Can Dogs Get Sick From Eating Rabbit Poop

Dogs will eat rabbit poop because they enjoy the taste and smell. It’s usually harmless, but parasites in rabbit feces can cause sickness and diarrhea. Sickness caused by rabbit feces can lead to kidney and liver problems if left untreated.

Why Do Dogs Eat Rabbit Poop?

As with any question regarding the motivations of dogs, we can’t ever know for sure why they do the things they do. But we can be reasonably sure that rabbit-poop-eating behavior often occurs because of one of the following reasons:

  • Curiosity. Humans tend to explore our world via our sense of sight, but dogs tend to use their senses of taste and smell instead. So, when they encounter a small pile of rabbit poop, they give it a taste.
  • Nutritional deficiencies. Some nutritional deficiencies can trigger dogs to consume strange items in an attempt to obtain the nutrients they require. For example, rabbit feces is often rich in fiber and B-complex vitamins.
  • Pica. Pica is a condition in which dogs consume inedible (or mostly inedible) items. This problem can be caused by medical problems, but it can also result from compulsive disorders.
  • Hunger. A hungry dog may try just about anything that smells vaguely food-like, and some dogs appear to simply like the taste.
  • Of course, while it isn’t a very satisfying answer, it isalways important to remember that dogs do weird things – just like their owners(although, hopefully, your weird behaviors don’t include scavenging rabbit poopfrom the yard).

    Can Dogs Get Sick From Eating Rabbit Poop

    Rabbits May Still Present Dangers to Your Doggo

    While rabbit poop itself doesn’t represent much of a seriousrisk to your dog, the actual rabbit may be dangerous.

    (Insert obligatory killer rabbit joke here).

    Kidding aside, rabbits aren’t going to try to fight your dog, but, if your dog actually catches and consumes a rabbit, he may become infected with worms.

    Additionally, rabbits often harbor fleas and ticks, including some that may spread tularemia or – even worse – bubonic plague (yup, that plague).

    So, if your dog seems to have a tendency to eat rabbit poop, or you simply have a lot of rabbits on your property, you want to do what you can to protect your pooch. This means using a good preventative flea medication (preferably, one that also works as a tick preventative too), and supervising your dog closely while he’s rompin’ around in the back yard.

    My Dog Ate Rabbit Poop: What Now?

    If Fido just recently ate some rabbit feces, there are a few steps you can take. By following these steps, you’ll be sure that your veterinarian has all the information they need, and that your pup will be in a good place to take whatever action your vet recommends.

    Get your pup away from the source of the rabbit droppings so that no more can be swallowed. Try and remove any from your dog’s mouth if it is safe to do so.

    Try and work out roughly what’s been eaten and make a note of the time. For example, it is useful to know if it is pet rabbit droppings or wild rabbit droppings that have been eaten.

    Follow the advice of the veterinary clinic. They may advise you to continue managing your dog at home. But if the symptoms are concerning, or if your dog has pre-existing health conditions like a sensitive tummy, then the professional advice may be to come in and have a health check with the veterinarian.

    Monitor your canine companion closely over the following 24 hours. You can treat them as normal, but if any symptoms of ill health develop then contact your local veterinary clinic for advice.

    Rabbit poop can contain various nasty germs that can upset a dog’s stomach. In the week after rabbit droppings are eaten, you might see your dog become lethargic, eat less, and have vomiting and diarrhea. This is more likely if they have a sensitive stomach or other pre-existing conditions like pancreatitis. If any of these symptoms start after eating rabbit feces, make sure you contact your local veterinary clinic for advice.

    In general, the tummy upsets associated with rabbit droppings are likely to be short-lived. Your pup will likely be ill only for a few short days. Most dogs will recover without trouble. That said, some of the bugs and parasites in rabbit feces can cause prolonged problems. These problems may include chronic diarrhea lasting several weeks or more.

    These infections are rare and are not associated regularly with rabbits, but theoretically rabbit poo can pass on various bugs that can cause longer-term issues. Bear in mind many of these infections are “zoonotic”—they can pass to people too, so take care over hygiene.


    What diseases can dogs get from eating rabbit poop?

    Veterinarians will sometimes see evidence that a dog has been eating rabbit droppings by finding the parasite, coccidia, in the stool. The rabbit form of coccidia doesn’t cause harm to the dog and simply passes through the intestinal tract. There is a dog form of coccidia that can cause infection and then diarrhea.

    Can dogs get worms from eating rabbit poop?

    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.

    Is bunny poop toxic?

    Is Rabbit Poop Harmful? While rabbits can carry parasites like tapeworm and roundworm, their waste is not known to transmit any diseases to humans.

    Can dogs get giardia from eating rabbit poop?

    Rabbits carry the parasite giardia duodenalis as part of their intestinal flora, and generally do not experience symptoms apart from occasional diarrhea. The parasite is secreted in their feces, however, and if a dog ingests the feces or consumes contaminated food or water, it may develop giardiasis as a result.