he looks at me and pouts
Adrienne Farricelli (author) on May 08, 2016:
Welcome to the dog eating rabbit poop party club!
Sue on May 06, 2016:
Our Border collie/ Blue heeler mix is also a great fan of the bunny poop feast!
Adrienne Farricelli (author) on March 18, 2016:
Thanks for sharing the effects rabbit poop seem to have on your dog.
Chrissyalbson on March 17, 2016:
Our chocolate lab is addicted to the rabbit poo buffet in our yard. He gets horrible smelling farts (that put any humans fart to shame), drooling, and if he eats a lot, diarrhea and some vomiting of bile. We thought it was allergies, even tried going to a less ingredient food- less than what he is already on, was also going to bring him in to get checked out, but then did some researching and realized it was probably from the buffet outside. We started watching him and since he doesn't get to eat it anymore, he's back to normal, all symptoms have disappeared. He of course occasionally will sneak one in, then the farting and drooling are back for a day.
Jessica on March 09, 2016:
My 17 week old Chihuahua is IN LOVE with rabbit poop. This year it seems the poop is ALL over the yard. We've had cats for years so I just assumed the cats kept the rabbits away since I hardly seen rabbits in the back yard anymore. But now that we have Pippin, the chihuahua it seems the rabbits have come back. She's still in potty training but so far the rabbit poop hasnt distracted her until after she's done her business. Which I am extremely happy about! I'm trying to get her to stay away from the poop but she does manage to snag a few droppings at least once everytime we go outside, if not that time then the next time she is taken out she does. Sneaky little bugger. Lol I just hope she stays that way and doesn't get sick from it ever. Not that I will let her chow down but it is exrememely had to avoid when you're whole lawn is infested lol its not even a tiny lawn either, so I don't know how they get it everywhere because I haven't seen them!
Annabelle on January 22, 2016:
I keep rabbit's out of my dog's yard in the back by feeding them birdseed in the front...
Adrienne Farricelli (author) on November 11, 2015:
Ony thing that comes to mind is to fence off an area so that it is rabbit proof. I wouldn't use rabbit repellent if it says not safe around pets.
Ouida on October 20, 2015:
Two of my Chihuahuas eat it and have gotten very sick. Vomit with the foul pieces of rabbit pellets now looking like coffee grounds. Vomiting for two days and dehydrated. We are in a drought now and I can even see the pellets now since the grass is so thin and seeing the dirt. We tried the chicken wire on our chain link fence but it rusted and was causing the fence to rust. So husband said no more. Not fair the dogs cannot run in their back yard. Doesn't rabbit repellent products hurt the dogs. They bottles always said not safe around pets and humans. What to do? So many rabbits in suburban Indianapolis. This one Chihuahua has IBD and esphogea and this is dangerous for him. So upset. Tried to teach "leave it" and the treat is too good and I cannot hoover over him all the time. They have a doggie door and free access to they yard. Any other ideas?
Christina on October 05, 2015:
My puppy eats it like crazy, we are having such trouble potty training him because he sees outside as a bunny poo buffet. Right after we got him he had giardiasis, which could have been from the bunny poop of from the puppy place we got him. He also has a rash on his belly (could be elsewhere that we cannot see) and swollen lymph nodes. Could this be from the bunny poo?
Donia on August 13, 2015:
My Doxies scarf it down before I can stop them...it's making my younger one vomit a very disgusting, foul smelling substance. Doesn't affect the older one. I need to find a way to stop them or keep the bunnies from visiting my yard. I don't have anything but grass in the front yard.
Lori B on July 17, 2015:
Thanks for the article. My 5 month old miniature daushound has eaten rabbit poop and I was concerned. I know that daushounds we're bred to hunt rabbits so I didn't think the poop could be fatal since they probably used to eat a ton of it.
Adrienne Farricelli (author) on July 15, 2015:
These critters are capable to fit through the smallest places, they even fit through the holes of our chain linked fence, so I would think only a fence with very small holes would offer a permanent solution or maybe not so drastic as to install a new fence but just fence up the bottom so they cannot make their way through? I have heard good things about 1 inch mesh chicken wire slightly buried at the bottom to prevent digging under.
Mary on July 13, 2015:
My dogs have always ate rabbit poop. We have many rabbits in our fenced yard. They have never been sick. I try to stop them from eating it, but they always end up eating some before I can get to them. Any idea's how to keep rabbits out of the yard? They are under our shed and can all get through the fence. I would like to humanly keep them out of the yard if possible.
Rob on May 28, 2015:
The solution is easy as pie, keep your dog away from rabbits poop. fence off an area, keep him inside, build a kennel. I am sure in the long run it's ll be much cheaper than all those vet visits.
