A side shot of a dog staring at a bee hovering in front of its face.

Is It Okay For My Dog To Eat Insects?

It can be difficult to know what is safe for our four-legged friends to eat, especially when it comes to more unconventional foods like insects. While some people may view feeding insects as an unusual choice for their canine companions, the reality is that dogs do sometimes consume bugs in the wild. But should we provide them with these types of snacks regularly? Is it okay for a dog to eat insects?

In general, it is okay for your dog to eat insects. They can provide a source of protein and other nutrients that may help support the health of your pet. However, you should make sure the insects are safe for your pet to consume. Avoid feeding them large or toxic ones such as bees, wasps, and beetles. 

Are Insects Safe For Dogs To Eat?

A dog looking at a butterfly on its nose.
Cute! Hopefully, no eating happens here.

It is important to remember not all insects are safe for your pet to eat. Before offering them as treats, it’s best to check with your vet or research what kind of insects are safe for dogs to consume. Ensure the bugs have not been exposed to any pesticides or other toxins, and supervise when feeding them to your pup.

Common insects that are okay for your pup to eat include mealworms, waxworms, crickets, and grasshoppers. These bugs provide a nutritious snack that can add variety to their diets, plus they may help with the mental stimulation of playing with prey.

What Insects Are Safe For Dogs?

The types of insects that are safe for a dog to consume include:

  • Mealworms
  • Waxworms
  • Grasshoppers
  • Crickets
  • Beetles
  • Dragonflies
  • Cicadas

What Insects Are Toxic to Dogs?

Some insect species are toxic to dogs, such as:

  • Fireflies
  • Flies
  • Spiders (technically arachnids)
  • Centipedes
  • Scorpions
  • Bees
  • Wasps
  • Hornets
  • Cockroaches
  • Mosquitoes

Can Dogs Eat Ants?

The short answer is yes, dogs can eat ants. However, pet owners should take caution when feeding ants to dogs as some species may contain toxins that could cause digestive issues for your pup. 

In addition, consuming large amounts of ants over time can also result in mineral imbalances in the body. If you choose to give your dog ants as a treat, make sure to monitor your pet’s health and limit their intake. Consulting with your veterinarian is also strongly recommended.

Can Dogs Eat Cockroaches?

No, dogs should not eat cockroaches. These insects contain toxins that could be hazardous to your pet’s health and may harbor parasites or other disease-causing organisms. Choose treats that are safe for your pup instead. Better safe than sorry!

Can Dogs Eat Flies?

Flies are a health hazard, carrying bacteria, viruses, and parasites that can make pets seriously ill. They may also contain toxins that can harm dogs if ingested. For this reason, pet owners should take precautions in areas where flies are present.

Keeping the environment clean and free of food scraps and other attractants is essential to keeping pets safe. Flies can spread diseases to humans, so it’s important to maintain vigilance and practice proper hygiene.

Can Dogs Eat Spiders?

It is not safe for dogs to consume spiders. Toxins and parasites they contain can make them ill, while venomous varieties may cause serious health issues. To keep your pet from any potential risks, keep spiders away from them and consult a vet if you notice any symptoms of illness following accidental consumption.

Can Dogs Eat Worms?

It depends on the type of worm and whether or not it is cooked. In general, most experts agree that dogs should not consume raw worms due to the potential for parasites and other contaminants. 

Cooked worms can be a safe and nutritious treat for your dog if they are free from bacteria or parasites, as long as you are certain of the type of worm.

What Are The Advantages Of Feeding Insects To Dogs?

Insects provide a great source of vitamins, protein minerals, and fatty acids like Omega 3 & 6 for dogs. 

Certain insects are rich in antioxidants that protect against free radical damage and fiber to aid digestion. Calcium and phosphorus help build strong bones as well. 

Eating insects can reduce inflammation and bolster the immune system for your pet’s overall well-being. Insects can be a beneficial addition to any dog’s diet.

Can A Dog’s Diet Be Supplemented By Eating Insects?

It is possible to supplement a dog’s diet with insects. Feeding bugs as treats or snacks can provide essential proteins and nutrients that may be missing from the pet’s regular food. In general, mealworms are the most commonly eaten insect by dogs, but other types of bugs can also be beneficial. 

What Precautions Should Be Taken When Feeding Insects To 

A Dog?

By following the guidelines outlined below, you can make sure that your pet is properly nourished and safe when consuming insects:

  • Consult with a veterinarian before feeding insects to your dog. This will ensure that the insects are safe for your pet and that you understand any potential risks.
  • Purchase only feeder insects from reliable sources. Live or dried, make sure these are high quality and suitable for dogs to consume without risk of illness or injury.
  • Feed only insects your dog can safely consume whole; no wings, legs, or other body parts should be broken off and consumed.
  • Provide adequate sources of calcium in the diet when you feed insects to your dog (as they are low in calcium). This can come from eggshells, bonemeal, or other supplements.
  • Feed insects in moderation, as they are high in fat and protein.
  • Supervise your dog when feeding them insects to make sure they’re eating the right amount and not choking on any pieces.
  • Wash your hands after handling feeder insects to avoid spreading germs or parasites. 
  • Always store feeder insects in a cool, dry place away from children and pets.

In Conclusion: Is It Okay For My Dog To Eat Insects?

Adding edible insects to your dog menu in moderation could be a safe and nutritious supplement. They should not substitute for regular meals but can provide essential nutrients as well as alleviate anxiety or boredom when used as treats. It is critical to consult with a veterinarian before introducing bugs into their diet and ensure they are sourced from reliable sellers. 

So, do you plan on feeding your dog insects? Let us know your thoughts and why in the comments below!

Dr. Mohsin Iqbal (DVM, RVMP)
Dr. Mohsin Iqbal (DVM, RVMP)
Dr. Mohsin Iqbal is a licensed veterinarian with more than 5 years of experience in veterinary medicine. After receiving his DVM degree from The Islamia University of Bahawalpur, Pakistan, he worked as a veterinarian in both government and private sectors. Dr. Mohsin specializes in small animal medicine and surgery and has experience treating all types of animals including dogs, cats, horses, and reptiles. He has a passion for pets and has written several eBooks on pet care and surgery. In addition to his clinical work, he also volunteers his time for various animal rescue organizations and helps care for injured and abandoned animals.