Dog Eating A Rabbit : Do Dogs Eat Rabbits? (5 Menacing Symptoms)

As a dog owner, you will probably have many questions the first time you encounter your dog eating a rabbit accidentally when you are not around. You may want to know why the dog is eating the rabbit. You may also want to know what the likely consequences of your dog eating a rabbit are.

Further, you may want to know what you can do to keep your dog from eating rabbits in the future. The same concerns would come into play if you found your dog eating rabbit poop. Read on, to find answers to those and other related questions.

Dog eating a rabbit is normal but if a dog eats a whole rabbit, there is a risk of him getting parasites like tapeworms from the rabbit. It’s common to find tapeworm cysts embedded deep within rabbit muscle tissue. Vets routinely recommend tapeworm deworming for dogs that eat rabbits.

Dog eating a rabbit - dog ate rabbit
Dog Eating A Rabbit – Dog Ate Rabbit – Can Dogs Eat Rabbits? – Do Dogs Eat Rabbits?

Is It Normal for Dogs to Eat Rabbits?

To put it another way, do dogs eat rabbits normally? The answer is ‘yes’. Rabbits are among the animals that dogs would naturally be preying upon, if they hadn’t been domesticated. For thousands (if not millions) of years before their domestication, dogs were hunting and feed on rabbits. So it is normal for dogs to eat rabbits. It is actually an instinctive thing for dogs to eat rabbits.

The fact that it is normal for dogs to eat rabbits doesn’t mean that it is proper or ideal. Rabbits (especially wild ones) often carry parasites and germs that can cause great harm to dogs. So it is not ideal for dogs to eat rabbits. It is normal, but not ideal.


Is It Normal For a Dog to Kill a Rabbit?

Yes, it is quite normal for a dog to kill a rabbit. Remember, if dogs hadn’t been domesticated, they would still be wild animals – hunting for prey like rabbits. Dogs haven’t been domesticated long enough for their hunting instincts to die. They are still naturally inclined to kill animals like rabbits.

You may ask ‘do dogs eat rabbits out of desperation’? In other words, do dogs eat rabbits because they are not getting enough protein? Or do dogs eat rabbits just for the sake of it? The answer here is mainly this: dogs eat rabbits because it is fun for them to do so. Even the best fed/best cared for dog would still tend to show a tendency to want to kill rabbits.

Admittedly, the picture of a dog eating a rabbit can be heart-wrenching. But just as you wouldn’t blame a lion for killing a zebra, you similarly shouldn’t fault the dog. You shouldn’t blame the dog for killing a rabbit: because he is only acting on his natural instincts.

If you also keep a rabbit, you may find yourself asking ‘will my dog eat my bunny?’. And unfortunately, the answer is that there is a risk of him doing so.

A question may arise here: why do dogs eat rabbits? And the simple answer is that dogs eat rabbits because they find their meat lovely. Furthermore, in the wild, rabbits are among the few small prey animals that dogs can hunt successfully. Thus if you find your dog eating a rabbit, you need to put the whole thing in the right perspective. You need to understand that he is just acting as a normal dog. He is not turning into a ‘vampire’ or anything of the sort.


My Dog Ate a Rabbit Should I Be Concerned?

If your dog ate a rabbit, you shouldn’t be too worried. But you nonetheless need to put the dog under observation. Be ready to witness a possible stomach upset, especially if your dog has a sensitive stomach. This may manifest in the form of diarrhea or vomiting. It may be minor and go away on its own after a day. But if it gets serious, you need to take the dog to the vet.

In the long run (after having found your dog eating a rabbit), watch out for possible tapeworm infestation. Chances of the rabbit that was eaten by your dog having had tapeworms are quite high. That is why deworming makes sense.

Further, in the long run, watch out for conditions like rabbit fever and rabies. These are rarer conditions which your dog may have contracted from the rabbit. If you see any signs of them, get the dog to the vet immediately. Remember to tell the vet about whole history – including the bit where you found your dog eating a rabbit.

There is no guarantee that your dog will suffer from any of these things, because of having eaten a rabbit. In most cases, dogs that eat rabbits turn out just fine. Nonetheless, the discovering of your dog eating a rabbit should put you on alert for these conditions.

You may pose the question: if my dog ate a dead rabbit, should I be more concerned? The answer is ‘yes’. That is because you don’t know what had killed the rabbit. You also don’t know about the chances of it (whatever killed the rabbit) crossing over to the dog. Thus, if my dog ate a dead rabbit, my level of concern would be higher. It would be higher than if my dog killed a rabbit.


