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Do Wolf Spiders Bite Dogs and Cats?

Wolf spiders will bite dogs and cats if they feel threatened, although this will happen rarely. Most dogs and cats will not go near wolf spiders because of their venom, and these encounters are not common.

wolf spider

Wolf spider bites are venomous to cats, dogs, and also humans. While wolf spider bites on humans are possible, they do not present major problems to humans, even children and the elderly.

But for smaller animals like dogs and cats, wolf spider bites can be dangerous. For smaller cats and puppy dogs, a wolf spider bite can be fatal more often than wolf spider bites on humans.

Related: Will a Brown Recluse Kill a Cat or Dog?

Will Wolf Spiders Bite Dogs and Cats?

Yes, wolf spiders will bite dogs and cats if they feel threatened or provoked. However, they will probably not go out of the way to bite a cat or dog.

Wolf spiders hunt mainly insects and other smaller animals. Their diet is carnivorous, and they will use their exceptional hunting skills to hunt down insects and other ground-dwelling animals. They don’t hunt dogs and cats.

They have exceptional eyesight and they’re also fast, making them highly effective especially at night. They also have venom which is used to paralyze the animals they attack. The venom is potent enough to be effective against mainly insects and some smaller animals.

But even though wolf spiders are one of the most effective spider species when it comes to hunting, they will not see your dog or cat as their prey.

They will likely avoid your pet if they spot it. The reason is that they will feel threatened by their presence.

Wolf spiders will be especially wary of cats, which are known for hunting spiders and for going after other spider species.

This can lead your cat to problems with wolf spiders. If your cat decides to attack a wolf spider or hunt it, there is a likelihood that the spider will bite it.

And if that happens, your cat might start experiencing some symptoms of a wolf spider bite, like tremors, nausea, vomiting, and sickness.

Dogs are less likely to get bitten by a wolf spider than cats because they’re less likely to harass them. However, it can still happen since dogs can sometimes step where they shouldn’t be stepping, or they might lie into an area where a wolf spider might be.

Are Wolf Spiders Venomous to Dogs and Cats?

Wolf spiders are venomous for dogs and cats. They carry quite a potent venom that can kill smaller animals. The smaller your pet is, the more likely it will be to suffer from more severe symptoms.

Wolf spider venom mostly affects smaller animals. For humans, the wolf spider bite is insignificant medically and does not usually present big problems for long after the bite has happened.

This venom is more effective against smaller animals.

The smaller your pet is, the more your pet will suffer if it gets bitten by a wolf spider. For puppies and smaller cats, a wolf spider bite might be fatal, especially if you do not treat your pet quickly enough.

The venom can be fatal for small dogs and cats in less than an hour, and sometimes even longer.

For adult pets, wolf spider bites can cause significant problems. If not treated quickly, a wolf spider bite might even kill your pet.

Normally, your pet will stay away from wolf spiders, and these arachnids will probably do the same as well. They will only hunt smaller insects and other smaller animals, so they will feel intimidated by the size of a cat or dog. 

Bites might still happen, though, especially if your cat or dog starts poking at the wolf spider, or even if your cat starts to hunt down the wolf spider. Biting is an important defense mechanism for the wolf spider, and it will not be afraid to use it if the spider feels like its life is threatened.

What are the Signs of a Wolf Spider Bite?

If you notice the following symptoms, then your dog or cat may have been bitten by a wolf spider:

  • Diarrhea
  • Trembling
  • Itching
  • Restlessness
  • Sometimes lethargy

Should you notice any of these symptoms, you should take your dog or cat to your vet as quickly as possible. They might be able to provide treatment for your pet quickly enough so that your pet will not experience these symptoms any longer.

In some rare cases, your pet might die within an hour after the bite if your pet does not receive prompt treatment.

Some larger animals might not feel any significant symptoms at all, especially if the spider did not inject all of its venom. They might itch at the place of the bite and you might see some swelling.

In any case, you should closely monitor the wound, check with a vet, and see if your dog or cat changes in the meantime. The most significant changes to the behavior and well-being of your pet will happen in the first hour or so after the bite.

Can a Wolf Spider Kill a Dog or Cat?

A wolf spider bite can potentially kill a dog or a cat, but a lot will depend on the size of the animal that gets bitten.

Wolf spider bites might kill kittens and puppies. The venom is strong enough to hurt these small animals, and it can kill them.

However, for adult cats and dogs, deaths from wolf spider bites are not that common. It might still happen, especially if there are secondary complications. If you notice any of the above-mentioned symptoms, it’s better to act as quickly as possible before things take a turn for the worse. It’s better to be careful with wolf spider bites than to regret it later on.

Conclusion

Wolf spiders will not bite dogs and cats willingly. They will only bite cats and dogs if they feel threatened or cornered, or if your pet decides to poke the wolf spider. In that case, the spider will defend itself by biting the dog or cat, which can cause some discomfort and in some cases, death.