Rabbits for Dog Food
I am considering raising rabbits to feed to my dogs as a raw diet. Does anyone have experience with this? Do you dress the rabbits before feeding?
***** Karen Sez *****
Yes, we and many others certainly have experience with this. We know several persons who feed exclusively raw to their (several or many) dogs, and raise rabbits in order to do so. I also feed my cats raw.
There are several schools of thought as to how to best feed dogs and cats. Some embrace a "whole prey" protocol, where all you do is kill the rabbit and then offer it to your dog(s). This closely mimics the way wild predators eat and is also healthy for your own pets. (As an added benefit, feeding raw often resolves various health issues our pets may have, including intestinal issues and skin and fur problems.)
Others prefer a partially processed rabbit. you can remove the fur and open the skull a bit so the dog can better access the head parts. (This also helps the dog to learn how to eat a whole prey meal.)
Another option is to gut and skin the rabbit, and then feed the meat, bones, and organs (heart, lungs, liver, kidneys). The balance of nutrients between bones, meat and organs is just as excellent for health as whole prey meals are.
Pets making the transition from kibble to raw-fed sometimes need help. I don't know a kibble-eating dog that won't accept a hunk of raw meat. But they might initially be off-put by fur, or an enclosed head, for example.
I suspect that all the above methods can be used in conjunction with each other, or one after another in order to transition to a whole prey model of feeding.
Just note that if you're feeding cats
with raw frozen rabbit, especially if it is ground like hamburger, your cat may develop a taurine deficiency at some point within a year's time. It never hurts to supplement with taurine whenever feeding previously frozen raw meals to cats. (No danger of taurine deficiency with dogs.)
Hope this helps.
For those who'd like to feed raw rabbit to dogs or cats without raising the rabbits yourself, Learn more at http://www.raising-rabbits.com/raw-rabbit.html