Have you found your dog playing with a spider? Dogs have been known to play with all types of bugs, including spiders. Occasionally, dogs may even eat a spider. That doesn’t sound yummy to us, but a spider may be a quick snack for a dog!
But can a spider make your dog sick? It depends.
Are Spiders Harmful for Dogs to Eat?
There are spiders living in most places on the earth, including in your own home right now. Spiders can be helpful in keeping down bugs such as flies and other creepy crawlies; however, there are some spiders that can be harmful to you and your dog.
These are venomous spiders, which can include black widows (black, with a red hourglass on the abdomen), brown recluses (also called fiddle back spiders—brown, with a violin shape on the head) and hobo spiders (also known as funnel weaver spiders). These arachnids (spiders) are commonly found all over the US and Canada.
If a dog decides to play with one of these spiders, he has a good chance of being bitten during play or when he swallows the spider.
How Can Spider Venom Affect a Dog?
Spider venom is injected into the bloodstream, where it goes through the body. If the venom reaches the brain or heart, then serious symptoms can follow. The most harmful spider is the Black Widow.
If your dog is bitten by a Black Widow spider, then you’ll need to get him to the vet as soon as possible. This is considered a medical emergency.
On the other hand, if your dog swallows the spider without being bitten, then the venom still ends up in his system, where the spider and the venom are broken down by the stomach’s acid. In this case, the dog may not have any symptoms, and the spider will pass out of the dog’s system in the natural way.
Symptoms of Being Bitten by a Spider
If your fur baby ha suffered a spider bite, then he may show some of these symptoms:
- Oral pain
- Difficulty breathing
- Loss of coordination
If your dog doesn’t show any symptoms, that doesn’t mean he’s out of the woods. In fact, the bite of one of these venomous spiders can cause the flesh around the bite to necrotize. This can lead to secondary infections and other serious complications.
It’s always a good idea to keep an eye on your dog to see what he’s playing with. If you find him with a spider, try to distract him away from his arachnid toy. In most cases, spiders are harmless; however, the venomous spiders’ bites are life-threatening and need to be treated immediately by the vet.