Boy oh boy, do dogs love eating Cicadas. And why not?
There’s just something magical about these big loud crunchy bugs, that makes our canine patients adore snacking on them.
Why do dogs eat Cicadas? It’s my suspicion that dogs innately know insects are good nutrition.
Here’s a random thought – 80% of the people in the world eat insects, including Cicadas. Insects aren’t just “non-toxic to dogs and humans”, they’re actually quite nutritious. In fact, many insects are high in protein, fats, vitamins and minerals, comparable to animal protein like beef, pork, or chicken.
From Wikipedia: Many people around the world regularly eat cicadas. They are known to have been eaten in Ancient Greece as well as China, Malaysia, Burma, Latin America, and the Congo. Female cicadas are prized for being meatier.
Like eating shrimp? Locusts are very closely related, and share a similar nutrient profile.
There is a fascinating recent push in some circles to promote insects as a staple of the American diet – an environmentally friendly, highly efficient, minimal-waste, sustainable source of food for the world’s ever increasing population.
Too much of a good thing can be bad for your health
Now, all this being said, even though Cicadas are non-toxic, the crunchy shells do not digest well (we don’t eat the shell of the shrimp either). If your dog over-indulges on bugs, or any food really, there’s a possibility of stomach upset, including vomiting and/or diarrhea. So, while fun to snack on in small quantities, do not let your dog gorge herself on crunchy bugs. Obviously let your veterinarian know if you see any abnormal symptoms.
But for now, in small, supervised quantities, you go ahead and enjoy some potato chips, while Fido snacks on something more nutritious.