Can Black Widows Kill Dogs?

Dogs are adorable companions who form part and parcel of our families.

You will want to ensure that your pooch is healthy at all times and that anything that can cause sudden death is kept at bay.

Unfortunately, spiders often inhabit homes, especially if you have dark, warm, and less-frequented areas in your home.

But can black widows kill dogs?

These critters can inflict pain and health complications for you and your household, including your pets.

Dogs are especially susceptible to spider bites as they often crawl through dark spaces of your home where spiders often dwell.

Common house spiders don’t pose any real threats to dogs, but some spider species, such as a black widow, have a dangerous bite.

If your pup gets too close to a black widow and gets bitten, be sure to take him to the vet immediately.

But first, how would you know that your dog is bitten by a black widow?

Can Black Widows Kill Dogs? How to Identify Black Widow Spiders

Can black widows kill dogs?

Black widow spiders can be found anywhere, but the highest risk areas are outdoors near garages, buildings, sheds, and cluttered areas.

You need to be primarily concerned about the adult female of this spider species.

They are often easy to recognize since their underside is marked with a red hourglass shape.

They also have a dark black, bulbous abdomen.

You can help protect your pet from painful and dangerous black widow bites by keeping them off your garage, basement, and shed, especially when you are not around to keep a close eye on them.

Have someone watch over your pet or crate train them appropriately.

Symptoms Of Black Widow Spider Bites In Dogs

Before we can answer the question, “can black widows kill dogs?“, we need to identify some of the signs and symptoms of a black widow spider bite.

Although black widow spiders are not confrontational and only bite when they feel ambushed, the ramifications of their bites can be fatal, especially on dogs.

The symptoms of a black widow bite are not always similar for all dogs, so you need to look at several things.

Typically, there is minimal to no swelling until after an hour or so has passed.

Afterward, your dog will begin to experience extreme pain.

In some cases, your dog may respond with agitation and being unsettled about 20 hours after the bite.

Without immediate medical attention, your dog might go on to suffer paralysis.

Other symptoms of black widow bites include:

  • Seizures
  • Abdominal muscle rigidity
  • Weakened limbs
  • Restlessness
  • Numbness of muscles around the bite site
  • Swollen face muzzle
  • Swelling or redness at the bite site
  • Hives
  • Cramping
  • Drooling

Can black widows kill dogs

Unfortunately, some dog breeds are sensitive to the venom of a black widow spider.

Such dogs can exhibit allergic reactions such as vomiting, inflamed skin, and breathing problems.

Other symptoms of spider bites may include:

  • Extreme muscle pain
  • Vomiting
  • Paralysis
  • Tremors
  • Muscle rigidity
  • Shallow and rapid breathing
  • Increased heart rate
  • Death

If you suspect that your dog has been bitten by a black widow, or any other spider species, immediately take her to the veterinarian.

The venom of a black widow can easily kill a small dog or trigger severe reactions on both young and adult dogs.

Dog bitten by black widow spider

How To Treat Black Widow Spider Bites In Dogs

Medical studies suggest that dogs who have been bitten by a black widow spider can be given an antivenin shot to relieve the symptoms.

However, antivenin is too expensive for most vets to keep on hand.

More often, it must be ordered from regular human hospitals.

Other treatment methods for black widow bites may consist of:

  • IV fluids and hospitalization
  • Breathing assistance and muscle relaxation
  • Medication to alleviate muscle spasms and tremors

Fortunately, most dogs survive black widow spider bites as long as you seek immediate medication and treatment for them.

To help avoid such issues, you must train your canine properly to avoid going into dark areas of your home.

Additionally, have your home inspected regularly for any signs of spider infestation as some spider species may not only harm your pup but your family too.


So, can black widows kill dogs?

In extreme cases, they certainly can.

Sadly, black widow spider bites often go unnoticed by the pet and their owner for up to an hour.

Time is always of the essence!

It is, therefore, important for you to take your dog to the vet at the first sign of trouble to ensure that your fluffy companion does not die from the bite of this highly venomous spider.

Also, be vigilant about getting rid of spider webs on a regular basis and keep your home clutter-free to create a less welcoming environment for black widow spiders.

If you notice a black widow spider on your property, contact a professional pest control company to exterminate this unwanted pest.

Frequently Asked Questions:

How Do Dogs Act When Bitten by A Spider?

When bitten by a spider, dogs may exhibit various reactions depending on the spider species and the dog’s sensitivity.

Common signs include swelling, redness, pain, and possible localized itching.

Severe reactions can lead to lethargy, difficulty breathing, or other systemic symptoms.

If you suspect a spider bite, consult a veterinarian for appropriate diagnosis and treatment.

How Toxic Is A Black Widow Bite?

A black widow spider bite can be toxic to dogs.

While fatalities are rare, symptoms may include pain, muscle cramps, fever, and, in severe cases, respiratory distress.

Prompt veterinary attention is crucial if a black widow bite is suspected.

Treatment may involve pain management and, in extreme cases, antivenom.

What If My Dog Ate A Black Widow?

If your dog ingests a black widow spider, it is generally not considered harmful and it should just be digested.

However, if you suspect a bite, monitor for symptoms like pain, muscle cramps, or signs of distress.

In the case of ingestion, contact your veterinarian for advice.

Always exercise caution around spiders, and if you’re uncertain, seek professional veterinary guidance to ensure your dog’s well-being.

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