How many times have you seen your fur baby eating some kind of bug? Sure that grosses us humans out, but can dogs eat bugs? If you have ever wondered if dogs can eat insects, this is the guide for you. Let’s dive into which bugs are safe for dogs to eat and which they should avoid.
For ultimate pet safety, I recommend consulting with your vet about your dog eating any bug, insect, or worm listed in this article.
Common Questions About Dogs and Bugs
Before we get into the specific bugs, let’s look at some common questions dog owners have about their dogs eating bugs. Chances are you might have these questions too.
Should dogs eat bugs?
Most bugs are pretty harmless to dogs and could even add a bit of protein to their diet. But should they eat them? Since it is totally normal and harmless (for the most part) you can allow them to be curious and explore their world.
You don’t have to encourage them to eat the bugs, they will do that all on their own.
Do dogs eat bugs?
Or will dogs eat bugs? And the answer to both is yes. Dogs are naturally curious creatures. It’s in their nature to play with bugs and even chomp on a few of them.
Is it normal for dogs to eat bugs?
It’s totally normal for dogs to eat bugs. This doesn’t mean they are sick or need to go to the vet. Bugs to dogs are a small snack that they can play with at the same time.
Why do dogs eat bugs?
Why do dogs like eating bugs? That’s a really good question! In fact, why do some dogs eat bugs? And others don’t?
Dogs eat bugs out of curiosity. They see these critters crawling around and have a strange desire to play with them. Sometimes they even nip at them and end up crunching on a few. Other times, dogs just really enjoy the taste and texture of certain bugs.
Harmful Bugs Dogs Shouldn’t Eat
There are some bugs that could hurt your dog if they eat it. Scary enough, some bugs are even toxic.
Let’s look at which bugs you need to be careful that your dog avoids so you can keep them safe.
What bugs can dogs not eat?
The easiest way to remember which bugs are bad for dogs – if the bug eats poop, keep it away from puppy!
Any bug that feeds on feces could cause stomach worms.
Watch out for these bugs and make sure your dog doesn’t eat them:
- Asian Lady Beetle
Also, watch out for caterpillars since monarch butterfly caterpillars eat milkweed and milkweed can poison your dog and harm its heart.
Not all spiders will hurt your dog but keep them away anyways since it’s hard to tell which spider your dog is eating. Venomous spiders like the Black Widow or Brown Recluse can make dogs really sick.
Bugs Dogs Eat & Their Safety
If there’s a bug, chances are your furry friend will try to play with it and even eat it. Thank goodness most bugs are OK for them to eat.
Now that you know which ones are bad for your dog, let’s look at all the rest. These are the insects dogs eat and how safe they are.
First, let’s look at the creepy crawling ones. Your dog might find them in their food bowl or while they are outside at the park.
Some of these are safe. But a few of them are cause for concern.
Can dogs eat ants?
Most ants are harmless to dogs. In fact, ants are an excellent source of protein. They also have vitamin C in them.
Keep an eye out for fire ants. If your dog tries to eat them, it could get a nasty sting. It won’t hurt your dog’s stomach, but the stings could be painful on the mouth and nose.
My dog at ants in dog food – is it ok?
Occasionally, you might see some ants crawling around in your dog’s bowl. This is safe and won’t harm your dog. Although, it might not want to eat the dog food if it sees the ants crawling around (some puppies are just picky like that).
Can dogs eat beetles?
For the most part, beetles are safe for your dog to eat. Just keep an eye out because Asian lady beetles (that look like ladybugs) could cause an upset stomach if your dog eats too many of them.
Can dogs eat cicadas?
Cicadas are another insect that could cause an upset stomach if your pooch eats too many of them. It’s best to keep them away to protect them.
For some reason, cicadas are almost addicting to dogs. Once they start snacking on them they have a difficult time stopping.
Can dogs eat cockroaches?
No, do not let your dog eat cockroaches. Since roaches eat feces, they could cause worms in your dog. If your house has a cockroach problem, do all you can to get rid of them.
Can dogs eat grasshoppers?
Keep your dog away from grasshoppers. Your dog might enjoy chasing them and then munching on them once in a while. But they are not safe.
Grasshoppers can carry pesticides and toxic fertilizers if they hop around in nearby farmer fields. But they can also carry parasites and roundworms.
