My Dog Ate a Cockroach Will He Get Sick? (Reviewed by Vet)

Reviewed By Evie Moloney, RCVS •  Updated: 03/01/23 •  3 min read
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Dog Ate a Poisoned Cockroach

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Many dogs, even though they’ve been domesticated for thousands of years, have a strong prey drive. This high prey drive may even include seeing a cockroach as fair game for hunting! The dog may kill the roach, or some dogs may eat it. Can cockroaches make a dog sick?

Cockroaches & Dogs Dining on Roaches

The most common types of roaches found in the U.S. include the German cockroach, the American cockroach, Oriental cockroaches, and brown-banded cockroaches. These pests are found in many parts of the country and can survive in all types of areas and climates. Plus, they eat almost anything and everything. These bugs are real survivors, until, that is, they meet up with a dog who snacks on them!

On their own, cockroaches are not poisonous (are not toxic), and they don’t contain poisonous (toxic) substances. So, they aren’t normally toxic to dogs. However, some dogs may be allergic to these bugs and may suffer a reaction from eating one or more of these pests.

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

What About Roach Poison?  

Even though cockroaches themselves are not toxic,, roaches may be covered in a poison that’s meant to kill them, or they may have eaten poison. In general, a dog would have to eat quite a lot of poisoned roaches to make them sick. However, it is always recommended to contact your veterinarian if you have any concerns that your pet may have eaten roaches. Your veterinarian will be able to give individual advice based on your pet’s size and how many they have eaten.

What Are the Possible Symptoms if My Dog Has Eaten Poisoned Cockroaches?

It’s important to note that you may not see these symptoms straight away. Because of this, it is really important to contact your veterinarian as soon as possible after you suspect your pet has eaten poisoned roaches so they can advise you on the next best step for your pet.

What Diseases Can Cockroaches Carry?

Another possible issue is that roaches can carry diseases that can make your fur baby sick. They carry bacteria such as clostridium, salmonella, streptococcus, coliform, and more. If your dog eats a roach that’s carrying one of these nasty diseases, he could end up pretty sick.

If your dog develops this type of infection, you may notice these symptoms:

In this case, your fur baby would need to be treated by the vet as soon as possible in order to prevent other problems such as gastroenteritis or sepsis, both of which can be serious.

While roaches, untainted by poison, will not hurt your dog as an occasional snack, it’s best to keep him from eating roaches if possible due to the diseases they may be carrying.

If your fur baby has eaten cockroaches, contacting your veterinarian to get prompt medical advice is the best thing to do. Your vet will help you make a plan for your pet and discuss the best options with you to help them make a good recovery.

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Evie Moloney, RCVS

This article has been reviewed and approved by an independent Veterinarian: Evie is a vet surgeon who graduated from the University College Dublin, which is the only university offering the veterinary medicine degree in Ireland. She really enjoys surgery and has also worked as an emergency and critical care vet. She is passionate about sharing education about preventative health care for pets, especially the importance of regular dog and cat teeth brushing at home. She also enjoys helping owners find practical solutions for keeping pets as comfortable as possible while living with conditions such as arthritis. When not working, she enjoys hiking and swimming.

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