Can Dogs Eat Rabbit Food? – [5 Things to Remember]

Can dogs eat rabbits? Is duck good for dogs?  You may be asking these questions if you are planning to introduce a new meat for your dogs’ diet and update its new fave list. 

Rabbit meat is known for its richness in protein. In fact, rabbit meat is often used by a lot of dog food  companies in producing delicious treats. With this, it is obvious that dogs can definitely eat rabbit meat but allow us to provide you with the detailed benefits of feeding your dogs with it. 

To start, rabbit meat is a  great way to provide a more balanced diet for your dogs especially if you are advised by your vet to carefully watch their weight.

It is low in fat and cholesterol compared to other red meats. Plus, its meat is known for its distinct deliciousness that promises not to add a few pounds. 

Can Dogs Get Sick from Hunting a Rabbit?

The act of hunting itself will not make a dog sick. However, ingesting a rabbit infected with Tularemia Disease affects the dog’s health depending on its current state.

Tularemia is a bacterial disease that occurs in animals including rabbits and can also affect human beings as well. It is typically mild for most healthy dogs but may be deadly for those that are immune-compromised. 

Tularemia, also known as Rabbit Fever, causes a tumor-like mass in the affected animal’s liver. Its severe symptoms include high fever, dehydration , skin ulcer and abdominal pain. Early detection of this bacterial disease is a great factor for recovery and prevention of life-threatening conditions. 

dog biting a rabbit

If you ever find your dog with the known symptoms of this disease, call your vet right away. They can prescribe the needed antibiotics and other medicines to manage the impact of such infection. 

Dog Breeds that Love Rabbit Hunting


A beagle is one of the best rabbit-hunting breeds. Its keen sense of smell, agility and speed makes  a great combination and guarantees a kill.  Known as the best noses in the canine world, beagles can easily track its target. 

Beagles are a naturally curious and active breed. They tend to do things independently but are still trainable. Plus, since they are of small size, it is easy for them to navigate inside a rabbit’s habitat.

Basset Hounds

Since Basset Hounds are known to be slow due to their short legs, rabbits tend to not hide from them and stay in the open. This makes this breed an easy rabbit-hunting dog buddy, especially that it has a sharp sense of  smell and a distinct howl as well. 


Labrador has been helping hunters for years. They are very flexible when it comes to their hunting environment as they are great swimmers during waterflow and bird hunting  and very agile as well during rabbit hunt. They are highly trainable too. 

Labrador dog sitting on a grass field

Jack Russel or Russel Terriers

This breed is often trained to hunt foxes since they are vocal and can easily intimidate the target. They are very energetic and has a great sense of smell. 

Is It Okay for A Dog to Eat a Rabbit?

There is no known danger for dogs in eating rabbit as long as it is from a trusted source. Eating raw rabbit meat, on the other hand, may expose your dog to various bacteria that may cause an upset stomach or Tularemia. 

Benefits To Remember When Feeding Rabbits for Dogs

As established, rabbit meat has a lot of benefits. 

1. It Is a White Meat

This means that consuming rabbit meat will allow you to have your dog enjoy its deliciousness without worrying of cholesterol and fat. Your dog, even those that are not into exercise and active lifestyle will not gain weight. 

2. Rich in Protein

Compared to other meats such as chicken, turkey, beef and pork, rabbit has the highest protein which is good for your dog’s muscle. It is also rich with amino acids that aids in tissue repair and is a great boost in the immune system. 

3. Low Cholesterol

Rabbit meat has less saturated fat. It is, however, rich in healthy fat which helps in lubricating the joints and in keeping the dog’s coat shiny and healthy. 

rabbit on a grass field

4. Great Source of Vitamin B12

The nutrient-packed organs of rabbits is a great source of Vitamin B12. This vitamin ensures  that the dog’s nervous system is healthy and functions perfectly. This is also important in cell growth and in maintaining the energy level.

5. It Is a Novel Protein

Novel proteins act as the reset button of your dog’s tummy. It allows the tummy to readjust to the protein it is being introduced to and gives your immune system the much needed break from fighting off the previous proteins which your dog’s tummy may be allergic to. 

