Can Dogs Eat Bugs

Can Dogs Eat Bugs?

Last Updated: August 18, 2023
correct answerThe Short Answer is:

The majority of bugs and insects are safe for dogs to eat. There are some Bugs, however, that are harmful to dogs and can even hurt them. Dogs can even be poisoned by some Bugs.

In this article you will know the answer to the query “Can Dogs Eat Bugs?“.

As you take your dogs for a walk you probably see them chasing Bugs on the grass. All of a sudden your furry friends are eating them. Thats pretty gross. You wonder whether dogs can eat bugs as you pull your pups away from the bugs. If you’ve wondered whether dogs can eat insects you’ve come to the right place. We’ll start with a short answer. 

Can Dogs Eat Bugs

Can dogs eat Bugs? It depends on the dog. Dogs should not eat bugs most of the time but it really depends on what kind of bug it is. There are some bugs that are safe for dogs to consume since they are harmless and will not harm them however other bugs may not be toxic but can cause upset stomachs in dogs. There are also harmful bugs that your dogs should avoid since they can cause allergic reactions and spread parasites.

Dogs and Bugs: Common Questions

In our lives there are many different types of household bugs and insects – some of the most common house pests we have listed below come out at different times of the year while others are present almost every day.

Lets answer your most pressing questions about dogs and bugs before discussing each specific bug and whether your dogs will be safe after eating them (accidentally or not).

Do dogs eat Bugs?

The majority of dogs will naturally eat Bugs since they are naturally curious about the world around them and enjoy sniffing eating and tasting everything they see. 

Your furry friends will become naturally curious when they see a Bug moving and will want to play with the Bugs by pawing at them or even chomping on them.   

There is nothing wrong with dogs eating bugs because they do it out of pure curiosity most of the time. You should consult your veterinarian if you suspect that your four-legged friend is eating Bugs because he or she is sick or not feeling well. Your vet can check if your pooch has dietary deficiencies.

Why do dogs eat Bugs?

You see your dog playing with Bugs on the floor. Suddenly he tilts his head and bites into a few Bugs. 

Now you’re probably wondering “Why is my dog eating Bugs?” 

Bugs are eaten by your dogs because they see them as a snack or treat they can also enjoy playing with. Whenever our furry friends see little animals crawling around they want to play with them by pawing at them or even munching on them.  

Bugs may seem so gross to us but dogs see them differently. Bugs are simply regarded as a delicious treat and some even like the texture and flavor of certain types of Bugs. 

Is it safe for dogs to eat Bugs?

The majority of bugs and insects are safe for dogs to eat. There are some Bugs however that are harmful to dogs and can even hurt them. Dogs can even be poisoned by some Bugs.

What Bugs are toxic to dogs?

There are several types of bugs that are harmful or toxic to dogs including: 

  • Ants.
  • Asian Lady Beetle.
  • Boxelder Bugs. 
  • Caterpillars.*
  • Monarch butterfly caterpillars.*
  • Cockroaches.
  • Crickets.
  • Fireflies.
  • Grubs.
  • Spiders.**
  • Stink Bugs.
  • Ticks.

Keep your furry family members away from any of the above Bugs at all costs if you see any of them. 

Some of these harmful bugs can be difficult to remember. You’ll want to keep Bugs away from your canine friends if they eat poop. 

Your dog may get stomach worms if he eats a bug that eats poop. An operation may be required to eliminate stomach worms in the worst-case scenario. 

The monarch butterfly caterpillar eats milkweed so we included it on our list. The monarch butterflys sole food source is milkweed a wildflower. Milkweed is also used as a host plant by monarch butterflies so that they can lay their eggs there. Once they hatch the larvae also consume leaves.      

Milkweed however is extremely poisonous and can harm your dogs heart if ingested.

Additionally we have included spiders because it is difficult to predict which spiders your dog will encounter. Venomous spiders like Brown Recluses and Black Widows are harmful to dogs. It is best to keep your dogs away from any spiders since they can get very sick if they eat them.

So should dogs eat Bugs?

Bugs are naturally eaten by most dogs when they come across them in your house or in your backyard. In any case there is a chance that your pooch will eat a few Bugs without your knowledge. 

Our furry companions are actually not harmed by most Bugs. Adding some to your dogs diet could provide some protein. Our canine friends are naturally curious about the world around them and we as dog owners should allow them to do just that – explore the world around them. 

