Dog Stung by Bee? Here Is What You Need To Do

Dog Stung by Bee? Here Is What You Need To Do

Author WDF Staff


Most of our dogs are quite interested in catching insects that are flying around them - whether it is just a reaction on a thing that is catching their attention or a hunting instinct, it seems that they get a kick out of catching them. If your dog got stung by an insect, whether it is a bee or a wasp, in most cases a sting will only cause slight pain and discomfort. It isn’t usually a reason for panic.

The serious problem can occur if your dog gets stung several times or if it has a severe allergic reaction to a bee sting.

Many dog owners don’t know how to react in those types of situations and can easily start panicking that their dog is in serious danger. If it was a single sting, in most cases, your dog will have a bit of swelling, some irritation, and a bit of pain that will go away in under an hour.

As a dog owner, you should be aware of the signs your dog was stung and usually, those signs are:

  • whining
  • vigorous biting or scratching the sting area
  • drooling
  • limping (if stung on the leg or paw)
  • pawing face or mouth (if stung there)

What to do in case your dog gets stung by a bee?

The most important thing to do is to remain calm. Keep in mind that it is most likely not a serious problem and all pain and discomfort your dog is feeling will end in about half an hour.

There are some things you need to look out for and that is:

  • severe swelling
  • check your dog’s throat
  • see if your pet has difficulty walking

Those are signs of a more severe allergic reaction and in those cases, you should contact your vet as soon as possible.

Applying ice to the stung area can help manage pain and ease your dog’s discomfort. Cleaning the area with water or a damp cloth will also do the trick. Check the stung area if the bee’s stinger remains stung and carefully take it our or scrape it. Never squeeze the sting because you can end up pumping more venom in your dog’s body.


What to do if your dog ate a bee?

The most important thing to keep in mind is that nothing bad can happen if your dog eats a bee or a wasp, the only problem that can happen can come from the sting. If your dog eats a bee it will most likely digest it like any other snack it eats. Besides, pound for pound, bugs are richer in protein than beef.

If your dog gets stung inside the mouth or in its throat, that is when a serious problem can happen. Severe swelling can cause airway blockage and that can lead to serious issues. Contact your vet immediately and tell them your dog ate a bee and got stung. Give your vet the best chance to prepare everything for you and your dog’s arrival.

Can I give my dog human antihistamine medication?

Technically - yes and no. This is a tricky question because some human allergy medications are safe for dogs and some are not.

If your dog was stung somewhere on the body and the sting is not causing the serious problems we mentioned earlier, it would be best if you do not give your dog any medication. It will pass soon and unnecessary medicine ingestion is just that - unnecessary.

Some antihistamine over the counter drugs are safe for dogs but it is pivotal that you consult your vet first. Some ingredients can be toxic for your dog and medicating your dog without checking with the vet first is, to say the least, risky.

How about dogs stung by wasps?

The process should be pretty much the same as with bee sting to your dog. Check the stung area, clean with water or cloth, apply ice to ease the pain, and most importantly - do not panic.

The difference between bees and wasps is that when a bee sting, it usually leaves their stinger and dies afterward. Wasps do not leave their stinger in your dog so you don’t have to worry about that.


The pain and discomfort level is about the same and no serious harm should come to your dog if it gets stung by a wasp. The same serious problems can occur only if your dog has a severe allergic reaction to the sting. If that happens, call your vet and repeat the action mentioned above.

Dogs stung by Africanized bees or hornets

When it comes to Africanized killer bees you should know that they are a hybrid of the common honeybee. They have the same venom as the normal honeybees and the only problem is that they are easily aggravated and can chase their victims. The biggest problem is that they usually sting multiple times and attack in large swarms. A single sting of the Africanized bee to your dog is the same as the sting from a normal honeybee.

africanized bee

Africanized bees are a threat in the areas with warmer climates such and with global temperatures rising, it is quite possible that they will spread.

If a hornet stings your dog, it will most likely be a bit more painful for them, as it is for us humans, but in most cases, it is not life-threatening. Hornets come from the same family as wasps and bees and their venom is a bit more potent than those of bees or wasps.

The same problem can occur if your dog gets a severe reaction. Hornets are known to inflict several stings and are a bit more aggressive than wasps. They shouldn’t worry you too much because they usually build nests in forests and high in the trees.

World Dog Finder team