What Should You Do If Your Dog Ate Maggots? (Solved!)

Dogs are notorious for eating disgusting things. But we hit rock bottom when our family dog ate poop or maggots from the trash can left open in the kitchen. The stench was overpowering, but that didn’t bother her.

She had already eaten them all! Has this ever happened to you? We’ll show you how to handle your dog-eating maggots if this happens.

maggots and worms in dry kibble dog food
Small worms found in dry dog food/Kibblem easuring about 1cm in length

Check For These Signs

Maggots don’t pose a serious health hazard to your dog if eaten. The real danger is if the maggots find a wound on your dog to nourish themselves with.

There are a few things that you should check.

The first is to see where the maggots came from. In most cases, it means your dog was either eating their poop, another dog’s poop, rotten food, or their normal food. In the case of poop, you should start making it a habit to clean up after your dog.

Flies leave their eggs on poop because it gives their maggot babies plenty of food when they hatch. If the poop has the disease, the maggots pick it up and spread it to other places. Because they can sometimes chew up your gardens and infect your plants, you don’t want to consume toxins from your dog’s poop.

They also lay their eggs on rotten food. This can be disconcerting for pet owners because rotten food isn’t good for their dogs to eat. It can make their stomachs up and cause diarrhea and other problems.

Sometimes maggots can be present in dry dog food as well. This is because manufacturers sometimes store their dog food in places where flies thrive. They can get inside the bag, lay their eggs, then scamper off. As a result, your dog eats their food and ingests maggots, too.

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To ensure your dog is safe, check to see if they’re pooping normally or have diarrhea. You’ll also want to check on their appetite. Maggots, themselves, won’t poison your dog. However, if they pick up toxins before making their way into your dog’s stomach, it may make them ill.

Finally, you should check to see if maggots escaped your dog’s mouth and landed on a wound. This is the biggest threat to your dog. Maggots will feast on the wound and continue to open it up.

It’s not uncommon to find strays with holes in their bodies because maggots have infested their wounds. Checking your dog for any wounds can ensure you don’t have a maggot infestation on your hands.

Depositphotos 376840008 s 2019

Potential Problems

Day eat them as a dead animal, so there are a few problems that you may come across if your dog eats maggots. They include:

  • Maggot infestation

  • Toxins

  • Toxins from rotten food

Flies lay eggs in places where the maggots can eat. That’s usually rotten food and poop. However, they also lay their eggs in living wounds. Even a small scrape can be an ideal location for a few baby maggots.

Any maggots that escape your dog’s mouth may land on its body and wiggle their way to a wound. It will start to eat at the wound and make it bigger and bigger. It’s not uncommon for flies to lay hundreds of eggs. Your dog could have hundreds of maggots eating away at its body.

Eventually, the maggots may make it to the dog’s organs and brain. It will consume those as well.

Toxins from the maggots is another problem that you may encounter. If the maggots somehow became diseased before their birth, they may pass this onto your dog in their stomach. As a result, your dog may experience an upset stomach. They may vomit or have diarrhea for a time.

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The other source of toxins that you should be concerned about is food or poop. By eating rotten food or poop, your dog may become ill. Poop, especially, could carry a disease that your dog picks up.

Rotten food has its share of toxins, too. They could make your dog severely ill.

sick yorkie terrier

What To Do

There are a few things you should do immediately. The first is to identify where the maggots came from. If it was rotten food, then you should dispose of it and wash the area. If the maggots came from poop, then you should remove the poop and dispose of it correctly. This will ensure your dog doesn’t get back into it later.

You can also check if the maggots come from your dog’s dry food. You’ll want to look for small white specks. These are fly eggs. Inside of them is where the maggots are growing. You can toss out the tainted part of the bag and keep the food safe from maggots.

The next thing you should do is keep an eye on your dog. According to several vets, your dog will most likely be fine. They may experience gastrointestinal distress, but it should pass in a day or two.

You should also comb their hair and look for wounds to ensure your dog didn’t pick up maggots on any wounds. Check their feet, ears, snout, and body for any signs. For longer-haired dogs, this cannot be easy. It may be a good idea to groom them and give them a cut to perform the search better.

You may also want to add fortifying formula to their dog food to help their digestion. This can help them filter through any lingering toxins in their body.

Sick Pug Symptoms Allergic Reaction
Image by Free-Photos from Pixabay

Do I Need To See The Vet or The Emergency Animal Hospital?

In most cases, you won’t need to visit either. Visiting your vet may be able to give you some more tips on how to ease any stomach ache that they’re experiencing.

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You’d only need to visit the hospital if a wound becomes infested with maggots. If it makes your dog sick quickly, visit an emergency animal hospital immediately.

Safe Alternatives To Play With

The safest alternative is to keep dogs away from poop and rotten food. Cleaning up your yard and home can prevent exposure to maggots. If they’re hungry between meals, a good alternative is a snack that encourages them to chew.

Can Dogs Eat Maggots?

Although maggots aren’t poisonous to dogs, it’s better if your dog avoids eating them. This will ensure they also refrain from eating rotten food or poop. Those two sources of maggots can give them far more trouble than the maggots themselves.


Although it’s an instinct to panic when your dog has eaten maggots, the good news is that the symptoms tend to be more unpleasant than serious. Immediately consult a vet if your four-legged friend has eaten maggots from rotten food.

As prevention, always check for unwanted pests when you give your companion food — maggoty or not — and dispose of rotten food promptly and correctly. By following these simple measures, you can ensure that your pup’s health won’t be at risk and that you will enjoy many happy years together!

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Q: Can maggots harm dogs?

A: Yes, maggots can harm dogs if ingested or come into contact with the skin. They can cause intestinal blockages, infections, and other health issues.

Q: Can maggots live inside a dog or in it’s intestines?

A: It is unlikely that maggots could live inside a dog’s body, as the conditions inside it would not be suitable for survival. Mostly, they can live in a dog’s intestines if the dog has eaten them or if they have entered the dog’s body through an open wound.

Q: Can a dog recover from maggots?

A: With prompt veterinary care, many dogs can recover from maggot infestations. Treatment may include removal of the maggots, antibiotics to prevent or treat infection, and supportive care. However, recovery may depend on the severity of the infestation and how quickly it is treated.