Why do dogs try to eat bees? What to do when dogs eat bees - American Kennel Club (2023)

Does your four-legged friend jump and bite bees on your daily walk or in your garden? Unfortunately for our four-legged friends, our plant-pollinating friends can inflict a painful bite.

It is even possible for dogs to eat and swallow flying bees, especially if their mouths are open while playing or hunting. Once you understand why your dog is attracted to these flying creatures and how to stop this annoying behavior, he can tell the bees to stay away once and for all.

Why do dogs want to eat bees?

Exercise inspires breeds likeLabrador retriever,Springer spaniels ingleses, Ypointer. They naturally want to hunt and catch things that move: sheep, cows, and even bees.

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Other dogs may be curious and possibly annoying when the bee buzzes around their ears. This buzz could trigger a reaction. Dogs can also chase bees just for fun!

Unfortunately, after being stung, some dogs develop a fear of flying creatures. This fear may even prompt them to hunt bees more vehemently than before. This strong emotional response makes them angry or unhappy running after stinging bees.

On the other hand, some dogs develop a phobia of bees. They may exhibit panicked behavior, running away from bees, shaking uncontrollably, or even freezing at the sight of a bee, and this fear can extend to other flying insects as well.

Dogs can develop a compulsive behavior known as barking flies, even when there are no flying insects or bees around. These dogs bite imaginary flies or hallucinations. Some races, includingCavalier-King-Charles-Spanieland thebernese mountain dog, are more likely to be affected by this disorder. Fly catching could also be related to health: it is possible that the behavior stems from adigestive problem. If you think your dog is biting flies, talk to your vet.

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What to do if your dog ate a bee?

Fortunately, the only danger that a bee or wasp poses to your dog is the reaction to a sting.

The first action you should take is to find out if your dog has eaten a bee, especially if you haven't seen him eat one. He checks the outside of their snouts and lips. He looks closely at the inside of your mouth, including your gums, tongue, and throat.

If your dog is stung, be sure to remove all visible spikes (only honey bees leave spikes). Do not pinch and pull out the stinger, this can cause your dog to take in more venom. Do your best to carefully scrape off a bee stinger. You can do this by placing a credit card on your skin and sliding it in one direction to remove the stinger.

Your dog may howl or whimper in pain, which can be temporarily treated by gently placing ice on the affected area.

Bees are poisonous, not poisonous. This means that while the bee sting may hurt your dog, you don't have to worry about your dog being poisoned by the bee's digestion.

HePurdue University College of Veterinary Medicinenotes that, in most cases, bee stings cause mild swelling, redness, and itching.

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Bee stings can cause life-threatening allergic reactions. If you know your dog is allergic to bee stings, call your vet immediately. Your vet may direct you to give your dog a Benadryl tablet. You should see your vet right away so he can examine your pup and probably prescribe medication. Do not give your dog any other medication without first talking to your vet.

Bee stings can cause swelling, difficulty breathing, lethargy, collapse, coughing, vomiting, and diarrhea. If your dog has any of these symptoms, it's time to call your vet.

Unfortunately, bees can sting the inside of your dog. If a bee stings your dog's tongue or throat, the swelling from the sting can block your dog's airway. Eating a bee can also cause gastrointestinal problems.

At worst, multiple stitches can sometimes lead to shock and damage to internal organs.

If you didn't see your dog eat the bee but you suspect it did, keep an eye on it for symptoms for a few days. If you have seen your dog eat a bee but do not notice any symptoms, it is likely that the bee did not sting your dog and he died. If in doubt, talk to your vet!

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How to prevent your dog from eating bees

The most effective way to eliminate your dog's bee-eating tendencies is to ensure that bees cannot get near them.

Begin to discourage bees from congregating around your home by removing any plants that attract bees. Some plants that attract bees are sunflowers, black-eyed susan, sage, goldenrod, lavender, and roses. Alternatively, you can add plants that naturally repel pests, such as mint, rosemary, basil, and lavender.

Something as simple as changing the walking route may be enough to stop this behavior if your dog is only surrounded by bees during the walk. Your dog can't eat bees unless they're around!

You should also teach your bee-hunting furry friend to stay calm around bees. Counter conditioning training can help. The "leave it" command can help your dog leave those flying insects alone. Distracting your dog with a treat or toy will give him something positive to pay attention to instead of the bees.

In extreme cases, your dog maymust wear a muzzle.

If your dog's behavior is based on fear, you should consult a veterinarian or animal behavior specialist. Dogs exhibiting anxiety-related behaviors may need medication to address the problem.

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It can be scary and annoying to watch your dog chase those buzzing bees and bite them. Implementing these practices can help your canine companion steer clear of these busy honey production workers.


What to do if a dog tries to eat a bee? ›

Brooks suggest monitoring your dog for a few days for any adverse reactions. If you notice vomiting, swelling, or difficulty breathing, call the vet immediately. A bee's sting can cause these reactions, but swallowing a bee can also potentially lead to gastrointestinal upset, Dr. Waxman said.

