Understanding the reasons for dog eating bugs and knowing if it is dangerous can be a concern if you really care about your pet. This article will help you know why your dog is eating bugs and how to deal with it.
Dogs eat bugs because they tend to be curious with a desire to eat anything they see crawling or moving around them. It’s all reasonable amusement for them since they are just creepy crawlies and bugs to them.
Dogs look at bugs and all they see is a quick-moving banquet. They tend to be excited and end up sniffing and eating them in the process.
Reasons why dogs eat bugs
Dogs are naturally built to hunt and protect. Their investigative nature will always make them want to explore and they have to do this by sniffing and tasting. Despite the fact that they are presently tamed, dogs are animals that can survive in the wild.
One of the major reasons why dogs chase and eat bugs is that they are born to hunt for survival. This can help them survive in the wild without humans. For dogs to get their prey, they will have to sniff, pursue and eat them up.
It’s quite natural for dogs to eat on bugs and that should really not worry you. However, you should be concerned if your dog has a huge appetite for bugs and eats them at an alarming rate.
In this case, try and establish what kind of nutrients your dog is really craving and give the desired meal. Identify the specific bug that it likes and establish the nutrients or the taste that your dog is getting from it.
Puppies eating bugs
It is okay for puppies to eat bugs like crickets, grasshoppers, or even flies. Never be worried about that since they will not be harmed in most cases. However, note that they are still young and some dirty bugs like cockroaches may infect puppies with stomach worms.
Chances of puppies developing health complications after eating a bug are higher as compared to a grown dog. This is due to the fact that their immune is not stable. A young pup is curious and doesn’t have an idea of what they can and can’t eat.
These habits on the way a puppy is brought up and its environment. It should be trained at an early stage that not all things can be eaten.
Be keen about keeping puppies and stop them from eating bugs when they try to. If you can check and stop the habit from developing at an early age, your dog will definitely keep this and will know that it is not okay to eat bugs.
Sings that a dog is eating dangerous bugs
Not all bugs are dangerous but they may eat some which can harm them. Bugs carry lots of bacteria and worms that are equally dangerous to dogs.
Without a doubt, your dog cannot live on those things alone and it isn’t a reason for stressing since they will do it anyways. You should be alarmed if your dog just ate a bug and it has abnormal symptoms. Here are signs that a dog has eaten dangerous bugs:
- Dog Spewing, vomiting, or throwing up suddenly after eating bugs
- Looseness of the bowels or diarrhea
- Dog eating bugs and battling for breath or struggling to breathe
- Dog acting strangely dormant after eating bugs
- Declining to eat or drink or sudden loss of appetite after eating bugs
- The dog has a sudden urge to scratch its body after eating bugs
Those are some signs that should cause panic after your dog has eaten bugs. Every one of these strange behaviors should raise alerts and prompt you to seek help.
The signs listed above could be a result of your dog being oversensitive to the bug. It may have ingested a pesticide that was used sprayed on the bug. Be cautious about what and where your dog sniffs and licks when you are taking it for a walk.
How to stop my dog from eating bugs
To stop dogs from eating bugs, prepare them with voice directions on what to eat and what not to eat. Dog control includes keeping your pet on a short lead or utilizing a gag. A solid voice direction, for example, “abandon it!”, will generally work.
1. Use voice directions and guidance
Vocal directions, for example, “leave it!” are among the most crucial components of puppies and dog guidance. Puppies are playful and curious and they will case any bug that they come across. This is why they end up eating bugs.
The most effective method for doing this is issuing a short, sharp voice order. It’s not the words that you use in these circumstances that matter but the tone. How you say it will really make the dog know you don’t like it going after bugs.
Simple acts like calling their name in a different tone will make them forget about the bug and they will want to know what’s up with you. They will quickly withdraw and forget. With time they will also learn that you don’t like it when they eat bugs.
2. Training and reward
Reward when they leave it or abandon the act at your command. At some point, the dog will get and take in the significance of the direction. Dogs learn fast and they will not eat the bugs even if you are away if the training is well done.
This is very simple. You can take your dog through training by putting treats everywhere throughout the home and compound. Try and pull them away and constantly command the dog to stop them. As you do so, make sure to drive that direction and point home.
3. Physical restrictions
Keep your dog on a short chain and demand that they stroll just near your legs as you walk along. However, they will naturally battle to figure out how to get away from your leash and pursue the bugs around them.
