Summer is here and that means so are bees. Bees are a part of nature so if you and your dog spend any time outside you will most likely encounter one. Dogs are very curious by nature and often have their faces in places they do not belong. Some dogs have even tried to eat bees and/or wasps!

So, what do you do if your dog gets stung? Usually, a bee or wasp sting isn’t that big of a deal. Your pup will probably be a little uncomfortable due to tenderness and swelling but this can easily be remedied. Just make sure you monitor the area to see that the swelling is in fact going down over time.

Here comes the challenging part. Removing the stinger. “The stinger can pulsate venom into a dog or cat for up to two to three minutes after being separated from the bee,” Dr. Arnold Plotnick, DVM, explains. “Removal of the stinger should be done using a credit card to scrape it out. Do not try to squeeze the stinger out with your fingers or use tweezers because the venom sac may rupture, further exposing the pet to more venom.”

If your dog doesn’t have an allergic reaction to the sting then here are a few ways you can help treat the sting without using Benadryl.

  • Ice Pack
    Once you identify the sting area, you should apply an ice pack over the swelling area. Five minutes of icing followed by five minutes without. Repeat this for the first hour or two. Wrap the ice pack in a washcloth to prevent direct skin contact, as direct prolonged skin contact with ice can cause damage.
  • Canna Care
    Pet Releaf has come out with a topical for dogs that is 100% plant based. The CBD in this topical aids in dry skin, inflammation, arthritis relief, insect bites and skin irritation. Using this topical on a bee or wasp sting could help relieve some of the uncomfortable ache your dog may have.
  • Apple Cider Vinegar
    You can apply the vinegar to a cotton ball or pad, or Q-tip and hold directly on the stung area. Apple cider vinegar can often neutralize the venom from a bee sting. Do this several times until the swelling subsides.

We also carry dog bandages that you might want to invest in. These will help keep any ointment on the necessary area and you won’t have to worry about your dog itching or scratching or licking the area as it heals.

Now, some dogs may be allergic to bee stings, and they can go into anaphylactic shock if they don’t receive immediate veterinary attention. “If your dog gets stung by a bee and starts vomiting within five to 10 minutes and his gums become pale, that’s when you know they are going into anaphylactic shock,” Dr. Paul Richieri, DVM says. Fortunately, these severe reactions are not very common among dogs.

Whatever you do, do not let the fear of bee and/or wasp stings keep you and your dog from enjoying your summer! Not every bee or wasp you see will sting you.