Why does my dog keep trying to eat bees? ›

They're Attracted to the Movement

One of the biggest reasons dogs try to eat bees is because they move. Herding dogs, hunting dogs, and any dog with a high prey drive have an urge to chase and catch things that move. This is often the reason they lunge and snap at bees.

How long does it take for a dog to react to eating a bee? ›

Keep a close eye on your pet for a while after the bee incident. Life threatening reactions are unusual but they can happen. If he is going to have a problem, you will likely see symptoms within a short while – up to 24 hours.

What do you do if your dog eats a bee or wasp? ›

If your dog has eaten a wasp or bee or been stung in the mouth, tongue or throat, you may see severe facial or neck swelling. This is a concern because the swelling may cause a blockage in your pet's airway resulting in them struggling to breathe. If this does happen you should seek urgent veterinary advice.

Will my dog be OK after eating a bee? ›

Eating a bee won't do your dog any harm. The dog will digest the insect without a problem. It's what happens before your dog swallows the bee that can cause serious issues. Bees are venomous — we don't get affected by touching or eating them, but by being injected with venom when a bee stings us.

Is it OK for dog to lick bee sting? ›

Try to keep your dog to keep from licking her sting, and give her all the love and support she needs until she feels better. Never take a bee sting lightly! Even if your dog has been stung before without suffering an allergic reaction, understand that anaphylaxis can happen at any time, after any sting.

How do I stop my dog from licking a bee sting? ›

You can also make a paste with water and baking soda and apply it to the bee sting (which is acidic). Try to keep your dog from licking or pawing on the sting. Show your dog some love to help them feel safe and secure.

What if I can't find the stinger on my dog? ›

If you still can't find the stinger, look at the area from a side angle rather than straight on to see if you can spot it. Once you've found the stinger, remove it with tweezers or use a credit card to scrape it out of the wound.

How do I keep bees away from my dogs hives? ›

If you still feel nervous about it, you can always build a fence around your hive(s) to keep the dogs at a safe distance. After about 10 ft, most of the bee activity has dispersed and the bees usually don't defend the area around their hive past that point.

Should I give my dog Benadryl if he ate a bee? ›

Benadryl is a safe and effective antihistamine for bee stings. Proper dosing for dogs is 1 mg per pound.

Can a dead bee sting you? ›

An individual bee can sting only once in her life and dies shortly afterward. Note: A dead bee's stinger can sting you, and the force of your weight on the bee's body can result in venom injection. So, don't step on, sit on, or play with dead bees. Discard dead bees.

How long does a dog stay stung by a bee? ›

For most dogs, bee stings should improve within 12-24 hours. If new symptoms occur during that time, contact your veterinarian immediately. Some pets require hospitalization and intensive motoring. For dogs who have allergic reactions to bee stings, the next time they are stung may lead to a more severe reaction.

How much does a bee sting hurt a dog? ›

Most of the time, if your dog is stung by a bee or wasp, the worst they will end up with is a swollen face or paw and some localised pain and irritation. Though your dog might appear distressed when they've been stung, this pain should go away after a short period of time.

What can I give my dog if he's been stung by a bee? ›

What to Do if Your Dog Is Stung by a Bee or Wasp
  • Carefully remove the stinger with tweezers.
  • Apply a paste of baking soda and water to the site of the sting.
  • Apply an ice pack to relieve swelling and pain.
  • Ask your vet about giving your dog a dose of oral antihistamine.
  • Give your dog fresh water and watch them carefully.
Jun 27, 2021

Should you ice a bee sting on a dog? ›

If your dog has multiple stings or bites, a soothing oatmeal bath is the way to go. Minimize swelling. Apply an ice pack to the affected area for 10 minutes to reduce swelling.

Can dogs eat bees without getting stung? ›

If you see your dog eat a bee, though, and you don't encounter any reactions, it's most likely the bee didn't sting your dog at all and died while being digested. However, if you do see any kind of reaction like this, it's a good idea to call your vet right away and let them know what's going on.

Why is my dog shaking after a bee sting? ›

Mild reactions include a swollen or puffy face, pain in the swollen area, swelling and redness around the eyes, lumps and bumps over the skin, redness of the skin, head shaking, and itchiness. More severe cases result in what we call an anaphylactic reaction. Anaphylaxis is nearly immediate and can be life-threatening.

Does vinegar help a bee sting on a dog? ›

Soothe the area, and inactivate the venom, by applying a mixture of water and a neutralizing agent to the sting site. Since bee stings are acidic, baking soda and water will neutralize the sting. Wasp stings are alkaline, so vinegar works best.

Do dogs cry when they get stung by a bee? ›

Symptoms of Bee Stings in Dogs

The first sign of a bee sting is usually a bark or cry from your dog after being stung. If the sting is on your dog's foot then it may limp, hold up the paw, or lick at it.

How do dogs act when they get stung? ›

Dogs who have been stung by bees can experience very mild allergic reactions to very severe anaphylactic reactions. Mild reactions include: Sudden onset of yelping, whining or limping. Licking, chewing, pawing, or scratching at the bite site.

