Dogs and bees are two creatures of this plant that have to coexist to some extent. Sometimes, just sometimes, they meet and it ends with swollen faces or a dead striped carcass. The outcome depends on who wins, and even if it’s your dog, he likely won’t emerge unscathed. A bee sting can be no biggie to some people, but to those who are allergic, it can be deadly – the same goes for dogs.
What should you do if your dog not only bit but ate a bee? We’ll find out. But first, let’s figure out why they do it in the first place.
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Why Do Dogs Eat Bees?
Did you know that bees are a delicacy in some cultures? Yes, these pollinators can be food for us, but they may not be as pleasant for dogs. Your dog isn’t eating a bee because he likes it, but it’s usually because it attracted his attention, and dogs use their mouths and snouts to explore the world. Sometimes, it’s their instinct to just chomp at whatever piques their curiosity – bees included.
The unfortunate thing about this is bee stings can cause your pooch discomfort. A bee’s reaction to being attacked or to a perceived attack is to sting. Some dogs have the wherewithal to steer clear of an incoming insect, but some don’t. So, your dog ate a bee, is it really that bad?
Are Bees Dangerous for Dogs?
Bees alone minding their own business do not pose a threat to your dog, it’s the actual bee sting and bee venom that do. If your dog manages to eat a bee that doesn’t sting him, he may be okay. The worst thing is if your dog is allergic to bee stings and exhibits an anaphylactic reaction to the flying insects – that’s when you need to worry. It can be fatal for dogs if you don’t act quickly.
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What to Do If Your Dog Eats a Bee?
If there is no sting, then you’re all good. But, if the stinger comes off then all bets are off.
Was it a Wasp, Hornet, Yellow Jacket, or Bee?
The first step is to determine what type of insect your dog ate. Hornet, yellow jacket, honey bee, and wasp stings can be fatal. The venom can also be different but it may affect different dogs in different ways. Once you have identified the insect, it’s easier for the vet to treat it because they will know what caused the sting.
Even if you can’t tell the difference between the buzzing insects, it’s okay. Just remain calm first and monitor your dog. The semi-good news is, that after an incident with a bee, which is usually unpleasant, dogs develop phobias and will avoid them in the future.
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Watch for Any Signs Of an Allergic Reaction
Your dog likely won’t exhibit any symptoms right away, which is why it is important to keep a close eye on him.
Remember, most bee stings aren’t life-threatening, but there are cases when they are. You should see something happen around the mouth or nose area within a few hours. If it’s just mild swelling, chances are it will go down by itself. But there is always the risk of severe reactions that will require a trip to the vet immediately.
Symptoms of severe allergic reactions are shortness of breath or difficulty breathing and major swelling – these all require immediate veterinary attention. If your dog suffered from multiple stings, we would also suggest taking him to the vet right away.
Use Benadryl for Bee Stings in Dogs and Other Treatments
Benadryl is something we use for insect stings, and it can be administered to dogs in small doses. We still strongly suggest giving your vet a call and just double-checking if it is okay to give your dog Benadryl for the correct dosage, which is usually 1mm per pound.
If you’ve consulted your vet and your dog seems to be fine except for some swelling, then we would recommend using a cold compress to relieve his symptoms. The bite and the side effects may be itchy to some dogs, so make sure you prevent your dog from scratching as much as possible.
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How Can I Prevent My Dog From Eating Bees?
As we said, after a bee incident, most dogs learn not to mess with bees. Unfortunately, it only applies to most and not all. If you have a fur baby that loves to live life on the edge, then you have to take action to prevent bee stings from happening again.
An obvious way is to keep your pooch away from high bee traffic areas. If the bees invade your garden, a place where your dog frequents, then think about moving or taking out the plants that attract them.
There are also bee, wasp, and other insect repellents that are natural and sometimes even good for your dogs such as basil, lavender, and rosemary.
Don’t leave things up to chance if your fur baby could be in danger. There are a lot of cute and funny pictures online of dogs who ate bees and got chubby cheeks for a few hours, but the reality is it could be very dangerous for your canine friend. The best course of action is to take preventative measures if it happened once, or even before it happens.
If you notice potentially harmful insects circling where your dog frequents, then it’s the best time to try to get rid of them.
Bee stings can be painful, but thankfully, most stings won’t be fatal; they will just have some allergic reactions. Even if your dog doesn’t have an allergic reaction to the sting, there is no harm in falling your vet just to be sure. OF course, if you see your furry friends into anaphylactic shock, or have breathing difficulty, then seek immediate medical attention as it could be life-threatening. If you can help it, keep bees out of your dog’s play area.
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