Bugs your dogs eat and their safety 

A dogs natural instinct is to play with the Bugs when it comes across them. Bugs are natural treats for your furry friends who might even eat some of them. The majority of bugs they encounter can be eaten by them. 

Those Bugs we listed above that are harmful (or even toxic) to our four-legged friends should be kept in mind. 

Now lets take a deeper look into some of the most common bugs or insects we see on a regular basis. If our canine friends eat some of these Bugs we’ll explain whether they will be able to digest them. 

Bugs come in a variety of types. They can be divided into three main categories: crawling bugs flying bugs and worms. 

Crawling Bugs

First lets take a look at creepy crawlies. You may find them out on a walk with your pooch. Even your dogs food bowl may contain them. Most of these foods are safe for dogs even if they eat them. 

Nevertheless there are a few foods that dogs may not be able to eat. Lets find out which ones they are. 

Can dogs eat Cicadas?

There is no problem with dogs eating a few Cicadas since these bugs are non-toxic. Do locusts pose a problem? Is it unhealthy for dogs to eat locusts? Although dogs can eat locusts its best not to eat too many at once.  

Many people confuse Cicadas and Locusts because they look very similar. The main difference between locusts and cicadas is that locusts have a straight slim bodies while cicadas have round bodies. Likewise locusts which have large hind legs for leaping are smaller than Cicadas. 

Furthermore locusts and cicadas both emit sounds or noises. Their methods of making these sounds however differ. The cicada makes a loud distinctive chirping sound. In this way their bodies can be compared to musical instruments. The way Cicadas make noise is different from the way locusts do. 

Locusts produce noise by rubbing their wings together or against their bodies whereas Cicadas make a very loud noise by pulling on their tymbals. Each tymbal is located on either side of the abdomen of a cicada. The sound is caused by friction between the ribs on the side of Cicadas’ bodies when they pull on their tymbals. 

As a result of the hollow back end of Cicadas they produce a louder sound than Locusts. The wings of Cicadas also direct the noise in different directions. A male Cicada makes tons of noise to attract a female Cicada and eventually mates with her before dying. 

The ears of our canine friends are very sensitive. In fact they can hear sounds between 67 Hz and 45000 Hz while humans are only able to hear from about 20 Hz to 20000 Hz. 

The Cicadas come out between the months of May and June every 17 years. Whenever a male Cicada is ready for a mate he makes a loud noise. The loud noise may also cause dogs to become curious as they seek out the source of the noise. 

Theres nothing to worry about if your canines find a Locust or Cicada. Your dogs should be fine. 

However if Cicadas or Locusts are not a regular part of your dogs diet then eating a lot of them may cause mild to severe gastrointestinal disruption.

So are Cicadas harmful to dogs?

Yes Cicadas can be harmful to dogs. Due to the Cicada exoskeletons’ hard to digest nature your precious pup could suffer from serious health issues such as the following if they consume too many Cicadas: 

  • Vomiting. 
  • Loose and bloody diarrhea.
  • Abdominal pain.
  • Severe stomach upset.
  • Choke on the hard exoskeleton or choke on the stiff wings.
  • Ingest large amounts of pesticides. 
  • Have an allergic reaction. 

You should consult your vet if your dog experiences any of the above health issues as a result of eating Cicadas. These conditions require immediate medical attention. 

It may be necessary for your veterinarian to administer intravenous fluids anti-nausea drugs gastro protectants or pain medications.

Can dogs eat Ants?

Ants can be eaten by dogs however you should keep them away from fire Ants. Fire Ants can sting your furry friends brutally if they eat them. If they do they could suffer painful stings on their lips tongues and noses. 

Generally Ants do not pose a threat to dogs because they are not toxic. In fact dogs will receive both protein and vitamin C from eating Ants since ants are a great source of protein and quite nutritious. 

I found my dog eating Ants that were in his dog bowl – is this ok?

Queen Ants job is to find food for her workers and the workers can enter your home at any time of year. There is no better way than going straight to the source – your dogs food. Therefore you may find Ants crawling around your dogs food bowl or inside it.

Will eating Ants hurt my dog?

It is good news that Ants will not harm your dog and they are safe for your dog to eat. Your furry family member may not want to eat his food if he sees Ants crawling around in it.

Check your dogs bowl for bugs or insects if you notice he isnot eating his food. 

Can dogs eat Cockroaches?

No dogs should not eat Cockroaches. Do your best to get rid of cockroaches in your home or hire a pest control company if you see them. As well as keeping your dogs away from them make sure they are well supervised.

