My Dog Ate an Earwig What Should I Do?

Reviewed By Julie •  Updated: 01/27/21 •  3 min read
Dog Moderate Toxicity Level
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Do you have earwigs in your yard or even in the house? Does your dog like to eat earwigs? Then you’ll want to read this article!

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What is an Earwig?

Earwigs are an insect that looks ferocious and is sometimes mistaken for a cockroach. They’re part of the Dermaptera insect family, which includes 2,000 species of earwigs and 12 different families! These little guys seem to be prolific. They’re found all around the world, except in Antarctica. So, you’ve probably seen one at some point.

These small insects are a bit scary looking because they have a thick exoskeleton and long pincers on the back of both the male and female bugs. The male has curved pincers, while the female has straight pincers. While this is not an insect that attacks humans or pets, earwigs will use their pincers if they feel threatened.

Thankfully, earwigs are not toxic or venomous. You’d think they were venomous because of their long pincers. While they do use the pincers to catch prey, they don’t contain any venom. Some people say you can hardly feel the bug pinching you; however, others have said the bite can be painful. But there’s no venom.

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

Earwigs, however, do have another way to protect themselves. They put off a foul smell if they feel threatened, or if they’re crushed.

These bugs are usually nocturnal, and they like to live in moist, dark places. Outside, the insects may live in the cracked bark of a tree, in a hole in the tree, under mulch, and in other places. Inside your home, they may live in crevices, and other places dark, moist places.

One interesting fact about earwigs is that after the mother lays her eggs, she stays with them. Even after the nymphs hatch, the mother stays with them. She even feeds them until they’re large enough to hunt on their own. Most insects lay their eggs and don’t stay around to care for them, making the earwig something very uncommon in the insect world.

But are earwigs bad for your dog to eat? Can earwigs make your dog sick?

Earwigs & Dogs

You’ll be happy to know that earwigs are non-toxic for dogs. While the insects may release their foul order and possibly pinch your dog with their pincers, they’re otherwise not a problem. If your dog eats one or two once in a while, he should be OK.

However, if your dog eats tons of earwigs, it is possible he could develop an intestinal blockage due to the insects’ exoskeleton.

In most cases, a once in a while snack of a couple of earwigs will be OK. Just watch for any signs that your dog becomes ill after eating bunches of these scary-looking, non-venomous bugs!

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Julie is a graduate of the University of North Carolina, Wilmington, where she studied Animal science. Though contrary to the opinion of her parents she was meant to study pharmacy, but she was in love with animals especially cats. Julie currently works in an animal research institute (NGO) in California and loves spending quality time with her little cat. She has the passion for making research about animals, how they survive, their way of life among others and publishes it. Julie is also happily married with two kids.

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