Health | 1 Min Read

What to do if your dog is stung by a bee

As spring flowers bloom, so too do magnificent bee colonies. Our curious canine pals can find themselves in a sting if they encounter a bee. Here’s what you need to know.

Bee basics

With over 1700 unique Australian bee species, your dog is likely to bump against one during a sniff session. Bees are a vital part of our ecosystem so it’s important to keep an eye out and steer pups away from them while they’re busy bee-ing. Some native bees are capable of stinging more than once too with a percentage of human and dog populations suffering severe allergic reactions to stings. 


If your dog is stung, it’ll often be where they’ve been investigating such as the muzzle, lips, inside the mouth, nose and paws. It's important to monitor swelling as some dogs may be allergic, resulting in dangerous swelling that can obstruct the airways. Stings don’t have to be on the face for this to happen either. 

Some dogs don’t have a significant reaction, while others can become unwell very quickly. Watch out for local or generalised swelling, drooling, vomiting, pawing at the mouth, itching, lumps, hives, difficulty breathing and even collapse. Dogs with a sting on their paw may suddenly become lame on the affected leg.

First aid steps

  1. If you notice any of the above signs, even if you haven’t located the sting, seek urgent veterinary attention - your vet can help find the sting once your dog is in their care.
  2. If you witness the sting you can attempt to remove it at home by using a firm piece of cardboard or credit card to scrape the sting off the site. Using tweezers isn’t recommended as it may result in more venom being released from the stinger. 
  3. Apply a cool compress to the site and keep your dog quiet and calm.
  4. Observe your dog closely for the next 24 hours for any signs of a reaction. If your dog appears unwell or if you notice anything out of the ordinary, please take them to your vet immediately.