Cicadas and Pets: Can Cicadas Affect Your Dog or Cat?

As pet owners, it’s natural to worry about the various elements in our environment that could affect our beloved dogs and cats. One such curiosity involves cicadas and pets. These noisy insects make their appearance known, especially during certain times of the year, and it’s common to wonder whether they pose any risk to our pets. This blog aims to shed light on the interaction between cicadas and pets, what pet owners should watch out for, and how to ensure their pets stay safe during cicada season. If you have further questions or need more details after reading, we encourage you to reach out to Palos Animal Hospital at (708) 448-6600. Our team is ready to provide more information or help you schedule an appointment for your pet in Palos Heights, IL.

dog in field


What Are Cicadas?

Cicadas are fascinating insects known for the loud, distinctive sounds they make. There are hundreds of cicada species, but the ones most often talked about are the periodical cicadas. These cicadas spend most of their lives underground and emerge every 13 or 17 years in large numbers. They’re completely harmless to humans, but what about our pets?

Cicadas and Dogs

Dogs are curious by nature, and the sudden appearance of cicadas can be like a buffet for them. Many dogs find the buzzing insects irresistible and may try to play with or eat them. The good news is, cicadas are not toxic to dogs. However, eating too many can lead to stomach upset. Symptoms of overindulgence might include vomiting or diarrhea. If you notice your dog has eaten a few cicadas and starts to show these signs, it’s wise to give us a call.

Cicadas and Cats

Cats, with their hunter instinct, might also find cicadas interesting. Like dogs, cats can eat cicadas without facing any toxic effects. However, the same caution applies: consuming too many can cause digestive issues. Additionally, the hard exoskeleton of cicadas can be a bit tough for cats to digest. Watching your cat’s behavior and keeping an eye out for any signs of discomfort after they’ve been chasing or eating cicadas is a good practice.

Preventing Problems

While cicadas aren’t poisonous to pets, the best approach is moderation. Here are a few tips to prevent any issues:

  • Keep an Eye Out: Monitor your pet’s interaction with cicadas, especially if they seem overly interested in eating them.
  • Distraction: Offer your pet their favorite toys or treats to distract them from the cicadas.
  • Leash Walks: During peak cicada season, consider keeping dogs on a leash during walks to prevent them from gobbling up cicadas.
  • Check Your Yard: Before letting your pet out, scan your yard for large gatherings of cicadas that might tempt your pet.

When to Contact Palos Animal Hospital

If your pet has eaten cicadas and is showing signs of illness, such as vomiting, diarrhea, or lethargy, it’s essential to get in touch with us. While the occasional cicada shouldn’t cause harm, ingesting large numbers can lead to discomfort for your pet. At Palos Animal Hospital, we’re here to help address any concerns you may have about cicadas and pets. Whether it’s a quick question or the need for an appointment, don’t hesitate to call us at (708) 448-6600. Our goal is to ensure your pets stay happy and healthy, regardless of what nature throws their way.

Cicadas are a part of nature’s cycle, and while they may be a nuisance for some, they’re generally not a danger to your pets. With a little vigilance and care, you can help your pet navigate cicada season without any issues. Remember, our team at Palos Animal Hospital is always here to support you and your pet with advice and care tailored to your unique needs.