• Should You Let Your Dog Eat Bugs?

    Posted on August 27th, 2014
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    A Dog-Eat-Bug Life: Is it Safe for Dogs to Eat Bugs?

    Your dog eats the food you provide and loves the treats you bestow. Sometimes, even the grass looks too inviting to pass up! But you’ve noticed that your dog also eats bugs, and you worry if that’s safe. If you see your dog chewing on something that you didn’t provide, the first rule of thumb is to try to stop it. Dogs have been known to eat just about anything, including rocks, grass, foreign objects and animal feces. Some things are harmless, while others can be devastating if ingested. Here are a few of the insects most commonly snacked on by dogs:

    1. Flies and moths

    If your dog is entertained by chasing flies or catching moths, there’s no need for concern. Some dogs will eat flies all day long. Although anything in excess isn’t good, including a dog’s consumption of flies or moths, the occasional winged snack will not be harmful to his or her health.

    2. Crickets

    Maybe it’s because they’re crunchy or just fun because they jump, but for whatever reason, dogs love to eat crickets. Crickets happen to be high in protein, so if ingested by your dog, there’s no need to worry. There are, however, exceptions to every rule. If the cricket happened to be infected, or if that cricket had been poisoned, it may cause an upset stomach. If your dog shows signs of repeated vomiting or fatigue, call your veterinarian.

    3. Grasshoppers

    Grasshoppers are related to crickets, and eating a few probably won’t hurt your dog. The difference between crickets and grasshoppers, however, is that some grasshoppers can carry potentially harmful parasites. If your dog eats a grasshopper and becomes infested, it could be very serious. If left untreated, the ingested parasite could lead to blockage in your dog’s intestines and even result in death. It can be difficult to tell if your dog has parasites without blood tests, however there are some signs that your dog needs to see a vet right away. Watch for diarrhea, sudden weight loss, or signs of maggots around the anus. Of course, call your vet immediately if you see any of these signs.

    4. Bed bugs

    Perhaps because they are so small, dogs rarely try to eat bed bugs. If your pet does eat one or two, he should be fine. You have bigger problems than Fido snacking on them, however; if you think you have bed bugs, call a professional exterminator. It’s next to impossible to get rid of them by yourself.

    Bug-proof your home

    Make an attempt to keep your home and the area where your dog lives bug-free. Store dry food in air-tight containers and keep food bags off the ground.

    Make a habit of purchasing smaller amounts of dog food at a time rather than buying in bulk and leaving extra bags out where they could become contaminated. Even if it is sealed, the longer you leave food out, the higher the chance it may get pests. To avoid immediate problems, keep leftover food off the floor and off the counters. Prevention is the key to keeping pests at bay.

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