You’re taking your dog for a pleasant evening stroll in early summer, enjoying the mild weather when your dog suddenly snaps up a passing June bug.
Since these bugs are large, you might be wondering if your dog will be okay. June bugs are not toxic in any way and won’t hurt your dog if eaten. But too many June bugs could lead to an upset stomach.
Here is extra June bug information, along with insects that your dog should avoid.
June bugs, also known as May beetles and June beetles, are part of the scarab beetle family. Their name highlights when they are most active, which is from May to June. They are native to most of the northern hemisphere, which includes North America and parts of Europe and Asia.
They are commonly a shiny reddish-brown color and about 1/2 an inch to 1 inch long. They can be seen on warm evenings and are typically flying around, drawn to light sources.
If you live in the northern hemisphere, you’ve likely encountered a few of these beetles buzzing by your head! They tend to be clumsy flyers and walkers and cause a great deal of damage to flowers and foliage, so they are considered pests.
But they are perfectly harmless to humans and our pets because they are not capable of biting or stinging.
Can Dogs Eat June Bugs?
June bugs are not toxic in any way and are completely harmless. If your dog just eats one or two, they should be fine. But if your dog went ate many more, they are likely to experience stomach upset, which might also include vomiting and diarrhea.
The size of your dog is also a factor: Small dogs might not even be able to handle one bug, while giant breeds might be okay with three or fewer June bugs.
Since these insects have tough, indigestible shells, eating too many of them could potentially lead to a gastrointestinal blockage, which might require surgery.
Signs of intestinal blockage include:
The most telltale sign of a blockage is a dog that is vomiting but not pooping.
You should also be aware of insecticide poisoning. Since June bugs may spend time eating from gardens and crops, there’s always the chance that they will come into contact with insecticides. These June bugs will usually be dead, not flying around. But if your dog finds a pile of dead June bugs and eats a bunch, they will also be ingesting poison from the insecticides.
See your vet if your dog eats a pile of dead June bugs or eats too many while on a walk.
What About Other Insects?
Bugs are generally safe for dogs to eat, but there are a few species that they should avoid.
Overall, many insects, like grasshoppers and crickets, are safe for your dog to eat. But it’s best to keep an eye on your dog for any worrying signs after they have ingested any bugs.
Why Do Dogs Eat Bugs?
Dogs are predators, and their hunting instincts are triggered by bugs that behave erratically by jumping, flying, and scurrying around.
Bugs are fascinating to pets due to how they act and move, so it’s completely natural for dogs to investigate bugs — and then eat them. In the case of June bugs, some dogs might enjoy the crunch of biting into them.
Also, if a dog lacks protein in their diet, their instincts might lead them to seek out bugs. Insects are an excellent source of protein and are even available as the main protein in insect-based pet food.
If your dog eats a few June bugs on your walk, you likely won’t have a problem. But keep an eye on them just in case. If your dog gets a little sick, but everything else seems normal, they are probably fine. However, vomiting combined with no elimination is worrisome. See your vet straightaway!
Be careful when walking under streetlights because June bugs are attracted to the light. Keep your dog on a leash, and guide them away from any bugs while on your walk. Fortunately, June bugs are only active for about 1 to 2 months!
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