Your German Shepherd loves chasing bees. But what’s even more surprising is that they also love to eat them!
Bite, bite, bite, then eat.
You’re confused… (Why do they love eating bees?)
And worried… (You’re afraid that your German Shepherd might get stung one day.)
So what should you do to stop this habit?
Continue reading to learn:
- 7 real reasons why German Shepherds eat bees.
- What you need to do if your dog gets stung by a bee.
- 3 tips on how to stop your German Shepherd’s behavior.
- A fun fact on the effect earring bees could have on your German Shepherd.
- And much much more…
Table of contents
- Why do German Shepherds eat bees?
- 7 reasons why German Shepherds eat bees
- 3 dangers when German Shepherd eats bees
- 3 tips to stop your German Shepherd from eating bees
Why do German Shepherds eat bees?
German Shepherds eat bees for various reasons such as: it is their natural instinct, they are curious, they perceive catching the bees as a challenge, chasing bees keeps them active, bees are a good source of protein, your dog gets ‘high’, or they could be hallucinating.
7 reasons why German Shepherds eat bees
#1: It is their natural instinct
German Shepherds, just like other dog breeds, are predators. It’s their instinct to catch weaker animals.
So when they see bees, they can’t help but chase them.
Then they kill.
But wait, there’s more – they also eat them. Uh-oh!
It could be fun to watch your German Shepherd jump around trying to eat bees. But you should not let your guards down.
The bees will not give up so easily. They will try to defend themselves from your dog.
“But how?”, you might ask yourself.
By stinging your German Shepherd. Ouch!
You’ve probably seen photos online of dogs stung by bees. Their swollen faces can be really funny.
Or concerning… As, in some cases, this can be a serious matter.
If you’ve been stung by a bee before, then you know how painful it is. So even if your dog loves to eat bees, you should stop them before they get hurt.
#2: Your dog is just curious
“What’s that flying over there? Looks tasty as heck!” – your German Shepherd.
It’s normal for dogs to be eating and nibbling on anything they could get their paws on. Your shoes, flowers, even their poop.
That’s why they are also curious to have a little taste of the buzzing bees.
Although their curiosity trait is beneficial in awakening their senses, this could lead them into trouble from time to time.
#3: Your German Shepherd perceives catching bees as a challenge
If you find the buzzing of bees annoying – your dog thinks otherwise.
For your beloved German Shepherd, that buzz is music to the ears. A call for playtime.
Or maybe for a little challenge as well. And in your German Shepherd’s eyes, those bees are like a moving target.
When bees fly, they constantly change their direction. They are pretty fast, too.
Although eating them could be dangerous, there’s an advantage in this situation. Chasing these bees can keep your dog sharp and active!
#4: Bees are healthy
Your dog chases everything they could see: cats, chickens, and squirrels. So when your German Shepherd runs after the bees, you are not surprised.
But then – you see your dog chewing something. You try to pry open their mouth, and inside you see a bee.
“No, not again! What is it they love about eating bees?”
There are 3 answers to this question.
First, they are a good source of protein. Second, they are organic. Third, they are easy to digest.
Don’t worry! There is no harm in eating bees. I know that it’s pretty common to think that bees have bad effects when eaten.
Your dog can eat multiple of them without getting sick. Like any normal food, the bees would get through their digestive system without any problems.
The only problem is their sting though.
#5: Sweet, sweet bees
For your German Shepherd, the bees are like a flying snack. A sweet snack, that is.
Bees are the workers that produce honey. Dogs like eating sweets.
Your dog’s conclusion?
These flying insects are an invitation for a dessert buffet.
#6: Your dog gets ‘high’
Okay, this is not what you might think!
Fun fact: The sweet and delicious odor of these bugs are like irresistible treats for your German Shepherd. If eaten in large quantities, the bees can give a ‘soothing’ effect on your dog.
But take note that this effect depends on the number of bees that will be consumed.
If your German Shepherd is an expert in catching these insect delicacies, they can get addicted to the sensation that comes along with eating it.
#7: There are no real bees
You are with your dog inside your house. Suddenly – it jumps up, follows something, chews, and then swallows.
However, you are sure that there’s nothing else inside the house.
So you just shrugged it off. Oh, well…
But over time, you notice that your German Shepherd does that sequence quite a lot. It seems to be imagining flies and bees…
This could be a case of the ‘fly-catching or ‘air snapping syndrome. It is a condition in dogs that is associated with OCD, a.k.a obsessive-compulsive disorders.
Certain factors contribute to this syndrome. The breed of the dog, digestive issues, or any neurological concerns.
Oftentimes, it is also caused by stress. So keep your dog active and happy to reduce their stress.
If you think that your German Shepherd is ‘fly-snapping’, you can ask for a professional’s opinion. With behavioral intervention and medication, this issue can be resolved.
3 dangers when German Shepherd eats bees
#1: Harmful stings
If the bee dies before your German Shepherd could eat it, then that’s good. There’s nothing to worry about.
But if the bee isn’t dead, you should observe your dog carefully.
Bees that are eaten alive could sting your dog’s throat or mouth. If this happens, the swelling inside can block the airway of your dog. This leads to difficulty in breathing.