Julie on May 27, 2015:
My Shih Tzu likes rabbit poop. He becomes sick and will not eat his food. He throws up yellow liquid (bile?). Doctors have no idea what to do.
Adrienne Farricelli (author) on April 25, 2015:
Sorry to hear your dog got sick from eating rabbit poop. That seems like quite some time for a mild digestive upset if he's been vomiting for 2 days straight . You'll need to consider the risks of him getting dehydrated since he's a small fellow, I would play it safe and see the vet.
Margaret on April 25, 2015:
My 2yr old shih tzu has eaten rabbit poo and has been vomiting cfor 2 days now. Will it sort itself out or is a vet required
Adrienne Farricelli (author) on April 06, 2015:
Thanks for sharing your story about your dog getting sick from eating rabbit poop. Another good reason not to let them, I hope your dog makes a speedy recovery.
Cheryl on April 04, 2015:
My dog has always eaten bunny poop and finally one dog he got HGE. Was very sick for a few days!!!! I now do juicing for him and I think the bunny poop don't hold the same attraction for him anymore!
Adrienne Farricelli (author) on March 01, 2015:
Carolyn, I'm sure cleaning that up wasn't a pleasant task! I hope it happened outdoors. For some dogs with sensitive tummies anything new may not agree with their stomach. I hope she's feeling better.
carolyn on February 26, 2015:
She threw up...shortly after eating the rabbit poop she had 3 I think!
Adrienne Farricelli (author) on February 14, 2015:
Rabbit poop can still make some dogs very sick. Fortunately, my dogs like yours have scarfed down those pellets for some time, and so far they're healthy and never gave signs of illness. I guess it depends on how sensitive a dog's stomach is and if the rabbits are healthy. Best regards!
Sharon Berry from Michigan on February 14, 2015:
We have lots of rabbits that travel to our bird feeder and then back to their hiding places and our dog has been eating rabbit poop for a couple of years. He has no ill affects from it other than me yelling at him to stop because I think it is gross. You have reassured me that this will not kill him. Thank you.
Adrienne Farricelli (author) on January 19, 2015:
That's interesting. Perhaps it's simply the dietary change. Because he used to eat it routinely when you had your pet rabbit, now he's getting an upset tummy since it's every now and then? Something to discuss with your vet.
Allison on January 19, 2015:
I used to have a pet rabbit and my JRT ate her poop all the time with no problems.
I don't have the rabbit anymore, but there are tons of rabbits that go through my yard. My dog has gotten sick twice in the last month, with major diarrhea and a bit of vomiting. He went to the vet, had a fecal test, blood panel, and x-ray and they could find no problem, but gave me meds for the diarrhea.
He just ate poop again two days ago and now the diarrhea is back. I can't say for certain if its related, but I do remember seeing him eating rabbit poop a few days before he got sick the first time.
Adrienne Farricelli (author) on January 19, 2015:
And make sure Darla that the fence has small enough holes, as we had a chain link fence and those cute bunnies were still able squeeze through even the smallest holes.
Darla on January 19, 2015:
My dog loves it but gets very sick from it. She vomits and then gets diarrhea, we were stumped for awhile thinking it was all sorts of other things. Pepcid seems to help with the vomiting but her diarrhea is just gross. Not to be too gross but it has a very distinct smell like her pancreas is inflamed or something. Time to get a fence!
Carol Byrd on December 15, 2014:
My Shih Tzu ate some rabbit poop and started vomiting up so white foamy stuff from his mouth. Up all night, dry heaving and this white stuff coming out of his mouth. I am very angry and I want to kill that rabbit!
Adrienne Farricelli (author) on December 12, 2014:
Hello Stormy Syndrome, in that case I meant odor to us.. I should have specified! Even my dogs are able to track down rabbit poop in no time! They even can smell where the rabbits walk by when sniffing bushes. Gotta love that awesome sense of smell!
StormySyndrome from Valdosta, Georgia on December 12, 2014:
You say Rabbit poo has no odor. I beg to differ. I have 3 dogs, A chihuahua, a Min-pin, and a chiweenie. We will be walking through our normal field and turn around to see my chiweenie doing the "inchy shuffle," grazing on rabbit poo she seems to be more than capable of sniffing out. We have decided to start taking her out only between meals since she has decided to look at it as snack time instead of potty time.
Adrienne Farricelli (author) on November 28, 2014:
Perhaps put a little fenced area where you keep the bunny and the puppy stays out?