What to Do If Dog Eats a Rabbit

The most important thing to do, if your dog ate a rabbit is to monitor him closely. Monitor him closely for a few days. Be on the lookout for symptoms of serious stomach upsets/infections. Those would be things like serious diarrhea, serious vomiting, nausea and so on. If you discover any, inform your vet immediately.

Another important thing you can do if your dog eats a rabbit is to have him dewormed for tapeworms. I would be more worried about the tapeworms if, for instance, my dog ate rabbit intestines. Or if my dog simply swallowed the rabbit whole. But what of cases where the dog only eats a small portion of wild rabbit meat? Even then, these concerns (regarding tapeworms) would still be there.


Can a Dog Get Sick From Eating a Rabbit?

Yes, if you found your dog eating a rabbit, there is some possibility him getting sick from the whole thing. It is a small possibility, but it is nonetheless there. The risk is higher if the rabbit eaten by the dog was a wild one. It would conversely be lower if the rabbit eaten by the dog was a domestic one. Similarly, the risk would be higher if the dog ate dead rabbit (a rabbit that was already dead). That is as opposed to if the dog killed the rabbit itself.

The sickness that your dog can get from eating a rabbit may be minor. It may be something like a day’s stomach upset. But the sickness that your dog can get from eating a rabbit can also be serious. It could be something like rabbit fever or tapeworm infestation or even rabies.

You should, however, get comfort in this fact: most dogs that eat rabbits turn out to be just fine. So chances are that yours too will be just fine. But you should also be prepared for worse outcomes – including sickness, following the rabbit ingestion.


What to Do If Dog Swallowed Baby Rabbit Whole?

If my dog ate a baby rabbit whole, I would be on the lookout for a stomach upset. Chances are that the dog’s digestive system will struggle slightly with things like the rabbit’s fur. Remember, this is ‘new meat’ (which the dog is probably unaccustomed to). Therefore chances of a stomach upset are even higher.

Thus if my dog ate a baby bunny whole, I would be on the lookout for serious stomach upset signs. Should those manifest, I would have the dog checked by the vet.

Dog eating a rabbit - dog ate rabbit
Dog Eating A Rabbit

Further, if my dog ate a baby rabbit, I would endeavor to have him dewormed. In spite of being young, the bunny may already have acquired tapeworms. These are tapeworms that would have passed onto the dog during the ingestion. So I would consider deworming.

Of course, if my dog keeps eating baby bunnies, I would develop strategies for keeping the dog from the bunnies. The more rabbits the dog eats, the higher the chances of him eventually encountering one that would cause serious illness.


What to Do If Dog Ate Rabbit Guts?

Before going any further, you may be wondering: do dogs eat rabbits guts? And the answer is ‘yes’. Dogs do eat rabbit’s guts. In fact, dogs seem to have a special liking for rabbits’ guts.

The commonest consequence of dog eating rabbit guts is where the dog develops stomach upsets. The symptoms can range from vomiting to nausea and onto diarrhea and lethargy. So that is what you need to be on lookout for, if your dog ate rabbit guts.

Further, you need to understand that the guts of the rabbit eaten by your dog may have been harboring tapeworms. So it would be prudent to have the dog dewormed, once you discover that he ate rabbit guts.


What to Do If My Dog Ate Rabbit Bones?

The best course of action, if your dog ate rabbit bones, is to keep an eye on him. In all probability, the dog will turn out to be just fine. But if he shows signs of serious illness, you need to take him to the vet. Then ensure that you mention the rabbit bones eating incident to the vet. Just mention the fact that the dog has a history of having eaten rabbit bones.

Chances are that the dog didn’t eat rabbit bones that were in isolation. Chances are that the rabbit bones had some meat on them. This is meat that would possibly have had parasites and/or germs. Thus, if you know your dog ate rabbit bones, you need to watch out for signs of illness. Be optimistic. But keep it at the back of your mind that there is a small risk of your dog becoming unwell.


What to Do If My Dog Ate Rabbit Fur

People who pose this question usually have one underlying concern: can dogs digest rabbit fur? And the answer is mostly ‘yes’. Your dog’s digestive system is strong enough to break down fur. But because the fur may be a new thing to the system, the dog may experience stomach upset. If the stomach upset gets serious, take the dog for vet treatment.

The rabbit fur that was eaten by your dog may have had fleas. The fleas may have had tapeworm eggs, which got into the dog in the course of ingestion. So you may want to have the dog dewormed.

Possible effects of a dog eating a rabbit


Why Do Dogs Eat Rabbit Poop?

