Is It Safe For Dogs To Eat Cicadas?

Spring is fully in the air, and summer isn’t far behind. With the warmer weather come all the pesky bugs who are now emerging from their winter-long dormancy.

Amongst these are the Brood X cicada, who come out from the ground only once every 17 years in order to mate and reproduce before going back underground. They are currently springing up all across the eastern United States.

With this heightened insect activity comes all the animals who view the cicadas as a tasty delicacy. Even other insects like ants are on the hunt for cicadas.

Photo: Wikimedia Commons

While animals, such as birds and squirrels, might be okay to consume cicadas, there are some people who may be seeing their pet dogs show an interest in trying to nab a few of these insects. But is it bad for your dog to nosh on cicadas?

Article continues below

Our Featured Programs

See how we’re making a difference for People, Pets, and the Planet and how you can get involved!

According to the American Kennel Club, Dr. Jerry Klein, the chief veterinarian for the AKC, said that while a few munched cicadas might not be cause for concern, it is still best that you keep your dogs away from them. He did warn that if your dog has eaten a large amount of them, it could manifest itself in serious digestive issues.


As Dr. Klein stated, “In most cases, your dog will be fine after eating a few cicadas. However, dogs that gorge on the large, crunchy insects will find the exoskeleton difficult to digest and can suffer serious consequences.”

As it transpires, the exoskeleton of the cicada is what can cause serious irritation to your dog’s stomach if consumed in large amounts. Besides posing a choking hazard, these exoskeletons can also give your dog certain gastrointestinal issues, such as vomiting or diarrhea. In very severe cases, veterinary intervention could be required.

Photo: Pixabay =

Another cause for concern is that your dog could be consuming pesticides since there is always that risk. While one or two cicadas isn’t a huge cause for concern, it’s still a good idea to teach your dog to avoid them altogether – something that you can do through positive reinforcement training or by taking precautions to avoid your dog encountering the bugs, like walking in the evening or early morning when the cicadas are less active.

You can also avoid the trees where the insects are known to gather. But not to worry too much, cicada season usually is over by the end of June.

Help Rescue Animals

Provide food and vital supplies to shelter pets at The Animal Rescue Site for free!