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My Dog Ate A Bee [What You Now Need To Do]

Have you just watched your dog eat a bee? Are you now concerned and worried about what could happen to your dog? Perhaps they’ve been stung, but how do you even tell? What should you do in case they have (or haven’t)? Well, here’s everything that you’ll need to know, do and consider.

So, what do you need to do if your dog ate a bee? If your dog has eaten a bee, then you’ll need to watch your dog closely over the next 24-48 hours. Make sure your dog doesn’t experience any adverse reactions or develop an allergic reaction. If your dog struggles to breathe or you spot any swelling or vomiting, contact your vet immediately.

Similar to humans really, then.

Besides, chances are you haven’t seen your dog eat (or be stung by a bee before).

So you don’t know how they are going to react.

And most of the time, you’ll not know for sure whether the bee has managed to sting your dog. Particularly in the mouth.

Nevertheless let us continue to explore why dogs even eat bees to begin with (so you can perhaps prevent them from doing so again in the future), before turning to your response.

Why Do Dogs Eat Bees?

Dogs are tempted to eat bees because they like chasing and catching things that move. Other dogs are simply curious or annoyed by the buzzing. Some dogs chase bees for fun!

One thing to note here is that some dogs suffer from an obsessive-compulsive disorder known as fly-snapping.

This is where dogs will snap, or bite, at imaginary flies or bees.

Some breeds are more likely to experience fly-snapping, such as the Bernese Mountain Dog and the Cavalier King Charles Spaniel, but it can develop in any breed.

If you think your dog is fly-snapping, contact your vet.

Otherwise onto the main causes for bee eating!

Most Dogs Love Chasing What Moves

Dogs naturally enjoy chasing after things that move and catching them if they can.

Hunting or retrieving breeds like Pointers, English Springer Spaniels, and Labrador Retrievers have been bred to chase and catch prey, and are more likely to do this.

These breeds will be highly likely to run after any animal; from cats through to ducks, sheep, cows, and even bees.

Nevertheless, most dogs will chase after bees just for the fun of it.

Some Dogs Are Curious Or Annoyed By Bees

Some dogs hear the buzzing bee and can be curious about what’s making that sound around their ears.

Puppies, in particular, enjoy exploring the world with their mouths, so they’ll naturally want to take a bite out of a buzzing bee to see what it is.

Other dogs can get irritated by the buzzing sound or by the sight of the bee hovering around their faces.

They’ll snap at the bee just to try to get it to leave them alone.

Accidental Swallowing

Some dogs are afraid of bees, perhaps because they’ve already been stung before.

These dogs may hear the buzzing and then chase after the bee to get it to fly away.

In this case, they aren’t trying to eat it on purpose; they just want it to leave them alone.

Usually, dogs will swallow a bee accidentally along these lines.

Is It Safe For Dogs To Eat Bees?

While it isn’t recommended for dogs to eat bees, it isn’t dangerous if your dog hasn’t been stung. Most of the time, your dog will simply digest the bee. However, if your dog has been stung, he can have an allergic reaction. If he is stung several times, eating the bee can even be fatal.

Bees are not poisonous – they are venomous.

In other words, bees have to sting to inject their toxins into your dog’s body.

Your dog won’t come to any harm simply by ingesting a bee that doesn’t sting him (unlike eating caterpillars, spiders, or other insects that are poisonous to dogs.)

How Do I Know If My Dog Has Been Stung By A Bee?

If you think your dog has gotten stung by a bee, you may see:

  • Drooling.
  • Swelling.
  • Visible sting.
  • The area is painful when touched.
  • Suddenly whining, limping, or yelping.
  • Scratching, chewing, pawing, or licking at the bite site.
  • Welts or hives.
  • Redness.

If you can spot any of the above signs, get your dog to the vet if you can’t remove the bee sting yourself (see below.)

More severe reactions to bee stings include:

  • Vomiting,
  • Diarrhea,
  • Dizziness or confusion,
  • Pale gums,
  • Severe swelling,
  • Difficulty breathing,
  • Collapse,
  • Losing consciousness.

These severe symptoms necessitate emergency vet treatment.

Even if your dog appears to have swallowed the bee without harm, you’ll need to monitor him closely for the first 24 hours.

Most allergic reactions occur within 10 minutes of being stung, but in some cases, it can take several hours for symptoms to appear.

It can be several days before you know for sure that your dog hasn’t been harmed by eating the bee.

If your dog appears to be unharmed, the bee probably died without stinging him.

What Happens If A Dog Gets Stung By A Bee?

When a bee stings, it injects a small amount of venom into your dog’s skin through its barbed stinger. The stinger detaches from the bee and stays in your dog’s skin, enabling the venom sack to continue to inject venom into your dog.

How your dog responds to this venom will ultimately depend on the dose, and your dog’s ability to counteract it.

This is why some dogs have died from being subjected to multiple bee stings (often from a swarm).

