What Happens If a Dog Eats a Bee?
One of the most common question every concerned dog owner asks is what happens if a dog eats a bee. In this guide, you will find answer to this question and what can you do when your dog swallows a bee.
Dogs are curious creatures. They spend a lot of their time wandering around outdoors, getting into business that you have no idea about. They have an entire world of their own to keep them busy throughout the day. One of their favorite pastimes is chasing flying objects, whether they are playing fetch or trying to catch an insect.
Some of these activities may or may not be dangerous for your dog. That said, it is your responsibility as a pet owner to make sure that you keep your dog as secure in the environment as possible. When your dog is outdoors exploring the world around him, you may unknowingly be putting him in harm’s way.
Sometimes, despite your constant efforts to teach your dog what he should stay away from and what could land him at the vet’s office, he ends up getting into trouble anyway. One such situation is when your dog eats a bee.
So, what happens if a dog eats a bee? You don’t have to worry too much unless your dog is severely allergic to bees or has been stung multiple times in a bee attack. In situations where your dog has simply eaten a bee, you might need to keep him under your observation to make sure he will be okay.
If your dog is allergic to bees or has been stung repeatedly by several bees, then you will have to take him to a vet as soon as possible. Eating bees or being stung by them is not necessarily dangerous for dogs. Still, if you are not careful about your dog’s condition afterward, he could end up in a life-threatening situation.
So, should you be worried if your dog chases a bee, and one of them ends up in his mouth? Here are some useful things you should know if your dog eats a bee.
What Happens When a Dog Eats a Bee?
If you’re wondering what happens if a dog eats a bee, you’re in for some worrying facts, but also some consoling ones. Bees are venomous. This means that they contain a toxin that can only affect you when they directly insert that venom into you. This happens when a bee stings you. However, if you touched a bee, it would not affect you if it did not sting.
When your dog eats a bee, he will digest it like he digests all other food and random objects that he comes across on his daily adventures. The venom in the bee can’t affect your dog because it remains inside the body of the bee.
However, the problem with eating a bee comes when the bee continues to remain alive inside of your dog’s mouth. In a situation like this, the bee gets plenty of time to move around in a panic and sting as many places inside your dog’s mouth before it finally dies. The longer your dog keeps the bee inside his mouth, the more time the bee gets to cause more destruction.
If your dog has several bees in his mouth, they will ultimately cause enough damage for you to need to take him to a vet as soon as possible. Although chasing insects like a housefly or a butterfly is not harmful at all, sometimes, when there is a bee involved, you need to be more cautious.
If you dog ate a bee, it is possible that it stung him in the mouth in an attempt to defend itself, so you should give your dog ice water and wet food. This will make it easier for him to eat because his mouth might hurt too much to eat properly otherwise.
When you have made sure that your dog is not going to suffer from any severe aftereffects of the bee, then you should try and console him. Dogs may realize that they are hurt, but they do not always know why they got hurt. Your dog is probably frightened of the sudden pain that accompanies a bee sting. To help him overcome his trauma, you can hold him until he calms down.
Show your dog that you are still supportive and caring towards him in case he feels like he has gotten in trouble with you. At times like these, your dog needs to know that whenever he is feeling ill or has been hurt, you will be there to tend to his needs so that he can recover faster.
If your dog was stung by a large number of bees, you should take him to a pool or bathe him with water to get any bees out that are stuck inside the tangles of his fur. If you do not get the bees out, they will continue to bite or sting your dog out of fear and aggression because they are trapped.
Keep a careful watch on your dog for the next few days after he has encountered the bee. If he looks like he is getting better and does not show any symptoms that could be pointing towards danger, then you know he is okay. If the symptoms get worse or he does not improve over the next few days, you may need a vet to intervene.
If it is not possible for you to immediately see a vet after your dog has been stung and is showing signs of a severe reaction, you can look through this video for some advice from a vet.
