Why Dogs Eat Bees

a dog outdoors with a bee hovering over its snout; why do dogs eat bees?

Has your dog ever eaten a bee? If they have, you are aware of the concerning, yet adorable, transformation of their sweet little faces into puffy, swollen snouts. So, why do they eat bees, and what should you do if your dog chows down on one?

If you aren’t familiar with the look, a quick search on Google will result in loads of hilarious photos of dogs who have had close encounters with bees. While it’s adorable and quite funny, a bee sting can lead to a more serious reaction from your canine.

Why do dogs eat bees?

There’s no real reason that dogs chase bees. It could be that some breeds enjoy the thrill of the hunt!

Breeds like the Labrador Retrievers, English Spaniels, and Pointers are known for their natural desire to chase anything that moves; like other animals, and yes, bees.

On the contrary, some dogs might simply be annoyed over the buzzing and flying around. Therefore, they are triggered by the annoyance, and snap at the insects. It all becomes a game of dog vs. bee.

Unfortunately, the dog rarely wins in this case and either loses the fight altogether or ends up with a bee sting.

What to Do if your Dog Ate a Bee

Just like with humans, all dogs will react differently to a bee sting. Some reactions are very mild, while others pose a more urgent issue.

For the most part, a puffy face and irritation is the most danger a wasp or bee will pose to your dog. Since most dogs simply snap at the bee, the risk of them actually digesting the insect is small.

However, if your dog has been stung, here are some immediate actions you can take to further protect your dog:

  • To be sure they didn’t actually eat the bee, check the inside of your dog’s mouth and the back of their throat for any, er, evidence of a bee.
  • Remove the stinger (only honeybees leave stingers) by laying a credit card against their skin; slide it in one direction to coax the stinger out. Do not pinch or pull the stinger as it may result in more venom released.
  • Give your vet a call to see what you should do next. Your vet may advise you to give them a Benadryl and to stop by for a quick examination. Consult your vet before giving your dog any medication.

While your dog may only experience puffiness or swelling around the sting area, bee stings can pose life-threatening allergic reactions. If you know your dog is allergic to bee stings, or they begin showing signs of tongue swelling or difficulty breathing, call your vet immediately.

Most likely, your dog will be in some slight discomfort by the swelling and irritation of the bee sting but will recover in a day or so.

If you are concerned about your dog’s symptoms after a sting, give our office a call immediately. We’d be happy to put your concerns at ease with a quick examination or advice over the phone.

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