Monday, July 19, 2021

RABBIT TRUFFLES

Most dogs are not discriminant eaters. They will pretty much eat anything and will gorge as long as it is available. 

My last dog, Mighty Dog, had a favorite treat he would scavenge from  my yard.  Often Robins would not eat all of a really long worm and leave the remains in the yard. Sunshine would turn these into what I called "worm jerky."  A tough, chewy tasty treat as far as Mighty was concerned.  Fortunately there weren't many so it wasn't a serious problem.

Callie however is a different story. She loves rabbit truffles (also known as rabbit poop).  As I have a thriving population of rabbits, there is an unending supply of the treats. They love my yard full of clover and leave an abundance of truffles.

Early on I was kind of concerned and puzzled by Callie's weight gain. She went from a 24 pound dog to a 29 pounder. That is a lot on a small frame. I tried reducing the amount of her food but she just got heavier. Then I caught her snacking. That gal was scarfing up rabbit droppings.

Worried about health issues, I checked and found rabbit poop is not bad for a dog. Dogs have specialized saliva and enzymes that kill most bacteria before they reach its stomach and any parasites are breed specific to rabbits and won't hurt a dog.  

What worried me more was her increased poundage. My previous attempts to control her weight by cutting back on her kibble evidently made her just eat more truffles. 


They do look like chocolate covered kibble so I really can't blame her. Even though they are plant based, I still would rather she eat the regulation food with all the basic nutrients a dog needs.  Really want to get those extra pounds off her also.

Callie chasing the rabbits is not a deterrent for she never comes close to catching them. I think they look at her running after them as a fun game.  

I have thought of repelling the rabbits but I have a fenced acre and that would take a lot of repellent. My fencing is obviously not rabbit proof.  Back of my mind, I am entertaining the idea of a muzzle when she is outside though I hate restricting her like that. 

I am open to any ideas you may have to solve this problem. Thank you. 

48 comments :

  1. Poor Callie. Those bunny truffles are just too good to resist for her. Amazed that she's gaining weight on them though. Surely they have few calories. I can see no practical remedy other than the muzzle route, Patti. Which will make folk wonder if she's a biter. I'll watch with interest to see if you find a solution.

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    Replies
    1. Florence,
      I may have to resort to the muzzle. Since she would only have to wear it inside the fence, we should be OK. Still working on it.

      Delete
  2. Levi loved rabbit poop too! I think they miss him because I've seen them coming into his dog pen frequently since he died. No tips for Callie because I know how hard it is to distract a dog once they find a bunch of 'truffles'.

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    1. Jean,
      I did read one vet who said they are rather healthy. Lots of fiber, good enzymes and lots of B vitamins.
      Wonder if we are missing out on good thing for ourselves:))

      Delete
  3. My Fuzzy Pomeranian used to go out and eat any stinking thing he could find and come in stinking to high heavens. I am sure he would eat any rabbit truffles he could find and roll in them , too. One day I had to give him two baths because he found something dead to roll in outside, must have been a dead bird or something, I never could find what it was. After that he had walks on a leash or used wee wee pads, no more unsupervised playing in the backyard.

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    Replies
    1. susie,
      That is my problem. I am not physically able to walk Callie and I do have a fenced acre for her to roam. I can't control her like I should.

      Delete
  4. You know, I grew up on a farm, we had a couple dogs (and a giant backyard vegetable garden) and we never saw or had a rabbit problem. I never even heard of rabbit truffles until this morning! Patti I know my message is worthless, just wanted to say good morning and I'll be looking forward to hearing how you get this worked out with sweet Callie.

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    Replies
    1. Doug,
      Perhaps it was the multiple dogs that kept the rabbits away on the farm. Maybe Callie needs back up:)

      Delete
  5. Is there any way Callie can get more exercise to work off the extra? I would probably just accept having an overweight dog. Let us know if you think of a solution!

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    1. Martha,
      She does get quite a bit of exercise futilely chasing the bunnies. This is still a work in progress.

      Delete
  6. I cannot stand to see my girls eat guinea fowl "truffles" but they love them and now my kid's dogs are joining in the fun of devouring them. Hate to think what the end result will be. Get it? "end result". LOL

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    1. Annie,
      Guess I should be glad I don't have any fowl. Hope the "end result" is harmless.

      Delete
  7. Ihave no idea. There are plenty of rabbit truffles around here, but I've never seen them eat any. Mine seem to prefer what the cows leave behind, even if it's been there for ages.

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    1. Inger,
      Well you do have big dogs. They want a meal not a snack and seem to prefer a dried meal over a fresh one:)

      Delete
  8. Wow, rabbit truffles... I had no idea that dogs would eat that. But now that. think of it, I've seen dogs eat just about anything they could wrap their mouths around. As long as it's not harmful to her, I guess that's her new backyard treat.

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    1. robin,
      From what I have read they are not harmful. It is just trying to adjust her regular dog food since I never know how many truffles she eats. Evidently she has eaten 5 pounds of them.

      Delete
  9. Our dogs loved to clean the cat's litter box. Lordy. Personally, I Wouldn't be that concerned over 5 pounds. You could always make an effort to go truffle hunting BEFORE Callie.

