Have you ever sat in your backyard and saw your dog playing around with a bee and then before you can do anything…GULP…they ate the bee? If so, I am sure your first concern is, will they get stung? So first off, yes they can get stung and often do. You would think that having this happen once would be enough to convince them not to eat any more bees but sadly, more often than not, they will keep eating bees.
So why do they do it? Honestly, for some, it seems like it is just fun. They like chasing the bee. For other dogs, it seems that the bee is annoying them by flying around their face and making a buzzing sound, so they eat the bee to get rid of the annoyance.
Just like humans, some dogs are allergic to bees. If you see your dog eat a bee and they have sudden dramatic swelling, excessive drooling, and difficulty breathing, get them to an emergency clinic immediately. Most dogs are not allergic to bees and will have a normal swelling reaction. A typical reaction is simply to get puffy in their face.
What Do You Do If Your Dog Eats a Bee?
If your dog eats a bee, try to check for the stinger. Bees stingers detach from their body after they sting and will stick into the skin. If you can see the stinger in their mouth, try to remove it. If you can avoid it, try not to pinch the stinger to pull it out. The stingers have poison sacks at their end and you will squeeze the poison into your dog. The best way is to use your fingernail or a flat surface, like a credit card, to slide the stinger out.
If your dog is getting puffy, you can try giving them some ice to chew on to help with the inflammation. If it is very uncomfortable you may want to call an emergency vet and ask about giving your dog an antihistamine. Never give your dog Benadryl, or any other antihistamine, without clear instructions from a vet.
If your dog is eating a lot of bees you may want to have your backyard checked for a hive. A sting here or there is ok, but a lot of stings at the same time can cause serious health issues. If you do have a hive, do not remove it yourself, make sure to call a professional to remove the bees.