Is Your Pet Snacking on Cicadas?

Since cicadas are on a 17-year cycle, it is unlikely that your pet has seen one before. When he does, he may bark, go crazy, and eat the red-eyed bugs.

Dr. John Andersen, a veterinarian at Monticello Animal Hospital in Charlottesville, Virginia, as reported on the local NBC channel, has assuaged the fears of worried pet owners. “Cicadas are not toxic. There’s nothing in their bodies that’s going to poison your dog or cat, so you can at least rest assured there.”

He says that swallowing one or two cicadas will not hurt, but overindulgence, especially on their crunchy shells, could upset a pet’s stomach. “When the dogs eat that and crunch it, they’ve just got this hard insect shell material that that’s just churning around inside their stomach lining, and it’s likely to cause some upset stomach.”

Tell your vet if there are signs of vomiting, diarrhea, and lethargy, he says, from eating too many cicadas, but even so, “it’s not going to cause liver failure, kidney failure, neurological damage, or anything like that.”

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