Patricia Reith,of Twelve Acres, Ashford, was concerned that 14-month-old Ollie would be poisoned after she noticed him pawing at an unfamiliar caterpillar.
She said: “I know most of the caterpillars, but I have never seen one like this before.
“I first saw Ollie down the bottom of the garden playing with something, and when I looked I saw the green caterpillars.
“They were about three inches long and as fat as a man’s finger.
“I put them under the shed so he couldn’t get to them.”
Without knowing the species Mrs Reith was concerned that the bug could be harmful to yorkie-poo Ollie, a Yorkshire-terrier and miniature poodle cross.
Then, on Monday, Mrs Reith noticed Ollie pawing at another mysterious item in the garden.
She added: “I was hanging my washing out when I saw him playing with something.
“When I looked I discovered it was another giant caterpillar.
“I took it away and put it in a bucket with some leaves so he couldn’t get to it.
“Ollie is very playful, he will chase everything that moves. I have two cats and they often chase each other around the garden.”
Patricia Reith with Ollie
Luckily for Ollie, the Kentish Express’ countryside expert Owen Leyshon identified the big bug as an elephant hawk moth caterpillar – a totally harmless species.
Mr Leyshon said: “It is an elephant hawk moth caterpillar. They feed on willowherb and fuschia and the moths are a brilliant pink colour and fly in the late spring.
“The caterpillars tend to go walkabout around now as they look for places to pupate in the soil after eating their fill and hence the dog is coming across them as the crawl around the garden.
“They are harmless and not poisonous to anyone or pets.”
Mrs Reith added: “I am relieved to hear they aren’t harmful.
“I was worried because he is such a small dog and still only a puppy.”