Those cute little orange bugs with black spots have said to bring good luck. Plus, they’re just plain cute! But can they be toxic to dogs?
What are Ladybugs?
You’re very familiar with those small orange-red beetles that have black dots. Did you know there are 5,000 different species of these cute little bugs around the world? They’re sometimes called ladybugs, lady beetles, or even ladybird beetles. And they’re considered good luck in some parts of the world.
These little bugs also come in a wide variety of colors and patterns. However, in North America, there are about seven different types of ladybugs. Farmers like these helpful bugs because they keep aphids under control.
While ladybugs do eat other bugs, they can also be prey for some animals. However, their colors are a warning to those animals that these bugs really don’t taste very good. When they are threatened, ladybugs secrete a foul-tasting, oily liquid from the joints of their legs. They can even play dead!
Are these bugs toxic to dogs?
Ladybugs & Dogs
Some dogs love nothing better to chase and play with ladybugs. And every once in a while, a dog will decide to eat a ladybug. When the dog bites down on the ladybug, it’s possible that the fluid released by the bug could cause a burning sensation.
In addition, if a dog eats a lot of ladybugs can experience digestive tract issues. In dogs that eat an excessive number of ladybugs, it’s also possible they could develop an intestinal obstruction due to the hard shells of these insects. However, this is very rare.
Symptoms of Ladybug Toxicity in Dogs
Toxicity from ladybugs is really a very rare condition; however, it can happen. You may notice these symptoms if your dog has eaten a large number of ladybugs:
- Behavioral changes
- Excessive drooling
- Constipation (from a large number of ladybug shells)
What about Asian Ladybugs?
Asian ladybugs can be a problem for dogs; however, they are not toxic unless eaten in large amounts. These bugs, like other types of ladybugs, can cause chemical burns and digestive tract issues in dogs. However, the dog would have to eat a large number of these bugs at one time. This is a very rare problem.
So, in most cases, if your dog eats a couple of ladybugs here and there, he should be OK. Your fur baby will only have a problem if he eats a large number of ladybugs.