What Happens If Pets Eat Cicadas?

Cicada

As Brood X emerges from its 17-year gestation period, pet owners may be concerned if their pet swallows these bugs.

It’s a momentous occasion that happens once every two decades—the re-emergence of cicadas. After a 17-year hiatus, Brood X has a new generation of cicadas coming out of the ground and, inadvertently, tempting dogs with their crispy, crunchy shells. Given the curious nature of cats and dogs, it’s only natural that they swat, nose and even bite the unidentified creatures. But what happens when pet owners hear that dreaded swallow?

As it turns out, nothing. While it’s not a healthy habit to encourage, pet owners shouldn’t be concerned if their animal eats the occasional cicada or two. In fact, veterinarians explained to the New York Times that the only concern is overindulgence and upset stomachs, which come in the forms of lethargy, diarrhea and vomiting. While cicadas do carry a fungus, it only impacts the bugs—not the entities that eat them.

The panic surrounding pets and cicadas is a rare event, given the longevity of the bugs’ gestation period. When that concern is factored in with the increased emotional bond pets and pet parents forged over the past 16 months, it’s only natural for owners to worry.

Cicada consumption is more of a concern for dog owners than cat owners, given the increased time dogs spend outside. Outdoor cat parents shouldn’t be concerned, either; the veterinarians interviewed by the NYT explained that cats are more inclined to go after static prey, not those that are moving.

For pet parents who are still wary about walking their dogs during this infestation, it’s recommended to get out before dawn or after dusk.

New Survey Reveals What Pet Owners Will Miss Most When Returning to Work

black and white dog

Ahead of National Take Your Dog to Work Day, this survey looks at pet parents’ greatest concerns about returning to the office.

A new survey conducted by Wellness Natural Pet Food found that 33 percent of working pet parents say that being with their pet is what they miss most upon returning to the office, beating out other conveniences like sleeping in late (28 percent), working from the couch (24 percent) and dressing comfortably (15 percent).

Given the option, more than half (53 percent) of working pet parents would rather continue working from home with their pet than to go back to the office without them.

After spending so much time at home, 21 percent of working pet parents said that leaving their pet at home alone is what makes them most nervous about returning to work, and 78 percent think there should be pet-friendly policies at their work place. The survey also revealed that 73 percent of working pet parents feel having pets at work will make it a fun place to be when they do return to the office, 22 percent say that the ability to bring their pet to work is the most important pet-friendly policy for them, and 29 percent say they are more compassionate in the workplace because they are a pet parent.

“As pet parents return to work, it will be a transition for both humans and pets, and an even bigger adjustment for the millions of families who added a pet for the first time,” said Dr. Danielle Bernal, global veterinarian with Wellness Natural Pet Food. “This Take Your Dog to Work Day, we’re urging employers to think about and listen to the needs of their pet parent employees, and recognize the many ways that pets make us better people, and workers.”

New US pet ownership study confirms pandemic-led growth

Couple with their dog

Pet ownership in 2020 rose to 70% of US households, and Millennials were the largest cohort of pet owners, per APPA’s new survey.

In 2020, pet ownership in the U.S. rose from 67% of households to an all-time high of 70%, wrote Steve King, president and CEO of the American Pet Products Association (APPA), in a preview of the association’s soon-to-be-released “2021-2022 APPA National Pet Owners Survey.”

“Pets have played a central role in comforting Americans during the COVID-19 pandemic,” King wrote in an article for Pet Business. That resulted in increased spending on pet food and supplies in 2020, he added; 35% of pet owners surveyed said they spent more on their pets in the previous 12 months than in the preceding year. Gen Z and millennial pet owners led the higher spending, with 49-50% reporting they had spent more on their pets.

Millennials were also revealed to be the largest cohort of pet owners at 32 percent, followed closely by Baby Boomers at 27 percent, and Gen X at 24 percent.

Other key findings from the 2021-2022 study include:

  • Pet spending increased during the past year, with 35 percent of pet owners stating they spent more on their pet/pet supplies in the last 12 months than in the preceding year.
  • 14 percent of total respondents (pet owners and non-pet owners) obtained a new pet during the pandemic. Additionally, at least one in four new pet owners shared their recent pet acquisition – ranging from dogs to reptiles to horses – was influenced by the pandemic.
  • Pet owners’ online shopping increased by almost 20 percent. Before the pandemic, 60 percent of pet owners usually purchased pet products in person at brick-and-mortar stores. During the pandemic, in-person shopping dropped to 41 percent.
  • 51 percent of pet owners are willing to pay more for ethically sourced pet products and eco-friendly pet products.
  • Pet insurance purchases amongst both dog and cat owners have also increased, nearly doubling amongst cat owners in particular.

“For more than 30 years, APPA has been collecting and reporting consumer insight data through our National Pet Owners Survey, and each year we aim to enhance this industry resource,” said Steve King, APPA president and CEO. “The newest edition of the survey is the most comprehensive yet and we look forward to arming our members and the broader pet care community with the information needed to make strategic, informed business decisions that will help advance our already burgeoning industry.