Do dogs eat Roaches?

When given the opportunity dogs eat cockroaches. For our furry friends cockroaches are just like any other crawly insects or bugs. Usually our pooch does not really know the difference between the different kinds of Bugs.  

Because of our dogs’ natural prey drive they will instinctively and automatically chase play and eat any creepy crawler they find so dog eating Roaches isnot uncommon.

What if my dog eats a Cockroach?

Dogs are not poisoned by cockroaches or harmed by their presence. The consumption of Roaches by dogs may provide them with protein but this is not recommended. 

Cockroaches feed on feces so its best that pet owners do not allow their dogs to eat them. Roaches can cause stomach worms in dogs when they play with them and eat them. 

Moreover Cockroaches can carry bacteria toxic substances poison and even diseases that could harm your pets health. 

Your dog will need to be closely monitored if he or she eats a cockroach. Roaches may make some dogs sick within 1 to 24 hours after eating them. The following symptoms are possible: 

  • Vomiting. 
  • Digestive upset.
  • Upset stomach.

Can dogs eat Spiders?

The reason dogs should not eat Spiders is that there are many different types of Spiders and some of them are venomous like the Brown Recluse Spider and the Black Widow Spider which are harmful to dogs. 

What happens if my dog eats a Spider?

It is possible for dogs to become quite ill if they accidentally eat a venomous spider. You should seek immediate medical attention and treatment for your canine friends if you suspect they have accidentally eaten a Spider. 

Dogs are relatively safe from most Spiders other than venomous spiders. 

As a precaution however keep your dogs as far away from Spiders as possible.

Can dogs eat Crickets?

Crickets can be eaten by dogs. Crickets are safe for dogs to eat and are packed full of protein and nutrients that are good for their health.

So are Crickets good for dogs?

Crickets are good for dogs yes. Crickets themselves are a good alternative to meat for dogs because they contain high levels of protein. Dogs can reduce intestinal inflammation by eating a few crickets. 

Furthermore Crickets taste great and are crunchy so your dogs are sure to love them! 

My dog ate a Cricket! What should I do?

Your pet dog should be fine most of the time. Physaloptera species are known to carry stomach worm larvae in some Crickets. In addition to Crickets you can find these larvae in Cockroaches and Beetles as well. 

If a dog eats a Cricket infected with larvae he may exhibit the following symptoms: 

  • Vomiting. 
  • Loss of appetite leads to weight loss.
  • Mild gastritis. 
  • Anemia.
  • Bleeding ulcers.
  • Melena (dark feces). 

It is even possible for your dog to throw up immature worms. Some of these symptoms may appear several months after consuming the infected Crickets and may not appear right away.

Can dogs eat Grasshoppers?

Grasshoppers should not be eaten by dogs. These small bugs should be kept away from your K9 pals. Grasshoppers are not safe to feed your dog although your pooch may enjoy chasing them and playing with them. 

Your pets should be fine if they eat one or two grasshoppers occasionally. Most grasshoppers however prefer to hop around farmer fields that contain toxic fertilizers and pesticides. Dogs that eat grasshoppers also consume toxic fertilizers and pesticides from the environment.     

Roundworms and parasites can even be carried by grasshoppers. It is best that your dogs not eat grasshoppers because of these reasons. 

Can dogs eat June Bugs?

On rare occasions dogs can eat a few June Bugs without harm. Should dogs avoid eating June Bugs? Your dog would not get sick from eating June Bugs if he/she only eats a few of them occasionally. 

Are June Bugs poisonous to dogs?

Despite the fact that June Bugs are not poisonous or harmful to dogs giving them more than two or three can cause digestive upset in them as well as the following symptoms: 

  • Vomiting. 
  • Diarrhea.
  • Upset stomach.   
  • Intestinal blockage.

Are June Bugs harmful to dogs?

Green June beetles and June beetles are also known as June bugs. Their length can range from 0.6 to 0.9 inches and their wings are green metallic with bright green heads and undersides. A dogs intestinal blockage can actually result from eating several June Bugs since the wings are not easily digestible. 

A blockage of the intestines may require surgery in the worst-case scenario. It is extremely important that you contact your veterinarian as soon as possible if you suspect your dog has an intestinal blockage as it requires immediate medical attention. 

Summertime is their favorite time of year since they thrive in warm climates. June Bugs are most commonly found in the eastern U.S. and Canada. 