Potential Risks of Feeding Rabbits for Dog

Amidst all the benefits discussed in this article, there are also few potential risks in feeding your dogs with rabbit meat. 

1. Exposure to Tularemia Disease

Eating raw rabbit meat or even cooked meat from the wild may pose a danger to your dog. The rabbit meat may be exposed to Tularemia bacteria which will cause serious health issues for young dogs and those dogs with compromised immune systems. 

2. Rabbits Often Hosts Parasites Such as Tapeworm

Although not life-threatening, tapeworms might cause an upset stomach to your dogs.

rabbit in a old tree trunk

This is why it is important that you get your rabbit meat from a trusted source to ensure that the meat is properly sanitized and the rabbit is not ill or infected with any diseases or parasites.

3. Rabies

Although this is highly uncommon, it is possible that dogs will get rabies from an infected rabbit through saliva or blood. However, if your dog is complete with rabies vaccination, this should not be a problem. 

4. Fleas and Ticks

Fleas and ticks are the most common causes of dogs’ skin diseases. Thus, allowing your dog to be near a rabbit from the wild will most likely attract fleas and ticks to transfer. Fleas and ticks can cause serious health problems and complications if not caught earlier.  

Can Dogs Eat Cooked Rabbit?

Yes. Cooked Rabbit can be a healthy and sumptuous treat for your dog. You can prepare it however you want as long as you consider what spices and oil you must use.

dog eating in a bowl

One of things which you need to remember though, is to ensure the meat’s cleanliness as well as your sanitation measures during preparation and cooking. 

How Do You Cook or Serve Rabbit for Dogs?

The preparation of cooking or serving rabbit meat for dogs is similar to how we. humans prepare our favorite dish.

You can either roast, boil or saute your rabbit meat and serve it to your dog automatically. Just remember to tone down on oil and spices that may not be suitable to the preferences of your pup. 

FAQ: Answering Your Paw-Worthy Questions

What Happens if My Dog Eats a Rabbit?

When your dog ate a rabbit, it is best that you observe your dog for any gastrointestinal problem such as vomiting, diarrhea or appearing to be weaker than usual.

Once you have these symptoms, it is best that you pay your vet a visit so they could guide you on what steps are best to take further. 
If your dog does not show any of these symptoms after a few days of eating the rabbit, most likely he is just fine. 

Are Dogs Allergic to Rabbit Meat?

It is very uncommon for dogs to be allergic to rabbit meat. Rabbit meat is considered a novel protein. This means, your dog has seldom or has never been exposed to this type of protein. Novel protein is the best protein choice for dogs with sensitive tummies or those with food allergies.  

Is Rabbit Meat Easy To Digest for Dogs?

Yes. Rabbit meat is highly digestible. It is also rich in protein and closely resembles the natural diet of most dogs. This is the reason why most dog food manufacturers use it as one of its main ingredients. 


As dog owners, we only want the best for our dogs. Thus, if we can, we want them to enjoy a sumptuous meal without the need to worry if it can make them fat or sick. Rabbit meat might just be the answer to all these worries. 

Rabbit meat is the perfect protein source that is good even for those lazy dogs who are not into exercise and active lifestyle. It is a vet-approved and considered best meat substitute for dogs advised to slow down on fat and cholesterol to prevent gaining weight. It shares similar benefits of eating goat meat.

It has also received the approval of most dog food makers as they are now offering rabbit as its main ingredients and highlights the benefits it can give to dogs.

The only thing that we need to take into consideration is ensuring that the meat we are using is free from harmful bacteria and parasites that may put our dog’s life and even ours in danger. So, take precaution and use rabbit meats that came from reliable sources only.

Photo of author

Lovelia Horn

I’m a certified crazy dog mom, a physical therapist (for hoomans), writer, animal rescuer, and foster home provider. Together with my hubby Ryan, I’ve fostered and helped look for forever homes for over a hundred shelter dogs in the Southern Illinois area. I mostly work with Puppy Rescue 911, Inc., a certified animal rescue organization based out of Chester, IL (home of Popeye!)

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