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We know that dogs like to stick their nose in most things, whether it is the mess of other animals, dead things, or their own excreta. This is something that all dogs do, so don’t worry if you see your dog eating another dog’s poop.
However, if you prefer a woodland trek, then more often than not, you can be expected to find your dog eating the mess of a rabbit. These little pellets do resemble chocolate, and it seems like dogs regard them as tasting much the same.
The main concern you might have for your dog eating rabbit droppings is twofold: is it healthy for them to do so? Will it affect the dog’s hygiene? You won’t want your dog licking your face too soon after chowing down on some fresh rabbit muck.
So what is the best method of getting your dog to stop eating rabbit poop? Is it possible to get your dog to stop eating this form of excrement? How can you implement this system in a manner that is effective? Is it possible to distract your dog to the extent that they won’t eat rabbit poop ever again?
Well, if you are looking for a solution to your dog’s rabbit poop problem, then you should definitely keep reading. We’ve got a list of some of the best tips and tricks that you can employ to keep your dog away from this unsightly and smelly rabbit mess.
Can You Prevent Your Dog From Eating Rabbit Poop?
Often you might have noticed when you are out with your dog on a woodland trek that it might be sniffing something in the grass. You might even yank on your dog’s lead to get it to come away, but it won’t budge. It’s only then that you notice what it’s so interested in: rabbit poop.
You might initially be very disgusted and do your best to get your dog away from the poop. The reason why you might be reading this article is because you are trying to find a surefire way of getting your dog to stop. Luckily there are some preventative behavioral measures that you can implement to stop them from doing this.
Here are our 6 top tips for stopping your dog from eating rabbit poop:
1. Make Sure Your Dog Has A Great Diet
One of the main reasons that your dog might be gravitating towards eating rabbit poop is the fact that it has nutrient deficiencies in other areas of its diet. If your rabbit lacks a crucial mineral or vitamin, then it could be looking for it in other areas, and one of that areas could be rabbit poop.
Rabbit poop is essentially all the nutrients that the rabbit was unable to process. This is where the dog comes in, filling the gaps in an imbalanced nutrient diet.
You’ll need to make sure that your dog is getting enough nutrients from other sources. We would recommend that you find a dog food that contains as little ‘meal’ as possible. ‘Meal’ is basically all the rotten stuff that contains very little nutrients whatsoever. It is often found in the cheapest dog food.
Make sure that you get the correct dog food for the breed that you have. Larger dogs tend to like more protein, so you’ll want to be sure that it contains plenty of fresh chicken or fish. Another ingredient will be omega 3, which you can get from giving your dog plenty of fish ingredients.
Make sure that your dog is getting a rich combination of the following: high-grade protein, digestive enzymes, probiotics, and other minerals and ingredients that support health in bones and other joints.
2. Make It Dislike The Taste Of Rabbit Poop
If you have the time and effort to do so, you can try running ahead of your dog on its daily walk and inserting a flavor into the rabbit poop that your dog simply hates the taste of. We would certainly recommend something extremely hot and spicy such as Tabasco sauce.
You can also bag up some rabbit droppings from the wild and scatter them around your property. This way, you can lace them with all sorts of extreme flavors and make sure that whenever your dog gets the urge to tuck into rabbit waste, it will get a nasty shock and soon associate rabbit droppings with something awful.
3. Issue Commands
Issuing commands is very important for your dog, as they will often run off without warning and get themselves involved in some very dangerous situations. There is a very simple method of keeping your dog away from horrible rabbit poop.
All you have to do is make sure that you have a treat in your hand. Show your dog the treat and then close your hand so it knows it’s there, but it doesn’t eat it.
You then allow the dog to smell your hand before issuing the command, ‘leave it.’ If the dog looks at you rather than at the treat, it means that it is listening to you. All you have to do is reinforce this command until the dog responds to you every time that you issue it.
This way, if you see your dog approaching the rabbit poop, all you have to do is issue the command ‘leave it,’ and your dog should bound up to you without any trouble. This command will come in handy for whatever reason that you need it to come back for.
4. Keep An Eye On Your Dog
Making sure that your dog learns the ‘drop it’ and ‘leave it’ commands will really come in handy for when they start going rogue and might wander into the bushes to get their nose and teeth stuck into something particularly unsavory.
