Can Dogs Eat Cicadas

By diets4dogs on
Can Dogs Eat Cicadas

Can Dogs Eat Cicadas

While dogs can eat cicadas, it’s generally not recommended. Consuming a few cicadas accidentally shouldn’t pose a threat to your dog, but eating large quantities can potentially lead to gastrointestinal upset or allergic reactions. Additionally, the exoskeleton of cicadas can be difficult for dogs to digest and may cause irritation to their digestive system.

Introduction to Cicadas and Your Dog

Cicadas are fascinating insects that have caught the attention of people and pets alike. With their unique appearance and loud mating calls, it’s no surprise that dogs might show some interest in these winged creatures. In this blog post, we will discuss the potential risks and concerns about your dog eating cicadas and whether or not you need to worry if your dog snacks on one of these buzzing insects. Remember, as a responsible pet owner, it’s essential to stay informed about your dog’s health and wellbeing!

The Nutritional Value of Cicadas

On the surface, cicadas might appear to have some nutritional value for dogs. After all, they are a source of protein and are made up of many essential nutrients, including magnesium, potassium, zinc, and Vitamin B2. However, cicadas are not a natural part of a dog’s diet and would not be an ideal and sustainable protein source when compared to dog food that has been carefully formulated to meet their nutritional needs.

That being said, it’s also not surprising that the nutrient content in cicadas can vary greatly depending on their life stage, habitat, and other factors. While it’s unlikely that an occasional cicada snack will make much of a difference in your dog’s overall dietary intake, it’s still essential to be mindful of what your dog is consuming.

Potential Risks and Concerns

Gastrointestinal Upset

Although dogs have been known to consume insects without issue, there are some potential downsides to having cicadas on the menu. For starters, the exoskeleton of cicadas is made of chitin, which is difficult for dogs to digest. If your dog consumes enough cicadas, this could lead to gastrointestinal upset, including vomiting or diarrhea. However, if your dog only eats a few cicadas, they should not experience significant digestive discomfort.

Allergic Reactions

Another potential concern with dogs eating cicadas is the risk of an allergic reaction. While not common, some dogs may have an allergy to the proteins in the cicadas, which can cause symptoms like itching, swelling, or difficulty breathing. If you suspect that your dog might be allergic to cicadas, it’s essential to keep a close eye on them and consult with your veterinarian for advice.

Choking Hazards

Cicadas can also pose a choking risk to your dog, especially if they are consumed whole. Their hard exoskeleton and wings can have sharp edges, which can be a hazard if swallowed incorrectly. Always observe your dog when they are interacting with cicadas or any other foreign object to minimize the risk of choking.

Managing Your Dog’s Insect Curiosity

Dogs are curious animals, and it can be challenging to keep them away from interesting and exciting new things – like cicadas. One way to manage your dog’s curiosity about these insects is by providing them with more suitable distractions, such as interactive toys, puzzle feeders, or supervised playtime. Ensuring your dog has a well-rounded and entertaining daily routine can also help to minimize their interest in cicadas and other potential hazards.

In conclusion, while cicadas are not toxic for dogs, it’s best to avoid making them a regular part of your dog’s diet. Stick to high-quality dog food that has been carefully formulated to meet your pet’s nutritional needs, and try to manage your dog’s curiosity with suitable distractions to minimize their temptation to snack on these fascinating insects.

Preventing Dogs from Consuming Cicadas

Prevention is the best way to keep your dog safe from the possible risks associated with eating cicadas. Here are some tips on how to prevent your dog from consuming these insects:

  • Always supervise your dog while they are outside, especially during cicada season. Keep them on a leash or within your sight at all times.
  • Train your dog to “leave it” or “drop it.” Teaching your dog these basic obedience commands can help you to stop them from eating cicadas or other unwanted items while outdoors.
  • Maintain a clean yard by removing any fallen cicadas or other debris. This will help to minimize your dog’s exposure to these insects and reduce the temptation to eat them.
  • Adopt or create a designated play area for your dog that is free from cicadas. This can deter your dog from venturing into areas where cicadas may be present.

