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Health & Wellness

Can dogs eat Cicadas?

Not necessarily a great kind of treat

Cicadas (which are large insects that spend most of their life underground) venture above to mate. Since our pups are good at catching anything that moves (the result of endless fetch hours), it’s good to know if these insects are toxic to dogs. Veterinarian and pet health advocate Dr. Aliya McCullough shares all we need to know about Cicadas and your pup’s health. 

Are Cicadas harmful to dogs?

Cicadas are not poisonous to dogs, but anything new that’s introduced to their diet can cause stomach issues. Their hard exoskeleton can also be difficult to digest. 

Symptoms of an upset stomach after eating a Cicada: 

  • Vomiting
  • Diarrhea
  • Hunched over
  • Lethargy
  • Lack of appetite


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My dog ate a Cicada: What should I do? 

It’s probably not necessary to get them to vomit. Monitor them, and if their behavior changes or they look like they’re in pain, contact your vet. 

How should I prevent my dog from eating Cicadas? 

If your dog is super good at eating things they’re not supposed to, follow these steps to prevent them from confusing a Cicada as a treat: 

  • Talk to their behavioral therapist about basket muzzle training. 
  • You can also talk to your behavioral therapist about leash training or teaching them cues to drop something once they’ve picked it up.
  • Before your dog goes out, scan your backyard for dead Cicadas and remove them or their exoskeleton. 
  • Avoid areas that have a lot of Cicadas.

Cicadas may look crunchy and tasty to our dogs, but it is generally best that they pick another snack. These tips can help them avoid an upset stomach this breeding season. 

Photo by dole777 on Unsplash

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