What can you do if your dog is stung by a wasp? The most important things to know

László Enikő, 2020. July 24 - Photos: Getty Images Hungary

In summer, pets should be protected not only from the heat and the blazing sun, but also from stinging insects. What to do if your dog does get stung by a bee or a wasp?


Most dogs love to hunt insects and bugs that fly around. It’s great fun for them and for the owners. But what happens when your pet gets into trouble and something bites? Funny pictures go viral on the internet of puffy-faced dogs in distress, but they’re only funny until something more serious happens.

Where was the sting?

The most common bite sites are the nose, paw and abdomen. Sometimes, your pet may bite a seemingly harmless insect and it may bite its tongue. If your dog has been bitten on any part of his face, make sure you take him to the vet. If you notice that he licks or bites his paws often, check him, because it could be an insect bite.

Insect bites cause severe swelling.

Get the stinger out!

It is important to check the site of the bite and remove the sting. This can be done with a pin or a fingernail, or even with two bank cards. Tweezers are less recommended because the pressure will only push the toxin deeper into the dog’s body. Stings are not only left by bees, they can also be a characteristic of wasps, which can bite and sting. If you have seen what kind of insect has attacked your pet, try to treat it accordingly.


The bee’s venom is acidic, so it is best to cover it with a cloth soaked in baking soda or baking powder, and the wasp’s is alkaline, so it should be covered with vinegar. If you don’t know what stung you, you can wash the area with soapy water. Ice cubes and cold water compresses can reduce inflammation. Fenistil gel for humans and aloe vera can also relieve pain. The possible allergic reaction usually occurs within ten minutes, but it can happen hours after the sting, so keep an eye on your pet!

However, it is a misconception that calcium tablets prevent allergic reactions. In the event of a sting, it has no effect on humans or animals. In 2016 Dr. Hunor Novák, paediatrician drew attention to it in an open letter that a false sense of security can lead to tragedy. Despite this, many people still believe that calcium helps reduce allergic reactions.

If the swelling hasn’t subsided by the next day, take your pet to the vet.

Instead of calcium tablets, take your pet to the vet.


If your dog has never been stung by a wasp or bee, it’s a good idea to take him to the vet straight away to avoid a rapid deterioration. Just like humans, four-legged animals can also be allergic.
The reactions are similar, so watch to see if your dog does not produce the symptoms of anaphylactic shock:

  • breathing difficulties
  • rapid swelling
  • increased pain
  • rashes
  • fainting
  • drooling
Dog in anaphylactic shock.

The safest option is to take your pet to the vet. It is always recommended for head bites, as well as if the dog has been attacked by several insects. Also, remember that allergies can develop at any time, even if they have not occurred before.

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