How to Give First Aid to Your Dog

How to Treat a Dog With an Insect Bite or Sting

©2006 Publications International, Ltd. Step 2

While most insect bites to a dogwill be uneventful, if your pet has been stung by a bee, wasp, yellow jacket, or hornet, the area will quickly become swollen and somewhat painful. A possible allergic reaction to the venom deposited by the insect is the most serious problem.

The signs of an insect bite include swelling, pain in the muscles and affected area, vomiting, weakness, fever, and shock. The signs of shock are pale or white gums, a rapid heartbeat, or rapid breathing. Below are helpful suggestions on what to do if your pet has been stung by a pest.


Step 1: Restrain the dog if necessary.

Step 1a: Approach the dog slowly, speaking in a reassuring tone of voice.

Step 1b: Muzzle the dog to protect yourself, if necessary.

Step 2: DO NOT pinch the area. If the dog has been stung by a bee, scrape the stinger off immediately with a credit card or dull knife. Other insects do not leave the stinger in the skin.

Step 3: If the affected area is swollen and hot, apply cortisone cream and hold ice on the dog's skin for a short time.

Step 4: Administer antihistamine such as diphenhydramine (Benadryl) orally at a dose of 1mg per pound of body weight (e.g., a 25-pound dog would get 25mg pill or capsule).

Step 5: If the dog experiences any difficulty breathing or if its face seems swollen, transport the dog immediately to the veterinarian.

Did you know your house is filled with products that are poisonous to your beloved pet? Check the next page to find out what they are and what to do if your dog gets a hold of one of these harmful substances.