Everyone has been talking about the Brood X cicadas surfacing.  They rise from the soil once every 17 years to make babies, creep us out and for some of us, provide a snack.  I told you in a previous post that people can actually eat cicadas (why you would want to is an entirely different question), but that got me wondering…are cicadas safe for our dogs to eat?!?!?

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All kinds of animals are chowing down on these protein-packed bugs…everything from birds to squirrels to pit vipers...yes, I said pit vipers (I wrote about that here) and other bugs are feasting on these guys.  I caught my dog Fozzie digging a whole in the yard and biting at the dirt…I realized he was eating them!  As any dog mama would, I worried, then ran straight to the internet. Here is what I found…

Shannon Holly's dog Fozzie digging for cicadas
Shannon Holly's dog Fozzie digging for cicadas
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The American Kennel Club (AKC), says that a few cicadas are probably not cause for alarm but should be avoided if possible but too many could turn into a problem fast. The reason is, cicadas have an exoskeleton (a hard shell to protect their soft bodies) and this part of the bug is really difficult for our dogs to digest...between these hard outsides and the wings, there can be serious consequences.  If too many are eaten, that crunchy outside protective shell on the cicada will irritate a dog’s stomach when consumed. (Wings can be a problem, as well because they can be firm and sharp). Dogs can suffer choking or gastrointestinal issues, including vomiting or having the runs. If they eat too many they may have to go to the vet for treatment.

People eating cicadas are not a problem because they are cooking and prepping them by removing the hard shells and wings and also sanitizing them in boiling water.  Our dogs are just goin’ for it.  If your pooch is like mine and took a sample or two don’t worry. Just watch them when outside to make sure they are not going crazy on a bug buffet.

The critters are less active at dawn and dusk, so that may be a better time to walk your fur baby for now. You can expect these guys to be gone by late June.

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To prepare yourself for a potential incident, always keep your vet's phone number handy, along with an after-hours clinic you can call in an emergency. The ASPCA Animal Poison Control Center also has a hotline you can call at (888) 426-4435 for advice.

Even with all of these resources, however, the best cure for food poisoning is preventing it in the first place. To give you an idea of what human foods can be dangerous, Stacker has put together a slideshow of 30 common foods to avoid. Take a look to see if there are any that surprise you.

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