Every dog owner knows that you should never offer your pet sweets, sugar, or chocolate.
But what about the all mighty nectar of Gods? It’s healthy food and powerful medicine, but can dogs have honey?
The short answer is yes. Honey is okay in small quantities, but it’s not for every dog.
Read on to find out:
- Is Honey Good for Dogs?
- The Benefits of Honey for Your Dog
- How Much Honey Can a Dog Have?
- Can All Dogs Have Honey?
- How to Offer Honey to Your Dog
Is Honey Good for Dogs?
Since people discovered honey, this nectar has been popular as food and medicine. Scientific research shows that for 8,000 years, we’ve used it to heal wounds, ease coughing and allergy signs, or simply enjoy its taste. Also, it’s rich in many vitamins and minerals.
Given the long history of honey usage and its proven numerous benefits for our bodies, how good is honey for dogs?
It can be very good. If you serve it as vets suggest, it can do wonders for your dog’s health. Let’s find out why and how.
Why Is Honey Called Superfood?
This natural product contains about 200 substances that are good for everyone, dogs included. Here are the essential facts about honey and dogs:
- Honey is rich in vitamins your dog needs daily. These include vitamins C, B, E, D, and K. They’re all crucial for building a healthy body, brain, and metabolism.
- The sweet substance is also a super antioxidant that helps with inflammation and boosts your dog’s immune system.
- Honey also contains a lot of minerals like magnesium, copper, zinc, iron, calcium, and potassium. They’re all essential for muscle development and growth.
Let’s find out how your dog can benefit from honey.
The Benefits of Honey for Your Dog
From allergy relief to skin irritation and easing a cough, the benefits of honey for dogs are fantastic. But let’s go into more details:
- Antibacterial and Anti-Inflammatory Remedy. For many centuries, it’s been applied to wounds, cuts, and scratches to help them heal faster. Honey might also aid with eczema, hot spots, and insect bites. But be careful. When you apply honey to your dog’s body, always cover it. Otherwise, your dog will try to lick it.
- Minimizes Seasonal Allergies. Honey can also help dogs with allergies. That’s because honey contains some amount of flower pollen. When you slowly introduce your pet to it, the body will start to create antibodies. That’s how it prepares the immune system and prevents it from responding to airborne pollen. But you should always be careful with the amount when you give your dog honey.
- Great Coughing Remedy. Is your dog coughing? Honey is antibacterial and can soothe a sore throat. Reportedly, it can also help if your dog’s dealing with kennel cough.
Now that you know all the benefits of honey, let’s move on to the most important question.
How Much Honey Can a Dog Have?
Honey for dogs is good as long as you serve it in small doses. But how much is enough for your pet?
It mostly depends on your dog’s size and weight. According to vets, the dosage should be as follows:
- Small dogs that weigh up to 10 pounds can have ¼ tablespoon.
- Breeds that weigh 10–20 pounds should have ½ tablespoon.
- Dogs between 20 and 50 pounds can have up to 1 tablespoon.
- Dogs over 50 pounds can have 2 tablespoons.
Like any other human food, always introduce honey in minimal amounts regardless of your dog’s size and weight.
But why? Is honey bad for dogs? No, but if your dog has too much, it can cause vomiting, diarrhea, or loss of appetite.
When you introduce it slowly, you can closely observe any reactions. If there are none, you can increase the amount of honey to the recommended dosage.
Can All Dogs Have Honey?
As rich in vitamins and minerals honey is, it’s still not suitable for all dogs. For example, if your pet has issues with its immune system or disease, honey might not be the best food. In this case, you should always consult your vet.
Here are a few situations where you should avoid giving honey to your pet:
- You have a puppy. Vets don’t recommend honey for puppies as their immune system is still developing. The natural sweetener might contain botulism spores. Under certain conditions, they can grow and cause intoxication that can be lethal.
- Your dog has diabetes. Honey is very sweet and will raise the blood sugar levels in your dog’s body.
- Your dog is overweight or obese. Extra sugar isn’t a good idea for weight management. Regardless of the many benefits honey has, you should opt for another healthy treat.
- Is honey safe for dogs dealing with mild to severe diseases like cancer, lupus, or another autoimmune disease? No, due to the botulism spores and the harm they can do to your dog’s body, honey can be dangerous in such cases.
As honey is high on the glycemic index, it can cause tooth decay. To prevent that, consider brushing your dog’s teeth after offering it honey.
How to Offer Honey to Your Dog
Keep the honey dosage very low, and don’t serve it to your pet daily. Other than that, here are some awesome ways to offer this healthy nectar to your pup:
- Give them a spoonful of honey and let them lick it. Raw honey for dogs is the easiest option!
- Put it on top of your dog’s favorite treat or fruit.
- You can put a bit of honey in your dog’s favorite smoothie.
- Put honey in dog birthday cake recipes to make them even more delicious.
- You can blend honey with fruits or vegetables and freeze them. Who wouldn’t want a cold treat on a hot summer day?
- If your dog refuses to eat honey by itself, you can mix it with many dog food brands for picky eaters.
If your dog likes honey, you can think of many more ways to include this healthy product in its favorite meals and treats.
Are All Types of Honey Good for Dogs?
While you can give all types of honey to your dog, there are some differences. So, what kind of honey can dogs have?
First of all, different bees produce different honey. Depending on the plants they have access to, their honey can be dandelion, meadow, honeydew, or manuka. And that would change the content. For example, honey from dandelion, meadow, and honeydew plants has the most antioxidants.
If you’re looking for honey with antibacterial properties, you should search for Manuka honey. It has four times the nutrient content of regular honey. If your pet is dealing with kennel cough, manuka honey for dogs is the best option.
Last but not least, whether you want to use honey as medicine or for its vitamins and minerals, the best option is raw. When processed and pasteurized, honey can lose some of its health benefits for your dog.
So, can dogs have honey? Yes, but in limited dosages. And if your dog is dealing with obesity, diabetes, autoimmune disease, or cancer, opt for another healthy option or consult your vet.If you want to add honey or supplementing vitamins to homemade dog food, check relevant sources online and consult your vet. It’s always better to be safe than sorry.