Is It Alright If Your Dog Eats A Few Fireflies?
If you have a dog you know that they're occasionally going to eat something that you didn't intend them to eat. And change "occasionally" to "all the time" if that dog is in fact a puppy.
A new dog has entered my life. My dad recently picked up a baby Chocolate Lab. Her name is Coco and she is usually a pretty sweet dog. I apologize for the lack of pictures, it's something I'm working on but here's a pic of Coco and my dog Max from a few weeks ago.
Trust me. If you squint, there's a lab puppy next to Max in that picture. She's considerably larger now.
Coco is in the discovering stage of her life. Everything is new to her and the way to best test things, in her mind at least, is to put it in her mouth. I'm pretty sure she's had her mouth on basically everything in the house since she's been there.
Her latest discover are fireflies (or lightning bugs depending on where you live.) She first saw them last week during dusk and she couldn't get enough. Prancing around the yard like a drunken deer, Coco had a great time chasing the insects around.
A lot of fun to watch but then we noticed that she was, unsurprisingly, eating a few of the fireflies her mangled coordination managed to guide her towards. Still funny but I, not unlike you probably, had no idea what made fireflies glow and wondered if it would be bad for the puppy.
One: Here's a nice little video on how fireflies work. It's worth your time if you're interested.
And 2. While it isn't great that she ate a few fireflies. It apparently probably isn't a problem and Coco will stop eating them once she realizes they all, as a defense mechanism, have a very unpleasant taste.
There weren't a ton of resources out there about what to do if your dog eats a firefly but the handful I did find basically echoed this article.
Gatewayhavanese - One of the toxins in fireflies is called lucibufagins, which affects the stomach and heart of the predator that was unwise enough to eat a firefly. For smaller animals, like lizards, the risk is greater, as the toxins can spread much more quickly through the system.
Your dog is large enough that one or two shouldn't affect them. Worst case would be your dog throwing up the bug and possibly a short bout of diarrhea, but that should be it.
So don't fret if your dog eats a few bugs outside, it's just doing exactly what a dog is supposed to do. Just don't serve them up an entire bowl of insects and they'll be fine.
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