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Can your dogs eat cicadas?

Maybe?

A Brood X Cicada hangs from netting behind home plate at Oriole Park at Camden Yards.
A Brood X Cicada hangs from netting behind home plate at Oriole Park at Camden Yards during the first inning of a baseball game between the Baltimore Orioles and the New York Mets on Wednesday, June 9, 2021, in Baltimore.
Julio Cortez, Associated Press

I can’t believe people are asking this question, but apparently, they are. Can your dogs eat those cicadas that are flying around?

What are cicadas?

The cicadas — called Brood X — have risen from the ground for the first time in 17 years, as I wrote for the Deseret News. They’re insects that have been flying around much of the East Coast. And they’ve been known to go after President Joe Biden.

Can you eat cicadas?

The Food and Drug Administration recently told people that they shouldn’t eat cicadas if they have a seafood allergy.

  • “Yep! We have to say it! Don’t eat #cicadas if you’re allergic to seafood as these insects share a family relation to shrimp and lobsters,” the FDA tweeted.

Cicadas have actually been used for special recipes as of late, becoming “a rare gourmet treat,” according to NBC News.

Can your dog eat cicadas?

Questions have arisen about whether or not cicadas can hurt your dog’s intestinal linings or be toxic to dogs. The New York Times sought out the answer to that question and came up with an answer (and it’s a rather simple one) — it’s fine if your dog eats cicadas.

Christine Klippen, an emergency veterinarian at Friendship Hospital for Animals in Washington, D.C., said that eating cicadas won’t hurt your puppy.

  • “No, eating a cicada won’t make a dog or cat sick,” Dr. Klippen told The New York Times.

Do cicadas give dog stomach issues?

Tina Wismer, the senior director at the ASPCA Animal Poison Control Center in Urbana, Illinois, told The New York Times that cicadas, which might be like a snack for pets, might cause an upset stomach, though.

  • “Most pets who ingest a few cicadas will only develop mild stomach upset,” she said.

Dr. Jerry Klein, American Kennel Club chief veterinary officer, told NPR that cicadas could cause big stomach problems, too.

  • He said that “dogs that gorge on the large, crunchy insects will find the exoskeleton difficult to digest and can suffer serious consequences.”

Dr. Nita Vasudevan, who works at Peachtree Creek Animal Hospital in Georgia, said there could be problems, too.

  • “Also, rarely, ingestion can cause possible allergic reactions which would present as facial swelling, diffuse body hives and itching and if more severe of a reaction, fever, vomiting and diarrhea,” she told NPR.

Just make sure your dog isn’t eating a lot, she told NPR.

  • “A few ingested likely will be harmless, but we always worry about the quantity ingested over a short period of time.”