My Dog Ate a Beetle Will He Get Sick?

Reviewed By Kim •  Updated: 09/25/20 •  3 min read
Dog Moderate Toxicity Level
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Many of us live in areas where beetles are common. In fact, they live in most parts of the country, and in some areas are around all year long! You know these bugs—they are an oval-shape, with a hard shell (that covers their wings), and six legs. They vary in sizes and colors, but the description otherwise fits these insects.

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Does your dog like to eat beetles? Can eating beetles make your dog sick? Let’s take a look.

Can Eating Beetles Make My Dog Sick?

Dogs are hunters by nature and may go after all types of prey including insects. One favorite of many dogs are beetles. Beetles are a bit fun for dogs due to the way they move, they can all of a sudden take off flying, and more. That can be a tempting plaything for almost any dog!

Eating just one beetle usually doesn’t cause any ill health issues in most dogs. Even eating a couple of beetles, your dog should be OK. However, if he eats more beetles than 2 or so, he could be facing some unpleasant stomach issues.

It is strongly recommended to contact a Pet Poison Helpline or your veterinarian.

For dogs with sensitive stomachs, eating 3 or more beetles could cause:

There is one more problem—the shells of the beetles are hard and difficult for gastric acids to break down. For this reason, the beetle shells could become lodged in the digestive tract, which can then lead to an intestinal blockage. This can be a life-threatening medical condition.

Symptoms of an Intestinal Blockage in Dogs

If your dog develops an intestinal blockage, you may notice these symptoms:

If your fur baby is showing these symptoms, then please call the vet immediately. This can be a life-threatening medical issue.

Diagnosis & Treatment of Intestinal Blockage in Dogs

The vet will examine your dog, asking questions about what led up to the current health problem in your dog. They may also order lab tests and imaging, such as x-rays. Imaging can help the vet see where the beetle shells are caught in your fur baby’s stomach or intestines.

If the vet finds the shells are caught in the stomach, they may be able to remove the bug shells with an endoscope. If the x-rays show the shells are down farther, into the intestines, then the vet may have to perform surgery to remove the blockage.

In most cases, your dog should have a full recovery if he’s otherwise healthy. He may need to stay in the hospital for a day or so after the surgery, but then may be able to come home. However, this does depend on his condition—some dogs may require hospitalization for a little longer period.

The best way to keep this problem from happening is to make sure your dog doesn’t eat beetles. One or two should be OK, but more could cause a serious health problem.

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Kim is a talented author, who loves animals especially dogs. She engaged in writing books and articles relating to animals a decade ago. Kim resides in Chicago with her husband and son. The family is the proud owner of a dog and a parrot (Jack and Lily). Kim wanted more than these two pets, but her husband put his foot down... She often visits elementary schools to talk to the kids about what she learned about pets and how they could learn from them.

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