Here's Why You Should Carry Your Wallet While Walking The Dog During Bee Season
You won’t want to leave home without it 🐝
You’ll want to keep an eye out for bees while out walking your dog, especially in the summer when bees are most active. But if you carry your wallet with you, you actually have just what you need to help your dog if he gets a bee sting.
Although bees are crucial to our ecosystem, if your dog gets stung by a bee, it can cause some serious problems. Just like in humans, your dog can be allergic, so paying close attention and avoiding them if possible is strongly encouraged.
We spoke to Kaitlyn Tullio, a veterinary nurse and education specialist for DodoVet, about how to handle a dog bee sting and the one wallet item that can help your pet feel better.
Why you should use a credit card to remove the bee's stinger
First things first, try not to panic. If the stinger is still there, you only need to go as far as your wallet to help get the stinger out.
While tweezers might seem like the obvious tool to pull out the stinger, that’s not the case, as they can actually squeeze more venom into your pet unintentionally, causing even more pain and swelling.
Instead, you can use a credit card or your license to get the stinger out of your dog’s skin.
“Check the area where your dog has been stung to see if the stinger is still present,” Tullio told The Dodo. “Then, take a credit card or driver's license (or anything with a firm, flat edge) and quickly scrape the surface of your pet’s skin with the edge of the card. The stinger will catch onto the edge and gently be lifted out of the skin.”
Pretty handy, right?
“Once it’s out, you may want to apply some ice to the area,” Tullio said. “If you’ve ever gotten stung, you know it's not super comfortable. The ice will help soothe and alleviate any pain your dog might be experiencing.”
Signs to look out for if your dog is allergic to bees
Once the stinger is removed, it’s important to keep an eye on your dog to make sure he doesn’t have an allergic reaction to the bee sting. According to Tullio, signs of an allergic reaction include:
- General weakness
- Difficulty breathing
- A large amount of swelling that extends away from the sting site
- Hives around the face or anywhere on the body
When to call your vet
All of the above symptoms are signs of anaphylaxis and can be life threatening, so your dog needs to be seen by a vet as soon as possible. If your pet’s going to have an allergic reaction to a sting, you’ll start to notice symptoms within minutes. Don’t delay getting your dog to the vet if you start to see the above signs.
At the vet’s office, your vet will most likely give your dog an injection of Benadryl (diphenhydramine, an antihistamine), a steroid injection and possibly some fluids. If the reaction isn’t severe, you may be able to take your dog home the same day. In severe cases, he might require hospitalization.
The best way to keep your pet from getting stung by a bee is to simply be mindful of your surroundings when outdoors. But if it does happen, you now know what to do and what to look out for — just keep your eyes open when out for daily walks with your pup!
Want access to a vet 24/7? With DodoVet, you can connect via video chat, phone or text with an empathetic veterinary expert who can help you be the best pet parent you can be. Say goodbye to Dr. Google and have all your pet parent questions answered anytime, anywhere. Learn more here.