Do Dogs Eat Cockroaches? What To Do When Your Dog Eats One?

Even though dogs were domesticated thousands of years ago, they still have a strong prey drive. That’s why a scampering cockroach may trigger this impulse, and before you know it, your dog will have devoured it. If this happens, there’s a slim chance that your dog becomes ill.

There’s no need to be alarmed if your dog occasionally snacks on a cockroach. On their own, they’re not poisonous and don’t contain any toxins. However, most cockroaches aren’t clean and carry diseases and bacteria. There’s also the possibility—though unlikely—that the dog has a cockroach allergy.

The idea of your dog eating a cockroach may still sound dreadful. So, there are some things that you can do for your dog if this happens. Also, given the nature of dogs, cockroaches may not be the only type of insects to grab your dog’s attention.

Do Dogs Eat Cockroaches?

How to Know If Your Dog Ate a Cockroach

Dogs eat cockroaches because they tend to explore the world by sniffing and tasting. So when they see a cockroach scurrying around, their curious nature takes over, and they get all enthusiastic, eating the insect in the process.

Generally, if this happens from time to time, you shouldn’t be worried. However, you’ll want to keep an eye out for any unusual behavior because an infected cockroach may transmit a disease to your dog.

How to Know If Your Dog Ate a Cockroach

Cockroaches perceive dogs as a threat, given the significant size difference. So, they usually make themselves scarce in the presence of a dog. That’s why your dog will probably not eat more than one.

After the unusual snack, your dog will most likely carry on with his day. However, you should monitor your dog just in case he has an allergy—though unlikely—or if the cockroach was infected.

Symptoms of an Infection

Cockroaches are carriers of bacteria, diseases, and viruses. If your dog displays any of the following symptoms, you should pay a visit to the vet.

  • Fever
  • Vomiting
  • Diarrhea
  • Increased heart rate
  • Coughing
  • Lethargy
  • Dehydration
  • Loss of appetite

In addition, cockroaches may trigger respiratory issues in dogs that are allergic to them. This is why, in order to reduce the risks of your dog eating cockroaches, it’s best to avoid having any around in the first place.

[Related Article: Why Is My Dog Eating Everything All Of A Sudden]

Symptoms of Poisoning

Although cockroaches aren’t poisonous by nature, we do spend quite some time and effort poisoning them. The poison used to kill a cockroach is toxic, but the dosage is usually too low to actually do any harm to your dog if he happened to eat one.

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Your dog would need to eat a large number of cockroaches for the poison to have any effect on him. If he consumed poisoned cockroaches on a regular basis, the poison might start to do harm. You may notice the following symptoms:

  • Vomiting
  • Stomach ache
  • Mouth pain
  • Shivering
  • Seizures
  • Diarrhea
  • Heart problems
  • Uncoordinated movement
  • Lethargy

Cockroach Parasites to Watch out For

According to research, cockroaches have the ability to carry and transmit six parasite species. As a result, they’re a source of several types of intestinal parasites for dogs.


The only way a dog may get infected with a tapeworm is through ingesting an intermediate host, such as a cockroach. Some symptoms of a tapeworm infection:

  • Bloated abdomen
  • Weight loss despite eating
  • Lethargy
  • Vomiting
  • Diarrhea
  • Visual evidence of tapeworms

Fortunately, tapeworms aren’t fatal, nor are they difficult to treat. Deworming comes in two forms: tablets and injections. You can find over-the-counter deworming tablets that your dog can take every three months or more, depending on his lifestyle.

Not all deworming tablets target tapeworms, so make sure the tablet contains praziquantel.


Also known as the stomach worm, Phylsaloptera is one of the parasites that are found in insects that feed on feces. It attaches itself to the stomach and small intestines of dogs and feeds on tissue and blood.

Most dogs may not show any symptoms when they’re infected. However, some may suffer from gastritis, which can cause chronic intermittent vomiting, weight loss, and anorexia.

If your dog spends time outdoors, regular deworming can prevent any parasitic infection.

[Related Article: 17 Proven Ways To Treat Or Prevent A Tick Infestation In A Puppy]

Ways to Prevent Your Dog from Eating Cockroaches

Ways to Prevent Your Dog from Eating Cockroaches

There are some preventative measures that you can take to ensure that cockroaches don’t invade your home.

  • Make sure that there are no forms of food left out, including your dog’s. Store any food in the fridge, and make sure that there are no dirty dishes in the sink.
  • Wipe any counters or surfaces with disinfectant to ensure that there are no crumbs, grease, or spilled food left.
  • Check for any gaps or openings that the cockroaches can slip through and seal them.
  • Fix any cause of leaks. These pests love moisture, so any leaks may attract them.
  • Use cockroach repellents, such as essential oils.

Other Insects Your Dog Should Avoid

While cockroaches aren’t harmful in and of themselves, there are some other insects that cause detrimental effects by nature.

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These lightning bugs are also known as fireflies have toxins that can be potentially fatal to small animals. In larger animals, they can cause stomach aches. It’s better to monitor your dog closely in case he eats a firefly.


The problem with spiders is that their effect on dogs depends on whether the spider is venomous or not. In addition, the spider has to bite the dog for the venom to take effect. If the dog manages to eat it without getting bitten, the venom will get diluted in the stomach’s acid and won’t harm the dog.

Stink Bugs

These bugs secrete chemicals that act as a deterrent. They’re also extremely bitter, and if they come in contact with dogs’ eyes, they can irritate them.

Moreover, they can cause vomiting when ingested, but it’ll resolve by itself in about 8 to 12 hours.

It’s preferable to keep your dog away from eating any insects, but there’s no need to panic if that happens. Just lookout for any symptoms, and get to the vet in case any appear.

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