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The Dogs and the Bees

May 09, 2023

What about The Dogs and the Bees?


It's that time of year when our buzzy wee yellow friends return, great for our gardens but sometimes not so great for our dogs.


Dogs are naturally curious and predatory animals. When a dog sees a bee flying by, its natural instinct may be to chase and catch it as they may be attracted to the movement and buzzing sound making them even more interested in chasing them.


When this happens it's entirely possible they could get stung in the bees efforts to evade being munched.


If your dog is stung by a bee, the area around the sting will typically become swollen, red, and painful (just like what happened to our Calaidh in the picture attached).


The severity of the reaction depends on the dog's individual sensitivity to the bee venom and the number of stings they received.


In some cases, dogs may experience an allergic reaction, which can be life-threatening and require immediate medical attention.


If your dog is stung by a bee?


You should watch for signs of an allergic reaction, which may include:


  • Difficulty breathing or wheezing
  • Swelling of the face, lips, or tongue
  • Hives or rash on the skin
  • Vomiting or diarrhea
  • Weakness or collapse


If you notice any of these symptoms, you should seek assistance from your vet right away.


In less severe cases, you can remove the stinger if it's still in the skin and apply a cold compress to the area to help reduce swelling and pain.


You can also give your dog an over-the-counter antihistamine medication as directed by your vet.


Avoidance is the best treatment.


Stopping a dog from chasing bees can be a challenging task, as it goes against their natural instincts but there are 5 expert tips you can use to help prevent your dog from chasing bees:


  • Keep an eye on your dog when they are outside and redirect their attention if you notice them starting to chase bees.
  • Consider enrolling your dog in obedience training to help reinforce commands such as "leave it" or "stay" to help prevent them from chasing bees.
  • Provide your dog with toys or activities that can distract them from chasing bees, such as playing fetch or hide-and-seek.
  • Try to avoid areas where bees are known to be present, such as flowering plants or beehives.
  • You can use natural or commercial bee repellents to discourage bees from coming near your property, (ensure any repellents used are dog friendly and contain only natural ingredients)


Chasing bees can be dangerous for your dog, so it's important to take steps to prevent it.


If your dog continues to show a strong interest in chasing bees, you may want to consult with a professional dog trainer or behaviourist for additional guidance.