My Dog Stepped on a Bee

A Quick Guide to Keep Your Pet Safe

We’ve all heard that familiar yelp of pain from our canine friends when they accidentally step on a thorn, a sharp stone, or in this case, a bee. As a pet owner, it’s important to know what to do if your dog stepped on a bee. In this short blog post, we’ll discuss the necessary steps to keep your furry friend safe and sound, while referencing reliable scientific sources.

Assess the Situation

The first thing to do is to assess the situation calmly. It’s important not to panic. It’s common for dogs to experience mild to moderate pain after stepping on a bee, but severe allergic reactions are rare. According to a study published in the journal Veterinary Dermatology, less than 10% of dogs may experience anaphylaxis from insect stings (Mueller et al., 2018). However, it’s essential to monitor your dog closely for any signs of an allergic reaction, such as swelling, difficulty breathing, or vomiting.

Remove the Stinger

If your dog stepped on a bee, there’s a chance the stinger is still embedded in their paw. It’s crucial to remove it as soon as possible to minimize the release of venom. The American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA) advises using the edge of a credit card or your fingernail to gently scrape the stinger away from the skin (AVMA, 2021). Avoid using tweezers, as they can squeeze more venom into your dog’s skin.

Apply a Cold Compress

To help reduce pain and swelling, apply a cold compress to the affected area for 10-15 minutes. The American College of Veterinary Emergency and Critical Care (ACVECC) suggests using a bag of frozen vegetables or a cloth soaked in cold water as a cold compress (ACVECC, 2021).

Administer Over-the-Counter Medication

Consult your veterinarian about administering over-the-counter antihistamines like diphenhydramine (Benadryl) to alleviate itching and swelling. The Merck Veterinary Manual recommends a dosage of 1-2 mg per pound of your dog’s body weight, given every 8-12 hours (Merck, 2021). However, always follow your veterinarian’s instructions, and never give your dog medication without their guidance.

Observe Your Dog Closely

Keep a close eye on your dog for the next few hours. If you notice any signs of a severe allergic reaction or if the swelling doesn’t subside, contact your veterinarian immediately. Anaphylaxis can be life-threatening and requires immediate medical attention.


When your dog stepped on a bee, it’s essential to stay calm and follow the steps above to ensure their safety. Most dogs recover quickly, but it’s crucial to observe them closely for any signs of an allergic reaction. Remember, prevention is better than cure. Keep your yard clean and free of debris to reduce the risk of bee encounters, and always keep your veterinarian’s contact information handy for emergencies.