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    1. Anni,
      They do love cat poop don't they? I have the litter box blocked by a baby gate to keep Callie out of there.
      The truffles are so hard to see in the grass. Too bad there isn't a valuable use for them. Then I could hire it done with payment in truffles:)

      Delete
  10. I'm no help as I've never owned a dog. My backyard in the spring contains piles of rabbit truffles (never heard them called that before but I like it). I try to rake up as many as I can. That works because my yard is tiny...no acre here for me. Since the bunnies don't spend a lot of time in the yard in the summer it's not as bad then - I don't feed the birds during the warm months and don't have clover.

    Good luck!

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    Replies
    1. Eileen,
      I can see you are safe from the truffle snackers. They would really go for those piles.

      Delete
  11. Cats are way more finicky so I have no advice. Except ewwww. I think the muzzle is your only option. :(

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    1. Margaret,
      You are so right. Cats can be really particular. Often you feel lucky when cats eat what you bought them.

      Delete
  12. Sorry! I am not sure of a solution. It is amazing what dogs will eat.

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    1. Sue,
      One good reason not to let a dog lick you.

      Delete
  13. I'll tell you one thing all dogs love: Baby calf poop! I've never see a dog that would turn down the poop of a calf that is too young to eat grass or grain... just mama's milk. And it is usually a loose stool, so it's sickening to watch them eating it. I used to raise baby calves, bottle-feeding them, and saw this time and time again.

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    1. Donna,
      I use to raise day old calves also and boy am I glad I kept the dogs fenced away from them. I had no idea.

      Delete
  14. OMG! OMG! Rabbit poop? However, now I'm reading about the baby calf poop, so maybe rabbit poop isn't quite as bad. Maybe.

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    Replies
    1. Kay,
      You are right. Truffles now seem like breath mints in comparison:)

      Delete
  15. Well, this is just disgusting. Rabbit poop, and now baby calf poop. I'll stick with cats. They just eat baby bunny heads. :-)

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    1. Linda,
      That made me laugh but you make a good point. Then they leave what is left on your door step as a present:)

      Delete
  16. If I get an idea i will be back, but right now I need to puke!

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    1. Joeh,
      So sorry we found your gag reflex and hope everything came up all right:)

      Delete
  17. I have no idea at all what to do about this. Unless you want to got out daily and rake up all those truffles and dispose of them.

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    Replies
    1. River,
      If I had a small yard that would work but since I have an acre, that would be an all day job--every day.

      Delete
  18. Five pounds is a lot of bunny poop. I hope that's what is causing her to gain weight and not something else. It's a mystery but I wouldn't be putting a muzzle on her myself. I look forward to seeing what you end up doing.

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    Replies
    1. Djan,
      A muzzle is my last resort. It took her almost a year to put on the weight between vet visits.

      Delete
  19. Replies
    1. Mage,
      He is not concerned as he says the pellets are harmless. He is in favor of corrective training but I really don't have the lung capacity to follow her around each day. Still thinking.

      Delete
  20. Dear Patti, I've no suggestions, just responses. 1) I always steer clear of putting any kind of repellent on the lawn. The cats with whom I live don't go outside, but cats and dogs of neighbors do and I'd hate to harm them in any way. I'm sure you feel the same way. 2) As you say, a muzzle seems so restrictive. So I have no idea what's the best thing to do. I so hope you get good suggestions that help you with this. I know that one of the cats is gaining weight and that's concerning for so many healthy reasons. Peace.

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    1. Dee,
      I know what you mean. I am trying to find something she and I can both work with. Usually I worry more if they lose weight. We will see.

      Delete
  21. My gosh! You definitely have a problem. Maybe as you say, a muzzle would be best for your dog.

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    Replies
    1. gigi,
      That is looking more and more like a possibility.

      Delete
  22. Before my husband died we always had at least one dog. I remember how he used to go outside with them and I often heard him say "leave it" in a stern voice. It really seemed to work but I surely can understand why it won't work for you.
    Sorry... I wish I had a good answer.

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    1. Ginnie,
      I know. If I could walk with her, I could break that habit quickly. All I have to do is tell Callie "no" and she stops immediately what she is doing.

      Delete
  23. We have a friend whose dog has eaten poisonous mushrooms more than once. The mushrooms grow abundantly in our forests after wet weather. Finally , he had to muzzle the dog when on walks. Other than a muzzle or just letting her snack, I can't think of a solution. I did train our Golden to "leave it" which worked well when I could see what she was after, but when she was running ahead, she'd often come back with goose poop or some other slime matted to her fur. Yuck!

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    Replies
    1. Barb,
      Yeah, if I could catch ere in the act, I could train her but since I can't walk with her, a muzzle may be the answer though the other night, I think Nature may be stepping in.
      I saw what appeared to be a big dog under some trees, when the dog flew off on a 6 foot wing span. I now seem to have a resident Great Horned Owl who I am sure loves rabbit. Hope it scares them enough to find another yard to visit. That is my next post.

      Delete
  24. How about a long leash that would allow you to jerk her? Maybe a line between two distant posts with leash fastened to line which restricts the distance she can explore -- if it could be erected in an area where the truffles are not. The leash would slide the full distance of the line.

    I never heard of rabbit truffles, much less being eaten by dogs. We had dogs when we lived in country and was never aware of them eating them, but doesn't mean they didn't.

    Surely the tales here would be enough to discourage people from allowing their dogs to lick their faces, mouth as so many do. Watching them clean their butts was enough to discourage me from letting them kiss my lips.

    ReplyDelete

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