Tarantulas, luckily, aren't overly-venomous, meaning that if your doggo gets bitten by one, he or she isn't going to have any lasting damages. So, as far as the danger element, your pup won't be at any fatal risks.
That being said though, tarantulas aren't exactly known for getting along with other species, so while you likely are able to have a dog and a tarantula under the same roof, it's relatively unlikely they'll co-exist or ever have positive interactions. For more information on whether or not your dog and tarantula can get along, read more!
Signs Your Dog and Your Tarantula aren't Getting Along
There are a few reasons or this, but the primary one is that dogs are prey-driven animals, and tarantulas, in their own way, are as well. Tarantulas are set up with fangs that are designed to incapacitate their prey and dogs are equipped with teeth and claws to do the same. It's likely that both animals will view the other as either a threat or a tasty snack.
If you notice that your dog is stalking your tarantula's cage, drooling, or following it too close as it moves around, it's likely that your dog thinks your tarantula is a delicious dinner waiting to happen.
This, though not fatal, could be really dangerous for your pup and could cause a ton of pain for them. If a doggo bites down on a tarantula, or a tarantula bites down on a doggo, your poor pup could be in a world of hurt, and your tarantula could likely be killed, too. If your dog is showing signs of aggression, howling, barking, and spying on the tarantula cage, it's probably best to continue keeping them as separate as possible.
- Lack of focus
- Pupils dilated
- Whale eye
- Weak pulse
- Trouble walking, sitting, or laying
- Increased heart rate
- Swelling and itching
- Muscle and joint pain
History of Dogs and Tarantulas Together
However, tons of people keep them, and here's why: tarantulas are relatively harmless and friendly spiders, even though they look pretty terrifying. If you're into spiders, but don't want to risk serious damage if yours bites you, a tarantula is pretty much the way to go. Though they have venom in their bite, if they nab you with their fangs, you won't suffer any long-term issues. Sure, it will hurt, but you won't be in any serious danger.
Additionally, people loving to keep tarantulas because, well, they think they're pretty! They're neat to watch, observe, and learn about, too, and there are dozens of species to choose from!
The Science of Dog and Tarantula Interaction
Luckily, because tarantula venom is designed to incapacitate small animals, your doggo is likely going to be okay if bitten. That being said, if your pup is teacup size, you might be a little more concerned. A bite from a tarantula is similar to a wasp sting for your dog. There will be moderate pain, swelling, discomfort, fever, and the possibility of allergic reactions like drooling and vomiting, but your pup won't suffer any long-term issues because of it.
Training Your Dog to Cohabitate with Your Spider
For example, make sure your dog is well versed in the basic obedience commands. A firm "no", "stay", or "leave it" can go a long way when it comes to a potential tarantula bite on your doggo's snout. Further, just as people train their pups to stay off furniture or away from the pantry, you can train your dog to leave your spider's room or cage alone.
Make sure your dog understands that staying away from the spider cage is imperative. Punish them appropriately when they get too curious or get too close to the spider cage, and reward them vigorously when they follow your commands.
It's also important that your dog is trained to not attack unless commanded to. If your spider accidentally gets out and you see your dog running toward it, ensure that he or she is trained enough to know that unless you've given them the command, they are under no circumstances allowed to chase, attack, or run for the spider.
How to React if Your Dog has Been Bitten by a Tarantula:
Call your vet!
Follow the vet's instructions.
Let your dog rest until you're able to take him or her to the vet.
If you see the spider that bit your dog, put it in a jar and take it to the vet.
Separate your dog and your spider.