In these worst cases, multiple bee stings can cause damage and shock to internal organs, which can be fatal.

Most of the time though, dogs will get stung in the face if they’ve gotten too close to a bee.

Or, they’ll get stung on a paw after they’ve tried to swat the bee away or if they have stepped on it.

Both are usually fine, though, if not a little irritating for your dog.

Often these stings go unnoticed by owners as it looks like your dog may have simply cut himself. The affected area isn’t as easy to spot.

But if your dog has tried to eat the bee (or has swallowed it) and has gotten stung in his mouth, this is when it can be dangerous.

Any swelling can block your dog’s airways, making it difficult for him to breathe.

Swallowing a bee can also cause problems in your dog’s digestive tract.

This is why it’s extremely important to know the signs of bee stings to then remove the stinger as soon as possible (see symptoms above.)

What To Do If Your Dog Eats A Bee

You’ll want to check your dog to see if the bee is still in his mouth or throat. If you can access it, you may be able to remove the stinger yourself.

Look For The Stinger

First, check carefully to see if you can find the bee (or the stinger):

  1. Look at the outside of your dog’s snout and lips,
  2. Check the inside of your dog’s mouth,
  3. Look at the gums, tongue, and the back of their throat.

How To Remove A Bee Stinger

If you see the stinger, don’t pinch it and pull it out – doing so can cause more venom to go into your dog. You’ll need to scrape out the stinger.

To scrape out a bee stinger, lay a credit card against your dog’s skin (easier said than done), and slide the card in one direction.

The idea is to coax out the stinger with a scraping action.

If you’ve managed to remove the stinger, your dog will most likely be in pain.

Gently put ice on the affected area to help ease his discomfort.

What To Give A Dog That Ate A Bee

Most of the time, you won’t need to give your dog anything in particular if he’s eaten a bee, as long as he hasn’t gotten stung. Keeping your dog hydrated is essential. If your dog is allergic to bee stings, your vet may instruct you to give your dog an anti-histamine tablet. In any case, you’ll need to see your vet immediately for treatment.

What You Can Do Yourself

Bee stings can lead to allergic reactions, which can be life-threatening: in these cases, vets will often prescribe an antihistamine (such as Benadryl).

Don’t try to diagnose your dog yourself, however.

You are better off taking your dog to the vet – and never give your dog any medication without speaking first to your vet.

The wrong dosage of drugs like antihistamines can be fatal.

If your dog has external stings as well, on your way to the vet, you can place a cold towel over the site to help reduce the pain and swelling.

It’s essential to keep your dog hydrated. Give your dog plenty of fresh water.

If he’s been stung in his mouth, he may find dry food difficult to eat, so give him wet food.

If you only have dry food on hand, moisten it with water so that it’s easier for your dog to digest.

Moistened dry food is less likely to upset his digestive tract, which may already be struggling with a bee!

What Your Vet Will Usually Do

Your vet will most likely perform a full clinical examination and check for any signs of anaphylaxis. Drugs prescribed to your dog may include:

  • Pain relief medication,
  • Anti-inflammatories,
  • Antihistamines.

For more severe allergic reactions such as anaphylactic shock, your vet may need to treat your dog with:

  • Oxygen therapy,
  • IV fluids,
  • Further medications.

Your dog may need to stay in the hospital to be closely monitored by professionals.

What To Do After Treatment

Once you’ve been to the vet, don’t let your dog right back into the yard.

If your dog receives another bee sting, his reaction could be much worse.

Bee stings that occur close together have a greater chance of causing a potentially fatal reaction.

If bees are a temptation for your dog, you can:

  • Remove plants from your garden that attract bees (such as goldenrod, lavender, roses, and sunflowers),
  • Add plants that keep pests away (such as rosemary, mint, and basil),
  • Change your walking route,
  • Try counter-conditioning training using the ‘leave it’ command when your dog sees bees,
  • Distract your dog with a toy or a treat if he sees a bee.

If you can’t avoid bees when you are out and about, in extreme cases, you may need to put a muzzle on your dog during bee season (as a last resort.)


Dogs eat bees along with a whole host of other insects in their environment.

In fact, you’ll probably be aware of this already, but it doesn’t just stop at living things either; you’ll often find all sorts of inanimate objects in your dog’s mouth.

For bees specifically, most of the time a dog should be okay.

More so if they have only eaten one bee, and it hasn’t had a chance to sting.

The problem is with stinging.

More so if:

  • Your dog is young (such as a puppy),
  • They have received multiple stings (from multiple bees),
  • And the stingers remain injected.

For the most part, close monitoring of your dog and ensuring no stingers remain intact are the best thing you can do.

If you do notice a progression into an allergic reaction then that’s the time to consult the vet.

They should be able to support your dog and provide any necessary medications (normally antihistamines) to reduce the reaction.

Concerned or wondering what other things your dog can/cannot eat. Check out my related guides below: