My Dog Ate a Moth! – Is It Safe To Ingest?

Let me guess… you have noticed some moths in your dog’s food, and you see your dog snatching and munching on these flying bugs while it is eating. Or, your dog loves to chase these flying insects and devour them out of pure fun! Is it normal for dogs to eat moths and insects, and will the consumption of moths end up hurting them later on, you wonder?

The truth is, it is a common sight among pet owners to see dogs chasing after moths and insects, catching and eating them; they are just acting on their instincts as this is an activity they enjoy. As we all know, dogs like moving objects, and the motion of a crawling or flying insect will catch their attention. That is why they prey on these insects, especially when bored. 

Many have compared this activity to eating “snacks” for the dog, like eating corn chips; that’s funny, isn’t it? But you still worry about the side-effects of eating these flying insects to your dog. Saying that, a really good question to ask at this point is, ‘Are moths poisonous to dogs?’

Are Moths Poisonous to Dogs?

No, moths are not poisonous to dogs. Dogs have been known to prey upon insects like grasshoppers, crickets, and stink bugs with no effect on them. If you see your dog doing this once in a while, it’s no big deal. It may only become a problem when your dog eats too many of these insects or consumes the bad ones known to be poisonous; moths, however, are not.

There are some insects that you don’t want your dog to be eating- cockroaches, spiders, Ladybugs, fireflies, earthworms, butterflies, and crickets. These insects can cause problems for your dog.

Pantry moths should not harm your dog if it consumes these moths with its food (or for fun). For the most part, it is safe for your dog to eat these tiny insects. It can even be an extra source of protein for your dog. It should not make your dog sick if it snacks on these insects from time to time as long as they don’t overdo it and do not eat the ones that can harm them, such as parasitic bugs and worms. It might be uncomfortable to see your dog eating these moths, but to your dog, this is a game of hunt and reward, and it’s acting on its instincts. 

What Happens if A Dog Eats a Moth?

Moths are not harmful insects, so it would not hurt your dog if they feed on these tiny insects from time to time. Since moths are proteinous, they can be an extra source of protein in your dog’s diet. Your dog should be just fine if they consume one or two of these insects from time to time.

If your dog eats too many of these insects, it can hurt your dog’s stomach because the feathers of so many moths might be difficult to digest by a dog. It can also lead to vomiting, diarrhea, and drooling in your dog. As long as your dog does not eat too many moths, your canine should be just fine. 

But the symptoms mentioned above, such as drooling and vomiting, should not take too long before they resolve; your dog would get over it in no time. A dog would need to consume moths in large quantities for it to have any effect on your dog, and I doubt your dog would catch and eat such large quantities of moths before it loses interest. 

What Should You Do if Your Dog Eats a Moth?

Nothing, unless it becomes an apparent problem. If you see your dog drooling, vomiting, and having diarrhea as a result of eating moths, it might have consumed too many or eaten a harmful bug that is troubling its intestinal tract. Please take your dog to a vet immediately so that your dog can be given appropriate medical attention.

Insects like monarch butterflies and venomous spiders can harm your dog. If you see your dog trying to catch and eat any of these harmful insects, you should stop them immediately from doing so.

You can also use behavioral commands to stop your dog from eating moths unhindered. If your dog is on a leash, you can pull on its leash when it starts running incessantly after those months. The physical restraint will serve as a signal to your dog that you don’t want him eating those moths and, over time, might deter him from doing so spontaneously. 

But really, unless your dog is munching moths every day in place of his normal meal, there is nothing much to worry about; this occasional moth consumption will not harm your dog. It’s just your dog acting on its hunting instincts. It is when you sense your dog is uncomfortable or manifesting symptoms we discussed earlier is when you should seek medical attention for your dog.

How Do I Keep My Dog from Eating Moths?

You can get rid of the moths in your dog’s food by cleaning the storage area where the dog’s food is kept. Proper hygiene and cleaning around your home should also keep the moths out and reduce the chances of your dog encountering these bugs. Lastly, you can train your dog to not eat moths with verbal commands and rewards. Would they rather eat a moth or a tasty dog treat? Exactly!

Furthermore, you can apply cedar scented spray to kill any flying moth in your home. If you see moths “eggs” on any cloth material, freezing such cloth will completely kill off all the moths and make sure they do not survive and live somewhere else. Wash and rinse any clothes that you suspect are infected with moth’s eggs and larvae.

To complement these steps you have taken to stop your dog from eating moths, something effective you can also do physically restraining your dog and voice commands. You can pull on your dog’s leash to restrain it when it wants to start chasing after insects; as mentioned earlier, the discomfort that he feels every time he has the urge to catch these flying insects can let your pooch know, over time, you don’t want him going after those moths. Voice commands- such as “Leave it alone” every time your dog approaches these bugs can also be effective as they can stop him in his tracks when he hears his name along with the command.


In this article, we have seen that dogs hunt moths based on instinct, and for the most part, these flying bugs are not poisonous to your dog if it eats one or two of these insects. If your dog starts manifesting symptoms like vomiting, drooling, and diarrhea after eating moths, you should take your dog to see a vet immediately. We have seen the things you can do to stop your dog from eating moths, such as giving the dog voice commands and restraining him when he wants to make a run for some of these flying moths. We hope you find some of these tips effective.


  • Brad

    Hi I'm Brad, the founder of Having been a vet of 6 years I work alongside our team to provide valuable insight into your dog's health. I have a frenchie myself named Senzu who is my pride and joy!