Felicia on November 27, 2014:
I have a puppy and a pet Bunny, my puppy eats the poop every time the bunny is out. I always stop her when i see her doing it but its hard. I hope nothing happens to her.
Missmolly on November 22, 2014:
We have bunnies living under our deck and my golden eats the poop by the truck loads. (I do stop him when I catch him but he's pretty much obsessed)
It's been a few years and he has had no issues:)
Adrienne Farricelli (author) on November 13, 2014:
Yikes, thanks for sharing your dog's experience from eating rabbit poop. I am happy to hear he is doing better now. The best option may be to cut grass and fence off the area with chicken wire that have spaces of 1 inch or less.
yikes on November 13, 2014:
Our puppy ate rabbit pellets and likely contracted Giardia from this. He needed to be treated with oral antibiotics due to soft stools with mucous and inappropriate weight gain. He is doing better after treatment although it is difficult to avoid those little pellets.
Adrienne Farricelli (author) on November 02, 2014:
Kas, thanks for commenting. HGE stands for Hemorrhagic gastroenteritis, according to VCA Animal Hospitals:" it can arise from dietary indiscretion (ingesting non-food items or even dramatically different foods than what the dog is accustomed to)" and lists several other potential causes such as immune-mediated disease, toxins, pancreatitis, stress, anxiety, hyperactivity, intestinal parasites, bacteria, poor diet, new treats etc. I wouldn't say rabbit poop is toxic per se' as many dogs eat it for years with no ill effects (In Italy most dogs in the country scavenge on these as if they're pieces of kibble) but some dogs are far more sensitive than others and can develop HGE and pancreatitis on foods other dogs can eat with no ill effects.
kas on November 02, 2014:
i just made a comment but made a mistake its called HGE
kas on November 02, 2014:
yes my dog has eaten bunny poop and its very toxic he about died on me last week. its called ghe so try to find a way not to let them eat it
Adrienne Farricelli (author) on August 29, 2014:
I hope your puppy gets better soon! My puppies also wanted to eat it all the time which is why I was forced to keep them on leash when outdoors until they did great with the leave it command.
Jaci on August 28, 2014:
My 3 1/2 month old puppy has developed quite a taste for rabbit poop and here I am up all night because he has d,iarrhea from hell. I have a pepto mix I gave him and hopefully we are both able to sleep through the night.
Adrienne Farricelli (author) on August 27, 2014:
Jodi, and who was so quick to say it's harmless? Sounds like you haven't read the article in its entirety. I would say you were the one that was quick to base an opinion. Read under the bad and the ugly where a link to a vet discusses the risks for giardia and other parasites. I never said it was harmless.
Jodi on August 27, 2014:
My dog contracted giardia from eating rabbit poop so I wouldn't be so quick to say it's harmless.
Adrienne Farricelli (author) on March 28, 2014:
Yes, digestive enzymes and probiotics are very good for dogs on commercial foods. While there are many dog foods who claim to add them, consider that a great percentage of them are lost in the packing /storing process.:(
Heidi Thorne from Chicago Area on March 27, 2014:
My dogs love that crap (literally)! Ugh. Recently, my older girl had a bout with giardia parasites, likely due to her addiction to it. (She also has been know to hunt bunnies, even grabbing a little one out of his nest. Strong hunt instinct.) Good to know it might be due to the lack of enzymes in their kibble. We sprinkle digestive enzymes on their food. Maybe they need some additional supplementation. Thanks for the awesome info, as always!
Ed Palumbo from Tualatin, OR on March 26, 2014:
If there is "contraband" to be found in the brush, my dogs will find it. Thank you for this interesting information!
Adrienne Farricelli (author) on March 26, 2014:
Hello billybuc, my dogs are also big chicken poop eaters, and still today they'll occasionally eat the occasional rabbit poop. Fortunately, they never had any problems either.
Bill Holland from Olympia, WA on March 26, 2014:
Ours eat chicken poop and show no ill effects...of course, they have been known to eat their own, too, so there you go. :)
Is It Okay If My Dog Eats Rabbit Poop?
Around our neighborhood, dogs have been dining on irresistible delights from area lawns. With a plethora of bunnies hopping around, there’s an ample supply of rabbit poop hidden in the blades of grass. And many dogs are thrilled to find it – scarfing it down before their owners can redirect them. We’ve all been wondering the same thing: Is it okay for our dogs to eat rabbit poop?
So I did a little digging (pardon the pun.) From what I could find on the subject, it’s not a big deal for dogs to eat rabbit poop. Coprophagia, aka Eating Excrement, is normally not a particularly healthy thing for dogs to do. Many eat their own waste. This can be a cause for concern, and requires a check with the vet. It may or may not signal a health issue.
