Dog Swallowed Baby Rabbit Whole

If your ‘dog swallowed baby rabbit Whole,’ you might wonder what you should do, no. If this is the case, you need to know that a few complications and risks are associated with swallowing a rabbit whole.

In this article, I will answer the ‘Can dog digest a whole baby rabbit’ and what you should do if a “dog swallowed a baby rabbit whole.” But before all these, let’s get the answer to the first question: Can dogs digest whole rabbits?

Can dogs digest whole baby rabbits?

Can dogs digest whole baby rabbits?

Yes, dogs can eat rabbit whole, but digesting them poses challenges and risks. Even though dogs can break down and digest bones & meat, the size, and structure of a whole rabbit may make it difficult to pass through their digestive tract.

You should know that dogs have evolved to have a relatively short digestive system designed to handle various food types, including meat, but bones can get lodged in their digestive tract.

Sharp rabbit bones may cause obstructions or injuries to your dog’s digestive system. Also, your dog’s ability to digest bones depends on the size, density, and shape of the bones.

If your dog has accidentally swallowed larger bones, it might not be broken down completely during the digestive process, leading to serious risks & complications. I’ve recently shared a guide on “Why My Dog Swallowed A Rib Bone Without Chewing: 5 Immediate Steps To Take” 

You must note each dog’s ability to digest whole rabbits may vary. Also, there are a few factors like your dog’s size, breed, & overall health that’ll influence the outcome. Nonetheless, I highly advise you to prevent your dogs from swallowing whole rabbits, including whole bones, to minimize potential complications.

Since Dogs are naturally curious creatures, so your furry friends will often explore their surroundings with an automatic drive. While this behavior is part of your pet’s charm, it can sometimes lead to unexpected situations, such as swallowing a baby rabbit whole.

Therefore, you must understand the potential risks to take appropriate action in such circumstances. Dogs are well equipped with a relatively elastic esophagus and digestive system, which enable them to process large chunks of food, including whole hamsters, baby rabbits, etc.

Also, recent research conducted by Dr. Karen Overall at the University of Pennsylvania School of Veterinary Medicine suggests that dogs have adapted to swallow prey whole due to their lack of grinding teeth, unlike herbivores.

However, even though this adaptation helps your dog for efficient consumption, it also poses risks when swallowing larger prey items like rabbits.

3 Risks Associated with Dogs Swallowing Whole Rabbits

3 Risks Associated with Dogs Swallowing Whole Rabbits

Choking Hazards and Potential Obstructions

If your dog accidentally swallowed a baby rabbit, your pet will likely be at significant risk. If you want to rule out any potential complications regarding your dog’s health, consider contacting your veterinarian as soon as possible.

One of the primary concerns is the potential for choking or the obstruction of their digestive tract. Depending upon the size and shape of the rabbit, it can cause blockages, leading to discomfort, pain, and potentially life-threatening situations. This can also happen if your Dog Swallowed a Beef Bone Without Chewing

A recent study published in the National Institutes of Health suggests that foreign body ingestion, including whole prey, can lead to severe complications like esophageal or intestinal obstructions. Therefore, your dog needs timely medical intervention to prevent these complications from escalating.

Damage to the Digestive System

Did you know that swallowing a baby rabbit whole can also cause trauma to your dog’s digestive system? If not, then you should know that the rabbit’s sharp bones and other indigestible parts can injure your dog’s delicate tissues of the esophagus, stomach, and intestines.

In addition, Perforations or tears in these organs may also result in internal bleeding and infections. If this happens, your doctor may also recommend a possible surgical intervention which can be costly and quite concerning for you and your pet. There is always a risk associated with surgery, especially when a vet uses anesthesia. 

Health Implications of Consuming Wild Prey

If your dog accidentally ingests a wild bay rabbit, it is likely to be at high risk of certain diseases. You should know that wild animals carry parasites, bacteria, or viruses that can harm your dog’s well-being.

If your dog eats or solo any wild animal, it is likely to develop certain diseases, like tularemia and leptospirosis. This type of disease in dogs can easily be transmitted through contact with infected rabbits.

Dog Swallowed Baby Rabbit Whole: What To Do & Know

Dog Swallowed Baby Rabbit Whole: What To Do & Know

Assessing the Situation

If you think your dog has accidentally eaten and even swallowed a baby rabbit whole, you first need to be calm and quiet so your pet doesn’t get anxious or scared about it. Now you need to monitor your dog’s behavior.

