There are over 3,000 different types of spiders found in the U.S., however, just a handful are known to bite, and of these, no more than 3 are poisonous and venomous spiders that can put your dog’s like in danger.

What if a spider bites a person? Of course, we can talk, and we can tell our doctor that we have been bitten by a spider, and the signs that we are showing can also tell the doctor what type of spider it was. However, our dogs do not have this ability and cannot tell us what has happened to them and what spider bit them.

Being a dog owner, it is our responsibility to know if our dog was bitten by a spider and what type of spider it was. If your dog was bitten by a spider and you are not sure what to do, read this article. We will discuss how to tell if your dog has been bitten and what you should do next.


How to tell if your dog was bitten by a spider 

The signs of a spider bite depend on which spiders have bitten your dog. Generally, your dog will display some of the following:

    • Muscle pain
    • Cramping
    • Vomiting
    • Increased heart rate
    • Diarrhea
    • Tremors
    • Agitation
    • Trouble standing or walking

There are 4 spiders in particularly that are extremely dangerous! These are; The Black Widow, The Brown Widow, Brown Recluse, and Tarantulas.


The Black Widow 


black widow

If your dog was bitten by the Black Widow spider, the signs might appear after 8 hours. Approximately 15% of Black Widow bites are dry bites, and there will be no poisoning. In the other 85% of cases, there will be some kind of envenomation.


The Brown Widow


Just like with the Black widow, the signs might take 8 hours to appear. The bite of a Brown Widow is just as toxic as the bite of a Black Widow, however, they are less aggressive and therefore their bites are less common.


The Brown Recluse 

Brown recluse spider

If your dog is bitten by a brown recluse redness may appear immediately after with the development of blisters within 2-6 hours. The blister that forms is shaped like a bull’s eye lesion in a pale yellow area that is surrounded by a red circle and further develops in a dark area due to tissue death.




A tarantula can be fatal to dogs who are very vulnerable to tarantula venom. The bite can be painless at first, however, within the next 2-8 hours your dog will start to display some of the symptoms listed above.



The different spider bites are easily diagnosed based on clinical signs, however, the best method of diagnosing a spider bite is by collecting and identifying the spider causing the bite.


How do you treat a spider bite on a dog?

Treating a spider bite can be very easy and can be done at home unless your dog has been bitten by any of the 4 spiders mentioned above. Below we will look a the best home remedies for less serious bites as well as how to treat more serious bites.

Before we start here is a simple step-by-step method you can follow while you figure out how serious the bite is

Step 1: Clean the wound with soap and water, or you can also use dog shampoo to clean the infected area.

Step 2: Apply a cold sponge to the wound.

Step 3: Repeat this process several times, and it should be repeated over the next two days if required.

You don’t need to use pain relievers, these are only necessary in case of severe symptoms in dogs. If you take your dog to the vet, then they are the ones to decide what is best for your pet, depending on the type of spider involved.

If a Black Widow, Brown Widow, Brown Recluse, or Tarantulaone were to bite your dog, the treatment method will be different as their venom is highly toxic.

Furthermore, the treatment methods also depend on the dog’s body’s reaction to the bite and the severity of the bite.

Here we will discuss 6 ways to deal with spider bites:


Home remedies

Here are some home remedies that can be used to help your dog if you don’t have any medications available.


1. Potato poultice 

A potato can be very helpful and has been proven to be very effective in reducing inflammation caused by spider bites. It is very easy to make potato poultice. You just have to peel the potato, grate it, and then put the shreds on the thin cloth.

You can also wrap them in a piece of fabric and secure it with a rubber band. After making the poultice, apply it to the bitten area and continue doing so until the poultice dries. This process can be repeated, however, be sure to clean the area first before applying the poultice.


2. Baking Soda

Another cost-effective home remedy to treat spider bites is using baking soda. This is easy to do; you just need a little water and baking powder and then mix them into a paste and then apply it to the spider bite.

You can repeat this process several times a day. You should use three-part baking soda and one part of water.


3. Aloe Vera

The potential benefits of Aloe Vera have been highlighted in recent years. Aloe Vera is mainly used in skin care products and it has some proven benefits against inflammation and itching.

However, you should not use Aloe Vera directly from the plant because there is a chance that your dog will try to eat it. It is recommended to use Aloe Vera products that are listed as suitable for pets. You can use the Aloe Vera product several times a day on the infected area until it is completely healed.


Treatment for severe spider bites


1. Sedative or pain medicine

Your veterinarian will decide if a sedative or pain killer is necessary. Additionally, your vet can also use corticosteroids to stop any further impacts on the body. Antibiotics can also be used in case of a serious infection. Most antibiotics are given in the case of a brown recluse bite.

In the case of a black widow bite, anti-venoms are used, and if your dog has never received a tetanus injection, it is important to give him a tetanus antitoxin.


2. Oxygen therapy

Oxygen therapy is only used in cases where there is a severe reaction to a spider bite. It will help your dog to breathe normally.

3. IV fluids

If your vet thinks your dog is dehydrated, your vet can opt for IV fluids to keep your dog hydrated. This fluid therapy also helps keep their blood pressure down.



As prevention is better than cure, this is why it is recommended to protect your dog from a spider bite, however, it is a bit difficult to do so.

Nonetheless, there are certain things you can do to keep your dog safe.

  • If there are any spider webs in your home you should clean them up immediately or call a pest control professional.
  • Always clean less used areas of your home.
  • Never leave your dog unattended in areas like attics, basements, and empty bedrooms.
  • Never stack firewood or lumber in your home.
  • Ask your vet about dangerous spiders and memorize what they look like
  • Always keep a close eye on your dog, and if you notice any change in his behavior, it means something is wrong.
  • Always have a first aid kit at home.


Frequently Asked Questions


How long does it take for a spider bite to heal on a dog?

Different spiders have different types of bites, and their healing times are also different, so it is recommended to have some knowledge about spiders and their bites and if you do not know what to do, contact your vet immediately.


Can a spider bite cause paralysis in a dog?

Yes, it is possible for a spider bite to paralyze a dog. When a spider bites a dog they inject toxic venom into the dog’s bloodstream. There are numerous types of spiders, and the different kinds have a different amount of poison in their venom.


How long does it take for a black widow bite to kill a dog?

It will take between 3-4 days for any dog to die from the Black Widow bite. A Black Widows venom is very poisonous. Indications of a reaction to the venom begin about half an hour following the initial bite. Signs and symptoms get more obvious every day.


When should I be concerned about a spider bite?

Arachnidism is the technical term used for a spider bite. It is defined as a wound that is obtained from being bitten by spiders. Spiders do not normally bite, only biting when they perceive some danger or threat. There are more than thirty thousand spiders species, but few are a serious threat to you and your dog’s health. These include Black Widow, Brown Widow, Brown Recluse, and Tarantula.


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