are caterpillars poisonous to dogs

Are Caterpillars Poisonous to Dogs? Best Tips for the Insect-Loving Dogs

Do you find yourself worrying are caterpillars poisonous to dogs?

We do…

Our Buck really loves to go after all sorts of insects and other tiny critters when he’s messing around in the garden or the park.

And if you think about it…

It’s a valid concern!

Some bugs can be quite harmful when ingested.

Or even on mere contact!

Whether it’s through their toxins or poisons, or an allergic reaction – some insects can put your unsuspecting pooch in real danger.

So it’s always useful to know a little more about these things.

‘Cause face it…

Your pup’s going to go after them anyway.

He doesn’t know or care about the aftermath, does he?

So add these to the list of things your puppy should never eat…

What’s the Harm if My Puppy Chews on a Bug or Two?

Before we get to the question are caterpillars poisonous to dogs, first let’s understand where the danger lies when it comes to a buggy diet…

Almost all dogs at some point or the other gobble down the occasional grasshopper, fly, moth, earthworm, or even ant or termite.

Don’t sweat about those…

Unless, of course your dog has a particular taste for them…or they bring out her allergies.

Speaking to your vet in that case is a good idea so you know how to deal with such situations in the future.

Other insects, however, can be more plainly dangerous.

And even lethal.

Before we get to the question are caterpillars poisonous to dogs, first let’s understand where the danger lies when it comes to a buggy diet…

Almost all dogs at some point or the other gobble down the occasional grasshopper, fly, moth, earthworm, or even ant or termite.

Don’t sweat about those…

Unless, of course your dog has a particular taste for them…or they bring out her allergies.

Speaking to your vet in that case is a good idea so you know how to deal with such situations in the future.

Other insects, however, can be more plainly dangerous.

And even lethal.

Stings and Bites

Some insects bite.

Or sting.

And just like us humans get allergic reactions to them, your puppy is very likely to as well.

This can be especially dangerous if your pup’s allergy makes him go into anaphylactic shock – which needs swift treatment.

Also, if you live in an area which is home to poisonous spiders such as black widows, you will need to take particular care to save your puppy from his own curiosity.

Toxic Insects

Then there are insects that have toxins or poison that act on contact or ingestion.

That includes many of the bugs in question – caterpillars.

These can cause some serious discomfort to your puppy through tummy aches, diarrhea or even lesions.

Worse, because using insecticide is such a popular way to get rid of such pests, your puppy may inadvertently fall victim to the toxic effects of the chemicals too.

So take care your dog doesn’t fool around with such insects. If he has ingested these toxic bugs, here’s a guide to help you save your pet immediately.

And, of course, use natural, organic insecticides yourself when you do, so you don’t accidentally poison your dog as well.

Catching Parasites

Another horrible fallout from your puppy’s bug-eating habit could be a persistent bout of parasitic infection.

Yes, you read that right…

Some insects that feed on feces can pick up all kinds of parasitic worms and such, which can transfer to your puppy if she chews on the insects.

This includes the physaloptera worm that can sit in your dog’s stomach and cause intense discomfort and vomiting.

On Dogs and Caterpillars

For curious dogs who wouldn’t let a bug go without thoroughly investigating them, caterpillars can be bad news.

Of course there are many non-poisonous caterpillars…

But contact with the wrong type of caterpillar can lead to symptoms ranging anywhere from stinging rashes, itching, swelling to serious infection, respiratory problems or necrosis leading to death.

That’s right.

So if catch your puppy crunching up a caterpillar or playing with it, keep an eye out for possible symptoms.

And rush to the vet at the first sign, even if it’s just for some mild caterpillar rash treatment.

Here are some caterpillars to be wary of:

  1. The Monarch caterpillar – a banded caterpillar that can cause real problems for your dog through milkweed poisoning
  2. The Pine Processionary caterpillar – inhabits Europe among other regions. Its hairs are extremely toxic to dogs as well as people.
  3. Some varieties of black and yellow caterpillars
  4. Some varieties of black fuzzy caterpillars
  5. Tussock Moth caterpillars – their hair can cause a reaction
  6. Wooly Bear caterpillars – their hair can stick to your puppy’s throat and cause a lot of irritation, gagging, etc.

We hope we adequately answered your question are caterpillars poisonous to dogs in this post.

If you have any other insights on the topic, or even further questions, do let us know in the comments section below!

5 Comments

  1. My dog died today because of black fuzzy caterpillar.im so devastated rn because itsy fault and my lack of knowledge about them

    1. Sorry for your loss. My daughter caught our 2 puppies eating one last night. I didn’t know the dangers until reading this article. Its not something you would just know.

  2. My fifteen year dog has just found a taste for them in the last week, it’s been a hairless brown caterpillar she has nearly eaten but I stopped her. I’m so worried about her with her age and health problems

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