My Dog Ate A Carpenter Bee What Should I Do?

Reviewed By Julie •  Updated: 01/09/23 •  3 min read
Dog Moderate Toxicity Level
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Dog Ate A Carpenter Bee

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Dogs love to chase almost anything that runs, hops, or flies! They have a strong prey instinct that makes them naturally love to chase and play with smaller critters, including carpenter bees. But what happens if a dog eats a carpenter bee?

Has your dog eaten a carpenter bee? Are you worried the carpenter bee will make your dog sick? If so, you’ve come to the right place. We understand it can be scary when your dog eats something like this.

We’ve put together information about carpenter bees and whether they can make a dog sick. Let’s get started!

It is strongly recommended to contact a Pet Poison Helpline or your veterinarian.

What is a Carpenter Bee?

Carpenter bees look very similar to bumble bees; however, they are a separate species. While bumble bees usually have a hairy abdomen with yellow and black stripes, the carpenter bee usually has a hairless, shiny abdomen. The part of the bee just behind its head will be yellow and fuzzy on a carpenter bee.

Carpenter bees love to tunnel into wood to lay their eggs. The bees are commonly found in a home’s eaves, deck, siding, outer boards, or porches. The adult bees continue to winter over in their tunnels and nests, reemerging in the spring. If the bees are allowed to remain, they will continue to use and expand these tunnels and/or develop new ones.

This species of bee can sting. Female carpenter bees can sting; however, they only do so when provoked. The males cannot sting; however, they are aggressive, and people fear being stung by them. The males are large and scary and will dive at people and pets near their nests or territory.

What happens if a dog eats a carpenter bee? Can the carpenter bee make a dog sick?

Carpenter Bees & Dogs

Unfortunately, carpenter bees can make a dog sick. It’s possible that some dogs are allergic to the female carpenter bee’s venom. A bee may sting the dog’s mouth, lips, snout, or even his throat (if the bee’s been swallowed). The venom may cause a slight reaction or a more severe allergic reaction called an anaphylactic reaction. This is a life-threatening condition that can result if a dog is highly allergic to bee venom.

Once the bee has been swallowed, however, it can no longer present a health risk to the dog. The dog’s body digests the bee as it would any other food.

Symptoms of Bee Venom Allergy in Dogs

You may notice these symptoms if your dog has been stung by a female carpenter bee:

If you notice an allergic reaction to a carpenter bee sting in your dog, call the vet immediately. This can be an emergency.

Treatment of Carpenter Bee Allergies in Dogs

Treatment of carpenter bee allergies in dogs may include the use of epinephrine, antihistamines, steroids, and other medications (depending on your dog’s symptoms and the severity of the reaction).

It’s also possible that your fur baby may require IV fluids and other support, such as supplemental oxygen. Some dogs may need to be hospitalized; the length of time depends on the severity of their reaction.

The good news is that with prompt treatment, most dogs will make a full recovery! And if your dog seems to be obsessed with chasing bees, you may want to consider training to stop this behavior. Prevention is always the best medicine!

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Julie is a graduate of the University of North Carolina, Wilmington, where she studied Animal science. Though contrary to the opinion of her parents she was meant to study pharmacy, but she was in love with animals especially cats. Julie currently works in an animal research institute (NGO) in California and loves spending quality time with her little cat. She has the passion for making research about animals, how they survive, their way of life among others and publishes it. Julie is also happily married with two kids.

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