Dogs are adventurous by nature, particularly scent hounds, and are likely to explore or chase other animals including insects when left to their own devices. Although this is an endearing quality, an adventurous dog can often wind up getting hurt, especially if they decide to go chasing after a bee! Incidents are especially common during the spring and summer months due to the greater number of stinging insects about. Stings are most common around the face, nose and mouth area as dogs investigate with their noses. Stings inside the mouth are dangerous as swelling can block the airway.

Follow our steps to effectively treat these nuisance stings with Benadryl for dogs!

How Can I Tell If My Dog Has Been Stung?

Even though dogs can’t speak in our language, there are things we can look out for to help us know when they’ve been stung. Typical early signs include whimpering in pain, running around in circles and pawing at a particular area. If these symptoms occur suddenly when your dog has been playing outside there’s a good possibility that a sting is to blame.

As the sting develops, your dog will experience swelling around the affected area, and there will likely be redness or hives present. You should be able to see the stinger if you carefully search this area.

Note: If your pet is allergic to bee stings, they may begin to struggle with their breathing. If this happens you should call the vet and take your dog to an animal hospital immediately. Immune responses left untreated can quickly become life-threatening, such as in cases of anaphylaxis.

Aside from allergies, a sting inside the mouth could cause swelling of the airway and impair breathing. If this happens it’s important that you seek emergency veterinary attention. Never try to administer oral medicine to a dog who’s airway is obstructed.

How To Treat Stings In Dogs

When you have very carefully checked the affected area and found the stinger, it’s time to remove it.

1) DO NOT use tweezers or squeeze it using your fingers, this could release more venom and hurt your dog. You can minimize the risk of releasing venom by using a flat surface or object to scrape it out, for example, a credit card works well.

2) If you know the insect which stung your dog you can neutralize the venom as follows:


Bee stings are acidic and can be neutralized by bathing the effected area in a solution of baking soda (sodium bicarbonate) and water.


Wasp venom is alkaline, you can counteract a wasp sting by bathing the area in vinegar.

3) Rub topical Benadryl (with active ingredient diphenhydramine) onto the affected area. Make a quick call to your vet to gain approval before doing so.


After you have successfully treated the sting you should monitor your dog closely for the next 24 hours. This should help minimize the risk of any adverse reactions which could develop.
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Be(e) Prepared – Preventive Vet