Dogs are social, friendly creatures, which is part of why humans love them so much. Dogs are known for being able to live with all kinds of different creatures, including cats, rodents, livestock, and more. But, what about insects? Are dogs able to coexist with creatures that are so vastly different from them?
While most dogs will never come int contact with a stick insect, they could probably be taught to live with them without harming them, because of the way that dogs behave. Let’s see if dogs could live well with tiny stick insects.
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Signs Dogs and Stick Insects can Live Together
Dogs typically do fine with a variety of different species. A quick browsing of the internet will show you dogs living with rodents, fish, livestock, cats, exotic pets, wild animals, and more. This is due, in part, to the domestication of the pets. While most dogs will do very well with other pets, not all dogs will, so you need to consider your dog’s temperament before you try to introduce them to other pets.
Humans are starting to make more and more unique animals into pets. While it isn’t a traditional pet, stick insects are found as pets in some households. In most cases, stick insects and dogs can live together peacefully, because stick insects live in tanks or enclosures that will keep them away from and protected against the dogs or other pets in the household.
Unless stick insects are out and about in a dog’s area, they aren’t likely to notice them or show any interest in the small creatures. It is best, however, that you don’t leave the two creatures alone together. A dog is likely to frighten a stick insect, and they are more than capable of stepping on or chewing on one as well.
- Jumping up
- Wag tail
- Non-aggresive behavior
- Being past the puppy stage
- Low prey drive
History of Dogs Living with Stick Insects
Throughout history, dogs have lived with all kinds of different animal species. Dogs have been known to successfully live with different kinds of livestock and other domesticated pets. Even though dogs were often bred to hunt small mammals and rodents, they have even proven that they can successfully co-exist with these creatures. So, why wouldn’t dogs be able to live with insects?
Unfortunately, there isn’t much information about dogs living with stick insects, and that is probably due to the fact that stick insects aren’t very common household pets. It is also true that dogs don’t interact much with wild stick insects, because stick insects are masters at camouflaging themselves in the woods. This camouflaging skill gives stick insects a natural form of defense that may even protect them in a home. Unless the stick insects are big enough for your dog to play with, they will probably not be in any danger.
Science Behind Dogs Living with Stick Insects
The reason we consider dogs to be such great pets is that they are incredibly social and friendly animals. This nature makes them perfect for being around young children and all kinds of other animals. Humans love that dogs can find a way to live with all kinds of different creatures. However, living with these creatures isn’t always an easy task.
Dogs are social, but not all animals are. If you want your dog to live with a creature that is less comfortable around other animals, you need to be cautious and considerate of both animals. Never force the two animals to interact.
In fact, your best bet with a stick insect would just be to keep the two animals separate. It isn’t that they can’t co-exist, but it is easier just to keep them away from each other. It is safer for both animals to keep them separate. That way, a dog won’t kill the stick insect or choke on them if they decide to try to eat them.
Training Dogs to Live with Stick Insects
If you are determined to bring both a dog and a stick insect into your home, you need to teach your dog how to behave around the stick insect. For your peace of mind, you will want to make sure that your dog knows basic commands before you ever bring another animal around. “Sit” and “stay” are both important, but “leave it” may be your best friend if you are going to have a stick insect in your home.
Your dog needs to be reliably responsive to these commands for you to make a safe introduction, and it may take a lot of work to get them there. You don’t want to let the two animals near each other if your dog can’t follow these commands.
Introducing your dog to any kind of animal should be done slowly. It can be helpful to have two people around during an introduction of a dog to a stick insect, but it isn’t a necessity. You will want to keep your dog close to you and slowly bring it closer and closer to the insect. After each step, wait until the dog is calm before moving forward. If your dog can’t stay calm, you should take at least one step backward.
Keep the stick insect in its habitat during the introductions to keep it safe. This will allow the animals to become more familiar with each other’s movements and smells but prevent any injuries.
During this process, reward your dog with treats for good behavior, and remove the dog from the situation when it behaves poorly. You want to be sure that you are only encouraging behavior that you want to see your dog exhibit around the insect in the future.
You may want to have your dog perform basic commands for treats to take their mind off of the other creature. Capturing your dog’s attention may be difficult but getting them to focus on you and stay calm is important.
Safety Tips for Dogs Living with Stick Insects:
Don't leave the animals alone together.
Slowly introduce your dog to your stick insect.