BALTIMORE (WJZ) — Cicadas and their shells will soon be covering our lawns and sidewalks, and curious pets may think they would make a crunchy snack, but are they safe?

According to a local veterinarian, in small doses the insets are fine, but if they eat a lot of them, it could affect their digestive system.

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If this happens, your four-legged friend might need anti-nausea or other stomach medication.

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Experts also warn eating the insects is more of a canine issue than feline and the cicadas and their shells could become a choking hazard, especially for small dogs.

This spring, watch your dog closely when they’re off the leash and their mouth is near the ground.

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If you don’t have a command like “leave it”, experts say now is a great time to start practicing.

CBS Baltimore Staff