Treating a Dog’s Bee Stings

May 6, 2010

By Ruthie Bently

Has this ever happened to you? You’re playing in the yard with your dog, or hiking down a trail in a meadow when all of a sudden your dog yelps. They may begin shaking their paw or head, trying to relieve the pain. Your dog may have just been stung by a bee or wasp. While both can be dangerous depending on where your dog was stung, there is something else you should remember. When a bee stings, the barbed stinger is implanted into whatever they have stung and begins pumping venom into the victim.

Check your dog over to find the area of the sting. Look at their paws, their nose (including inside), their ears and inside their mouth. If your dog has been stung inside their mouth, don’t waste any time. Call the vet and let them know the situation and that you are bringing in your dog, NOW. A dog stung inside the mouth is serious, especially if the tongue begins to swell or the dog tried to swallow the bee or wasp. This kind of a sting can cut off their air supply and become life threatening quickly.

A wasp on the other hand, does not lose their stinger and can sting multiple times in succession. This can make their attacks more dangerous as they are injecting venom with each sting. A small percentage of dogs are susceptible to anaphylactic shock, and depending on where your dog is stung, a single sting can be life threatening. Stay calm and remove your dog from the area, just in case there is an underground nest. When a bee or wasp stings they put out a pheromone that incites additional hive members to come to their aid if they are close to it.

To treat a dog’s bee sting, the first thing you need to do is to remove the stinger. Do not use tweezers to remove the stinger as this will squeeze more venom into the wound. Get something with an edge to scrape across the surface of the skin to remove the stinger. I have used a butter knife, but you can use a credit card or a long fingernail. A bee sting will have a sac attached; a wasp sting will be more cone-shaped with barbs.

Dog Animated - no offerIf your dog is stung by a bee, making a paste of baking soda and water will help to counteract the venom. I read recently that a wasp’s venom is alkaline based and a pad soaked in vinegar will counteract their venom. Two remedies that work well if you don’t have access to baking soda or vinegar are several plantain leaves, crushed to emit the juice and placed on the sting area. The other is a mud paste applied to the area, which will also draw out the toxins. There may also be swelling to the sting area; a cold pack will help bring it down and help with pain. An antihistamine can help with any allergic reaction, but your vet should be consulted about what to use and the size of dosage you may need.

If you aren’t with your dog at the time of the sting you may not notice anything, because some dogs are not bothered enough by the sting to show immediate visible signs. If you think your dog may have been stung you should check their breathing to make sure it is not labored, wheezing or fast. Other signs of an allergic reaction (or the more severe condition, anaphylactic shock) are collapsing, vomiting, diarrhea, pale gums, trembling or weakness, pale gums, excessive drooling, a fever or agitation. If you notice any of these, call your vet.

To help keep your dog out of harm’s way, keep them away from flower beds, potted plants and gardens where pollinating bees and wasps may congregate. Check the eaves of your house and remove wasp nests when you see them. You can also get a wasp trap that uses pheromones to attract several kinds of wasps, and keep them out of your dog’s way. Just make sure to install the wasp trap away from any main areas of the yard where your family or pets may congregate. Put it several feet above the ground where curious children or pets cannot reach it. Check outside water sources frequently for any wasps or bees that may have fallen in and drowned. They may be dead, but their stingers still contain venom.

We all enjoy the warm weather, and doing what you can to keep bees and wasps away will help your entire family remain safe outside when having fun.

Read more articles by Ruthie Bently

The personal opinions and/or use of trade, corporate or brand names, is for information and convenience only. Such use does not constitute an endorsement by CANIDAE® All Natural Pet Foods of any product or service. Opinions are those of the individual authors and not necessarily of CANIDAE® All Natural Pet Foods.

Share this:

Share Your Thoughts

  • WordPress
  • Facebook
  • Google Plus

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *


  1. Robin Lynn says:

    She got stung by her eye and yes it is swollen.

  2. Robin Lynn says:

    If my dog is sick after getting stung. Should they go to the vet too??

    1. Julia Williams says:


  3. Chelsea says:

    My puppy she is 6 months, she was just stung by a wasp while going potty. It stung her on her back leg. She started yelping real loud and she would Lemp to the point I had to pick her up to bring her in the house she couldn’t walk. When I brought her in the house she laid there for a bit and then she still limped for a few minutes now she is fine and walking fine every now and then she will whine alittle but she has no sign of swelling or a stinger I can’t find the stinger. And she won’t let me touch her leg either. Do you think she will be okay?!

    1. Rachel says:

      It would be the best if you take her to the veterinarian.

  4. smithy says:

    Toothpaste has been used to cure minor burns as well as sunburns. It helps relieve the redness of the skin and cure blisters. Similarly, when applied to a wasp sting site, it works on the acidic venom and neutralizes it. It also helps reduce the pain, swelling, and offers relief from the intense burning sensation associated with wasp stings.

  5. sally teague says:

    My son’s dog, Lexie is a Lab and is 16 yrs old. He had tried several kinds of dog food and when he found Canidae Pure Bison and pure salmon for my dog we have been very happy with the results. I’m checking with the vet as to the protein being maybe to high for a old dog. The girls love it, can’t wait for their meals. Thanks for making such a good food.

  6. Johana M says:

    My dog got stung by a bee! And he cant walk on his foot and we dont know where he got stungMy mom is going to make the baking soda and water paste but all i remeber was him eunning in and yelping and the bee was still suck to him

  7. Kamrin says:

    Ok my dog just got stung by a wasp abd I freaking out!! He is licking it a can sorta walk on it
    Its his paw it’s kinda close to his paw I need help

    1. Rachel says:

      It would be the best if you take her to your veterinarian for an examination.

  8. patti says:

    My dog got stung in between her toes. She was licking it. The next day I looked at it and she had a little swelling. Two days later it looked like a boil ready to pop. I squeezed it and along with pus came the stinger. It is still swollen like a boil without the head. She keeps licking it. any help??

  9. Lorna says:

    My dog has just been stung by a bee. The sac didn’t seem evident but I made a paste of baking soda and water and put it onto a bit of plastic and held it onto his foot. He’s fine!

  10. Anonymous says:

    When my dog got stung on the paw by a bee, i called my vet and she asked me if i had any human steroid cream (which i did luckily!)- and after putting it on, my dog was fine. I put a sock on his foot with a lightly wound rubber band around it so he couldn’t lick the cream.