Last Updated on December 6, 2020 by Woody Pet
Can spiders bite dogs? – Should pet owners be worried?
Spiders are one of the smallest animals we encounter on daily basis, yet some people think they are also the scariest. This is not an irrational fear because some spider species have highly venomous bites which can lead to irritation, tissue death, organ failure, and even death. Unfortunately, they are part of our everyday lives. If we humans get bitten we will know if we need to take action or not. We can go to the hospital and tell doctors how we feel and what symptoms we are experiencing. But can spiders bite our pets? More specifically, can spiders bite dogs?
The short answer is yes they can. Some spiders are capable of biting mammals, including cats and dogs. So because pets can’t speak and tell you if it hurts or not, you should know what to do if something like that ever happens!
Signs your dog may have been bitten by a spider
So can spiders bite dogs? The longer answer is that even though they can, this event is relatively uncommon. Spiders don’t hunt or eat dogs or cats so when bites do occur, they are most likely accidental. But still, accidental or not your dog could get very sick from these bites, so firstly it’s important to know what venomous spider species live in your area and some of the signs your dog may have been bitten by a spider.
It’s much easier to spot an insect or spider bites on humans than on dogs. The pet fur makes it very difficult to see what is actually going on. However, if you suspect a spider bite on your dog, you should look for redness, lumps, and swollen areas. You should also note that areas like noses and ears which have less fur are more likely to receive bites. However, bites can occur anywhere and they usually become infected before spotted. Dogs grow increasingly excited and anxious or yelp when bitten by a spider. Your dog might also start “drunk walking” and lick the wound excessively. The symptoms of a spider bite on your dog vary based upon the spider species and also the amount of venom released when bitten. The most common symptoms are weakness, seizures, redness, swelling, muscle or joint pain, fever, trouble walking, increased heart rate, vomiting, weak pulse, etc.
Which spiders are dangerous to dogs?
Now that you know the signs you probably want to know which spiders are dangerous to dogs. Here are some of them:
Black widow spider – Can spiders bite dogs? – Well most of which can bite humans can also bite dogs. A perfect example is the black widow. As it is to humans, its venom is also highly toxic to dogs and may cause drooling, vomiting, tremors, or cramping.
Brown widow spider – Its venom is just as toxic as the black widow’s, but they are less aggressive so bites are less common.
Brown recluse spider – the venom of this spider causes tissue damage at the location of the bite. If your dog is bitten by a brown recluse, it might experience fever, vomiting, bruising, skin lesions, skin bleeding, and lethargy.
Tarantula – a tarantula bite usually doesn’t cause lasting damage. The only thing is that the bite is pretty painful and it may cause further pain in the bitten area. However, eating some of the tarantula’s hairs can lead to dogs drooling and even vomiting.
Home remedies for spider bites on dogs
Most spider bites are not that serious and can be treated at home. First and foremost wash the bitten area with soap and water and apply a cold compress. This will usually do the trick but if you want to take it a few steps further, here are some home remedies for spider bites on dogs:
Baking soda paste – the paste is usually made of one part water and three parts baking soda. Apply it several times a day on the bitten area for a speedy recovery.
Potato Poultice – it can help with reducing the inflammation caused by the spider bite.
Aloe Vera – aloe vera is known for its skin reviving properties. It can reduce the itchiness and inflammation caused by the bite. It can be applied several times a day but don’t use the gel directly from the aloe vera plant. Instead, search for a product labeled as dog-friendly.
Turmeric Powder & Olive Oil – This paste can help in decreasing pain, redness, and irritation. After an hour, remove the paste with warm water.
Can spiders bite dogs? – Yes. Can you sometimes treat the bite at home? – Sure you can. But however, if a spider bite hasn’t healed in a while and the dog is showing advanced symptoms it’s time to call your veterinarian. Some spiders like the ones we mentioned above contain venom that can only be treated with antivenin. So if you suspect that a widow or a recluse spider bit your dog, take it to the vet immediately. There, depending on the type of spider bite, your dog may receive antivenin, antibiotics, pain medications, and IV fluids.
All in all, spiders from time to time might interact with our beloved pets. If you ask questions like can spiders bite dogs or cats – the answer might not make you happy, but just know that interactions like that are pretty rare. However, dogs are not immune to spider venom. Despite this, there is no reason to panic every time you spot a spider in your home. Most of them are harmless and even if they are venomous, panicking will only affect your judgment and you should try and stay calm for the sake of your dog. Spiders are not inclined to bite any animal bigger than they are so if you want to reduce the chances of a spider bite, we recommended that you stop your dog from spending time in places where they usually lurk – basements, attics, woodpiles, etc.