Can Dogs Eat 17 Year Old Cicadas Safely? The answer will surprise you
Everyone has talked about the surface of Brood X cicadas. They come out of the ground once every 17 years to make babies, scare us and for some of us, provide a snack. I told you in a previous article that people can actually eat cicadas (why you would want to is an entirely different question), but it made me wonder … are cicadas safe for our dogs?!?!?
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All kinds of animals feed on these protein-rich insects … everything from birds and squirrels to pit vipers … yes, I said pit vipers (I wrote about it here) and other bugs feast on these guys. I caught my dog Fozzie digging a whole in the yard and biting the dirt… I realized he was eating them! Like any dog mum would, I got worried and then ran straight to the internet. Here is what I found …
The American Kennel Club (AKC), says a few cicadas are probably not alarming but should be avoided if possible but too many could quickly turn into a problem. The reason is that cicadas have an exoskeleton (a hard shell to protect their soft body) and this part of the virus is really hard for our dogs to digest … between those hard exteriors and the wings there can be serious consequences. If you eat too much of it, this crispy outer protective shell on the cicada irritates the dog’s stomach when eaten. (The wings can also be a problem, as they can be firm and sharp). Dogs can suffer from suffocation or gastrointestinal issues, including vomiting or running. If they eat too much, they may need to go to the vet for treatment.
People who eat cicadas are not a problem as they cook and prepare them by removing the hard shells and wings and also disinfecting them in boiling water. Our dogs are just going for that. If your dog is like mine and has taken a sample or two, don’t worry. Just watch them outside to make sure they don’t go crazy over an insect buffet.
Creatures are less active at dawn and dusk, so this may be the best time to take your furry baby for a walk right now. You can expect these guys to be gone in late June.
WATCH: Here Are 30 Foods That Are Poisonous For Dogs
To prepare for a potential incident, always keep your veterinarian’s phone number handy, as well as an after-hours clinic that you can call in an emergency. The ASPCA Animal Poison Control Center also has a hotline that you can call at (888) 426-4435 for advice.
However, even with all of these resources, the best cure for food poisoning is to prevent it in the first place. To give you an idea of what human foods can be dangerous, Stacker has created a slideshow of 30 Common Foods to Avoid. Take a look to see if there are any that surprise you.