Rabbits are small, swift, and tough to catch, making it challenging to go rabbit hunting without a dog. Rabbits, too, live in underground burrows. Despite their small size, terriers and other small dog breeds have long been chosen for rabbit hunting since humans cannot get to them.
In certain cultures, dogs aren’t seen as natural hunters. However, their loyalty, friendliness, and companionship make them a joy to have around.
Regarding predatory instincts, canines are no different from other animals. Baby bunnies are easy prey for dogs since they are small, defenseless, and quick to catch and kill.
In the past, many canine breeds were used for hunting rabbits to reduce rabbit numbers. As a result, your canine pet is still capable of preying on its prey.
Natural life cycles necessitate the consumption of rabbits by dogs. Rabbit chasing is a favorite pastime among dogs because it allows them to expend their pent-up energy.
Whenever a dog attacks a rabbit, it’s upsetting for everyone involved: the dog’s owner, the mother rabbit, and anyone else who witnesses the attack. However, stopping a dog from chasing a bunny is doable with practice and patience; the ability to stop a dog from killing a bunny can be achieved via patience and training.
Will A Dog Eat a Rabbit?
Wolf-like ancestors can be traced down to today’s tamed dogs, many of which still have a predatory instinct. Predatory instincts are triggered when small creatures like rabbits are startled and escape from your dog.
In most cases, if your dog manages to catch the rabbit, he will tear it and consume the entire meal. Due to selective breeding, dogs’ exterior appearances have evolved into something else, yet their digestive processes have remained unchanged.
Raw flesh, stomach contents, and bones combine to provide a delectable feast for your dog. However, even though bacteria from a rabbit’s digestive tract or hair may not harm a healthy dog, rabbits can contain rabies, so be careful to vaccinate your dog.
Some diseases must look out for when your dog eats a rabbit, even if the general chance of your dog being ill is low. Signs to look for if you suspect your dog has been ill because of killing a rabbit include swollen lymph nodes, difficulty breathing, and a lack of appetite.
Rabies is not a major contributing factor, but it is still essential to be vigilant. If your dog is updated on their vaccinations, there’s little to worry about rabies from rabbits.
Do I Need to Worry If My Dog Killed a Rabbit?
It’s acceptable to say that the dog killed a rabbit, but remember that your dog’s hunting drive might be dangerous to other creatures. Don’t penalize your dog for killing the rabbit because it’s in its nature.
Dogs commonly hunt rabbits; thus, punishing them for doing so is unfair. Your pet may go hunting even if they aren’t dominating, as most dogs have an impulse to do so.
Hunting instincts run deep in the canine DNA. Every moment they spot a prospective prey item, they pounce and even run.
In terms of hunting and eating rabbits, wild rabbits are likely to be better equipped. Furthermore, these prey species are likely to be eaten after they’ve been hunted.
For this reason, wild dogs must go out and hunt to get their food and stay alive. When these creatures see bunnies, they will be ready to pounce on them with their teeth and jaws.
However, unlike their wild cousins, they won’t have the same level of aggression. So although they may only obtain a kill by playing aggressively, this is most likely the case.
Most importantly, pets aren’t going out of their way to kill for food. Instead, they’d do it to have fun.
How Do I Get My Dog to Stop Killing Rabbits?
You only need a leash, some ultra-tasty goodies, and some patience. However, a lifelike toy rabbit and a companion who can carefully move the bunny with a piece of string greatly assist. Incorporating the dog into safely caged bunnies is essential s after the dog’s training has been appropriately advanced.
- Keep a dog on a leash and a stuffed animal rabbit in the same space. Keep the dog far away from the rabbit, so he doesn’t notice it. It’s time to reward him for ignoring it.
- Reward him for not paying attention by getting closer. Observe the dog’s body language and be on the lookout for signs that the dog is interested in the rabbit and ready to pounce. Reward him after he’s distracted by the “look” instruction.
- To refocus the dog’s attention, move to a new location while maintaining the same range as the bunny. Next, step back from the bunny, then lavish the dog with praise. Focus on yourself rather than rabbits are the goal of this exercise.
- As time goes by, the dog will get used to the rabbit’s presence and won’t respond. Remember, though, that dogs and bunnies should never be left alone together.
- Wait a little longer each session before rewarding the dog for following and looking. After some time, the dog should be able to sit and stare at you for a few minutes before receiving a reward for its efforts.
What Happens If My Dog Kills and Eats a Rabbit?
There are a few elements to remember when determining how likely your dog will become unwell after a rabbit assault. First, was the rabbit eaten by your dog, or was it killed and dumped in the yard?
If the rabbit was infected or otherwise ill, learning how it occurred could be critical to your dog’s health. This could be an essential consideration, mainly if the dog had eaten the rabbit when the accident occurred.
Fleas, ticks, and tapeworms are the most frequent ailments your dog might catch from a rabbit, according to the abovementioned disorders. Rabbits, on the other hand, seldom contract rabies, and current vaccinations for your dog should prevent him from the disease.
If your dog has attacked a rabbit, numerous indicators indicate that you should take him to the clinic. However, to be safe, always take the dog to the vet.
It’s a good idea to inspect your dog’s feces if they go to the bathroom more than usual after encountering the rabbit. In addition, if your dog’s stool has become noticeably watery, it could indicate something is seriously wrong.
In the weeks following your dog’s attack on the rabbit, be on the lookout for all these warning indications. You must take your dog to the vet if it shows any signs.