Can Dogs Eat Mealworms

Can Dogs Eat Mealworms?

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

Yes. As with humans, dogs can benefit from the protein, fat, and fiber found in mealworms, and will eat them both live and dried. Dogs are omnivores, which means they can derive nutrients from meat, vegetables, and other sources.

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

Okay many of you reading this are probably wondering if I’m sane. 

Can Dogs Eat Mealworms

It makes me wonder who in their right mind would feed their dog mealworms. 

The reason for asking and answering this question is excellent. 

Currently people are very conscientious of how their life affects the world and more importantly the environment around them. 

Diets have changed and some people even eat insects like mealworms in an effort to become more environmentally friendly. 

Several people have asked the same question about what they feed their dogs. Is there a negative impact on the environment from dog food? 

Is there any alternative to mass-produced dog food that is safe?

Is dog food bad for the environment?

We need to consider the validity of the information presented before we get too deep into the question of whether dog food is bad for the environment.

Many studies have been performed on the effects of dietary habits on the environment over the years.

Despite this there are still many questions left unanswered and more studies are needed. The purpose of this article is not to decide on this very sensitive issue.

This article instead aims to provide some background about why people might choose alternative foods for their furry friends and if those alternatives are safe. We will now discuss some arguments about dog food and its effects on the environment.

Most owners will stop and read the ingredients on the dog food packages at their local grocery store when browsing the aisles.

You’ll notice that a majority of them contain meat of some kind. My favorite dog food brand contains salmon because Omega-3 fatty acids are beneficial to my pups immune system. 

Stick with me because this is where things get crazy.

There has been an increase in dog ownership worldwide in recent years. There was a 100 percent increase in pet ownership in China in 2018.

As a result there is an increase in the amount of dog food being produced and an increase in the amount of meat that is being used for that food.

Now we get to the part where more research is needed.

Let us examine the information cited by people concerned with meat production. The meat industry is responsible for 145 percent of all human-made greenhouse gas emissions according to an article published by in April 2021.

An article in that same publication cites a UCLA Geographer who claims that up to 25 percent of meat production worldwide goes to dog food.

Based on a little math this article claims dog food production accounts for about 3.63 percent of man-made greenhouse gas emissions. 

In addition to reducing their impact on the environment many individuals have taken proactive steps to reduce their environmental impact.

Reducing or eliminating meat as a part of their diet is one of the most popular methods. The number of people that have switched to pescatarian vegetarian and even vegan diets has increased dramatically. 

But why mealworms?

You might wonder if mealworms are edible and why anyone would eat them? Mealworms are insects that feed on mealworm larvae.

The mealworm after hatching from eggs is the larval stage of the beetle before it moves on to the pupa phase (think of pupa as puberty).

The high protein content of mealworms makes them a popular food for birds in the wild. The high protein content is what makes the birds feed them to their young to help them grow.

The eggs are also eaten by many reptiles and amphibians which often target the places where the eggs are laid and wait for them to hatch.

Humans eat mealworms but why would they do so? Many cultures around the world consume insects as part of their diets despite not being very common in the west.

You will find a multitude of recipes that attempt to make mealworms sound appealing if you search on Google. Ok maybe thats my western prejudice against eating insects. 

Diets that do not include meat have been found to lack protein which is vital to human health.

On plant diets people sometimes take protein supplements to ensure they get enough protein.

There are also people who seek a more natural way to increase their protein intake such as eating nuts.

Mealworms are a substantial source of protein with each worm containing between twenty and fifty percent protein depending on whether it is eaten live or dried.

In addition to being a great source of fat and fiber mealworms are also rich in protein. During a survival situation you can even use live mealworms as a temporary source of water.

Eating insects is better for the environment

Insects eat mealworms.

Many insects have the potential to change the way humans and livestock eat so scientists are fascinated by them.

As you can see the current model is unsustainable.

To satisfy our unquenchable thirst for meat and protein we can not keep raising more and more cows chickens and pigs.

Global population growth will just cause demand to exceed supply.

The raising of hundreds of billions of livestock each year requires a lot of resources.

In addition the process emits huge amounts of greenhouse gases.

Climate change is caused by those gases.

Therefore we must ask why eating insects would be any different?

We may be able to save the human race if we can overcome our squeamishness towards eating animals that look like aliens.

For starters insects convert the food they eat into protein better than your average cow or pig so they are more nutritious pound for pound.

Furthermore insects not only use fewer resources to produce better nutrition but they also produce fewer greenhouse gases as part of the process.

We are just discussing people here.

We clear land (and forests) to grow more soybeans which has caused a great deal of damage to the environment. Many of our livestock eat soybeans.

It would be possible to reduce the destruction of livestock that were fed insects instead of soybeans. 

Lets focus on mealworms and dogs again.

But are mealworms safe for dogs?

In plain English and in an attempt to lift you out of the suspension you have been in since you read the title of this article mealworms are safe for dogs.

There have even been articles written about how pets see them as delicacies.

As with humans dogs can benefit from the protein fat and fiber found in mealworms and will eat them both live and dried.

Historically many people have used mealworms as rewards for their four-legged friends. 

Dogs are omnivores which means they can derive nutrients from meat vegetables and other sources.

Different from cats which are carnivores and need to consume meat to extract the nutrients needed to survive.

Our dogs can consume mealworms and they can extract nutrients from them but they are still not a good meal replacement. 


This is because of the nutrients dogs challenge to stay healthy. Worms carry the nutrients that dogs need protein fat and water.

But they do not hold those nutrients enough to grow them. In addition dogs also need carbohydrates several vitamins and minerals.

These nutrients can be a planted in canned or dried canine food that you buy at your local store.

Dog Safe Non-Meat Diets

At the moment it is possible that there are people who are still developing another way to feed their dogs who do not understand meat production. The problem is is there any non-vegetarian food available for dogs? The short answer to this is that there is really no answer. But there are some facts that can help you make the right release for your canine.

The first is that there are only two reasons why a canine can have a non-meat diet. First and most common either garden behavior or certain ideas of their people. Also unusual is the dislike of certain animal proteins. 

When you experience a food allergy major veterinarians will recommend a hypoallergenic diet for eight to twelve weeks to cover development. 

These foods which can be purchased at any pet store (in person or online) usually contain only one animal protein such as an angel or lemon for which dogs rarely respond.

There are several vegan brand canine foods available on request. But Drs. Cailin Heinz VMD gave WebMD an interview that suppresses some of the food allergies. While your canine can technically live on a vegan diet. 

Vegan diets may breed dogs to accentuate the shameful quantum of protein that can lead to weight loss languor and difficulty breathing. Vegan diets can also cause imbalances in your canine amino acids which can lead to heart problems and other diseases. Finally dogs in all vegan diets can detect deficiencies in vitamins and minerals that can lead to hair loss infection and skin conditions.


We live in an age when people are creating more and more trouble to minimize their impact on the environment. While most people may want to extend this attention to their hobbies it is important to make sure that your ideas do not have a negative impact on our hairy musketeers. Although dogs may not be able to help with non-vegetarian food it is not a matter of style for them and can lead to health problems. It is also important to note that I have not been able to find any studies that examine the long-term properties in non-meat foods.

Although non-vegetarian food may not be safe for our people we have learned that they can enjoy both organic and prescribed food worms as a treatment. While there is no definite agreement on how many worms you can give your dog at a time it is as ethical to behave as any other treatment at moderate prices. Or if like me you hate insects there are other health treatments out there. Its up to you.

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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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