Your dog has consumed a wasp. What?! Why?! I’m assuming you are a little concerned; besides, we all know that a wasp can sting. But what we don’t know is how our dog could react to it. And even if they didn’t manage to sting, is it still safe, or does your dog need support in some way? Well, here is everything you are going to want to know and now do.
So, what to do if your dog ate a wasp? If your dog has eaten a wasp, you will want to keep a close eye on them to make sure they don’t develop an allergic reaction. Swelling, vomiting, or struggling to breathe are all signs that you should take your dog to the vet as a matter of urgency. Otherwise, if no symptoms occur over the next 24 to 48 hours, there is likely nothing you need to do.
It all comes down to how your dog responds, really.
But that does mean that you need to pay close attention. You need to look closely at your dog’s behavior and any changes outside the norm.
If you are in doubt, calling a vet is always the recommended approach.
Especially if you know, they have been stung.
At least that way, they can run a thorough examination, remove the stinger themselves, and should be able to ease any discomfort your dog is experiencing.
But with this all in mind, let us look at why a dog would even want to eat something like this before turning to how your dog may respond to a sting and what to do.
I’ll even be covering how a stinger can be removed, so keep reading!
Why Do Dogs Eat Wasps?
The two likely reasons why a dog will eat a wasp are because they love the thrill of the chase, or because they are irritated by the buzzing and are attempting to stop it. Outside of chasing and trying to get a wasp to leave them alone, other dogs are just exploring the world with their mouths – intrigued by the movement and wondering what this new insect is.
Let us continue to explore each reason, that way we may be able to prevent this from happening again!
Some Dogs Want The Wasp To Leave Them Alone
If your dog has been stung before, chances are he may be afraid of wasps and snap at them to get them to leave him alone.
There are dogs who tolerate the buzzing sounds around their ears better than other dogs.
Then there are certain dogs who may try pursuing the wasp to chase it away.
Dogs Explore With Their Mouths
Young dogs and puppies learn about the world by chewing and mouthing all kinds of objects and animals.
Unfortunately, this can include wasps!
Your dog might be curious when he sees a wasp and figure it’s OK to have a nibble – especially if he’s never encountered a wasp before.
Dogs Enjoy Chasing What Moves
Dogs are known for wanting to chase moving objects and animals, including wasps.
If your dog is a hunting or retrieving breed, he’ll be even more likely to want to chase anything that moves.
Hunting and retrieving breeds include:
- Labrador Retriever
- English Setter
- Brittany Spaniel
- Treeing Walker
- American Foxhound
- German Wirehaired Pointer
- Boykin Spaniel
- Mountain Cur
- Irish Setter
- Golden Retriever
Is It Safe For Dogs To Eat Wasps?
In most cases, it is safe for dogs to eat a wasp. This is particularly true if the wasp did not manage to sting them. However, stinging can cause an allergic reaction and some dogs are more allergic to wasp venom than others. Multiple stings (from several wasps or a stinger left embedded) in a short period of time can even be fatal.
Unlike certain insects and plants, wasps are not poisonous if they are eaten without stinging your dog.
For example, dogs can’t eat certain caterpillars without showing signs of severe poisoning because when the body is broken down by their digestive tract, toxins are released into your dog’s body.
A dog can digest a wasp without any problems if the wasp hasn’t stung him.
This is because the toxins of a wasp sting remain inside the stinger, which can pass through your dog intact. The poison inside is only released by stinging.
If a wasp stings your dog on its way down his digestive tract, this is when problems can occur.
How Do I Know If My Dog Has Been Stung By A Wasp?
If your dog has swallowed a wasp and doesn’t appear to be suffering, you’ll need to watch him attentively over the first 24 hours.
An allergic reaction can occur anytime from 10 minutes to several hours after being stung.
You may not know for a few days that your dog hasn’t been hurt by eating the wasp.
If you see any of the following mild symptoms, your dog may have been stung. Look for:
- Redness or swelling
- Hives or welts on the skin or inside his mouth
- Yelping, limping or whining suddenly
- Visible sting
- Pawing, chewing, licking, or scratching at the site of the sting
As to what to do, you will need to get your dog to the vet.
To avoid further injections of toxins, you can first try to remove the stinger yourself (see below.)
These more serious signs of a wasp sting could indicate an allergic reaction. Get your dog to the vet immediately if you notice:
- Pale gums
- Difficulty breathing
- Severe swelling
- Confusion or dizziness, disorientation
- Collapse or losing consciousness
What Happens If A Dog Gets Stung By A Wasp?
You may not always notice right away if your dog gets stung by a wasp because the signs can be hard to spot depending on where your dog has been stung.