In this situation, you should take your dog to the nearest veterinarian as soon as possible.
How to take care of your German Shepherd when they are stung by a bee
Step 1: Assess the surrounding. Stay away from the hive. Check your dog’s body for multiple stings. If possible, identify what kind of bee attacked your dog.
Step 2: Comfort your dog. They do not know the reason why they are in pain. They just feel it. It’s important that you are with them.
Step 3: If the stinger is still in your dog’s body, remove it by scraping. You can use a card to scrape it away.
According to VCA Hospitals, you should not pinch or pull using tweezers. This could only cause the venom of the stinger to spread.
Be patient. Removing the stinger can take some time. You should be also calm so that your dog will not get agitated.
Step 4: Apply a cold compress. It’s a safe way to give your dog relief from the pain. The cold compress can also help their wound to heal faster.
Step 5: Use Benadryl to minimize allergic reactions. Ask your pet’s veterinarian for proper dosage.
Step 6: Observe your dog carefully. Watch out for symptoms of allergic reactions.
You should also be careful with puppies! Since they are not grown dogs, they are more reactive to the pain of being stung by bees.
#2: Allergic reaction
As mentioned earlier, eating bees is not dangerous for your German Shepherd. The bad thing is when your dog gets stung by the stinger.
The venom of the bees can cause allergic reactions. Its symptoms can range from swelling to more serious cases – like death.
Here are other symptoms of allergic reactions you can look out for:
- Being sleepy.
- Severe itching.
- Lack in coordination.
- Difficulty in breathing.
- Pawing face or licking of toes.
For some dogs who are stung by bees, allergic reactions can last for a day. But for others, it could be severe and could last for months. In these cases, you should seek out medical help.
#3: Your German Shepherd will enjoy eating bees too much
There are two possible outcomes after your dog eats a bee the first time.
First, the bee stings your German Shepherd. This scares away your dog. Then they will decide to keep away from the bees forever.
Second, your German Shepherd can choose to eat more bees. Now every time they hear a buzzing sound, they’ll be on alert mode. It will be their mission to kill and eat as many bees as they can.
Unfortunately, many dogs choose the second option. This could be a problem, though.
Here’s a scenario:
Your German Shepherd was feeling active and playful one day. They spotted a bee, then followed it to the hive.
“It’s snack time!”, your dog thought.
But the next thing you know, your dog started barking and whining.
Things happened so fast. Bees who are protecting their hive got all over your dog.
You tried to remove your dog from the area as soon as possible. Then you checked your beloved pet.
They had multiple stings all over their body. You rushed them to the nearest vet just at the right moment.
Whoo… That was close!
You would have thought that your dog has finally learned their lesson. But after a few more days, they’re back to chasing and eating bees once again.
So what could you do to stop this habit?
3 tips to stop your German Shepherd from eating bees
#1: Distract and train
First is to distract your dog.
Think of the activity or game your German Shepherd really loves to do. The one that always makes them jump for joy and wag their tails faster than your car’s wipers.
Now, whenever they spot a bee, distract your dog with that specific game. This will make them stop and think twice:
Will they chase after the bee or play the game instead?
If this didn’t work, you can try training your dog with the ‘Leave it’ and ‘Stop’ commands. This is important as it can potentially save your dog’s life.
You can use the ‘Leave it’ command when your dog is trying to eat a live bee. And you use the ‘Stop’ command to stop them from chasing and eating bees.
And always remember, never hit or strike your dog when training.
Have lots of patience. The training will benefit not only you but your beloved pet as well.
#2: Let nature take its course
German Shepherds are smart dogs. If they eat bees often and get stung every time, their mind will tell them that bees + sting = pain.
Eventually, your dog will learn the outcomes of eating bees and will then try to avoid them.
This takes time, though. And if unsupervised, your dog could be in serious trouble.
That is why it is still best that you train your dog to avoid eating bees.
#3: Keep the bees away
Your German Shepherd couldn’t keep itself away from the delicious bees.
You’ve tried every training possible. You even asked for help from dog trainers and behaviorists. Nothing worked.
You are at your wit’s end…
Maybe it’s time you take on another approach. You could consider keeping the bees away from your dog instead.
Take a look at your yard. What does your dog normally do?
Your German Shepherd adores sniffing flowers. But it’s not just your dog that’s attracted to the sweet scent of these plants. The bees love them, too.
Based on research, the food sources of bees come from trees, shrubs, and woody vines. Bees also love flowering trees. And they are especially active during the season of summer and fall.
To prevent bees from coming into your yard, avoid planting maple, nectarine, and willow.
What you can plant instead are mint, eucalyptus, cucumber, and basil. Bees hate the scents of these plants.
You can also use a non-toxic repellent to keep the bees away from your house. In a spray bottle, combine peppermint oil, cinnamon, and cayenne pepper with water.
Spray this solution in your outdoor surfaces, door frames, and window panes. As it dries up, it will leave the peppermint’s scent that will ward off the bees.
Warning: Do not spray this solution directly to the bees. This will make them angry and will try to attack you instead.