Can dogs eat June bugs?
These are safe in moderation. Dogs can safely eat one or two June bugs once in a while. But if they eat too many of them they could get an upset stomach and vomiting and diarrhea.
Can dogs eat locusts?
Locusts are also commonly called cicadas and in 2020 lots of cicadas are coming out of their 17-year dormancy. With so many cicadas out there, is it safe for dogs to eat locusts?
According to Pet Poison Helpline, cicadas don’t bite or sting and don’t have any toxins in them, so they are not harmful to pets. If your dog eats too many of them, it might upset their stomach since the bug’s exoskeleton is tough for them to digest. Just keep an eye on your dog, the worst that might happen is they regurgitate it. If you notice them acting lethargic, contact your veterinarian.
Can dogs eat slugs?
Absolutely not! Keep your dog away from slugs. They carry the larvae of a parasite call lungworm.
If they eat this parasite, they could get a respiratory disease, internal hemorrhaging or even die.
Can dogs eat spiders?
Most spiders won’t hurt your dog. But it’s safer to keep your dog away from all spiders in order to protect them from the venomous ones.
If they accidentally eat a Brown Recluse or a Black Widow spider, they could get very sick.
Can dogs eat stink bugs?
Other than the obvious reason to keep your dog away from stink bugs (they smell so bad!) they won’t hurt your dog that much.
Of course, if they eat too many, it could irritate your dog’s stomach. Your dog might vomit or drool excessively. But these symptoms will pass on their own without hurting your pup’s health.
What about those bugs that fly around and annoy your dog? Is it safe for dogs to eat flying insects? Let’s look at each one.
Can dogs eat bees?
The only danger to your dog is if the bee stings it in their mouth or throat. It’s possible for some dogs to swallow a bee in one gulp without getting stung.
Bees are venomous. This means your dog can only get sick if the venom is injected into your dog’s body through the stinger.
They are not poisonous. Poisonous things have the toxin on the outside and your dog can get sick just by licking or eating it (like bad mushrooms).
Can dogs eat butterflies?
Milkweed is toxic to dogs and Monarch butterflies eat milkweed. If a dog eats the butterfly, it will ingest a small amount of milkweed and could get a pretty upset stomach.
Thankfully, it’s pretty rare for dogs to eat butterflies. They have a bitter taste.
Can dogs eat flies?
Flies are perfectly safe to eat. You might see your dog playing “catch” with flies and trying to snip at them. During this game, they might even catch one. If they do, they are harmless.
Can dogs eat moths?
Lots of dogs chase moths around the house and eat them. Moths are harmless to dogs, they won’t hurt them at all.
Will eating a worm give dog heartworm? Thankfully the answer is an easy “no, it won’t!” You see, heartworm and worms on the ground are very different things.
Heartworms develop within a dog’s heart after a mosquito carrying the parasite larvae bites them.
Worms like earthworms are not parasites, they are bugs that live in the ground.
Can dogs eat worms?
Worms are mostly safe for dogs to eat. By themselves, there is nothing unhealthy about them.
Can dogs eat earthworms?
But the problem is that they ingest dirt and deposit more nutrients back into it.
So some of the things the worms might ingest include bacteria and parasites from the ground. If your dog eats this worm, it could be eating some nasty germs too.
The biggest fear is when roundworm eggs are left behind in the dirt from the feces of other dogs. If a worm eats these eggs then your dog could consume them too.
Just be careful with worms.
Can dogs eat mealworms?
Mealworms are much smaller than earthworms and you can usually find them in big bunches together. The good news is, mealworms are safe for dogs to eat. They have protein and fat that can actually benefit your dog.
The Bottom Line on Dogs Eating Bugs
It all comes down to this: it is safe for your dog to eat most bugs. But if you want to protect your furry friend from the dangerous ones, it’s best to teach them not to eat any of them.
It’s almost impossible to monitor your dog 24/7. So to keep them safe, train them to ignore bugs or at least not eat them.
If you notice your dog vomiting or having diarrhea, it’s possible that it accidentally ate some bugs. It’s always best to take it to the vet if you are ever worried.
It’s important to ensure a safe and healthy life for your dog. Take a look at 15 Essential Ways to be a Responsible Dog Owner.
Take a look at these great articles on fruits and vegetables for dogs:
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