What To Do If My Dog Ate A Bee?
Our canine friends are curious critters. Their curiosity can be their downfall in many cases, especially because they explore much of the world with their mouths.
Dogs often try to taste or play with things they perceive as “fun”, and a bee can certainly fall into this category.
So what happens when your dog eats a bee?
In this article we will discuss the details of bee stings in dogs, and help you better understand the potential complications that eating a bee can bring.
Why Do Dogs Try To Eat Bees?
Why would a dog want to eat a bee in the first place? Though eating a bee sounds less than enjoyable to us, our dogs don’t always understand that this action can lead to serious discomfort.
Moving objects can be extremely enticing for a dog, whether it’s a moving ball or a flying bee.
This may cause a dog to snap at the bee in effort to catch it, leading to them getting stung if they are successful.
It’s always interesting to see how a dog reacts to flying insects, as some dogs seem to remember being stung previously.
For example, many dogs develop phobias of flying insects after having a bad experience with one, causing them to run away from bees and flies at any given chance.
My dog is one of the many pups that are afraid of flying insects, as she runs out of the room any time a fly is present.
We won’t ever know exactly why some dogs like to eat bees, but it is likely due to their prey drive and the desire to chase moving objects.
Are Bees Dangerous To Dogs?
Overall, bees are not a major threat to most canine friends. Bees themselves are not poisonous, though they do release a small amount of venom when they sting their victims.
The only danger a bee offers is through their sting, meaning the rest of their body is not an issue when worrying about dogs eating bees.
This is the difference between venomous insects and poisonous insects, as bees can only harm someone once they release their stinger.
With this in mind, it’s important to note that some dogs can experience severe allergic reactions to bee stings.
A bee sting can be completely harmless to one furry friend, while causing life threatening anaphylaxis in another. This is the same situation in humans, and you just never know until the reaction occurs.
The best way to treat allergic reactions to bee stings is by being aware of the symptoms in dogs, and bringing them to your vet the moment the symptoms set in.
The signs of allergic reaction in dogs include:
- Swelling around the face or muzzle
- Redness or swelling at the site of the sting
- Skin redness
- Weakness to the point of collapse
- Respiratory distress
If you notice any of the above symptoms in your dog after they eat a bee, it’s best to contact your vet for further care.
They may suggest the use of an antihistamine at home to relieve their symptoms, or recommend coming into their office to be seen.
What Happens When Your Dog Eats A Bee?
In most situations, nothing will happen to your dog that eats a bee other than mild discomfort if they are stung in the mouth.
The bee will be digested just like any other food contents your dog consumes, and should have no other complications once the bee is swallowed. Bees are not poisonous, so their bodies pose no threat when entering the digestive tract.
If your dog is allergic to bees, they may begin to develop a reaction within minutes to hours after being stung.
Your dog may display the symptoms we mentioned above, or any evidence of pain around the face or mouth.
Some dogs have been known to develop hives up to 12 hours after being stung, so we always suggest keeping a close eye on your pup in the 24 hours that follow the event.
If you notice any change in behavior in your pup, we always suggest reaching out to your vet. It can even be helpful to contact your vet the moment you see your dog eat the bee, as they may suggest giving them an antihistamine for preventative measures.
How To Treat A Bee Sting In Dogs
If you fear a bee sting in your canine friend, there are a few ways to ease their discomfort at home.
Most bee stings will only cause minor swelling and pain, but these symptoms can be minimized with the use of a few tools.
First, we suggest scanning the area the bee could have stung. Most bee stings will cause minor swelling and redness in the area, and it may even be sensitive to the touch.
Once you have found the site of the bee sting, you can attempt to remove the stinger (if one is present).
If you think you have found the stinger, it’s important to try your best to not squeeze the stinger and release any venom that still remains. It’s best to either lightly scrape the stinger with a credit card, or use other methods that do not apply too much pressure. Not only can this release venom into the area, but it can be painful for your furry friend.
Once you have successfully removed the stinger, if there is one, you can apply a cold compress to the area to relieve discomfort.
This cold compress can help to relieve pain in the area from the sting, as well as decrease uncomfortable swelling. You can continue to do this a few times a day until the swelling has resolved, which typically takes 24-48 hours.
If your dog is stung by a bee, you can always offer them Benadryl at home with the approval of your veterinarian.
This can help to decrease the chance of allergic reaction, as well as relieve any swelling due to the body’s reaction to the stinger. For an accurate dose for your pup, we suggest contacting your vet.
Will My Dog Be Okay If They Eat A Bee?
Your dog should be just fine if they do happen to get their paws on a bee. While they may experience a bit of discomfort if they are stung, they usually heal from this experience within the next 24 hours.
As long as you monitor your dog closely for any sign of allergic reaction over the next 12-24 hours, your pup should be okay.
Our dogs can do strange things, including eating flying objects with painful stingers. Be sure to review the information we discussed above, and you can know how to respond to your dog’s next run in with bees.
My name is Amber. I am a dedicated animal lover that turned my passion into my career. I am a Licensed Vet Tech with 10 years of experience in veterinary medicine, but I recently took my career online to help spread accurate information on animal care. With how vast the online world is, I have a strong desire to ensure that the reader always walks away with helpful pet advice. With the experience I’ve gained from my time in this field, I have been able to travel the world, offering my services to as many animal rescues as I can find. If I am not at my laptop, or back home visiting family, you can find me somewhere in the world, cuddling every furry friend that I can find! Read more about us here.