There are also some home remedies that you should always know about so that if you’re ever in a situation where you need to take action as soon as possible, you always know what you should have on hand to deal with the problem with the circumstances that you have.
What Should You Do If Your Dog Is Stung by a Bee?
If your dog has been stung by a bee, the chances are that you will see the sting on the part of his body that has less fur, like his stomach or nose.
Use an EpiPen to Fight Allergic Reaction
In cases where your dog tends to have severe reactions to bee stings, you should carry an EpiPen with you to resolve the issue before it is too late. These EpiPens have epinephrine that fights allergic reactions and stops them from getting out of hand or causing any fatal damage. Of course, you should make sure your vet agrees that carrying an EpiPen is a good idea.
Apply Band-Aid on Swollen Area
You can also put a band-aid on the swollen area because it will help prevent your dog from trying to pick at it or scratch it, which might irritate the area further.
Scrape the Stinger out of the Stung Area
Use a stiff card, like a credit card to scrape the stinger out of the stung area. Leaving the stinger inside can cause an infection and further irritation, as well as pain. Do not use tweezers because they might squeeze the venom further into your dog’s skin.
If your dog has been stung by a honeybee, it might have left a stinger behind, but not all kinds of bees leave stingers when they sting you. To learn more about removing a stinger that is stuck inside the skin, watch this video.
Apply Baking Soda over the Affected Area
Some people say that to make the removal of the stinger easier; you can put baking soda over the affected area. This makes it easier for the stinger to slide out of the wound. However, this method is not verified and could end up making your dog’s sting site worse than it already is.
Apply Cold Compress on the Swelling
Apply a cold compress on the swelling for around 15-20 minutes, because this will soothe it and decrease the inflammation.
Here is a video with some home remedies if your dog is ever stung by a bee.
What Are the Dangers of Eating a Bee for a Dog?
To clarify, eating a bee is only potentially dangerous when your dog is stung in the inside of his mouth. If your dog eats a bee without the bee hurting him and letting its venom go through your dog’s body, then there isn’t much to worry about.
The main danger comes from when the venom from the sting causes an allergic reaction. Otherwise, the sting itself usually does not cause any harm, either. In most cases, the sting will result in slight swelling and some pain at the site of the sting, but these will fade away in no time.
To identify whether the bee sting has hurt your dog, you should look out for warning signs.
If your dog has any of the symptoms listed below within the next half an hour of a sting, then you should take him to a veterinarian as soon as possible.
Large amounts of drooling that seems beyond his control.
Diarrhea or Vomiting
Diarrhea or vomiting can happen after a dog swallows a bee or a number of bees.
Shaking or Quivering
A dog might start shaking or quivering after it has swallowed a bee.
Confusion or Passing Out
If your dog looks sleepy and disoriented, the venom in the sting may be causing him to feel lazy and lost.
Paleness of Gums
Paleness of gums happens in dogs due to shock, pain, and anxiety. It is a telltale sign that something is seriously wrong with your dog and your dog needs immediate medical attention.
Breaking out in Hives
Just like humans, the skin of dogs suffer from breakouts. Even though hives are not as common in dogs, they do suffer from hives in case of insect bite or sting.
Changes in Behavior
Changes in behavior
If your dog has trouble breathing after being stung by a bee, he might have an allergy. The best way to be able to identify that your dog is not breathing normally is to listen carefully to the sound and rhythm or his breathing and determine whether that is normal for him.
If your dog is having trouble breathing, he will also be less active than usual. It will be making extra efforts just to take a breath in and out, so this can also help you figure out whether the sting has caused any physical repercussions for him.
If you notice that your dog’s nose has started swelling, you should get it checked as soon as possible, because any kind of swelling can hinder his regular breathing. A doctor will be able to give an anti-inflammatory drug that will help free up your dog’s passageway so that he can breathe normally again.