Despite being classified as nocturnal these Bugs love bright lights and are active wherever there is light. You can expect a crowd of June Bugs to show up if you have security lights porch lights and well-lit windows on your property. 

Oklahomans who live in the state know that June Bugs are pretty common there and that they usually appear in late April and early May. June Bugs can be found in approximately 40 to 50 different species. 

June Bugs are especially attracted to thick lawns with thatch so if your pets are outside in the backyard during the warm months theres a good chance that they’re playing with them and munching on them. Watch them and make sure they do not eat too many June Bugs.

Can dogs eat Stink Bugs?

As Stink Bugs are not poisonous to dogs dogs can eat one or two Stink Bugs every now and then. Dogs generally enjoy playing with stink bugs when they find them. They love chasing them and eating them of course. 

A stink bug produces an offensive and unpleasant odor in order to deter its prey. Because of their foul odor and horrible taste your dogs may bite into one and then naturally become disinterested.

Are Stink Bugs poisonous to dogs?

The Stink Bug is not poisonous or toxic to dogs. 

Do Stink Bugs bite dogs?

No Stink Bugs do not sting or bite dogs or other animals. 

Do Stink Bugs make dogs sick?

Dogs can be sickened by stink bugs. Vomiting and excessive drooling may occur in some dogs. The reason for this is that eating Stink Bugs can irritate the gastrointestinal tract of your furry friend. Fortunately these symptoms are not severe and should go away on their own. 

Therefore we should keep our fur babies away from this bug. If a dog eats more than one or two stink bugs it may develop bezoar. This occurs when a hard mass forms in their stomach which prevents whats in their stomach from passing through to their digestive tract.

Hard masses are usually made from the hard indigestible shells of stink bugs.  

Most of the time the bezoars or hard masses must be removed by surgery. If you suspect that your pooch has consumed a large number of Stink Bugs you should seek immediate medical attention for your pet.

My dog ate a Stink Bug! Should I be worried?

Dogs can eat stink bugs so no worries! These Bugs are not toxic or poisonous to dogs other than their foul secretions and odor.

However if your dog exhibits any of the symptoms below you should contact your veterinarian immediately.

Can eating Stink Bugs hurt dogs?

Stink Bugs can harm dogs if they eat them. Due to the malodorous secretion from Stink Bugs some dogs vomit or experience gastrointestinal upset as a result of eating the bugs. It is expected to resolve itself on its own within 8 to 12 hours.

In some cases dogs that eat stink bugs may experience stinging or pain in their eyes. Its usually caused by a secretion getting into their eyes and can last a few hours. 

In addition to irritating your dogs lips gum and tongue the Stink Bugs secretions can also cause him to drool excessively. 

Stink Bugs can be found on farms and since they are invasive pests many farmers use insecticides to control them. Stink Bugs may be covered or soaked in insecticide chemicals and dogs that consume them may be poisoned since insecticides contain poisonous ingredients. 

Can dogs eat Slugs?

In no way should dogs eat slugs and dog owners should keep these slimy creatures away from their pets. 

Is eating Slugs bad for dogs? 

There is a high chance that your four-legged friends will contract lungworm if they lick a Slug that is infected with this parasite. Therefore dogs should not eat Slugs because they carry lungworms. Lungworm attacks the lungs and heart vessels of your pooch once it contracts it. 

As a result our beloved pooch may suffer internal bleeding respiratory disease or even die. 

It is also possible for humans to contract lungworms. Assume your dog licked a Slug infected with lungworm and then licked your face. 

The following symptoms can occur after your K9 friends eat a Slug: 

  • Vomiting.
  • Upset stomach. 
  • Lethargy or fatigue. 
  • Mucus was found around the dog’s mouth. 
  • Unusual mouth movements.
  • Unusual tongue movements. 
  • Slug slim or pieces found around your dog’s mouth nose and paws. 

So can Slugs harm dogs? 

Slugs are definitely harmful to our dogs as we can see. It is easy to treat lungworm if caught early so be sure to contact your dogs veterinarian as soon as you notice any of the above signs and symptoms. In the early stages of infection the vet may prescribe anti-parasitic treatments which are extremely helpful. 

Do not wait too long if you notice unusual behavior or any of the signs above as this infection can become dangerous and permanently damage the heart and lungs of your dog. 

Are Slugs poisonous to dogs? 

