What to Do if Your Dog Gets Stung By a Bee

A picture is worth 1,000 words – so what are these two saying? 

While thoughts like “how adorable!,” or “hilarious” can cross the mind at first (just look at their faces!), there’s a deeper meaning here that could be indicative of something more dangerous. Believe it or not, those puffy faces are the reaction of none other than a bee sting.

If you’ve ever been stung by a bee, you know how much it can hurt. But that’s not the real concern if your dog encounters one. From swelling to allergic reactions, a minor sting can quickly turn into a stressful experience for you and your dog, especially if you don’t know how to react in the situation. But don’t worry – The Happy Puppy Tips team is here to arm you with the knowledge you need to navigate a bee sting if/when your pup gets too close to a pain-inducing insect this summer.

Let’s get into it!

What Happens When a Dog Gets Stung?

Whether they’re chasing a bee in-flight, or curiosity got the best of them and they stumbled upon a nest, your dog doesn’t understand the type of reaction a bee can cause like humans do. So when they do get stung, whether it’s on the paw or in their mouth, it comes as a major surprise. 

Aside from the initial shock from the sting, your dog could start whining from the pain, drooling, or biting or pawing at the sting location. And, within ten minutes after a sting, some dogs can develop an allergic reaction, ranging from mild to severe, with symptoms including:

  • Diarrhea or vomiting
  • Massive swelling around the sting area, along with swelling of the mouth and neck
  • Lethargy or Disorientation
  • Wheezing and/or slower breathing 

While there’s no rhyme or reason as to whether or not a dog will be allergic to bees, severe allergic reactions (ie: Anaphylaxis) are due to a hypersensitivity and overreaction of your dog’s immune system to an allergen. These allergens can develop overtime, so it’s critical, if your dog exhibits any signs of an allergy, you call your vet or emergency hotline to get your dog the life-saving treatment they may need.  

What to Do if Your Dog Gets Stung

Despite your best efforts, we know it’s not realistic to expect you to successfully keep your dog away from every bee on the planet. So, if your dog does get stung, you can still take a proactive approach to keep them comfortable, while monitoring for any kind of reactions.

First things first, grab a pair of tweezers and gently remove the stinger from your dog. If the sting isn’t on their eye, or in their nose or mouth, make a paste of equal parts baking soda and water and apply it to the sting to help relieve the pain. You can leave this on until it flakes off, and alternate with applying an ice pack to reduce swelling and pain.  

If your pup fell victim to a sting in their mouth, nose, eyes, or throat, you can administer a dose of oral antihistamine (ie: benadryl); 0.9 to 1.8 milligrams per pound. While this can reduce any onset allergies and minimize pain, it can also make them drowsy, so be sure they’re monitored closely for 24 hours and get plenty of water to stay hydrated. 

And remember – always call your vet if your dog’s temperament seems off, or they show any signs of an allergy. It’s better to err on the safe side before the situation escalates. 

Have an opinion or comment? Let us know below!

3 thoughts on “What to Do if Your Dog Gets Stung By a Bee”

  1. My little dog died in five minutes after a bee sting. If you have a small dog you won’t have time to act. Go straight to your nearest vet. A shot is needed right away.

    1. Oh Marcy! That is so sad. I’m so sorry you lost you sweet pup. I wouldn’t have know to take my little dog to the vet as I’ve never had a dog that was allergic to them. Thank you for your post.

  2. Marcy, even though your post was almost a year and a half ago, it still made me want to cry for you. That is so very sad. My pup can’t really be considered little(she weighs 19 lbs), but she’s yet to be stung by a bee or any other insect, so I don’t know if she would be allergic or not. I hope I never have to find out!

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