If you are the owner of a curious canine who will eat just about anything, then you are not alone. Dogs scarf up whatever is in their midst, and in some cases the cuisine can be both gross and questionable. Such is the case with flies and other insects. At Bowman Veterinary Hospital, we get asked about whether flies are safe for pets to eat, especially if they have been sprayed with Raid or another bug spray.
Since spring is the high season for flying things, our team is here to discuss what to do if your dog ate a fly (or another insect).
Is This Snack Something to Worry About?
Dogs are rampant scavengers and will eat things that we find gross, like other animals’ feces, old food, and, yes, flies, honey bees (ouch), and mosquitoes, among other insects. The occasional fly meal isn’t going to harm them, but it might if iit is a habitual problem.
At times, this habit is a result of compulsive behavior, which may mean that your dog has anxiety or another behavior issue. Your dog may also just be bored, which means they don’t have enough environmental enrichment and exercise. Consider giving your pet some items that fulfill their prey drive, such as a game of fetch with a ball or Frisbee. Offer enrichment toys like treat-dispensing puzzles, and games to keep them occupied.
A Bug Is a Bug Is a Bug… Or Not
Most insects are non-venomous and won’t harm your pet if they ingest them on occasion. If your pup is a gobbler when it comes to anything that moves, however, they may eat something that can sting them or is poisonous. These poisonous insects might include spiders like the brown recluse or black widow. They may even want to bat around a scorpion, wasp, or other stinging creature.
It’s best to supervise your dog while outside if they have a tendency towards ingesting wild, flying, and stinging critters.
Be cautious of pesticides and other poisons in and around your home. If your pet ingests these harmful toxins, they can have a reaction and even end up with a veterinary emergency. Avoid the use of these noxious products and opt for pet-safe bugs sprays.
My Pet Ate a Fly! Now What?
Since dogs will be dogs, you’ll likely see them chomp an insect in midair or eat the occasional ant. While gross to us, this is just a natural (and probably fun) way for them to express their instinctual drive to look for something to eat.