Your dog’s curiosity fascinates you most of the time.
But eating rabbit poop?
That’s next-level weird.
Like, what’s so appealing about it that your pupper’s obsessed with it?
Well, I got all the answers.
Keep reading to learn:
- If it’s normal for dogs to eat the poop of other animals.
- 9 surprising reasons why your dog is obsessed with eating rabbit poop.
- How their experience during puppyhood led them to consume rabbit feces.
- And much, much more…
Table of contents
Why is my dog obsessed with eating rabbit poop? 9 reasons
#1: They’re still a puppy
Coprophagia is the term for poop eating in dogs.
According to vets, it’s normal for puppies to show this behavior.
And I know it seems weird for some to hear that it’s an ordinary practice.
But young dogs got it from their mamas.
You see, a pooch that just gave birth will eat her litter’s poop.
It’s her way of cleaning up her family’s den.
And since young Fido sees it…
They imitate their mom and eat poop as well. May it be their own or one of their sibling’s poo. Even another animal’s feces, including a rabbit’s.
Moreover, there’s this thing called:
A puppy’s oral stage
They’re new to the world. That’s why puppies are curious and have a lot of energy.
So, they’ll explore their environment.
And they’ll use their mouth in doing so. During this, a pupper is obsessed with mouthing everything.
Hence the name for this phase.
Now, this is a normal part of puppy development. It’s how they learn about the world.
But it should be gone before they turn 1 year old.
If not, that means…
#2: They’re stuck in the oral stage
Poor Fido never got rid of the mouthing behavior.
They’re already old enough, yet they won’t stop eating poop.
In your pup’s case, they’re particularly obsessed with rabbit feces.
“Why are they stuck in this phase?”
Behaviorists believe it has something to do with frustration.
Meaning, you didn’t allow your pupper to explore as much as they needed to.
And for that, Fido feels discouraged.
So that restraint only led to them being stressed. Which created compulsive behaviors. For your doggo, they kept eating poop.
What’s more alarming is this:
A stressor won’t have to be present. Instead, they’ll do it whenever they can.
So if they see rabbit poop, they’ll eat it without hesitating.
That means your pooch is stuck in a vicious cycle.
Because whenever they do it, they feel relieved from the frustration. Which releases feel-good hormones called endorphins. Thus, reinforcing the behavior.
Basically, it becomes an addiction for your pupper.
Warning: This is a difficult behavioral issue to overcome.
Most dogs want to be the star of the show.
And they’ll do anything to be it…
Including eating rabbit poop just to get your attention.
They’re that determined.
However, they won’t be doing it as an attention-seeking method if it isn’t encouraged.
To understand, here’s what might’ve happened:
You and your dog are outside.
But apart from watching Fido from the corner of your eye…
You’re doing something else.
And when you caught a glimpse of your pupper eating something strange…
You rushed to them only to see they were munching on some rabbit poop.
After that, you didn’t let them leave your sight anymore.
Now, that made Fido think they can do it to get you focused on them. So, that reinforces the behavior.
#4: They’re curious
Dogs are natural explorers.
As I mentioned, that behavior is most present during puppyhood.
However, even adult dogs regularly get curious.
Their urge might not be as strong as it was when they were puppies…
But grown canines will nudge their nose to new things.
And the only thing that might’ve driven them to eat rabbit poop is simple curiosity.
The smell is nothing like before. And it’s their first time seeing that thing.
So, they tried it out.
Now, they can develop an obsession with it once they realize:
#5: They like the taste of rabbit poop
Sometimes, the answer is simple:
Your dog is obsessed with eating rabbit poop because they like the taste.
And it doesn’t help that bunny droppings look like kibbles in the first place. They’re small and round pellets that are usually dry.
Apart from the taste…
Your dog might also enjoy the texture of rabbit poop.
That’s why Fido takes pleasure in eating it.
#6: Fido is hungry
A dog should never feel this way.
Because if they go hungry, they’ll eat just about anything that looks and smells like it.
Whether it be garbage or rabbit poop.
Whatever it is that can fill that space in Fido’s stomach.
And a dog going hungry can mean 2 things:
You don’t feed them enough
According to PetMD, here’s how much food a dog needs based on their weight:
|Dog size and weight||Required daily food intake|
|Toy3 lbs (1.36 kg) to 6 lbs (2.72 kg)||⅓ cup (2.66 oz) to ½ cup (4 oz)|
|Small10 lbs (4.5 kg) to 20 lbs (9 kg)||¾ cup (6 oz) to 1 ⅓ cup (11 oz)|
|Medium30 lbs (13.6 kg) to 50 lbs (22.68 kg)||1 ¾ cups (14.5 oz) to 2 ⅔ cups (22 oz)|
|Large60 lbs (27 kg) and up||3 cups (25 oz) to 4 ½ cups (37 oz)|
And since dogs need to eat twice a day…
You’ll have to split the volume for 2 meals.
Now, here’s where the next problem lies:
The time between their meals is too far apart
Vets recommend that a dog’s meals are 8 hours apart from each other.
That said, I suggest you give it once in the morning. Then, the 2nd one must be in the late afternoon.
#7: Improper diet
Apart from being hungry due to not eating enough…
Your dog also has an increased appetite due to a lack of nutrition.
Unfortunately, the kibble you’re feeding them isn’t helping their bodies.
It’s made of non-nutritious ingredients. Some might even be 50% air.
If not that, cheap dog foods still contain tons of fillers. And they don’t contribute to your dog’s health at all.
The only thing they do is make your dog feel full. But only for a short period.
After that, Fido will seek more food as their body tells them to.
And as they’re desperate and see rabbit poop…
They’ll eat that instead.
Continue reading: 7 Easy Ways To Stop A Dog From Eating Rabbit Poop
#8: Increased appetite due to medical conditions
In some cases, it’s not their diet…
But your pupper might actually be facing an underlying medical condition.
Something that increases their appetite. Which makes them eat anything, including rabbit poop.
So, vets reveal these health conditions that cause your dog to eat more:
- Thyroid disease.
- Cushing’s disease.
- Intestinal parasites.
- Problems in their pancreas.
- Inflammatory bowel syndrome.
Now, I don’t want to worry you. But there’s a reason to be concerned.
Especially if your pupper is showing other signs of sickness. Those are:
- Avoiding you.
- Loss of appetite.
- Hiding from you.
- Struggling to breathe.
- Sudden weight loss or gain.
- Increased or decreased urination.
- Changes in attitude (not playing anymore).
You might also want to know: Can A Dog Get Leptospirosis From Eating Rabbit Poop?
At first, the world believed that boredom was a unique feeling for humans.
But research reveals that animals, including dogs, feel it too.
That’s because they also noticed these aspects in animals:
- The notion that time is ‘dragging.’
- Avoiding dull and repetitive activities.
- Inability to stay awake (during a boring activity).
Then, they also found out that boredom can lead to abnormal behaviors.
That’s why AKC warns dog parents of it.
They say that a bored pooch will make their own fun. And for your canine, that’s eating rabbit poop.
They’ll rather do that than have nothing on their agenda.
Aside from that, Fido might also show these other signs of boredom:
- Barking excessively.
- Chewing your things (blankets, socks, etc.).
- Always nudging at you to get your attention.
- Destructive behaviors (like unrolling toilet paper).
Now, dogs feel bored whenever they don’t get enough exercise. Or they lack mental stimulation.