Dogs can be poisoned by some Slugs which is another reason why you should protect them from Slugs. Some Slugs may have ingested slug bait poison depending on where they came into contact with it. Many farmers and people like you and me use slug bait poison to get rid of slugs on their farms or in their backyards.

Slug bait poisons contain a toxic chemical called metaldehyde which is lethal since it is a strong neurotoxin. 

So are Slugs poisonous to dogs if eaten?

The dogs that eat Slugs with slug bait poisoning may be poisoned with metaldehyde. After ingesting this toxin the following signs and symptoms typically appear 1 to 4 hours later. 

  • Vomiting.
  • Twitching.
  • Tremors.
  • Convulsions.
  • Diarrhea.
  • Anxiety. 
  • Body collapse. 
  • Loss of coordination or disorientation. 
  • Difficulty breathing.
  • Panting heavily or breathing very fast.
  • Fever. 
  • Drooling excessively. 
  • Fast heart rate. 
  • Sensitive to touch and sound. 
  • Seizures.
  • Death (in severe cases). 

My dog has eaten a Slug! What should I do?

Please call your veterinarian immediately if you notice any of these signs in your dog or contact the Pet Poison Helpline. If you are not able to reach your veterinarian they are open 24 hours a day.  

The good news is that slugs do not really taste that good. Its a disgusting sight to see these stinky slimy creatures! Your K9 friends will most likely spit out any Slugs they eat accidentally.

Flying Bugs

Now that we have discussed the crawly bugs what about the bugs that fly around us and our canine friends? Can dogs consume flying insects and bugs? Next we’ll discuss each of these flying insects.

Can dogs eat Flies?

The answer is yes dogs can eat flies. Flies come in many varieties. Among them are the regular house Flies you find in your home fruit flies drain flies and more! 

When there are Flies flying around your house or in the backyard you may see your pets catching them and swatting these flying insects with their paws. 

As our fur babies are naturally curious about everything around them they will continue to play catch with the Flies while they fly around them. Its natural for dogs to eat Flies when they swat them with their paws and catch them.

Is it ok for dogs to eat Flies?

Thankfully dogs are allowed to eat Flies given that they are safe to eat. It should be okay for dogs to eat flies on an occasional basis if they are rare meals.

Keep an eye on your dog and make sure he does not start eating Flies out of habit.

So can dogs eat house Flies?

As long as your four-legged friends are not threatened by these flying insects dogs can eat house Flies. Make sure however that consuming house Flies does not become a habit. Your dog should be fine if she eats one of the house flies while playing catch with them. 

Is it bad for dogs to eat Flies?

Dogs are not poisoned or toxic by flies but they can be negatively affected by them. This is because flies are attracted to everything including poop rotten food and decaying organic matter. 

Tapeworms roundworms and hookworms can be found in decaying matter such as poop. Upon landing on parasite-contaminated feces Flies can potentially become new hosts for these parasites. These parasites will be carried away by these flies.

If your dog eats a Fly that is contaminated with parasites he may unfortunately become the new host for these nasty parasites. Your pet has been infected with parasites such as roundworms hookworms and tapeworms by the Flies. 

Because of this its important to keep your canine friends on their parasite prevention medication. If you are concerned or have questions about this we recommend you contact your vet and make sure that your dog has all the necessary parasite prevention medication. 

My dog ate a Fly! What do I do?

Do not be alarmed if your dog ate a fly! It is not uncommon for dogs to explore their natural surroundings and occasionally chomp on a Fly midair while playing in your backyard or out for a walk. Make sure you’re keeping a close eye on your pooch when you’re outside. 

You should still supervise Flies even though they would not harm or poison your dog. You should consult your veterinarian as soon as possible if you are concerned that your K9 friend has parasites such as tapeworms from the Flies.

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Amanda Dogs Trainer

Amanda (Author)

With over a decade of experience, Amanda is a distinguished dog trainer. Her expertise in canine behavior has transformed countless lives, fostering harmonious human-canine connections. Through compassionate and personalized approaches, she empowers owners to understand and connect with their furry companions, creating a legacy of joyful tails and transformed lives.

Osvaldo Maciel Dogs Trainer

Osvaldo Maciel (Content Reviewer)

Osvaldo Maciel, a stalwart in the field with 14 years of experience, is a revered dog trainer. His journey is defined by a profound understanding of canine behavior, shaping unbreakable human-canine bonds. Osvaldo guides owners to connect with their beloved pets, leaving an indelible mark of happiness and transformation. His legacy shines through the countless lives he has touched.

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