Stink bugs, also known as chust or shield bugs are a group of insects under the superfamily Pentatomoidea with has 14 different families and around 7000 species. If you smash it or another prey tried to catch it, it will produce a foul-smelling fluid to deter its predators. However, they do not bite or sting other animals or human beings.
The name shield bug is gotten from the fact that they have a scutellum (shield) that extends to their abdomen from their thorax. These insects depend on mainly plant sap making them potential pests apart from a few species which feed on other insects.
Some of their common examples include the arboreal, two-spotted, spined solder, Red-shouldered, brown marmorated stink bug as well as the green one.
Can dogs eat stink bugs or are they harmful to dogs?
If your dog ate a stink bug, you need not talk to your vet or get worried. They are safe, not toxic or harmful. In fact, these pets together with cats love hunting for various flying, hopping or crawling insects and other critters. You have probably seen them do the same to grasshoppers, flies, crickets, June beetles, among others.
However, in most instances, your dog is unlikely to enjoy the foul smell and nasty tastes of the secretions that these animals have. Furthermore, the secretions may cause irritation in their mouth and intestinal lining.
After your dog eats these insects, it is possible for it to have slobbers (including runny eyes if their secretions enter their eyes), gastrointestinal problems which might be accompanied by vomiting. Most of these symptoms will resolve on their own after several hours and you not need to see your vet.
However, ensure these symptoms are a result of this pet eating shield bugs and not something else. Several diseases and conditions may also be responsible for closely related or similar signs. If you are uncertain about what caused these symptoms, see your vet.
Since they have tough shells that your pooch may be unable to digest, ingesting too many of these bugs may cause bezoars that will affect normal gut motility. In severe cases, bezoars may require a surgical procedure for them to be successfully removed.
Finally, being sapsuckers, most of these bugs are agricultural pests and pesticides and insecticides may be used to control them. Should your pet eat those that are soaked in these chemicals, they might have serious effects since most of them are poisonous, unless only pet-friendly ones are used.
During our discussion on dogs and stink or shield bugs, we have noted they are safe and not poisonous but might cause a few undesirable effects. Furthermore, what if they are carrying some parasites? Therefore, always discourage any of your pets from munching them.