Why Does My Dog Play With Bugs And Spiders?

Why does my dog play with bugs and spiders

How often does it happen that you see your dog munching on some sort of bug or spider? It certainly disgusts humans, but why do insects attract dogs?

Eating bugs or spiders by dogs is utterly normal. It’s not harmful to a dog to devour upon an insect.

Sometimes, it might be a source to add protein to its diet. It might also be that while we consider dogs munching on tiny little bugs, their intention was only to play with them, and they unintentionally ended up eating them.

To know more about why your dog plays with bugs and spiders, continue reading.

Why Do Dogs Play With Spiders?

Dogs playing with spiders can be for ample reasons. Although that sounds gross, some dogs do eat spiders.

The main reason that drives such consumption is their curiosity to explore new things, play or make new friends. Some other reasons why a dog would want to play with spiders are as follows.

Curiosity To Explore:

Dogs tend to be more attentive towards spiders as playthings rather than prey. Most of the time, they might be trying to track their mysterious webs somewhere around their habitat and end up swallowing them.

In either case, dogs can be attracted to these tiny critters out of a playful desire or curiosity.

While such attraction is pretty normal, make sure your dog hasn’t eaten up a brown recluse or a black widow. These venomous breeds of spiders can bring on serious harm to your dog.

Visual Attraction:

Bearing a dichromatic vision, dogs find shades of red and green as gray. Whereas, dogs most easily identify shades of blue, yellow, and teal. Therefore, dogs see a world less colorful than humans do.

Dogs find most of the world gray and can only see a few colors. Spiders, however due to pigment granules appear to be bright yellow and red.

In a gray world, anything that seems different naturally attracts dogs. Already influenced by a curious nature, dogs tend to play with these colorful little critters crawling around their webs.

Strong Sense Of Smell:

If you’re scared of spiders or want to keep them away, your dog can be of great help. The strong-smelling sense of dogs allows them to be aware of the spider’s presence long before you realize that.

While their olfactory sense navigates them to the spider, they love to investigate their presence. That is one main reason why you will find your dog playing with a spider.

Though a dog’s smelling sense is the strongest among all other creatures, a pet dog might require training for trailing up to the smell of certain insects.

Dogs might point in the direction of the spiders by being in a position of paws up, stiff tails, ears, and nose facing a particular direction. Or they might even run in their direction.

Can Eating Spiders Harm A Dog?

Although the spiders found in homes are usually harmless, there are venomous spiders that can seriously endanger your pet’s life.

If you catch your pet munching on a spider, you should keep an eye out for any of the following symptoms, i.e., swelling, nausea, fever, lethargy, bruising, or skin inflammation.

On the appearance of any of these signs, rush to a veterinarian as soon as possible. Handle your dog with care while carrying him.

Identifying the kind of spider ingested by him can be very helpful. Overall, your dog is not in danger if he ingests a spider or two.

However, you must look after your pet to keep him safe from any health hazards.

Why Do Dogs Play With Bugs?

Being humans, we know how big of a gift nature is. We can keep admiring it all our lives and never get tired of the fascinating hues and amazing creations.

Bugs, butterflies, and all other tiny insects are just no different. Dogs find colorful bugs crawling over the ground, or flying around their nose, too captivating to let go.

That’s probably because of a dog’s curious nature. They might want to play with them or explore them but end up capturing and ingesting them.

It’s normal for dogs to hunt bugs for they eat them purely out of curiosity. They watch these little insects crawling or buzzing around and feel a sudden powerful desire to play with them.

At times, they playfully nip at them or crunch them. Other times, they just savor the taste of a few particular bugs, or they just become fond of the texture of some of them.

Is It Safe For Dogs To Eat Bugs?

As far as you are concerned about your dog eating bugs, be assured that they are safe and healthy until and unless they don’t mistakenly munch on a toxic or dangerous bug or insect, for instance, caterpillars, cockroaches, crickets, fireflies, grubs, and a few others.

Especially keep an eye out for caterpillars for they consume milkweed which can severely affect your dog’s health and its heart.

Also, black flies fly from one place to the other and carry all sorts of germs and diseases. Ants don’t expose the dogs to danger; instead, they are a great means of vitamin C. However, keep an eye out for fire ants.

Eating them can cause your pet to get a gross sting. It certainly won’t cause any health problems but can be painful in areas like the nose and the mouth.


Dogs are supposed to be the way they are. It is in their nature to be a bit wild, to feel free and that’s absolutely nothing to worry about. As gross as you might find such activities of your pet, he is just playful.

Consuming a bug once in a while shall not bring upon him any health problems.

However, regular or massive ingestion might pose some severe digestion and intestinal diseases. Investing some time training your dog to refrain from such consumption can nevertheless be a great idea.

It can save you of the 24/7 monitoring fatigue and too often veterinarian visits.

However, if you notice any unusual behavior in your pet or find him sick, do visit a vet immediately. Also, talking to a dog specialist can help you sort out his interests and activities. Happy petting to you!