Preventative Care@3x

The Buzz on Bee Bites: How To Keep Your Pet Safe From Bee Stings

Apr 17, 2023 | Ask a Vet, Pet Safety, Preventive Care


Always Bee Prepared

Spring is officially in the air, and so are the bees! While we recognize bees as an essential part of our ecosystem, they sometimes pose a threat to our four-legged friends. Today, we’ll cover everything you need to know about pet bee stings, including how to treat a bee sting and prevent them from happening at all. 


What to Do If a Bee Stings Your Pet

As most humans know, bee stings can cause pain, swelling, and in some cases, severe allergic reactions. The same goes for our pets! If you suspect your furry friend has been stung, here are some good-to-know steps for how to treat a bee sting:

  • Identify the stinger: If the culprit left its stinger inside of your pet’s skin, remove it ASAP.
  • Carefully remove the stinger: Removal can be done using a credit card or a similar object to scrape it out. Take your time, and be careful not to squeeze the venom sack.
  • Clean the affected area: Wash the area thoroughly with soap and water to prevent infection.
  • Apply a cold compress: Use a towel soaked in cold water or a bag of ice wrapped in a towel to create a cold compress. Applying this will help reduce swelling and soothe any pain your pet might be experiencing.
  • Monitor your pet closely: In the next few hours following your pet’s bee sting, keep a close eye on them. Seek veterinary attention immediately if they show any signs of an allergic reaction, primarily; facial swelling, vomiting or difficulty breathing.


Bee Sting Remedies For Pets

In addition to the above steps, some other, more natural bee sting remedies may help soothe the pain. 

  • Apple cider vinegar: Diluting apple cider vinegar with water and applying it to your pet’s bee sting will help reduce inflammation and itching. 
  • Chamomile tea: Brew the tea and let it cool. Then, by soaking a cloth in the tea and applying it to your pet’s bee sting, you can help reduce swelling and pain.
  • Baking soda: Mixing water and baking soda into a paste and applying it to the affected area will help neutralize the acidic venom from the sting.


How To Prevent Bee Stings in Pets

One of the very best ways to treat bee stings in pets is to prevent them from happening in the first place! However, if your pet loves to splash in the pool or trot through the garden, taking in all the delicious spring scents (we don’t blame them), this may be easier said than done. Here are some tips to keep in mind to help keep your pet safe:

  • Avoid areas highly populated with bees: While we can’t keep our pets from exploring nature completely, we can watch for areas the bees seem to favor and guide our furry friends away as long as they’re buzzing around. 
  • Keep your pet on a leash: If walking, hiking, or making a trip to the park with your pet, keeping them on a leash will help you control their movements and keep them from getting into places they shouldn’t be (like a hive!).
  • Cover any food and trash: What you consider trash bees may find appealing. Specifically, they are attracted to sweet smells, so it’s essential to cover your pet’s food and dispose of any household garbage properly. 
  • Consider a bee sting kit: If you find your pet is allergic to bee stings, we recommend discussing a bee sting kit with your vet. These kits often will come with an epinephrine auto-injector (epi-pen) and antihistamines, which are great to have in an emergency. 


Whether you’re a human or an animal, bee stings can be a scary and painful experience, but with proper knowledge and preparation, you can help keep your four-legged friend safe!

If you have any questions or concerns about pet bee stings, or fear your pet may be allergic, don’t hesitate to reach out to us at AZPetVet. In the instance your pet is experiencing an allergic reaction, visit your nearest emergency veterinary clinic immediately. 

Disclaimer: Not intended to be a substitute for professional veterinarian advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your veterinarian with any questions you may have regarding the medical condition of your pet. If you think your pet has a medical emergency, call or visit your veterinarian or your local veterinary emergency hospital immediately.