Are the wooly bear caterpillars poisonous, like if a dog were to eat it what precautions would need to be taken?

Not Medical Advice: The banded woolly bear caterpillar has no such poison structures; however the setae (bristles or hair) can irritate the skin. If a dog accidentally chewed up a woolly bear and it seems like there's something going on with the dog, call an emergency vet clinic line immediately for advice.

Woolly bear caterpillar also known as a woolly worm is a larva of a species of tiger moth (Pyrrharctia isabella). They are spiky, with black stripes at each end and a reddish brown stripe in the middle, and they average around 1 1⁄2 inches long.

As the weather or the climate warms back up in the spring, the fall woolly bears arise from their hiding spots to eat briefly, and pupate into the Isabella Moth.

An estimated 15,000 people have attended the 2013 Banner Elk Woolly Worm Festival, making it one of the largest crowds to ever attend in its 36-year history. Find out more at Avery Journal Times.

Updated on Friday, October 25 2013 at 09:42AM EDT