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Is It Safe for Dogs to Eat Bugs?

Posted on January 18, 2023 by Misty Fleming

Many dogs enjoy chasing and eating bugs which cause many dog owners to wonder if it is safe behavior. This week, we’ll shine some light on this issue.

Should dogs eat bugs?

Dogs are omnivores, which means they eat a combination of animal and vegetarian foods. Dogs have a strong digestive system which is generally suited to that diet. However, certain substances are harmful to your dog, and some are even toxic, including a few types of bugs. Although most bugs are a tasty snack for your dog, we’ll list some categories and types of bugs to avoid below.

Any Bug That Consumes or Breeds in Feces

Bugs that breed or feed in excrement can give your dog parasites.

Bugs That Eat Poisonous Substances

Some insects feed on toxic substances for dogs. For instance, Monarch butterfly caterpillars eat milkweed, which is harmful to dogs.

Venomous Spiders and Bugs

Many spiders are safe for your dog to eat. However, some, such as widow spiders or brown recluses, have a strong venom that should not be consumed. So, it’s best to err on the side of caution.

List of Bugs Your Dogs Shouldn’t Eat

These bugs are considered harmful to your dog:

  • Crickets
  • Cockroaches
  • Grubs
  • Caterpillars
  • Spiders
  • Fireflies
  • Asian Lady Beetle
  • Grasshoppers
  • Slugs
  • Bees (Can sting your dog in the mouth or throat)
  • Wasps (Can sting your dog in the mouth or throat)

While the above list offers an example of some bugs your dog shouldn’t eat, it isn’t exhaustive. If your dog is experiencing unusual symptoms after consuming a bug, it’s best to consult your veterinarian.

List of Bugs Safe for Dogs to Eat

  • Ants
  • Beetles (except Asian Lady Beetles)
  • Cicadas
  • June bugs (Safe in moderation, can cause an upset stomach if too many are eaten.)
  • Moths
  • Earthworms (*There is a possibility that worms may have ingested something in the dirt, which is unhealthy for your dog.)
  • Mealworms

Read More About Dog Care: 5 Ways to Help Your Newly Adopted Adult Dog Adjust to Its New Home

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