Are Centipedes Poisonous To Dogs?

Centipedes are a common pest in homes and apartments. They’re freaky crawling monsters with a powerful poison. They typically only attack to feed or if they feel threatened, and rarely attack humans. However, what if your dog goes after one?

Are centipedes poisonous to dogs?

Yes, the bite of some centipedes may be dangerous to some dogs. But it’s rare for dogs to be bitten, and much depends on the size and type of the centipede, as well as the size of the dog. Centipedes won’t likely attack a dog but may retaliate if the dog is going after the centipede.

I’ll go over the details below.


Are Centipedes Poisonous To Dogs?

Centipedes don’t actually ‘bite’, because they don’t have mouths per se. Their first pair of legs are actually pincers, which are kind of like crab claws. And it’s their pincers that hold the venom, which they use to paralyze their prey when they’re on the hunt for food.

However, whenever a centipede feels attacked, as a defense mechanism, it will fight back and pinch its attacker with its pincers in order to release the venom.

This can feel like a bite.


What Happens If My Dog Gets Attacked By A Centipede?

Dogs are very inquisitive creatures, and when they’re outside, they love hunting and sniffing out for things that they either end up eating or playing with — even if what they find is dangerous for them, like weird many-legged centipedes.

Because centipedes are venomous multi-segmented arthropods, they can cause some harm to your furry friend. If it is a typical house centipede that your dog has been stung by, in general, this won’t cause a problem. It’s a painful sting akin to a bee sting unless your dog is small or old.

However, if your dog has unfortunately been on the receiving end of a centipede’s attack when outside in the backyard, or out on a walk, (particularly if you’re in an area where there might be giant centipedes like a desert area or toward South America) then there are a few signs that you need to watch out for before calling your vet.

1. Yelping

If your dog gets stung by a centipede, its first reaction will be to yelp, which will signal to you that something is wrong. Your first reaction to this alarm is to move your pup away from the area as soon as possible.

Attempt to avoid getting stung yourself, and let the centipede retreat if necessary. Some centipede stings can cause significant discomfort even to a person, but making sure that your dog is safe is the most important thing in this situation.

And it would be best to get them back home as soon as possible.

Some dog breeds will have a worse reaction, while bigger and tougher dogs may just experience a slight allergic reaction. However, their yelping means you should keep an eye on the situation as it progresses.

2. Swelling

Because it is likely that the centipede has stung your dog in the facial area, be on the lookout for unusual swelling or hives around your pet’s eyes, nose, ears, and eyelids. Also, be aware of any unusual licking or scratching in these areas. 

Although your doggo will probably be fine after a few hours, if you notice any of these symptoms worsening after 24 hours, then it will be best to make an appointment with your vet as soon as possible.

Although your doggo will probably be fine after a few hours if you notice any of these symptoms become worse after 24 hours, then it will be best to make an appointment with your vet as soon as possible.

3. Sneezing

Once your dog is back home, it may also start sneezing and/or snorting after the venom has taken effect, which can be followed by bouts of vomiting and/or diarrhea. 

If you notice any of these symptoms, then you’ll want to take them to the vet immediately, especially if you live in an area where it is known that significantly poisonous centipedes reside.


What You Should Do Next

Now that you have your dog safe at home, and the immediate crisis has been averted, it’s time to check your dog for any puncture marks, as well as keep an eye out for any allergic reactions mentioned above.

You also need to stay calm, otherwise, you could agitate your pup even further. Take some deep breaths, making sure your dog knows that you’re fine and that they will be too. 

Of course, having such an encounter when you were enjoying time with your pet can cause you some panic.

However, there’s a good chance that your dog will become even more anxious about the situation if they can feel your anxiety as well.

Give your pet some special attention too! Because even if you haven’t noticed any unusual symptoms, they have endured an unpleasant experience. So more cuddles and perhaps a treat will be very appreciated.


What Happens If My Dog Eats A Centipede By Mistake?

As you know, when your dog is out on a walk, sniffing its way to either mark its territory, or trying to find something to eat, sometimes it may be the case that your dog comes across a centipede — and then eats it before it can strike. 

Although it is always best to be cautious in this situation, you’ll be pleased to know that if your dog eats a centipede by mistake, then in general it won’t cause them any harm. And it doesn’t matter whether or not the centipede is alive or dead. 

Although it is always best to be cautious in this situation, you’ll be pleased to know that if your dog eats a centipede by mistake, then in general it won’t cause them any harm. And it doesn’t matter whether or not the centipede is alive or dead.

Yes, centipedes do carry venom. But it is extremely unlikely that this will get into your dog’s bloodstream if they eat it. The only way that this could possibly happen is if the centipede is alive as your dog eats it, and stings them in the mouth before it’s swallowed.

However, although this is also very unlikely to happen, it would be a wise decision to keep a close eye on your dog for the rest of the day regardless.

You’ll need to watch out for any of the signs that we mentioned earlier, which will signal to you that your precious pup is suffering from an allergic reaction to eating a centipede.

Besides those warning signs, other symptoms that you will need to watch out for include strange behavior or agitation, as well as unusual shaking and/or convulsions.


How To Keep Centipedes Away From Your Dog

If you live in an area where house centipedes are a problem, then there are a few things you can do to keep them away from your home, so that you don’t have to worry about your furry friend coming into contact with one.

Centipedes love dark and damp places to hide. This means basements are favored places for them to hide, along with damp closets, under kitchen sinks and bathrooms. Opening windows or using a dehumidifier to get rid of moisture will help keep centipedes away.

These creepy creatures will also find hiding spaces in cracks and crevices in walls, so you’ll need to fill in any gaps in wallpaper or brickwork

And if you doggo likes to spend time outside in your backyard, then getting rid of old piles of damp wood or logs, or landscape mess like rotting leaves, will ensure that centipedes stay away, and your pet will stay safe.


Final Tail

Taking your dog for a walk is one of the joys of owning your pet, especially as they show their excitement by wagging their tail behind them. 

So, the last thing on your mind when you’re enjoying this time with your furry friend is having to deal with them being bitten by a creepy crawly centipede.

Are centipedes poisonous to dogs? Yes, but the risks are low. However, if you do ever find yourself in this unfortunate situation, then following the steps that we’ve outlined above will mean that you and the fur ball of love can enjoy even more walkies and fun for many years to come.