What to Do If Your Dog Eats Cicadas

Despite your best efforts, your dog may still find and eat a cicada. If this happens, it’s essential to stay calm and monitor your pet closely for any signs of distress or discomfort. Here are the steps you should take if your dog eats a cicada:

  1. Observe your dog carefully for any signs of choking, coughing, or difficulty breathing. If you notice any of these symptoms, seek immediate veterinary care.
  2. Monitor your dog for signs of gastrointestinal upset, such as vomiting, diarrhea, or loss of appetite. Mild symptoms should resolve within 24 hours, but if they persist or worsen, consult your veterinarian.
  3. Watch for any signs of an allergic reaction, including itching, swelling, or hives. If you suspect an allergic reaction, consult your veterinarian for appropriate treatment options.
  4. Prevent future cicada consumption by implementing the tips mentioned above under the “Preventing Dogs from Consuming Cicadas” heading.

When to Consult Your Veterinarian

While most dogs will not experience serious issues after eating cicadas, it’s important to know when to seek veterinary care. Contact your veterinarian if your dog exhibits any of the following symptoms:

  • Choking or difficulty breathing
  • Signs of an allergic reaction
  • Persistent vomiting or diarrhea lasting more than 24 hours
  • Any other signs of distress or discomfort that concern you

Your veterinarian will evaluate your dog’s condition and provide guidance on how to proceed. In some cases, they may recommend a simple at-home treatment, while in others, more in-depth care may be necessary.


While cicadas are not toxic for dogs, it’s best to avoid making them a regular part of your dog’s diet. By keeping your dog supervised and teaching them basic commands, you can minimize the risk of your pet consuming cicadas. Always monitor your dog for any signs of discomfort or distress, and consult your veterinarian if you have any concerns.

FAQ Section: Can Dogs Eat Cicadas

In this section, we will address some of the most frequently asked questions related to dogs consuming cicadas. We hope this will clarify any concerns or confusion you might have about your furry friend’s interaction with these fascinating insects.

1. Are cicadas toxic to dogs?

No, cicadas are not toxic to dogs. However, consuming large quantities of cicadas may cause gastrointestinal upset, allergic reactions, or choking hazards due to their exoskeleton and sharp wings.

2. What if my dog ate just a few cicadas?

It’s generally not a cause for concern if your dog eats only a few cicadas. Keep an eye on your pet and look out for any unusual symptoms. If your dog exhibits discomfort or signs of an allergic reaction, consult your veterinarian.

3. Can cicadas be a choking hazard for my dog?

Yes, cicadas can pose a choking hazard for dogs, especially if they are swallowed whole. Their exoskeleton and wings can have sharp edges, which can be dangerous if consumed incorrectly.

4. Are cicadas a good source of protein for dogs?

While cicadas do contain protein, they should not be considered a viable protein source for your dog’s diet. Instead, it’s essential to feed your pet high-quality dog food that has been specifically formulated to meet their nutritional needs.

5. How can I prevent my dog from eating cicadas?

To prevent your dog from eating cicadas, keep them under close supervision while outdoors, teach them the “leave it” or “drop it” command, maintain a clean yard free of fallen cicadas, and provide a designated cicada-free play area for your dog.

6. What should I do if my dog has an allergic reaction to cicadas?

If your dog displays symptoms of an allergic reaction after eating cicadas, such as itching, swelling, or hives, seek veterinary advice immediately. Your vet will recommend appropriate treatment options based on the severity of the reaction.

7. Can my dog get sick from eating cicadas?

Dogs might experience gastrointestinal upset, such as vomiting or diarrhea, when they consume large quantities of cicadas. If your dog experiences these symptoms for more than 24 hours or their condition worsens, consult your veterinarian for advice.

8. Can dogs eat dead cicadas?

It’s not recommended for dogs to eat dead cicadas, as they can still pose the same risks as live ones, including choking hazards, gastrointestinal upset, and allergic reactions. Keep your yard clean by removing any fallen cicadas to minimize your dog’s temptation to eat them.

9. Do cicadas carry parasites harmful to dogs?

Cicadas do not typically carry parasites that are harmful to dogs. However, it’s still best to prevent your dog from eating cicadas due to the potential risks mentioned above.

10. Are certain dog breeds more likely to eat cicadas?

All dogs have a natural curiosity, and any breed or individual dog might be tempted to eat cicadas. The key is to closely monitor your pet during cicada season and take preventive steps to ensure your dog’s safety and wellbeing.

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