First, you may have a more basic question: can dogs eat bunny poop? The answer is ‘yes’. Dogs do eat rabbit poop. In fact, the question should be ‘how often do dogs eat rabbits poop’ – because it is a very common thing. Then why do dogs eat rabbit poop?

Firstly, dogs eat rabbit poop because they find it tasty. The second reason why dogs eat rabbit poop is because they like the texture of it. And the third reason why dogs eat rabbit poop is because it has nutrients they need.

Obviously, if you find your dog eating rabbit poop in yard, you may be (justifiably) concerned. You may wonder what is wrong with him. But as we have seen, it is quite normal for dogs to eat rabbit poop.


How To Keep Your Dog From Eating Rabbit Poop?

If I found my dog eating rabbit poop, I would have one overpowering concern. That would be on how to stop my dog from eating rabbit poop in the future. At this point, you may ask yourself: is rabbit poop harmful to dogs? And the answer is largely ‘no’. Still, for purposes of etiquette, you may ask: what can I do to stop my dog from eating rabbit poop? And the answer is in keeping the dog away from the areas where he may encounter rabbit poop.

If it is impossible to keep the dog from areas where he may encounter rabbit poop, use other strategies. Whenever you find the dog feeding on rabbit poop, you can use the ‘leave it’ command. The objective there would be to get the dog to keep off the poop.

You should also consider improving your dog’s diet. Include more fiber and B vitamins, so that the dog doesn’t have to go looking for them in rabbit poop. Otherwise if you keep rabbits, you could one day even come to find that the dog ate rabbit food!


Can My Dog Get Sick from Eating Rabbit Droppings?

It is unlikely that your dog would get sick from eating rabbit droppings. Nonetheless, if there happens to be parasites (such as tapeworms) in the rabbit droppings, they can get into the dog.

In many dog tapeworm infections, the origin tends to be where the dog ate rabbit poop that had the tapeworms. The problem is complicated. When a dog eats rabbit poop with even one tapeworm egg, a lifetime infestation can start right there.

Conversely, can dogs eat bunny poop safely, without falling ill? The answer is ‘yes’. More often than not, when dogs eat rabbit poop, they don’t fall ill. A dog falling ill from rabbit poop is the exception rather than the rule.

Therefore if my dog ate rabbit poop, my biggest concern would on the possibility of him getting parasites (like tapeworms).


Dog Ate Rabbit Symptoms

After finding your dog eating a rabbit, the symptoms you should watch out for are those related to stomach upsets. Common in that category are things like vomiting, diarrhea, nausea, lethargy and so on.

What if, as a result of the dog eating a rabbit, he has developed an infection? In that case, it will tend to manifest through weakness, loss of appetite, shivering, red eyes… and so on. These sorts of symptoms call for immediate vet attention.


How To Prevent Dog From Eating Rabbits Again?

To stop your dog from eating rabbits, try to keep him from places where he may encounter them. If you encounter a rabbit while walking with your dog, his attention will immediately be drawn to the bunny.

What you can use here is ‘attention redirection’, to get the dog to stop focusing too much on the bunny. Should you find your dog chasing a rabbit, issue a ‘leave it’ command.


Dog Ate Rabbit Poop Now Sick

If your dog ate rabbit poop and is now sick, you need to consult your vet. It is likely that the dog’s stomach has reacted very badly to the rabbit poop. Or there were certain germs in the rabbit poop.

Either way, vet attention is necessary: especially if the symptoms seem to be getting worse. After treatment, you will need to focus on how to stop dog from eating rabbit poop. Otherwise you will end up in an endless circle of the dog eating rabbit poop and getting ill.


Final Verdict On Dog Eating A Rabbit

The outlook for a dog that has eaten a rabbit is not very bad. Dogs are one of the most rabbit predators that bunnies fear for. Most dogs that eat rabbits don’t experience any negative effects thereafter. But there are rare cases where parasites jump from rabbits to the dogs while the dogs are eating the rabbits.

Dog eating a rabbit - dog ate rabbit
Dog Eating A Rabbit – Dog Ate Rabbit – Can Dogs Eat Rabbits? – Do Dogs Eat Rabbits?

Tapeworms are particularly notorious in that regard. There are also rare cases where germs jump from rabbits to dogs while the dogs are eating the rabbits.

Thankfully, the germs and parasites that jump from rabbits to dogs this way tend to be easy to deal with. Therefore, upon finding your dog eating a rabbit, don’t get too worried. But do keep an eye on the dog that has eaten a rabbit. If it develops unusual symptoms, seek a vet’s advice immediately.


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