No matter where your dog gets stung, the stinger can stay in your dog’s skin.
The stinger contains a sack containing the venom.
Because a stinger has a barb on the end which enables it to stay embedded in the skin, it can continue injecting toxins into your dog. This is how some dogs suffer from multiple stings, which sometimes can be fatal.
Often a dog will step on a wasp and get stung in his paw. You might think your dog has simply cut himself – so look for a stinger to be sure.
Other times a dog will get stung in his face simply because he’s gotten too close to the wasp, and the wasp is defending itself.
The most dangerous stings can be in the mouth or throat of your dog because these areas can swell if there’s an allergic reaction.
If your dog’s mouth or throat starts to swell up, he can struggle to breathe and may lose consciousness fairly quickly.
If your dog gets stung once he’s swallowed the wasp, his internal organs can suffer from shock and long-term damage.
Multiple stings inside a dog’s digestive tract can also be fatal.
Because a wasp stinger can inject venom into your dog multiple times, it’s essential to remove it as soon as you see it. Sometimes this is easier said than done (see below.)
Which Is Worse, Wasps Or Bees?
Sometimes the same wasp can sting a dog several times, injecting more toxins into the dog’s body with each sting.
This is why wasps are more dangerous for dogs than bees – technically, a wasp sting has less venom than a bee sting, but bees die after stinging someone.
Wasps can keep on stinging!
Read more: My Dog Ate A Bee [What You Now Need To Do]
What To Do If A Dog Eats A Wasp
If you suspect your dog has eaten a wasp, check his mouth and throat immediately to see if you can spot the stinger. If you can see the wasp or the stinger, you might be able to take them out yourself, which is the best thing to do (where possible.) The vet is then your next stop!
Check For The Stinger
Look carefully in these places to see if you can spot the wasp’s stinger:
- Your dog’s tongue, gums, and cheeks
- Other areas inside your dog’s mouth
- The area at the back of his throat
- The outside of his snout and lips
How You Can Remove A Wasp Stinger Yourself
If you manage to spot the wasp stinger, be careful not to pinch it. If you pinch it, you may inadvertently send more venom into your dog.
The best way to remove a stinger yourself is by scraping it out – providing it’s in a place that you have access to.
The easiest way to scrape away a wasp stinger is – believe it or not – with a credit card.
Put the card against your dog’s skin as if you were going to scrape at his skin, and slide the card in one direction several times.
Do this carefully, as you don’t want to break the stinger. You are aiming to ease it out slowly.
If you do succeed in taking out the stinger, your dog will probably be feeling the pain.
Apply ice gently to the area that has been stung to help your dog deal with the pain.
Get Your Dog To The Vet
Get your dog to the vet to make sure the stinger has been removed successfully.
Even if you think you’ve gotten out the whole stinger, a vet visit is the best way to be sure your dog isn’t suffering unnecessarily.
Depending on your dog’s reaction, your vet may have you give your dog a Benadryl tablet for the pain and to help ease an allergic reaction.
Never give your dog medication without consulting your vet first. Antihistamines in the wrong dosage can be fatal – your vet will know what’s best for your dog.
Keep Your Dog Hydrated
Give your dog plenty of fresh water to drink, as hydration will help his digestive tract.
If he’s trying to pass a wasp through his system, you’ll want to give him moist food rather than dry kibble.
He’s already got enough to deal with, so keep him hydrated to help him.
If you only have dry food at home, you can moisten it with some warm water. Moist food is easier for dogs to digest, and their digestive system will most likely be fragile for a little while.
The joys of wasps, eh?
But while they can cause alarm and panic, these menacing little stinging insects are usually not a major danger to our dogs.
Unless they sting, sting in the wrong areas, and their stinger remains intact.
So, if your dog eats a wasp, you’re going to want to keep a close eye on them for the next 1-2 days.
Any signs of an allergic reaction, or changes in their behavior, and you should be on the phone with a vet right away.
Other than this, so long as you keep them well hydrated, your dog should be able to pass the wasp and be absolutely fine.
Concerned or wondering what other things your dog can/cannot eat. Check out my related guides below:
- My Dog Ate A Bee [What You Now Need To Do]
- My Dog Ate A Moth [This Should Be Your Response]
- Dog Ate A Spider [Let’s Hope Its Not One Of These 8]
- My Dog Ate A Cockroach [What You Should Do & Need To Know]
- My Dog Ate A Mouse [Do This Immediately – It’s For The Best]
- My Dog Ate A Lizard [Should You Be Concerned & What To Do]
I am a practiced pet owner with decades of experience owning a number of different pets. I am also the main writer and chief editor here at Pet Educate; a site I created to share everything I’ve learned about pet ownership over the years and my extensive research along the way.