Cicadas are a treat for many animals. Cats, dogs, raccoons, bugs and birds are only a few that enjoy eating cicadas. When cicadas emerge, they are a great food source for these animals. However, some question whether or not dogs can eat cicadas. This article will discuss this topic and provide a scientific answer to it.
What Exactly Are Cicadas?
Cicadas are insects belonging to the order Hemiptera, which is similar to the order Coleoptera. Both of these orders contain insects that have two “tails”: an elongated oval segment at the end of the abdomen and a shorter winged one on top of it. Cicadas are most commonly found in the family Cicadidae, known as leaf-footed bugs, and have several species in North America. These cicadas range from less than an inch to several inches long with some reaching lengths of 3 inches or more. There are many different species of cicadas that are usually found in the same area. Cicadas emerge from the ground once every 13 or 17 years. This event usually happens when the soil temperature exceeds 85 degrees Fahrenheit. The female cicadas lay their eggs beneath the soil and then die.
What Do Cicadas Eat?
Cicadas are mostly found in grasslands, fields, open forests, and shrubbery. They feed on grasses and other plant material as well as insects and small invertebrates (1). Cicadas have a very short life span of only one or two weeks. After the cicada dies, it will stay in its larval form for the rest of its life. This makes them a great food source for animals like dogs as well as wildlife like squirrels, rabbits, skunks, chipmunks and many more.
Are Cicadas Good For Dogs?
Some dogs like to snack on things they find outside. Sometimes they enjoy munching on bugs and insects of all kinds. Dogs often eat cicadas because they are a convenient and tasty snack. When dogs eat cicadas, this helps them to get the nutrients that they need from other sources. Any kind of bug that is quick and easy to catch is a great snack for a dog, as insects are a great source of protein. However, it is important for owners to know the possible dangers of consuming cicadas before allowing their pets to do so.
Can Dogs Eat Cicadas?
Cicadas are edible for dogs in small quantities. Usually, dogs will only eat about two or three at a time. If your dog is constantly eating cicadas, it may be a sign that he or she does not get enough of the essential nutrients needed for optimum health and growth. If you notice your dog constantly eating cicadas, consult your veterinarian. He or she would be able to make a proper assessment of your dog’s diet and recommend the most appropriate course to follow. Your veterinarian will be able to determine nutrition requirements of your dog and decide what is best for each individual case.
Are There Side Effects For Dogs Eating Cicadas?
If you allow your dog to eat cicadas, ensure that he or she does not receive a fatal dose. This can be done by storing the cicadas in an airtight container and placing them in the refrigerator. At no time should your dog be allowed to eat cicadas that are rotten, damaged or brown; these may cause illness or death. In some cases, dogs may need to be treated with antibiotics if they find a cicada that is obviously ill or dead. The biggest risk is if your dog consumes a cicada that is covered in pesticides, rather than the actual bug itself.
Are Dogs Good At Catching Cicadas?
Dog’s are very good at catching cicadas. They often catch them by licking or picking up the insect. Dogs can also be trained to bring a cicada back to you when they find it. When your dog catches a cicada, reward him or her with a treat and praise. This will help to build his or her confidence and will also reinforce the behavior that you want.
Other Bugs Safe For Dogs To Eat
Cicadas are not the only bugs safe for dogs to eat. There are actually quite a few, which include:
- Crickets – Crickets are very common insects. They are a type of Orthoptera, which means “straight-winged”. Crickets are very easy for dogs to catch. It is important not to make your dog sick by giving him or her bugs that have been sprayed with pesticides.
- Grasshoppers – Grasshoppers are also a type of Orthoptera, and they are sometimes called witches. Grasshoppers are a bit easier than crickets for dogs to catch.
- Aphids – Aphids are tiny little bugs that like to feed on plants, and they are often found in gardens. It is important not to introduce aphids that have been sprayed with pesticides into your dog’s diet.
- Caterpillars – Caterpillars are the larvae of moths and butterflies. They are full of protein and are very tasty to your dog. Caterpillars have many legs, some over 200, which makes them easy for dogs to catch. However, it is important to remove any that have been sprayed with pesticides before giving them to your dog.
- Wasp Larvae – Wasp larvae are the young of wasps that can be found in beehives or nests in trees and shrubs. They are a great source of protein. You should always remove wasp larvae that have been sprayed with pesticides before giving them to your dog. Also, adult wasps have the ability to sting your dog, so you should exercise caution when dealing with them.
In some cases, it is important to monitor your dog’s diet if you allow them to catch bugs from your yard. Dogs have a tendency to eat anything that moves, and this might include insects like cicadas that have been sprayed with pesticides. It is important to spot-check the insects first or remove any that are dead or damaged before giving them to your dog. In most cases, it is okay for dogs to eat cicadas and other bugs from your backyard. Dogs can also be trained to catch and bring insects back to their owners at mealtime.