This will happen whether these bugs are flying through the air or hastening along the ground. In case a dog is close enough to a bug, gently pull it if appears to be interested in grabbing or sniffing a bug.
4. Muzzle gags
A gag ought to be the final resort. Remember, unless it is a serious problem, dog-eating bugs are is not really a reason enough to make them wear muzzles and gags.
You will have to get the dog to be used to a gag by some sort of preparation. However, it all relies on being easy, and do not be too hard on them. Instead, instill the thought that bug-eating is wrong gradually and consistently.
Another system for keeping a dog from detesting and dreading their gag is to apply a little butter, cream, or their favorite leaks to the inside tip of the muzzle. This will leave with some positive vibe about the muzzle.
Bugs that dogs eat at home
There is no reason to be alarmed immediately a dog eats a bug if they don’t appear to be harmed. Dogs eating bugs is a habit that should not be encouraged. Here are some flies that dogs are likely to eat at home:
For some reason, dogs will chase after flies and even eat them. When a typical housefly begins to buzz around a dog’s head, it will be eager to take it down. The buzz leads to a compelling attraction and any dog in a joyful mood will chase the fly.
Dirty flies from the drainage and sewers can cause infections to the dog if they eat them in large quantities. Try and find natural ways to get rid of flies at home if you have pests. If you use pesticides, and a dog eats the dead fly, this may also affect it.
However, wasps and bees can be harmful to dogs. Unlike bugs, they will fight and sting. Dogs can never fight bees or wasps and those can leave them with deadly stings especially if they are not fluffy enough.
2. Moths and beetles
Moths will definitely attract dog’s attention and they will try to catch them. Remember most dogs are not interested in eating those things, they are just trying to catch them. Dogs will have a habit of using their mouth to grab anything.
Moths are not dangerous to dogs and nothing will happen in most cases if they happen to eat just 1 or 2 of them. The same will apply to beetles. There are several types of beetles that dogs may accidentally pick on.
Most beetles are not really harmful to dogs. In fact, dogs may find them tasty. However, some beetles may have a foul odor and cause bad breath in dogs. Get rid of carpet beetles in the living room and bedding so that they do not find them.
Dogs will always chase crickets and if they figure out how to get them, they will definitely eat them up. The extra strong outer layer of the cricket may make your dog hurl and choke.
Do not panic about if your dog eats a cricket. It will be fine once the cricket is cleared from the throat. However, if the dog happens to swallow a cricket, it will simply be an additional protein source and that’s okay.
Due to their rapid movements, spiders also are known as arachnids can cause an unending interest for dogs. Spiders especially in the US are not harmful since the dangerous ones are rarely found around homes.
Dangerous spiders live in natural habitats like deserts or bush since they feed on insects and other small creatures. Unless your dog has the symptoms listed above as side effects, do not be worried if it eats a spider.
Dogs can accidentally eat ants especially if they crawl on their food. In fact, dogs eat ants all the time and they never harm them. In most cases, you will always find ants crawling on their plates and it will not bother them.
However, fire ants can be dangerous to dogs if they attack them in large numbers. They sting and produce venom that can hurt dogs. Those types of ants can seriously sting your dog’s mouth, followed by swelling and difficulty to eat and breathe.
So be on the lookout if you live in an area where you have this kind of ants. If you see your dog rubbing its nose constantly, then it may have eaten some harmful ants.
Ants are a typical sight all over walkways and grass throughout the world. Dogs will certainty become inquisitive and endeavor to test one of them at some point or another.
Do dogs eat cockroaches?
Dogs can eat cockroaches but if the roach’s wings irritate their throats, they will vomit immediately. Cockroaches are not poisonous to dogs and they should be fine. However, eating roaches that have been killed by pesticides can be dangerous to dogs.
Note that if the dog is having wired reactions like continuous vomiting, sneezing, or serious drooling after eating a cockroach, please seek a vet’s advice. This may be due to the fact that these bugs may have been in contact with some chemicals that may be affecting the dog’s health.
Any healthy dog will explore and check its new environment. This is done with the help of their sharp sense of smell and fast movements that are naturally part of their hunting skills.
Calina Mabel has over 15 years of experience in the field of journalism and communications. Currently, Calina Mabel is the Content Writer for categories such as Cockroach, Ants, Bed Bugs, Mosquito, Rodent, Termite, and Flies on Pestweek.com. She aims to build content for these categories with a focus on providing valuable and accessible information to readers, in order to create the world’s largest knowledge community about Pests.
All content written by Calina Mabel has been reviewed by Emily Carter.