If you notice any unusual symptoms, you need to contact the veterinarian and take immediate action to ensure the well-being of your dog. You must observe your dog for a few hours and watch out for signs of comfort or distress, which is crucial. There are a few indications that mean something is wrong, like: 

  • excessive drooling
  • Retching
  • abdominal pain
  • Restlessness
  • difficulty breathing. 

If you notice any symptoms in your dog, make sure to see veterinary care and advise immediately. If you cannot reach your vet via call, you should get your pet to the nearest emergency animal hospital for proper diagnosis & treatment.

It would help if you always let the vet experts handle the situation, as they can guide you on the appropriate course of action based on your dog’s condition, age, health, and size. They will also help you understand the potential risks of swallowing a whole baby rabbit.

It would help if you never tried to induce vomiting without professional advice & Supervision. Even though vomiting may seem to you like a logical solution that can help your dog expel the swallowed baby rabbit, it is more likely to worsen the situation by increasing the risk of obstruction.

On the other hand, the rabbit’s bones might have already caused damage to your digestive tract. Therefore, make sure to always seek professional advice before trying anything.

Treatment Options

Once you have contacted your veterinarian, they may recommend diagnostic procedures to assess the situation accurately. To do that, your vet is likely to recommend X-rays or imaging tests that can help determine the rabbit’s location in the dog’s digestive system and identify any potential obstructions or injuries.

In some cases, a vet may opt for surgical intervention to remove the swallowed rabbit and address any internal damage. Even though it might seem quite expensive, problematic, and risky, surgery allows for a direct approach to remove obstructions & repair any perforations or tears.

Alternatively, your vet may suggest less invasive procedures like endoscopy, which involves using a flexible tube with a camera attached to visualize the dog’s gastrointestinal tract and potentially retrieve the swallowed rabbit.

Lastly, your vet will prescribe you some Medication with instructions to facilitate the passage of the rabbit or alleviate any discomfort, so make sure you adhere to it.

Potential Complications & Long-Term Effects

As I told you earlier, Swallowing a baby rabbit whole can lead to various complications and potential long-term effects on your dog’s health.

Blockages within the digestive system are not the only significant risk; your pet is also at high risk of developing infections and diseases. Suppose you notice your dog suffering from severe discomfort and pain.

In that case, the baby rabbit might have lodged in their esophagus, stomach, or intestines, which may even lead to life-threatening situations. These types of cases require medical intervention and surgery to address these blockages properly and help your dog recover better.

On the other hand, your dog may also suffer from internal bleeding or infections due to the perforate organs caused by Sharp bones. You must not only contact and provide immediate veterinary care to minimize and prevent these risks but also monitor your dog during the recovery process.

You must also do follow-up visits to the veterinarian and adhere to prescribed medication. Additionally, make sure to offer them a blended diet or a suitable post-operative diet that is necessary for proper healing and prevent any complications from arising. 

3 Preventive Measures to Avoid Such Incidents

  1. Supervising dogs during outdoor activities: You must keep a close eye on your dogs outdoors to help prevent them from chasing & capturing any wild or small animals. For additional control and support, you can also take the help of leashes or enclosed play areas.
  2. Training commands like “leave it” and “drop it”: If you haven’t taught your dog commands such as “leave it” and “drop it,” You are missing a big lifesaver. Believe it or not, this command can be invaluable in redirecting your dog’s attention away from potential prey and ensuring they release any items in their mouths.
  3. Implementing secure fencing and confinement strategies: You can also consider creating a secure and enclosed environment for your dogs, indoors and outdoors, to help you minimize the chances of your dog encountering small animals. Properly maintained fences and barriers work effectively in not only preventing your dog from escaping but also from accessing areas where rabbits or other wildlife may be present.


After reading this article, I hope you have all the ideas of what to do if ‘my dog swallowed a baby rabbit whole.’ It would help to act immediately while remaining calm and quiet to avoid stressing out your pet. It would help if you understood that your dog’s instinct is to hunt and eat small animals.

Therefore, you should never shout at your dog for doing such things. You must first recognize the risk associated with this kind of problem and then contact your veterinarian to let them know of the current situation.

There is a huge chance that your vet will recommend you visit their clinic for a proper diagnosis and understanding of your dog’s health. The veterinarian may also recommend X-rays, surgery, or endoscopy, depending on the severity of the problem.

You should always monitor your dog for a couple of hours and look for any unusual signs of this stress. Also, make sure that you take preventive measures to help you rule out this kind of problem from rehappening.

It is important that you not only use secured fencing and confinement but also teach your dog a few commands like leave it or drop it. I hope you find this article helpful, and if yes, consider sharing it.

Your share will not only help people learn about the risk but also what they should be doing if a dog swallows a baby rabbit whole. See you next, till then, take care and goodbye. 

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