What to do if a wasp or bee stings your dog

The dog days of summer are here. I love to go out and hike in the woods, visit parks, and generally stay out during these extra-long days. I have my constant companions, my four dogs, with me on these treks. We enjoy nature and look forward to camping trips and also romp time in the backyard. But, there’s nothing that will break the tranquility of a walk in the woods as a dog yelp. You look over and your pooch is shaking his head, licking his paw, or biting at another spot on his body. Most likely, Spot has just been stung by a bee or wasp.

Stings are just as painful to dogs as they are to us. And, like people, your dogs can have varying degrees of reactions to a bee or wasp sting. You can locate the area stung by a swelling and reddening area. If your dog was stung by a bee, you may be able to see and remove the stinger. Bees can only sting once. A bee’s stinger is translucent and is barbed at the end, so you don’t want to pull on the end. To remove the stinger, use tweezers or even your fingernail to scrape your dog’s skin. Hold your fingernail parallel to the wound and gently move over the skin which will release the stinger. Do not squeeze the stinger, as this may release more venom into the wound and cause more pain. Wasps can sting multiple times and no stinger will remain.

These types of insect stings are normally only a minor irritant for dogs. For mild or moderate reactions to stings, you will notice a swelling of the face, muzzle, nose, or other parts of the body where your pooch was stung. Dogs with severe reactions may have hives, trouble breathing, sudden diarrhea or defecation, pale gums, cold limbs, drooling, and weakness. If you feel your dog is having a severe reaction, take him to a vet immediately.

Some simple remedies are readily found in your home.

When my curious pups have put their noses too close to a bee and have felt the harsh pain of stinger, I use a mild paste of water and baking soda to help ease the pain and irritation of the site. Also, feel free to dab some apple cider vinegar or witch hazel via a cotton ball for the pain and inflammation. Another trick for swelling and itchiness is to give Spot some Benadryl. Follow your vet’s recommendations for dosage.

Since dogs are curious creatures and often stick their noses where they do not belong, it may be difficult to keep your pup safe from stinging insects forever. However, a few precautions may be necessary. Check the eaves of your house and have any wasp nests removed. Try to keep a healthy distance between your garden or flowers from where your dog often plays or naps. Purchase or make some wasps or yellow jacket traps to keep these pesky visitors to a minimum. Not only will your best friend be safer from stings, but you and your family will as well this summer.

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Bonus Blog Article

How to Keep Gray Squirrels Away in Rhode Island

Did you know there are over 200 species of squirrel worldwide? The smallest squirrel is the African pygmy which is around 10 cm long, and the largest squirrel is the Indian giant at a massive 3′ long!

Thankfully here in New England, you won’t find that big guy trying to make his way into your home. However, with winter winding down and spring close upon us, we ARE entering breeding season for Gray Squirrels. This means they want to get inside and they want in NOW!

Determined Little Critters

Gray squirrels are determined and efficient little critters that can create extensive damage to your home or business. Once inside your attic, eves or crawl spaces gray squirrels will create dreys, otherwise known as nests, using whatever is available to them such as insulation, leaves from your gutters and even scraps from your attic storage boxes. Another major problem squirrels pose is the fact that they constantly have to chew to maintain the size of their teeth otherwise they may grow into their neck. To prevent this they chew on lead flashing, electrical wires and all types of wood framing inside and outside of a structure which can result in serious consequences for the property owner.

Squirrel Community Watch

If you live in a neighborhood with a large population of gray squirrels you ARE more likely to end up with a squirrel problem.  Additionally, if you have any type of bird feeder on your property you will likely attract those pesky gray squirrels, amongst other critters, to your yard. Once attracted they are far more likely to stay and look for shelter near the food source. You have unintentionally invited these furry little creatures to reside inside your home or business. 

An ounce of wildlife prevention is worth more than a million pounds of squirrel poop.”
-Ed Gannon, Precision Wildlife

Inspect Your Property

In most situations, we all react or respond to wildlife-related problems when they occur and often it is far too late as the damage has already been done. Wildlife specialists’ in Rhode Island advise that you visually inspect your home or business well before gray squirrel entry occurs. Often a quick inspection today of your roofs eves, rooflines, chimney tops, and attics can save you hundreds if not thousands in removal and damage restoration services later on.

Maintaining Your Property

Gray squirrels will take the path of least resistance; often entering at rotted or missing fascia boards and using out of control trees and shrubbery to jump on your roofs. Gray Squirrels have the ability to jump over 6′ up and 8′ across so be sure to keep tree limbs cut back approx. 10’-12’ and replace any rotted wood promptly. Cleaning your gutters regularly will also help by preventing squirrel baths and water damage.

Install Chimney Caps and Guards

Approximately 60% of all squirrel calls we receive at Precision Wildlife are due to cap-less chimneys or unguarded vents. Simply installing a squirrel proof cap or a vent cover is a sure way to prevent squirrel entry at these common points. Also, screen guarding gable vents and susceptible roofline gaps help to minimize entry points. We carry many vent covers and chimney caps and can provide installation promptly.

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