Dogs are inquisitive by nature, but sometimes their curiosity can get the better of them – or they’re just in the wrong place at the wrong time, finding themselves with an insect bite or sting. Some may run for help while others barely react, but in case your dog is on the losing end of a big encounter, it’s important to know what to look for.

Locate the bite or sting
Once you’ve realized that your dog is stung or bitten, you need to locate the point of the injury. This can either be done through witnessing it or noticing swelling/irritation on a particular part of the body. Take note of your dog’s body’s reaction to the wound – swelling, bleeding, etc. and make to remove any stingers that may have been left within the skin.

It’s also worth monitoring the size of the reaction on your dog – swelling and inflammation can expand and reactions can continuously develop for hours after the initial bite or sting.

Make a paste
In the case of a sting, you can treat your dog with a paste made of baking soda and water then apply it directly to the sting. This is a common treatment for humans when stung by an insect and is equally safe and effective for dogs – just supervise your dog to ensure he does not lick or ingest the paste as it could upset his stomach. The paste can help mitigate irritation and help soothe the sight of the sting or bite.

Allergy medications like Benadryl can be safely given to dogs to help with reactions and irritations from insect bites and stings. A typical dose for a dog is 1 milligram per pound, but always consult with your veterinarian if you are unsure of the precise dosage.

Keep in mind that after giving your dog Benadryl, he may become a bit drowsy – this is normal and nothing to be concerned about.

Visit your vet
In some cases, your dog may have multiple bites/stings or develop severe reactions that need immediate attention. If your dog begins displaying the following symptoms after a sting/bite, contact your veterinarian:

·       Panting

·       Excessive drooling

·       Difficulty breathing

·       Seizures

·       Refusal to eat

·       Tremors

In some cases, insect bites and stings can become infected and may need topical or oral antibiotics to heal. Fluid-filled cysts may develop, which is a clear indication that additional medical attention is needed. Typically, a week of antibiotics is enough to get the wounds healed.