Canines are identified for his or her unimaginable senses, however their sense of style is, how shall we embrace… a tad uncultured.
From one other canine’s vomit to their very own butts, from final week’s rubbish to immediately’s freshest roadkill, it appears there’s nothing too disgusting for a canine to eat.
The truth is, among the grossest issues we are able to consider are among the most scrumptious treats a canine may ever hope to come across.
One such delicacy: rabbit poop.
Rabbits dwell life within the quick lane. They eat loads, they breed loads they usually poop loads, and on this final method, they’re like little cellular pet food factories.
However for us people, seeing our canine devour a pile of rabbit droppings isn’t simply gross — it’s regarding too. In spite of everything, with all of the micro organism inside it, poop can’t be good to eat… proper?
Let’s placed on our detective hats and clear up the age-old thriller of why canine eat rabbit poop. And extra importantly, let’s discover out if it’s secure — or if it’s a behavior that must be damaged.
The Actuality of Rabbit Poop
You'll have rabbits in your neighborhood and never even understand it. They have a tendency to draw back from people, and sometimes the one signal that they have been there in any respect is the poop they go away behind.
As herbivores, rabbits solely eat crops, and the overwhelming majority of their weight-reduction plan is grass. This weight-reduction plan ends in a set of fascinating toilet habits that assist clarify why canine love rabbit droppings a lot.
A Story of Two Poops
Rabbits really produce two forms of stable waste. And every sort serves a really completely different objective.
The primary sort of poop is named a fecal pellet. It’s the small, brown, roundish type that resembles canine kibble at first look — and there’s often plenty of it.
This poop doesn’t have a lot of an odor, but it surely’s what we often consider as poop: undigested meals compacted right into a turd. Rabbit fecal pellets are often comprised principally of grasses and hay that the rabbit couldn’t digest.
Most rabbits don’t eat their very own fecal pellets, although it’s regular for them to have a nibble on them now and again. However most pellets are left behind the place canine and different animals can discover them.
The second sort of poop isn’t technically poop in any respect, although it comes from the identical place. It’s referred to as a cecotrope, and imagine it or not, it’s designed to be eaten.
Sure, you learn that proper: some rabbit “poop” is definitely meals.
Cecotropes are formed like small, shiny bunches of grapes and are sometimes produced at night time. They’re tightly-packed bundles of vitamins and useful micro organism which might be lined in mucus.
When a rabbit eats a cecotrope, the mucus protects the micro organism from the digestive enzymes within the abdomen. As soon as it reaches the cecum (the junction between the small and huge intestines), the micro organism are launched, populating the cecum and aiding in digestion.
The micro organism stink fairly badly, however they’re completely important to a rabbit’s well being. They produce vitamins that the rabbit must survive however that are robust to acquire from peculiar meals.
Rabbits that don’t eat cecotropes will ultimately succumb to malnutrition, so these droppings are essential elements of their weight-reduction plan. Fortunately, rabbits appear to know this and often ingest their cecotropes shortly after they’re produced.
Drawn to the Droppings
So rabbits have purpose for consuming their very own droppings. However what’s your canine’s excuse for consuming rabbit poop?
Turns on the market’s much more depth to this baffling want than first meets the attention!
Poop: Filled with Vitamins
Simply as rabbits stand to achieve a fantastic deal from consuming their cecotropes, canine can profit from consuming rabbit pellets.
Rabbits don’t often eat their fecal pellets as a result of there’s nothing in them that they couldn’t get from a extra appetizing supply.
Fecal pellets are largely made up of grass and different plant matter that couldn’t be digested. A hungry rabbit may merely return to the supply and eat extra recent grass as an alternative of previous, indigestible grass.
However digested or not, grass and hay include plenty of fiber and vitamin B — two vitamins that canine on business diets are sometimes poor in.
And rabbit poop additionally comprises digestive enzymes from the rabbit’s abdomen, which may help in canine digestion as effectively. That is very true of canine on kibble diets, which don’t include any residing enzymes.
Canines who're poor in a nutrient will instinctively search out sources of that nutrient and eat them. It’s because of this that rabbit poop is such a doggy delicacy.
And what about cecotropes? Nicely, they’re filled with vitamins as effectively, particularly protein, vitamin B and vitamin Ok.
Nonetheless, canine hardly ever get to get pleasure from a snack of cecotropes, as rabbits often gobble them down fairly shortly. When your pup does discover a cecotrope, although, the additional protein and nutritional vitamins may make it an irresistible deal with.
Curiosity Fed the Canine
Even canine with out nutrient deficiencies may be discovered wolfing down rabbit poop like there’s no tomorrow. It’s not a dietary want, and it appears to be the other of a canine’s peculiar carnivorous weight-reduction plan, so what’s the deal?
The reply seemingly goes again to a canine’s heightened sense of odor and, to a lesser extent, style.
With round fifty instances extra scent receptors than people, plus an additional smelling organ of their mouths, canine understand the world by means of odor. They will decide up nuances in scents that we are able to’t even start to think about.
So these odorless rabbit fecal pellets that we discover in our yards and in our pet rabbits’ cages? They in all probability odor totally fascinating to canine.
The shortage of meat mixed with the distinctive digestive micro organism present in rabbit stomachs seemingly smells fairly completely different to the rest a canine encounters. And when canine odor a curious scent, the following step is often to style it — so as to add a brand new dimension to the sensory expertise.
Like a visually fascinating object that makes you wish to contact it, rabbit pellets could odor so intriguing to canine that they'll’t assist however take a chew. And since odor and style are so intertwined, fecal pellets in all probability style mighty fascinating too.
Is Rabbit Poop Protected for Canines?
So canine love the style of rabbit poop and search it out as a result of vitamins it comprises. However does it additionally include something dangerous?
More often than not, the reply is not any. Any new meals, together with rabbit poop, may cause an upset abdomen, however that’s as a result of novelty of it, not something inherently unhealthy concerning the poop itself.
And although you will have heard that rabbit poop can transmit parasites to your canine, don’t fear — that’s a delusion.
Rabbit poop can include parasites, like coccidia and giardia, however they’re species-specific and can move by means of your canine with out concern. They will solely reproduce inside rabbits, not canine, so whereas they might present up on a lab take a look at, they received’t trigger any signs.
Some house owners are involved about their canine getting tapeworms from consuming rabbit poop, however that is additionally a non-issue.
Tapeworms aren’t transmitted by means of poop. A canine can solely get them by consuming the physique of a rabbit that’s infested with them, or a rabbit that’s infested with contaminated fleas.
When you see rabbit droppings in your yard, it’s a good suggestion to test it recurrently for lifeless rabbits, as you undoubtedly don’t need your canine consuming these.
However the poop itself is not any drawback. As gross as it's, no hurt can come out of your canine consuming it.
Canines may be skilled to disregard rabbit poop with the “drop it” or “go away it” instructions. However more often than not, it’s completely pointless to take action; it’s simpler for those who simply look away whereas it’s taking place.
Rabbit poop consuming is simply one other bizarre, disagreeable behavior that comes with the territory of canine possession — however this one, at the very least, is completely secure.