Are Wolf Spiders Poisonous To Dogs

Are Wolf Spiders Poisonous To Dogs?

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

Despite their bites being quite painful, wolf spiders aren’t considered poisonous. Dogs can be allergic to the venom, though, which can cause some issues for your pup. You should take your pup to the veterinarian if he displays any symptoms of an allergic reaction.

In this article you will know the answer to the query “Are Wolf Spiders Poisonous To Dogs?“.

Fido and you went for a walk. He looks so awesome running through the tall grass in the field. He is absolutely enjoying himself and it is adorable. You can see him pause and poke his nose at things. Hes probably looking at something else. He pokes his nose at everything so the silly fur kid is constantly curious.

Are Wolf Spiders Poisonous To Dogs

As if his life depended on it he jumped back with a yelp and rubbed his nose with his paws. You rushed over and pry his paws away from his face. Thats right. The middle of his nose had a large red bump. The bite looks pretty painful and you realize it is probably a spider bite.

It is said that wolf spiders are abundant in your area. Does this mean they are poisonous to dogs? Is there any way to identify a wolf spider? Do you need to visit a veterinarian?

What are wolf spiders?

A wolf spider is a kind of agile hunting spider that hunts its prey like a wolf (hence its name). Wolf spiders come in around 2300 different species 200 of which live in the United States. The egg sacks are carried on their spinnerets instead of their jaw or pedipalps as they look like nursery web spiders. Whats next? Nothing to worry about. Our expressions were the same. Spinnerets are spiders’ silk-spinning organs. Essentially its the bit where the web appears like on Tobey Maguires Spiderman. A spiders pedipalps are extra appendages on either side of its mouth that enable it to grasp objects and eat food.

Approximately half an inch to two inches is the length of the wolf spider. Hairy critters like these have a Union Jack-like marking on their backs and they are usually brown grey or tan in color. 

Because these spiders use their excellent eyesight for hunting they do not spin webs. Their speed also makes them superior to their prey since they usually outrun them in short sprints.

Their venom can liquefy their preys internal organs which is quite frightening. 

Which type of habitat do wolf spiders live in?

Except for the extreme polar regions they live almost anywhere and hunt insects anywhere they find them. In general you’ll find them on the ground but sometimes one or two will climb trees. When it gets cold out they will hide in warm places like your home. If you are looking for them in this area you will probably find them in places where they can hide but you can also find them in door frames windows and other places where they can search for insects.

Almost every continent except Antarctica is home to these versatile spiders. There are some wolf spiders that prefer specific habitats such as tropical forests deserts beaches or grasslands. Other wolf spiders can be found all over the place.

A great example of a super picky species is the Kauai cave wolf spider. Caves on Hawaiis Kauai Islands are the only places where you can find these creatures.

What parts of the US can wolf spiders be found in?

Wolf spiders can be found almost anywhere in the United States. Carolina wolf spiders are the official state spider of South Carolina (thats the only state that has a state spider). They’re therefore quite common in South Carolina. Additionally there are significant populations in Missouri California Texas and Hawaiis Kauai Islands.

Are wolf spiders poisonous to dogs?

Wolf spiders are usually not aggressive but if they are constantly provoked they will inject their venom into the person who is bothering them. Women who have mated and are carrying an egg sack often act aggressively so keep an eye out for them. There is a papery white ball hanging from the spinneret with a circular ridge around it.

The bite of a wolf spider causes swelling itching and mild pain in humans but it is not harmful.

Despite their bites being quite painful wolf spiders are not considered poisonous. Dogs can be allergic to the venom though which can cause some issues for your pup. You should take your pup to the veterinarian if he displays any symptoms of an allergic reaction.

What does a wolf spider bite look like?

A wolf spiders bite packs quite a punch because of its large jaws. Spiders usually bite dogs on the nose or paws since thats where they can reach the dogs skin without having to wrangle through a sea of fur. Since these spiders are fast and hit-and-run attackers this makes sense.

This site will probably itch and burn like crazy and show up as a red bump.

What are the symptoms of a wolf spider bite?

Bite wounds from wolf spiders tend to burn intensely and itch a lot. Your pup will probably lick the area like crazy if he is bitten by a wolf spider. He may even limp for a few minutes if his paws are bit. Fortunately it goes away pretty quickly so he’ll be back to normal in no time.

How can a wolf spider bite be treated?

In most cases if your pup gets bitten by a wolf spider they would not need to be treated since they are not poisonous. However if your dog is allergic to spiders he might suffer adverse reactions. You should consult your veterinarian if your pet gets bitten by a wolf spider after going too close to it. Your vet will probably tell you to watch your pup and to bring him in if any other symptoms develop.

Are wolf spiders poisonous to humans?

Thats not the case. For a while though you’ll still feel the itching and burning. Fortunately it will subside rather quickly.

What other spiders in the US are poisonous to dogs?

Dogs are not poisoned by most of the spiders we find in the United States. Its rare for them to even pack much of a punch in their bites. Sadly there are a few that are capable of seriously harming our furry friends. Because spiders do not usually gloat over their victims it can be difficult to determine what bit your dog. Heres where the guesswork begins as you would not necessarily know if its a severe bite by looking at it. You should consult your veterinarian if you’re unsure. The vet can walk you through the process.

These are some of the most common poisonous and venomous spiders in the United States:

  • Any spider belonging to the widow group. Black widows are the most common.
  • Brown recluse spiders are also common.
  • Rattlesnakes. Even though their bite is excruciating they’re not poisonous to humans. Dogs however can be killed by them.

In the event that your pup is bitten by any of these three he needs immediate medical attention. Their bite can be lethal and they’re extremely dangerous to dogs.

How to identify a spider bite?

Spider bites vary from species to species. You can administer the right treatment by correctly identifying the culprit. These are some of the symptoms of common venomous spiders:

Brown Recluse Spider

The experts disagree on what a brown recluse spider bite looks like on dogs so lets look at what it looks like on humans:

  • Itching and pain
  • Target lesion around the bite. In this case the skin loses blood turns black and is surrounded by redness.
  • Fever rash nausea chills joint pain.
  • Around a week after the bite the dark area blisters and falls off leaving a deep ulcer. This doesn’t heal.

Black Widow

Your pup could show signs only weeks after being stung by a black widow if the spider did not inject much venom. In the case of more severe bites however:

  • Tremors and cramping
  • Pain
  • Hard belly
  • Increased heart rate
  • Restlessness
  • Excessive drooling
  • Swelling


It hurts like hell when a tarantula bites you. The tarantulas bite will probably hurt your puppys mouth if he tries to fight back. As a result your furry kid would vomit and drool from the spiders stiff hair. There are a few symptoms that can help you identify a tarantula bite:

  • Weakness
  • Fever
  • Seizures
  • Puss
  • Weak pulse

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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.

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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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