Ask a Terrier: Destroy All Monsters!
Poolie eats cicadas. A lot of cicadas! Like more cicadas than any dog in the world. I’ve tried to stop her but she’s fast. And a lot closer to the ground than me. Are cicadas bad for her? I can’t stand them, they’re so ugly and loud. Not that I’m profiling. I just worry that they’ll make her sick. What’s the appeal and what should I do?
Yuck! Jacob, Northfield, IL
There’s a lot to unpack here, Jacob. First, your claim that Poolie eats more cicadas than any other dog.
You may be a Giant, sir, but how dare you! I’ve eaten nearly all the cicadas, so your bragging is like a gauntlet across my muzzle. Were you here and not Northfield, whatever that is, you’d leave me little recourse but to ask you and Poolie to step outside. Which is where I keep my cicadas.
To understand the appeal of cicadas, one must think like a cicada. That’s easier for some dogs, like Brisby, my co-canine, who is far larger than these insects except for his…well, I’d whisper the letters for “B-R-A-I-N” if I could spell.
Like terriers, cicadas live for the hunt. Oddly, they seem to prefer being the prey. Why else would they choose to be slow and clumsy and noisy and delicious?
Brisby, who I love like a litter-mate, couldn’t care less about the etiquette of hunting. During cicada season he frolics around our backyard like a fat Giant at a wedding reception that he’s not paying for. He feasts with abandon, snatching bugs newly emerged from their burrows before they have time to say, “That’s it? That’s my life?”
Brisby is a soldier without honor. A warrior without a code. On the plus side, he misses a lot of cicadas that I get.
So to your question, Jacob, is it safe to eat cicadas? Obviously not for the cicadas. And that, I put squarely on their shoulders. If they have shoulders. Never really taken the time to look.
Are cicadas toxic to canines? Most dogs would answer, “I’ll let you know. Can I go out now?” However, my Yelly Giant was watching a Nat Geo program on stuff to worry about. A scientist said nothing about cicadas making dogs sick. And those scientists worry about everything! “Ooooo! I’m a scientist! Listen to me! Don’t swim in shark-infested waters! Don’t climb K2! Don’t travel in outer space! You’ll might get a tummy ache!”
Obviously, Jacob, eating cicadas shouldn’t be a problem for Poolie. And if occasionally she overindulges, she can do what I do: throw up on the carpet. Then it’s a problem for Giants.