Crying and Whimpering
When your dog is initially attacked by a bee or has been stung, you may not even realize what had happened to him. However, if you hear him whimpering and crying, as well as having issues with eating, then you can understand that this is probably the result of being stung inside his mouth, which is causing him a lot of pain.
Remember, the most dangerous part of eating a bee is the potential for the bee to sting your dog inside his mouth. If your dog is already allergic to bees, the fact that he has been stung inside his mouth, coupled with the allergy, could cause a blockage in his airways altogether. This is more dangerous because you will not even be able to detect swelling of this sort when it is inside of your dog’s airways and not visible from the outside because of all his fur.
If your dog experiences any of these symptoms, it is possible that his condition could escalate to a life-threatening one. Get him checked by a doctor as soon as possible, because the sooner he is checked up, the more likely it is that he will survive through the situation.
Your dog’s vet might give him a dose of Benadryl or some other medication that will reduce the inflammation and increase his chances of recovering.
For a video that further clarified when exactly you should take your dog to a vet, watch this. This will make it easier for you to remember what to look out for when your dog has just come in contact with a bee.
How Can You Stop Your Dog from Eating Bees?
The best thing that can come out of your dog eating a bee and getting stung is that you know he will never go near another bee again. If he is smart, he will remember for the rest of his life what it was like to be stung and will remember that pain whenever he re-encounters another bee.
However, if you still want to make sure that your dog never has to be near bees again, watch out for bee and wasp hives in areas where you go to take your dog for a walk. If you ever encounter a large swarm of bees, run as fast as you can away from their hive until they stop chasing you.
To protect your dog from any fatal aftereffects of a bee sting, if you know that your dog is allergic, you should carry an EpiPen with you wherever you go when your dog is accompanying you. You should also teach him to run away from a hive of bees as fast as he can.
Bees are vital to the environment, so if you are considering calling an exterminator and getting the beehive in your backyard removed, it is better if you have it moved to another location than have the bees be killed. Your dog might eat a few bees every once in a while. This does not call for the extermination of the entire bee family that a bee belongs to.
You should keep your dog under careful watch, even when he’s outside in your backyard. There are many creatures out there that could cause damage if eaten, as well as many inanimate objects that your dog might mistake for a chew toy. It is always better to be safe than sorry when it comes to looking after your beloved fur baby.
Final Words on What Happens If a Dog Eats a Bee
Dogs love chasing anything that they find flying in the air or being thrown at them. They have incredible reflexes, which is why they can catch a treat or a Frisbee even when you throw it at an awkward angle. However, these reflexes can often work against your dog, too, such as when he catches a flying bee.
So what happens if a dog eats a bee? Remember, bees are not poisonous the way wasps are, but an encounter with them that ends badly could scar your dog forever.
Although most bee stings alone do not cause any issues and are not a cause of worry, if your dog already has allergies to bees or eats one that ends up stinging him somewhere inside his airways, then this could become a severe issue.
When your dog is stung by multiple bees, the chances are that he was trying to attack a hive of bees that he saw hanging somewhere in your area. To be safe and avoid this ever happening again in the future, save your dog from the aftereffects of his curiosity. If you see any beehives, have them removed or fence the area so that your dog does not have access to these bees.
When you are walking your dog and come across a swarm of bees, you should start running for your life until they stop chasing you. The worst thing you can do is stick around and try to cover yourself from the attack because the chances are that your dog will not do as well as you and could end up with several dangerous, painful stings.
Paul Cook is an avid pet and animal enthusiast. He spent much of her childhood on a small farm in rural Iowa. When in high school, Paul nursed an entire box of newborn, and recently dumped, kittens back to health, and successfully found homes for all of them. He’s presently the dog-dad of nine beautiful dogs, Bruno, Lester, Sandy, Bailey, Dio, Pat, Max, Brutus, and Nora. In his career life, Paul has 20+ years of writing experience as a content writer and content collaborator across a host of verticals. When he is not writing, he is spending time with his dogs.