Like most people, you probably have a jar of honey sitting in your pantry. And you’ve probably wondered if it’s safe for dogs to eat honey.
The short answer is yes; dogs can have honey. However, like most foods, it’s best to give honey to dogs in moderation.
While honey is a perfectly safe treat for your dog, you should keep a few things in mind.
This blog post will cover everything you need to know about feeding honey to dogs, including the possible health benefits and risks and how to include honey with regular dog food.
Can Dogs Eat Honey?
Honey is a natural product made by bees from the nectar of flowers. It contains vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants that can offer some health benefits for dogs.
That being said, honey should be given to dogs in moderation. Too much honey can lead to weight gain and digestive problems.
Many owners feed their dogs honey in homemade treats as an alternative to sugar.
Raw honey vs. processed honey
There are different types of honey; not all honey is the same.
When giving your dog honey, choose a natural, unprocessed variety. Raw honey has more nutrients than processed honey and is less likely to contain chemicals or other additives.
Avoid supermarket honey that was processed using heat and includes low-quality ingredients like high-fructose corn syrup.
Heated or processed honey can contain additional ingredients like high fructose corn syrup that dilute its medicinal value.
Manuka honey for dogs
Manuka honey is a good choice for dogs since it protects against bacteria and has anti-inflammatory properties.
This honey is produced in Australia and New Zealand from the nectar bees collect from the manuka tree. Manuka honey is thought to help treat wounds and skin conditions.
Benefits of Manuka honey for dogs
Manuka honey comes from the nectar of the Manuka tree in New Zealand, and it’s known for its antibacterial properties when applied topically as part of treating wounds.
Before you give your dog Manuka honey to eat—or apply it topically—make sure to check with your veterinarian.
If you want to use honey for medicinal purposes in your dog’s diet, pay close attention to how it is processed.
For the best health benefits of honey, ensure it is unfiltered and source local honey where possible.
Processed and pasteurized honey on store shelves has been heated and filtered, destroying many beneficial enzymes, vitamins, and minerals.
Health benefits of honey for dogs
Seasonal Allergy Relief
Honey contains trace amounts of flower pollen. This pollen stimulates your dog’s immune system, helping it build antibodies that can prevent autoimmune responses to the pollen.
While there isn’t scientific evidence to back this up, honey could reduce allergic reactions to flower pollen.
Even though there’s no guarantee that honey will help with allergies, feeding your dog a small amount shouldn’t hurt them.
Honey for cough and throat irritation
Humans also use honey to soothe sore throats and upset stomachs. You can give your dog honey to help relieve a cough or sore throat. However, ensure not to provide too much, as this could cause an upset stomach.
Giving dogs honey for kennel cough is as simple as spooning it out of the jar and offering it to them.
Honey for digestive issues
Honey can also help with digestive issues like diarrhoea and constipation. This is because the high levels of sugar in honey encourage the growth of healthy gut bacteria.
The probiotics found in raw honey can help restore gut balance and improve digestion. Also, honey contains prebiotics that helps feed the good bacteria in the gut and promote a healthy digestive system.
Honey for skin problems
If your dog has problems like hot spots, eczema, or insect bites, honey can be a great way to help soothe and heal these common canine ailments. Honey can also help ease scratches, scrapes, and wounds.
Raw, unpasteurized honey possesses antibacterial, antifungal, and antiviral attributes. Not only does its low moisture content impede bacteria from developing, but honey also emits low levels of hydrogen peroxide. This disinfects without harming the tissues in need of healing.
Not only does honey help reduce pain and inflammation, but the enzymes present also promote healthy skin growth.
Tip: If your honey is too thick, make it more spreadable by placing the jar in a warm water bath. Apply it to your pup, then cover it with bandages to prevent licking.
Honey for weight control
If your dog puts on weight quickly, adding a bit of honey may help him to maintain a healthier weight. Studies have shown that eating honey can slow down the hunger response. In addition, honey is rich in sugars and has been proven to slowly release glucose into the bloodstream – helping your pup feel fuller for longer!
Honey can help senior dogs with joint pain, as well as dogs with inflammation due to hot spots, wounds, or bug bites.
How to feed honey to your dog
It is important to slowly introduce honey into your dog’s diet to avoid any digestive upset. Start by mixing a small amount of honey into dog food and gradually increase the amount you give them over time.
Spread a thin layer of honey on their favorite treat
Adding honey to their delicious meal will make it special for them. If you don’t want to scrub away a gooey mess, ensure your dog eats this treat in an area that’s easy to clean. Please note that some dogs are allergic to honey and may experience side effects like diarrhea, vomiting, and difficulty breathing. Stop feeding your dog honey immediately, and consult your veterinarian if you notice these symptoms.
