Can dogs eat honey? Yes, honey is generally safe and healthy for dogs when consumed in moderate amounts. Honey has anti-inflammatory and antimicrobial properties that protect dogs against allergies and infections.
But there are still a few risks you should be aware of when feeding honey to dogs.
Is Honey Good for Dogs?
Can dogs have honey? Honey is a good supplementary food for dogs. It contains vitamin B complex, C, D, E, and K. Minerals found in honey include calcium, copper, iron, manganese, magnesium, phosphate, potassium, and sodium.
Aside from anti-inflammatory properties, honey also has an abundance of antioxidants such as flavonoids and phenolic acids and antimicrobial substances, including hydrogen peroxide.
The following are the health benefits of honey for dogs:
- Lessens susceptibility to seasonal allergies and environmental allergies
- Eliminates harmful fungi and microbes
- Reduces inflammation in the body and prevents arthritis
- Soothes hot spots, sore throat, and stomach pains
- Speeds up the healing of wounds and injuries
- Alleviates kennel cough
- Promotes smooth digestion
Some experts also advise giving dogs honey after a seizure caused by a hypoglycemic attack. That’s because it is believed to raise and stabilize blood sugar levels. However, most of these are anecdotal claims. More study is required to prove the effectiveness of honey.
Which Is Better: Raw or Processed Honey?
Can dogs have raw honey, or is processed honey a better choice? Raw honey trumps processed honey. The latter undergoes a pasteurization process, which strips off its vitamins and minerals. Raw honey, on the other hand, is strained and bottled; thus, its essential nutrients are preserved.
Feeding raw honey to dogs can help alleviate certain canine health issues such as ulcers, diarrhea, and sore throat. It is also used topically to treat mild burns and sunburns.
But be careful with using raw honey as it is prone to containing botulism spores. Botulism is a severe illness that can cause paralysis in dogs. Pooches can catch this disease by coming into contact with honey that has Clostridium botulinum or botulism spores.
Can puppies have honey? The answer is no. It is not recommended to give honey to puppies, especially if the honey is raw. Puppies below one year of age are highly susceptible to contracting botulism as they have weak immune systems.
For the same reasons, raw honey is off-limits to senior dogs and dogs with compromised immune systems. With this in mind, only offer raw honey to dogs with a clean bill of health.
How To Tell Apart Raw Honey from Processed Honey?
Check the label if it says 100% raw or unpasteurized. Keep in mind that buzzwords such as “organic” and “pure” do not mean that the honey is free from pasteurization.
Another way to know if the honey is raw is by examining its consistency. Raw honey tends to be cloudy and creamy. Over time, it may crystallize into a semi-solid state. In contrast, processed honey is often translucent and has a smooth texture.
Is Honey Bad for Dogs with Its High Sugar Content?
While honey is a nutritious treat for dogs, it also has downsides. Below is a list of dangers it poses to your furry friend’s health:
High in Sugar and Calories
Honey is mainly made up of simple sugars such as fructose, which comprises around 70-80% of it. A teaspoon of honey contains about 17 grams of sugar and 70 calories.
Adding too much honey to a dog’s food can lead to weight gain and a spike in blood sugar. It is not recommended for a diabetic dog or an obese dog.
Honey contains two types of sugar: fructose and glucose. These are bad for your dog as they can cause tooth decay, which can lead to severe periodontal diseases. Do not forget to brush your furry companion’s teeth after letting him eat honey.
May Trigger Allergic Reaction
Some dogs are allergic to honey. If it is your dog’s first time eating honey, let him eat a small amount only. Then, look out for signs of an allergic reaction, such as itching, scratching, redness of the skin, vomiting, and diarrhea. Take him to the vet immediately if he shows these symptoms.
How Much Honey Can Dogs Have?
Honey should not be given as a daily treat to dogs. It should be an occasional treat, and the amount of honey to give should be strictly controlled.
For small dogs, a teaspoon of honey once a day will do. Larger breeds can have up to a tablespoon daily.
Avoid sudden changes to your dog’s diet to prevent digestive problems. Because of its high sugar content, it’s not advisable to feed your dog honey regularly. You can give honey as an occasional treat.
What Types of Honey Can Be Given to Dogs?
Some forms of honey are dog-friendly, while others can be unhealthy and dangerous to canine health. Find out what type of honey can be safely shared with your dog.
Can dogs have Manuka honey?
Manuka honey for dogs is a safe snack as long as it is given occasionally. It shares nearly the same health benefits as regular honey. However, clinical trials show that Manuka honey can eliminate more than 250 strains of bacteria.
It is also found to have antibacterial properties, which aid in treating wounds and burns. The use of Manuka honey for coughs is observed to yield more positive results compared to regular honey. However, this is an anecdotal claim; thus, do your research and consult the vet first before giving honey to your dog.
Is Local Honey Better for Dogs?
Locally grown honey can be more beneficial to dogs, especially those with seasonal allergies. Canine and human anecdotal studies found that local honey contains local pollen spores. Ingesting them showed promising results in reducing pollen allergy symptoms.
Can Dogs Eat Honey Peanut Butter?
Honey peanut butter is okay to be shared with our furry companions only if it is unsalted and free of additional sugar, especially xylitol, which is very deadly for dogs.
Since many types of peanut butter contain preservatives, it is not the best snack for dogs. Make sure to check the ingredient list before serving.
Homemade Honey Dog Treats
Here is a honey dog treat recipe that will make your pooch love honey even more:
Honey Vanilla Biscuits
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1 egg
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- 2 cups of water
- 2 bananas, mashed
- 2 tablespoons honey
- 4 ½ cups whole wheat flour
- Preheat the oven to 350F.
- Grease two large baking sheets lightly with oil.
- Combine the egg, honey, mashed bananas, water, and vanilla in a large bowl.
- Stir in whole-wheat flour and baking powder.
- Using an electric mixer, beat the dough at medium speed until the ingredients are well-combined.
- Turn the dough onto a floured surface and knead it until it’s no longer sticky.
- Roll out the dough to 1/4-inch thickness and cut it into mini shapes with your favorite cookie cutter.
- Place dough shapes on the prepared baking sheets.
- Bake in the preheated oven until the cookies are lightly browned, about 20 minutes.
- Turn off the oven and leave the cookies until dry and crisp (about 30 to 40).
- Remove the baking sheet from the oven and allow the cookies to cool on the baking sheet for 10 minutes. Transfer the cookies to a wire rack to fully cool.
- Serve it to your furry friend. Store leftovers in an airtight container.