Insects in a collage, and a dog, spider, slug, caterpillar, bee, wasp, tick

Can Dogs Eat Garden Insects? [What Happens If They Do?]

Creepy crawlies are everywhere, and for some reason, our dogs seem to spot them instantly. Dogs and puppies are often known to gobble them up, but is this dangerous? Let’s find out if dogs can eat them, should you stop them and which ones are dangerous. 

It would be best to discourage your dog from eating insects because some insects may pass on diseases like Lungworm or Lymes disease. Also, during the eating process, these insects could sting or bite your dog, which is painful for them and can cause allergic reactions.

You should be careful with dogs and insects, especially if you live in an area with known venomous insects. 

For example, if you live in the UK like my dogs and me, most insects found in your house or garden are not usually fatal. But they can cause painful swelling and stings from insects like bees, wasps, horseflies, and some spiders.

On the other hand, Australia has some pretty hazardous varieties of nasty insects that can be fatal to some dogs, like a funnel-web spider.

All in all, you should never let your dog eat insects. You can teach them the “leave it” command to leave the insects alone!

Puppies should be supervised when in the garden, so you are ready on hand to jump in and stop them from eating any insects. My patio often gets full of them in the damp mornings. My puppy had a thing for slugs, so I used a leash for more control when in the garden.

Should my dog know not to eat dangerous insects?

Yes, many dogs naturally understand which insects could potentially harm them. However, some dogs still don’t listen to this instinct and will eat them anyway, especially puppies.

Dangerous and Painful Insects To Dogs UK

Wasps

If your dog eats a wasp, it’s more than likely it could have also stung your dog. Wasp stings can cause itching and swelling. In some cases, a sting can cause an allergic reaction. If the sting is in the throat area, it can cause swelling, and your dog may have trouble breathing. If this occurs, get them to the vet as soon as possible.

Bees

There are two types of bees honeybees and bumblebees. Honeybees have a barbed sting that they leave on your dog. A bee sting in dogs is similar to a wasp sting. You must remove this barb stinger from a honeybee sting, or infection could set in. 

On the other hand, Bumblebees don’t have a barbed stinger and can sting your dog multiple times if they want to. But bumblebees usually aren’t aggressive and won’t sting unless your dog is chasing or jumping up at it.

Bee stings can be painful, and some dogs are allergic to bees. If your dog has a reaction like swelling, drooling, itching, hives, diarrhoea, vomiting or difficulty breathing, you must take your dog to a veterinarian professional.

How to remove a bee sting from a dog

If your dog gets stung, and the sting is still in your dog’s skin, remove it as soon as possible to stop any more venom from coming out.

Scrape it out sideways with something hard, like a bank card or your fingernail. 

If you are outside and dont have anything on you like a bank card, and you dont want to use your fingernail, you can also use a twig, anything really that you can grip that’s hard and is flat. Even some flat stones will work. 

Never pinch the sting with your fingers or tweezers because you may spread the venom.

Ticks

Ticks are common in the woods, moors, and thick grasses. Once they latch onto your dog, they cling to the skin and suck blood.

Although ticks don’t sting, they can still spread diseases like Lymes disease, ehrlichiosis or babesiosis.

  • Lymes disease
  • Ehrlichiosis
  • Babesiosis

Removing a tick from a dog

If a tick bites your dog and is still stuck in your dog, you will need to remove it as soon as possible. Removing it will reduce the risk of catching illnesses.

  • Use tweezers or a tick removal tool to remove the tick without squashing it.
  • Grip it close to the skin and pull steadily away without crushing it. 
  • Wash your dog’s skin area where the tick was with water and soap
  • Apply a pet-friendly antiseptic cream.

Use the manufacturer’s instructions if you have a tick removal tool over the above steps; however, always finish it off by applying pet-friendly antiseptic cream.

Never use:
  • A lit cigarette end, lighter or match
  • Alcohol
  • Petroleum jelly
  • Spray deodorant

Spiders

Several spiders in the UK can give a painful bite to your dog, which usually happens after rough handling from a dog or an attempt to eat them. 

Typically spider bites can cause pain, redness and swelling. Swallowing a non-venomous spider won’t hurt your dog. Their stomach acids would break up the spider and come out in their stools. 

However, venomous spiders can cause problems and can be fatal. Lucky in the UK, there aren’t many. But if you live in other world areas, this can be a different story.

Horseflies

Even though horseflies dont carry diseases, their bite can be excruciating for dogs. When dogs are trying to eat, one of the common areas of the bite will be around your dog’s face. In this case, you should wash the bite area with warm water and apply pet-friendly antiseptic cream as these bites can get easily infected.

Caterpillars

Some types of caterpillars can make dogs sick, but the severity of the illness will depend on the kind of caterpillar and the size of your dog.

If your dog comes into contact with caterpillars, they may experience excessive saliva production, swelling, difficulty breathing, vomiting and diarrhoea.

There are two types of caterpillar hair: urticating and stinging 

If your dog’s skin has any hairs, you can remove them using something sticky like tape.

Slugs

If your dog eats a slug, it will likely give them an upset stomach. Your dog’s natural body defences will eliminate the slug by vomiting it out. However, if not, slugs infected with the parasite’s larvae can cause a disease called Lungworm in dogs. This disease can be extremely dangerous if left untreated.

It would be best if you always gave your dog regular worming treatments, as these tablets will stop any significant infestations of the parasites. Sometimes you may not know that your dog has even swallowed a slug.

Did you know if your dog loves eating insects, you can buy edible insects for dogs packed full of goodness and environmentally friendly?

Edible Dog ​Insects

Edible insects for dogs are a new way to give your pet a healthy snack. Many different insects can be eaten, such as crickets, mealworms, and waxworms. Insects are a good source of protein, fibre, and minerals, and they’re also low in fat.

What are edible insects?

Edible insects are insects that people can eat and animals can eat. This includes crickets, grasshoppers, mealworms, and waxworms.

Are edible insects safe?

Yes, edible insects are safe if farmed in sterile and temperature-controlled facilities. Compared to the ones you find in a garden, these could have some parasites, pesticides, bacteria, or fungi.

Benefits

  • Environmentally friendly
  • Easy for dogs to digest
  • High in protein
  • Good Vitamins
  • Tasty for dogs
  • The planet’s natural recyclers of fruit and veg waste

Disadvantages

  • Expensive
  • Insects can be a bit off-putting visually

Environmental Friendly

Edible insects take up hardly any resources and have a mild impact on the plant. Considering the amount of good protein they provide, this is a good option.

What are edible insects fed?

Edible insects are fed waste products of fruit and vegetable.

Sharing is a good thing to do!

Scroll to Top