Dogs are the most lovable creatures on this planet. They take away all the sorrows and loneliness in your life by replacing them with love and care. Due to the emotional connection, we share with our doggos, sometimes their vicious behavior can put us under a lot of stress. I was traumatized to witness my dog kill a rabbit. My body froze in horror and the pet I love the most suddenly looked like an antagonist from my most hated Disney movie.
When such a condition occurs right in front of you and your dog is covered in blood, there is very little you can do to save the rabbit. If the little rodent is still breathing rush him to the nearest vet. What about the dog? Who is going to handle him? Well, you’ll have to take care of the dog too. You need to bathe him, calm him down because obviously, he won’t be feeling at his best either.
Why did my dog kill the rabbit?
Dogs love chasing squirrels and rabbits, most of the time they’re so fast that dogs miss them. A squirrel fights back. She might bite and teach the doggo a lesson for life, but a rabbit can’t do much. Eventually, things can end in a dog’s favor and he actually might catch them.
We all have studied evolution in our junior years. Survival of the fittest has led dogs today to be here on the planet with us. They have a natural instinct to go for the prey, and the prey around the city are small animals like rabbits, cats, squirrels. So naturally, the dogs are going to go after them.
There are various reasons that contribute to rabbit becoming prey to your dog. The first one could be having a hun dog. By nature, hunt dogs are made for hunting, they wouldn’t tolerate small animals such as cats, squirrels, baby birds, and rabbits in the same household where they are in. One example is of German Shorthaired Pointers, they are absolutely lovable companions but when it comes to having them with other pets in your house, that could be a challenge. Other examples are Cairn terriers, Springle Spaniers who are again hunt dogs and should be supervised.
Should you be blaming the dog? I believe you should always research enough before buying the pets and keep an eye if they are exposed to an environment where their prey drive might come into action.
After your dog has fed himself the rabbit meat, he would be covered in blood. The next task is to take the beast for a bath. After you’re done washing him, he might be shaking or showing behavioral changes. That’s okay, dogs do shiver after a bath. But more importantly, they also get upset when their owners scream at them, and I am sure there isn’t any owner who wouldn’t react harshly to such a situation.
If the rabbit is dead you have to make two choices out of one. Either you let your dog eat his prey and accept the reality. This was the dog’s natural instinct; he was supposed to be doing that in a jungle. If not, just dig a hole in your backyard or somewhere and bury the little soul.
Killing the Rabbit is one thing, but you might see the dog do more to the small body. You might see the rabbit with broken bones and that’s because dogs like throwing their prey up in the air. Haven’t you seen them doing the same with their toys? Looks like dogs seem to enjoy this ruthless behavior.
Is my dog in danger?
Yes, if your dog killed the rabbit he might be in trouble. There is a danger to his health too.
Rabbit blood could be infected with bacteria, parasites, or even viruses that might enter your dog’s system. One such example is Rabies Virus. This could take up to three months to show symptoms but it severely infects the brain. Moreover, if the dog bites humans or other animals it can then be transmitted to them. If your dog is vaccinated, you are safe. However, if you are not sure about this rush him to the nearest vet at your earliest.
Rabbits can pass on Tularemia onto dogs who ingest its meat. This is a bacterial infection that shows symptoms of fever, chills, and muscular pain. Antibiotics by a vet, help with the treatment.
Rabbits commonly carry tapeworm and pinworm in their blood. The dog feeding on its flesh has a high chance of getting them transmitted into his body. Visit your pets and get pills to kill the parasite.
What precautions to be taken?
If your dog has shown such behavior once, how to make sure that the dog repeats it again? Here are a few tips that might come in handy.
- Don’t keep the hunt breed with small pets under the same roof. You never know when their hunting instinct might come into action.
But If you still have other small pet rodents and are unwilling to give them away, keep them on separate floors and supervise them.
- First, take the consultation and then approach a professional trainer. Training can help to get over hunting instincts such as prey drive or rabbit chasing. The trainer should be able to train your dog in a way that he doesn’t attack a small being the same way again.
You can train him on your own too, but that’s not much of a recommendation.
- Some people might go for Schutzhund. This is a sport that helps you identify traits in dogs that make them more useful and happier. It has proven to help the dogs too in a few cases.
- Another option is using a shock collar when you take the dog out to the park with you. This way he is easier to control.
I hope if you were struck with the tragic incident of your dog killing a rabbit, this helps you with all the questions. Get your dog some professional help to avoid this in the future. Don’t worry and hope for the best!