Lots of dogs love to eat cat poop – CindyLu included. Snackies are her birthright, apparently, and a trophy earned for having to live with cats. But eating the excrement from other carnivorous animals carries a risk of acquiring parasites, bacteria, or disease. Indoor cats don’t carry much risk themselves, but any outdoor animals are certainly questionable.
Rabbits, however, just eat grains and plants. And because they are not carnivorous, the diseases they are vulnerable to are not transferable to dogs.
Eating poop may stem from an ancient instinct in dogs to make sure they get all the nutrition they need – rabbit poop is high in B vitamins. Interestingly, it also provides digestive enzymes, which as Dr. Becker explains in the video below, dogs can “recycle”. This is particularly true of dogs that have a diet of dry processed foods and are therefore enzyme-deficient.
Fleas and ticks hover around many creatures, though, including rabbits. And lawns, gardens, anywhere rabbits may be found might be treated with chemicals or solutions that could cause upset stomach in your dog if exposed to them. Sometimes dogs like to eat grass, too. If your dog develops gastrointestinal symptoms, such as vomiting, diarrhea, lethargy, it’s best to contact your vet. It’s not likely he’s gotten sick from eating bunny stool, though.
So, the answer to the question? It may be gross, but t’s okay for your dog to eat rabbit poop (in moderation.) She’s rounding out her diet, getting her B vitamins and possibly some needed digestive enzymes, and dining on what apparently is a very tasty delicacy for dogs!
The reason it's not easy to prevent your pooch from feasting on feces is that there are so many underlying reasons that could cause this habit in the first place.
Below are the 21 most common reasons that dogs may have a poop-eating habit.
To make it more helpful, I've grouped the reasons into clusters:
- Health Reasons
- Dietary Reasons
- Medical Reasons
- Behavioral Reasons
It's essential to know these reasons because then you'll understand why most fixes don't work, and what does work (more on that further down, so keep reading).
- tear gas
- household chemicals
- some paints
- household and garden chemicals
- petroleum products
- antifreeze, screen wash
- rat poison
- slug pellets
- drugs and medications
- some human foods
- luminous necklaces and glow sticks
- some paints
- paintball pellets
- some plants and flowers
- children’s modelling compounds
Wee Wee Frenchie
I can barely get Cooper farther than six inches before his nose has found another bird dropping, and then another bird dropping, etcetera. It is embarrassing since our dog eats well, maintains a healthy weight, and never partakes in eating any other kind of poop. So what is the deal?
As you can imagine, there is a lack of information on the Internet about what is so attractive about bird poop to a dog. I would guess that the smell is different because geese have a diet that mainly consists of plants, seeds, insects, and less meat. Given that geese are primarily herbivores, their stool is less odorous due to low protein and meat in their diets. In fact, I have walked through the park where an entire section was covered in goose poop, and I did not detect any odor.
Even though I do not detect a stench from bird poop from a standing position (since I have never put my nose next to goose poop), I would imagine it smells like candy to a dog. Dogs have approximately 250 million olfactory senses, which is 40 times more than a human. Given that I cannot smell a stench in the air when standing in a large area of goose poop, I am sure Cooper’s snout smells a sweet and inviting aroma due to the highly herbaceous diet of a goose.
Also, I wonder if curiosity gets the best of Cooper. Dogs are highly food-oriented and considering that geese droppings are a similar shape and color of most dog treats, maybe he thinks its a present left just for him on a park scavenger hunt. Whatever the reason, dogs do a lot of things that humans would never do, and what is disgusting to us is perfectly natural to a dog.
Even though I try to expedite walks with Cooper through the most poop-infested areas of the park, it is only natural that I will not be able to stop him from eating every goose dropping. I have looked away for a split second only to see that Cooper was able to get a morsel in his mouth, and he looked rather pleased with his “treat.” Of course, you should try and limit exposure to poop but what if your dog gets sick?
Goose poop can contain bacteria like salmonella and campylobacter but dogs have resilient gastrointestinal tracts so infections are rare. Giardia is an infection caused by a parasite, which can be found in goose poop. It is primarily found in host-specific birds, which to my understanding, is not very common. Just as in humans, giardia can cause soft stools to watery diarrhea that persists for several days. If you notice this in your dog, especially after a trip to the park where goose poop was consumed, get your dog to the vet for immediate evaluation, as well as lab or stool tests. These infections can be treated, although it is rarely a problem for the curious pup that tried a few morsels of goose poop.
If you want to know more about specific infections that birds can cause in canines, be sure to read:
Subscribe to Wee Wee Frenchie
Get the latest posts delivered right to your inbox