Why Do Dogs Eat Bees – Is It Safe?

Have you ever been in the unfortunate situation of tending to your furry friend after getting stung in the mouth by a bee? If so, you know how heartbreaking and even dangerous this can be. Staying educated is the best thing you can do. So, why do dogs eat bees?

Dogs eat bees because they are naturally drawn to the buzzing noise. Dogs will attack bees out of fear, excitement, or just natural curiosity. Bees can potentially sting dogs if they are not careful.

Dogs love to catch Frisby and enjoy playing ball; it is only natural that they also love to chase down birds, bugs, and bees. Once they get them, chewing them up and swallowing them will happen more times than not. Now, let’s take a look at what things are essential to know when you find yourself in this situation.

Is It OK for Dogs to Eat Bees?

It’s not necessarily a habit we would suggest you encourage your dog to take on; however, in most cases stopping your pup from going after these little menaces can be almost impossible. During the warmer months, you want your dog out as much as possible to exercise and play. Playing with bees is just par for the course.

Getting stung will hurt, but unless they are allergic, pain is probably the only problematic part of your dog eating a bee. So although it may not be OK,  your dog shouldn’t suffer too much if they do eat a bee.

There is no way to control your pup when they are having a great time playing in the yard, so keep this in mind.

Why Is My Dog Obsessed With Bees?

Dogs are obsessed with just about anything they can occupy themselves with. It’s not the bee itself they want to go after, but they can chase down and play with the buzzing flying object. Being curious is how dogs are; it’s in their blood. 

Many dogs may start off going after bees out of curiosity, but that can quickly turn into doing it out of revenge or fear after the first sting. Once they associate that buzzing noise with pain, chances are good, they will go into attack and defense mode, striving to destroy the danger.

Dogs have fantastic reflexes from the moment they are born. It’s instinctual for them to grab at anything running or flying by them. Once they have their sites, set they will snap at anything; unfortunately, this includes bees.

Can Dogs Get Sick From Eating Bees?

Unless your dog has an allergy to bees, it is highly unlikely they will get sick from eating them. Bees are not toxic, so it’s not going to cause an upset stomach or any other illness. Most dogs will swallow the bees and then pass them through their digestive system like any other food they eat with no problems. 

On the other hand, if your dog is allergic to bees, then yes, they can get very ill from eating a bee. The venom produced through the bee’s stinger can cause your dog to go into anaphylaxis shock, which can interrupt their breathing, and your furry friend will need emergency attention ASAP.

It is important to note that even if a dog is allergic to bees eating them will not result in allergic reactions. The sting itself is going to be the issue. 

What Happens if A Dog Eats A Bumblebee?

One of the most common bees for your dog to go after is the bumblebee. This is because they are usually low to the ground and create one of the loudest buzzing sounds. This makes them very noticeable to your pet and easy to snatch up quickly.

If you notice your dog ate a bumblebee, the best thing to do is stay calm. If your dog has no allergies and has not shown any distress, it is a safe bet they will be just fine. Keep a close eye on them and monitor their behavior for a few hours. 

Although rare, bumblebees can still sting your pet after being swallowed. This can cause internal inflammation, vomiting, and diarrhea. You will want to contact your vet if you notice any of these symptoms.

Can Dogs Die From Eating Bees?

The worst-case scenario is possible if your pup has a bee allergy. If they get stung near their mouths, their tongues can swell, blocking off their airflow. The same results can happen if they are stung on their way down the throat or intestines or if your dog goes into anaphylactic shock. 

However, if treated quickly, there are medications and treatments to help save your companion’s life in almost every situation. Your veterinarian or animal hospital will most commonly treat your pet with antihistamines, steroids, and, if needed, epinephrine.

What Should I Do If My Dog Ate A Bee?

Not very much needs to be done if your dog does eat a bee. If a severe problem is going to happen, it will happen fast. So being prepared and informed is the only thing you can do.

● If you notice your pup is acting odd or panting hard or excessively drooling, call your vet right away.

● If he/she is wheezing or appears to be in distress, rush your dog to the emergency vet fast. 

● If you notice vomiting or diarrhea, keep them hydrated and call the vet.

● Investigate the dog’s mouth and tongue for swelling.

If your dog shows no signs of medical issues after 20 to 30 minutes, chances are good you have nothing to worry about.

How to Stop Your Dog From Eating Bees

We now know why dogs eat bees, what to do if you see it happen, and the reactions that can be caused if they get stung. How do we control our furry friends so we no longer have to worry about them eating them? 

Bee Control

To get rid of the problem, we should start by getting rid of the bees. If your home has a lot of bees flying nearby, find an all-natural bee repellent and spray around your house and everywhere your dog plays.

If you have flowers that bees are attracted to, maybe moving them to another area of the lawn would be a good idea. These flowers can include but are not limited to:

● Black-eyed Susan

● Bee balm

● California Poppies

● Mint

● Pansys

● Peonies 

● Sunflower

● Lavender

Once you remove these flowers, you can replace them with the ones below. These flowers are known to repel bees.

● Geranium

● Mint

● Citronella

● Marigolds 

● Basil

Dog Training

If the bee problem seems to become a severe problem teaching your dog, a behavior modification may be something you should look into.

There are many “how-to” guides you can find online that will help you counter condition your dog, distracting them from the bee and making them focus on something more interesting and less dangerous. 

Fear

If your lucky, your dog may decide on their own; it’s not worth it. Getting stung once or twice might be all it takes for your pup to stay away. Unfortunately, this is very rarely the case.

In some cases, a bee sting can create a bee-phobia in your dog, making them terrified of anything that replicates the buzzing sound. This can be more problematic for you and more traumatizing for your dog than the sting itself.

Final Thoughts

Dogs cannot resist the chase. Their ears perk up fast, and their eyes dart towards the sounds; chances are good; they are snatching the bee out of the air before we can catch on to what is happening. Most dogs are going to eat a bee at one time or another in their lives, be prepared and be ready to cuddle in case they end up getting stung.

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