Why is my dog drinking lots of water and licking paws? ›

Why Is My Dog Drinking Lots of Water and Licking Their Paws? These signs together can be caused by dehydration, allergies, pain, or even behavioral issues, including anxiety, stress, or cognitive dysfunction (the dog version of dementia).

Is there a bee repellent for dogs? ›

Bee Safe is a Bee and Wasp repellent. Made from natural ingredients in an herbal base, Bee Safe is a clear solution that is safe to use around pets, children and food.

How does Benadryl get rid of hives on dogs? ›

Benadryl is a great medication for use in dogs with mild-to-moderate allergies. Seasonal allergies, food allergies, environmental allergies, and allergic reactions to snake and insect bites all respond to Benadryl in most cases.

What animals disturb bee hives? ›

From mice to bears to wasps, marauding animals can wreak havoc on, and even destroy, your beehives. Some of these animal vandals eat the bees themselves while others are after the honey.

What can I give my dog in pain? ›

These are some NSAIDs that vets commonly use:
  • Carprofen (Novox or Rimadyl) Prescription medication. ...
  • Deracoxib (Deramaxx) Prescription medication. ...
  • Firocoxib (Previcox) Prescription medication. ...
  • Meloxicam (Metacam) Prescription medication. ...
  • Grapipant (Galliprant) Prescription medication. ...
  • Aspirin. Over-the-counter medication.
Jul 19, 2022

Why is my dog throwing up after eating a bee? ›

So, if your pup shows any vomiting, diarrhea, incoordination, difficulty breathing, or weakness minutes after eating a bee, get to your nearest veterinary emergency hospital.

How long should I give my dog Benadryl for a bee sting? ›

How Often Should You Give Your Dog Benadryl After a Bee Sting? Give the calculated dose of diphenhydramine (Benadryl) the moment you notice any swelling. Repeat that dose 4 to 6 hours later. Then give every 8 hours, repeating the calculated dose for 2 to 3 days.

What to do if a bee chases you? ›

Try to get to an enclosed shelter (such as a car) or run until the bees stop following you. It may be necessary to get a quarter mile or more away from where the attack began. Cover your face with whatever is handy, if you can do so without impairing your vision. Never jump into a body of water to escape bees.

Why do bees sting if it kills them? ›

We've explored why bees die after stinging, but that answer begs another: Why do they sting if it kills them? The simple answer is that it's in their DNA. Any bee that you would be stung by is programmed to protect its hive at all costs.

What attracts a bee to sting you? ›

If you look or smell like a flower, you are more likely to attract the attention of a bee. They love the smell of some sunscreens, shampoos, perfumes and aftershaves. They also love flowery prints and shiny jewelry and buckles. That's why beekeepers wear white, without accessories.

What does a bee sting feel like on a dog? ›

Bee Stings on Dogs: An Overview

Generally, bee stings on dogs look like small areas of swelling that may also be red or warm to the touch. If your dog is stung by a bee, she may be sensitive if you try to touch the area. Dogs are most likely to be stung on their face, though stings can occur anywhere on the body.

How many bee stings can a dog survive? ›

The estimated lethal dose for humans and mammals is about 500 stings/adult and 20 stings/kg [15], respectively. In the literature, a wide range of numbers of bee stings (60–2460) has been related with the death of dogs. Even a single sting may lead to death of an individual [16].

Is baking soda safe for dogs? ›

Baking soda (sodium bicarbonate), a common household product with numerous uses, can be harmful to pets if ingested in large quantities. Signs and symptoms of toxicity: Vomiting is most often the first clinical sign of toxicity.

Will baking soda help my dog stop itching? ›

Baking Soda becomes thick when mixed with water and it can dry out skin's rashes. It is also an effective dog itching relief while decreasing inflammation and redness. Apply the mixture or paste to the itchy part and leave it for 20 minutes before rinsing it completely.

Can I give my dog Benadryl for a bee sting? ›

Benadryl is a safe and effective antihistamine for bee stings. Proper dosing for dogs is 1 mg per pound. Most Benadryl comes in 25 mg tablets, which is easier to dose for larger dogs but for small dogs, try children's Benadryl in a 12.5 mg dose (the liquid option makes it easy!).

What kind of liquid Benadryl can I give my dog? ›

Liquid children's formula is easier for measuring the proper dosage for smaller dogs than tablets, and can be given at a dosage of 0.4 mL/lb. Stick to the children's formula of liquid Benadryl as the adult version contains alcohol, which is toxic to dogs. Additionally, avoid grape flavored formulations.

Why is my dog licking his paw after a bee sting? ›

Dogs who have been stung by bees can experience very mild allergic reactions to very severe anaphylactic reactions. Mild reactions include: Sudden onset of yelping, whining or limping. Licking, chewing, pawing, or scratching at the bite site.

Will a stinger eventually come out? ›

Your body will usually push a stinger out of your skin on its own in a day or two without any intervention.


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