The dog is fundamentally a pack animal and will respond very well to commands. Doing this and making sure that they are listening will be perfect for getting the response that you want. Keeping firm to your order and making sure the dog is responding is part of the understanding process.
5. Keep Your Dog Entertained
Dogs love being entertained, craving mental and physical stimulation wherever they go. They are a lot like children in this way. If you use distraction, then you can guarantee that the dog will suddenly be uninterested in what it is pursuing.
However, you also won’t have all the hours God sends to keep your dog away from harmful substances. So all you have to do is make sure that your dog has something to play with when you are out on your walks.
One common method of distraction is with a stick. Throwing a stick, you can be certain that your dog will be up and down the beach over and over again. You can also get a whole host of chew toys that will distract your beast when it is out in the woods. It probably won’t even recognize the rabbit poop that it is surrounded by.
If you are at the beach, then you might also find the bones of various animals that your dog will surely love to chew on to keep it distracted. You can also use socks, rope or an old clothesline to give your dog something to chew on. These are also much cheaper than having to buy a state-of-the-art chew toy.
Dogs simply love playing tug-of-war with a piece of rope or a chew toy, so this is a fun and affordable method of keeping them away from the rabbit poop!
6. Keep Your Dog Away From Rabbit Poop
One of the best methods of keeping your dog away from the rabbit poop is by simply making sure that there is not that much of it in your dog’s vicinity. You can do this by simply taking a new walking route where you know that there aren’t any rabbits.
If you are walking in an area where you know there are rabbits, and rabbit poop will be in abundance then you should make sure that the path is clear before taking your dog out for a walk.
If you have domestic rabbits on your premises, then make sure that the area that they live in is cleaned up completely before you take your dog out for a walk. It shouldn’t take you too long to clean up the rabbit poop and make sure that there is nothing for your dog to lick up.
If you have a large amount of land and can expect to be dealing with a lot of wild rabbit poop, one way of keeping it away from your dog is erecting a partition fence. Make sure that this fence is at least 2 meters high so that your dog cannot vault over it and get stuck into the delicious rabbit feces.
You can also use human and pet hair to discourage your dog from getting to rabbit poop. The natural smells will warn your dog that there might be other dogs and humans nearby and cause it to stay away. You can also use dried blood and garlic to make sure that your dog’s nose is completely averted.
Gardeners often use rabbit poop as fertilizer for their cabbages and vegetables, so if you are someone who does this, make sure that the poop is mixed in well with the compost before taking your dog for a walk nearby.
You can also make sure that your rabbit poop doesn’t smell too alluring to your dog by diluting it first. Do this by mixing it with hot water and then pouring it evenly over your fertilizing area.
Why Do Dogs Eat Rabbit Poop?
Dogs have a particular knack for eating any kind of excrement, and our best guess is that they are attracted to the shape as well as the scent of the rabbit’s dropping. They are dark and shiny and have a pebble shape, resembling delicious chocolate that is actually poisonous to canines.
There are two types of rabbit poop that you will need to stop your dog from eating, that is the dry and odorless kind and the cecotropes. The latter of these is undigested pieces of food that the rabbit passes through its bowels.
Your dog will gain absolutely nothing from eating these dry pallets, as they contain virtually zero nutrients. Eating too many of these dry pellets might also cause your dog to become unwell, as these have enough toxicity to upset the delicate balance of a dog’s stomach.
There are various reasons that your dog will engage in coprophagia (that is, the consumption of feces):
- If your dog is underfed or has poor nutrition in its diet – if your dog is not getting enough of a certain type of enzyme or vitamin, then it will start to crave those things in other places, namely, rabbit poop.
- If your dog has digestive enzyme deficiency, then you can see it turning to other forms of nourishment.
- Parasites – there are plenty of parasites that feed on rabbit poop that can get into your dog’s bowels and really mess up its health.
- Diabetes – if your dog suffers from this condition, then it will start to crave sugars in the unlikeliest of places.
- Steroid medication – this will make your dog start to develop cravings that might include ingesting of other animals’ excrement.
- Curiosity – sometimes, your dog will simply eat excrement just to see what it tastes like.
- Copycat behavior – if your dog sees another dog eating rabbit poop, then there is a big chance that it will do the same.
- Poor training techniques – if your dog is badly trained, the likelihood of it rooting around in places it shouldn’t be massively increased.