Can Dogs Eat Fireflies? 🔥🦟 (Explained)

Our pets are naturally curious, which is one of the qualities we admire the most. However, their insatiable curiosity can occasionally get them into problems when they unwittingly come into contact with potentially deadly substances—or creatures. As the summer progresses, your pet may spend more time outside, which could lead to bug encounters of various kinds. But how can you determine which bugs are “good bugs” for your pets and which are “bad bugs“?

Now it’s time to ask the big question. Is it acceptable for your dog to eat a firefly? In most cases, ingesting a single firefly will not damage your dog, but it can still be harmful. Several species, including lizards and many birds, are harmful to fireflies. 

This is due to a defense mechanism known as reflex bleeding, in which when a firefly is attacked by a potential predator, it generates drops of blood packed with unpleasant compounds that can be damaging or even deadly to the would-be predator.

Lucibufagins is one of the poisons found in fireflies, and it damages the heart and stomach of the predator who ate a firefly. The risk is higher for smaller animals, such as lizards, because the toxins can move much faster through the system. Symptoms appeared immediately after intake in these cases, roughly 15 to 20 minutes later. Head shaking and vomiting are common symptoms. If not treated promptly, these symptoms can worsen and potentially result in death.

A larger animal’s body weight, like your dogs, may be able to counteract the impacts of one firefly. Of course, it’s always better to err on the side of caution and make sure your dog doesn’t eat even one firefly. So, if you have a tiny Havanese dog, you will need to be extra cautious. Smaller dogs have a harder time fighting off harmful substances they ingest.

Can Dogs Get Sick From Eating Lightning Bugs?

Also known as lightning bugs, fireflies contain lucibufagins, which is the toxin that makes them glow. Fireflies can be poisonous not just to dogs and cats, but also to lizards, amphibians, and birds. Eating a lightning bug will simply cause an upset stomach in larger animals, but has been known to kill lizards and cats.

Is It Poisonous To Eat A Firefly?

Whether you name them fireflies, lightning bugs, or “blinkies,” the fact remains that fireflies are poisonous to another four-legged friend: lizards. Lucibufagins, a toxin found in fireflies, affect the stomach and heart. Ingesting fireflies can be a fatal mistake for pets, especially dogs, which are less picky about what they eat. 

Symptoms appear quickly after ingestion—between 15 minutes and 2 hours—and include head shaking, opening their mouths wide, and vomiting. Eventually, symptoms such as trouble breathing, color changes, and death could become more severe. So you should always avoid your dogs from eating the fireflies. 

Are Any Bugs Poisonous To Dogs?

Is your dog a bug hunter? You’d think he’d go for a bigger game, but many dogs, big and tiny, love a nice, crunchy June insect or another insect as a snack. The motion of a crawling bug, wiggly worm, or flying insect is likely to attract your dog’s attention and engage his hunt drive, whether you have a Cavalier King Charles Spaniel or a Labrador retriever. Flies, moths, grasshoppers, crickets, and stink bugs, to mention a few, have all been reported to be eaten by dogs.

I can’t tell you how many times I’ve received calls from pet owners who are concerned that their pets have eaten bugs. Most of us will avoid that dog’s kisses for a long if we think about it, but in most situations, eating a hopper or some termites won’t affect your dog and could even add a little protein to his diet. Consider bugs to be the canine version of corn chips.

Do Any Animals Eat Fireflies?

Amphibians, particularly toads and frogs, are the most prominent predators of fireflies. People have “discovered” that frogs have lights inside their bodies, only to discover later that the lights were caused by their many tasty firefly dinners.

Outside of the amphibian’s domain, fireflies aren’t safe from predators. A lot of fireflies eat other fireflies. The typical eastern firefly is an example of this (Photinus pyralis). Under the pretext of mating, the females of the species often make a meal out of the males.