When it comes to spending time outside with your pets, supervision is key. This will especially be the case during the 2021 spring and summer seasons, when the Brood X cicadas make their appearance across the eastern United States. Apparently, many pups enjoy snacking on the bugs and their shedded exoskeletons, which can cause problems if they eat one too many.
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While cicadas aren't toxic to dogs, if your furry friend eats an abundance of them, it can lead to gastrointestinal (GI) issues. "In most cases, your dog will be fine after eating a few cicadas," explains Dr. Jerry Klein, the American Kennel Club's chief veterinary officer, on the organization's site. "However, dogs that gorge on the large, crunchy insects will find the exoskeleton difficult to digest and can suffer serious consequences."
In addition to GI troubles, your dog can also choke on the bugs, have an allergic reaction, and experience unwanted effects from all the pesticides the insects have been exposed to. According to Dr. Klein, symptoms of eating too many cicadas or their exoskeletons include bloody diarrhea, vomiting, and abdominal pain.
In addition to keeping a close eye on your dog when they're outside, you'll also want to be on the lookout for potential symptoms. Eating a few cicadas likely won't hurt them, but if they consume an abundance or you notice that your pup is sick, definitely give your vet a call.