We received an interesting question from a reader in Michigan about her dogs eating worms. Actually, the question isn’t really directly about eating worms, but more about the potential dangers associated with dogs digging around in the ground, finding worms, and then playing with them in their mouth, potentially ingesting them (or part of them) in the process. Her scenario is fairly specific and contains a few components, so we’ll quote her message in full, but our general focus will be on the question of whether or not it is safe for your dogs to eat worms.
A few days ago we received a question through the All About Worms Facebook page from a reader whose dog had recently eaten several grubs, or beetle larvae. (“Grub” is a generic term that could theoretically refer to any of the hundreds of thousands of species of beetle larva, but it is often used by people to refer to the fat, white larvae on their lawns – “lawn grubs” – in particular.) The reader was made aware of her dog’s recent dietary choices after she (the dog) threw up grubs all over her back porch. (What is more disgusting than vomit? Larvae-filled vomit.) Not surprisingly, the reader was wondering if it is harmful or dangerous for dogs to eat grubs, which we now turn our attention to.
We recently received a question from a reader about the “horrible stinking odor” her dogs bring into the house after digging around in dirt that contains a worm, caterpillar, or millipede. (The reader technically wrote that she found a “worm/caterpillar/millipede,” so we went ahead and assumed this means that she found one of these creatures, as opposed to a chimerical hybrid of all three creatures.) Even after the reader washes her dogs, the bad smell of the worm (or caterpillar or millipede) doesn’t go away. However, after two hours, regardless of whether the dogs have been washed, the unpleasant odor is gone. The reader wasn’t really concerned about the smell, however; she only wanted to know if her dogs were in danger. So, the rather specific question before us is this: are foul-smelling worms, millipedes, or caterpillars harmful to dogs?
A reader wrote to us with a question regarding whether maggots can survive after eating the flesh of a dead poisoned dog. Maggots, those household pests that often appear in food after it has decayed or rotted, are actually the larval form of the common housefly. Before maggots mature into their adult, airborne form they survive by feeding on decayed flesh. For this reason, maggots are often found in garbage disposals, sinks, rotten food, and among livestock. A dead dog would present an irresistible target for your average maggot.