Put some honey on a slice of fruit
Mix honey with pumpkin puree, cream cheese, or peanut butter for a delicious pet-safe snack. You can even layer some of these ingredients into a little parfait for a fun and sweet treat.
Try layering a teaspoon each of plain yogurt and pumpkin puree in a small dish. Then add a drizzle of honey. For dog treats, garnish with a biscuit or crushed-up on top.
Let your dog lick it off a spoon or spatula.
If your dog is resistant to having honey mixed into their food, you can try feeding it to them directly off a spoon or spatula. Start with just a small lick and see how they react before giving them more. Some dogs may not be too keen on the taste of honey, so don’t force them to eat it if they’re not enjoying it.
Create herbal honey for your dog
There are many benefits of giving your dog herbal honey. You can add a teaspoon of honey to their food or give it to them directly off a spoon. Many different herbs can be added to honey, such as chamomile, lavender, or ginger. These herbs can help to soothe your dog’s stomach and help with any digestive upset. Herbal honey can also be used topically on your dog’s skin to help with any itchiness or inflammation. Simply apply a thin layer of the honey to the affected area and let it sit for 10-15 minutes before rinsing off.
A word of caution about giving honey to your dog
Overall, honey is a healthy treat that can offer numerous dog benefits. When used correctly, it can help to improve digestion, relieve allergies, promote healing, and boost energy levels.
In certain cases, honey should be avoided. If you’re unsure about giving honey to your dog, it’s best to consult with a veterinarian first. They can advise you on the best way to incorporate honey into your pet’s diet based on their individual needs.
Dogs with obesity or diabetes
Even though honey is safe for dogs to eat and has some nutritional benefits, too much of it can be harmful. Dogs fed large amounts of honey are at risk for obesity and tooth decay. Be sure to exercise your dog regularly and provide a balanced diet if you give them honey as a treat.
Dogs with strong immune systems can eat raw honey, but puppies and dogs with weakened immune systems should not because of the possible presence of botulism spores. Also, diabetic or obese dogs shouldn’t have honey since it’s high in sugar.
Obesity seriously impacts a dog’s health and quality of life, leaving them at greater risk of illnesses such as cancer and diabetes and shortening their lives by 2.5 years on average.
Generally speaking, do not give overweight dogs honey.
Dogs allergic to bee stings
Dogs can develop an allergy to bee stings, and those that are hypersensitive might have an allergic reaction to eating honey.
Additional natural remedies
As you can see, honey offers several health benefits for dogs, but it isn’t the only bee product that may help them feel better.
Although no scientific evidence proves these claims, many people find that propolis, bee pollen, beeswax, and royal jelly all offer holistic health solutions for dogs.
Propolis is said to be a natural antibiotic used to fight infections with cancer-inhibiting properties. Similar to honey, propolis can be applied topically to help heal cuts and
Honey is safe for puppies, but it’s best to wait until they’re at least 12 weeks old before giving it to them. This will give their digestive system time to mature, and they’ll be better able to handle the natural sugars in honey.
Young pups under two years old and dogs with compromised immune systems shouldn’t be fed raw honey, as it might contain botulism spores, a bacteria that makes the botulinum toxin that can cause paralysis.
How Much Honey Can A Dog Have?
The amount of honey you give your dog will depend on the size of your pet. A general rule of thumb is to give one teaspoon (5 ml) of honey per 10 pounds (4.5 kg) of body weight.
Always start with a small amount and increase gradually over time to avoid any digestive upset.
If you’re giving honey to your dog for the first time, start with a small amount to see how they react. Some dogs may be more sensitive to the sugar content in honey and may develop an upset stomach.
If this occurs, reduce the amount you’re giving them or stop giving it to them altogether.
- Up to 10lbs – not more than ¼ tsp daily
- 10-20lbs – not more than ½ tsp daily
- 20-50lbs – not more than 1 tsp daily
- 50lbs+ – 2 tsp max daily
Honey is a safe and healthy treat for dogs when given in moderation. It offers numerous health benefits, including aiding in digestion, relieving allergies, promoting healing, and boosting energy levels.
In some cases, honey should be avoided. Dogs with obesity or diabetes shouldn’t have honey since it’s high in sugar. Dogs allergic to bee stings might also react to eating honey.
Puppies and dogs with weakened immune systems shouldn’t eat raw honey as it might contain botulism spores.