There’s more than one reason that so many people use the word “honey” as a pet name.
Honey is so sweet, delicious, fragrant, and soothing. Of course we want to associate our beloved with it. It’s like nature’s candy!
Now, we all know that dogs can’t have regular candy.
But What About Honey?
Can’t our pups just have one little lick? Or are we better off putting our honey dipper away and trying to distract them with a good-ole Milk-Bone?
Can Dogs Have Honey?
Yes, most dogs can eat honey with no real issues! However, like with all treats, honey should not be given to a dog too often or in too big a portion.
What Are the Health Benefits for Dogs of Eating Honey?
While there has been limited research conducted on this specific topic, there is a plethora of anecdotal evidence touting the beneficial qualities of honey for dogs.
For starters, some people administer a small, weekly dose of raw, local honey to dogs to manage pollen allergies. The idea is simple: by giving your dog repeated exposure to the variety of nearby pollen found within local honey, his immune system may learn to tolerate the pollen over time. If this sounds like the same logic people use when treating hay fever with honey, that’s not a coincidence!
Additionally, honey has been used for centuries to dress skin injuries due to the presence of inhibits, or antimicrobial substances, that mitigate the birth and spread of infections. As a result, pet owners will sometimes smear thin layers of honey over skin wounds and hot spots and cover them with tissue to ward off infections. To be most effective, the honey needs to be raw honey since processing removes many of honey’s benefits.
However, if your dog comes bounding up to the door with a blistering red hot spot, skip the honey. Instead, use Banixx on the spot so your dog can enjoy fast-acting, no-odor, sting-free relief. You can then rest assured that your carpet and furniture don’t end up covered in honey as your dog rolls around to get relief.
Hotspots aside, honey also contains trace amounts of essential micronutrients including iron, manganese, calcium, potassium, copper, phosphorus, and vitamins A, B-Complex, C, D, E, and K – all of which aid in processes that are crucial to maintaining optimal health!
What Are the Risks of Feeding Your Dog Honey?
First thing’s first: honey is mostly sugar, and sugar in most quantities is bad news for dogs. Eating lots of sugar can pose a variety of health problems for your fuzzy friend down the line, including tooth decay and weight gain.
If left unchecked, both of these issues can pose serious health risks to your pup including oral infections and obesity. Don’t be mistaken on the first point: if you do not brush your dog’s teeth regularly, give them something else to snack on besides honey. Similarly, if your dog doesn’t have a penchant for exercise, don’t give them honey.
Additionally, elderly dogs, puppies, and dogs with a compromised immune system should not eat raw honey due to the presence of bacterial spores. While these same spores can offer some health benefits to healthy dogs, they can make dogs with underdeveloped or weak immune systems very sick.
Dogs who are diabetic should not consume honey. Due to its high sugar content, honey is high on the glycemic index and can raise your dog’s blood sugar to unhealthy levels. On the flip side, honey can also be used as a safe and effective tool to raise your dog’s blood sugar if you’re ever in a pinch.
How Much Honey Should I Give My Dog?
One of the most common questions asked on the subject is how much honey can I give my dog? Remember: we’re talking about honey. It’s (almost) 100% sugar. A single teaspoon has nearly 100 calories and 17 grams of sugar. Too much of this stuff can get your dog really sick (and chubby!). Limit your dog’s intake of honey to a teaspoon or less per day.
A good guideline to follow to make sure your dog doesn’t eat too much honey is below:
- <10 lbs – ¼ teaspoon daily
- 10 – 20 lbs – ½ teaspoon daily
- 20 – 50 lbs – ¾ teaspoon daily
- 50+ lbs – 1 teaspoon daily
And, as with all new foods, introduce them to your dog’s diet in very small amounts. Literally add just one drop or two onto his food and see if he likes how it smells and tastes. If he seems to enjoy it (and his bowel movements don’t change too much), you can likely rest easy that his tummy is okay. However, always keep a watchful eye to catch any sudden changes in behavior, bathroom or otherwise!
Can Dogs Eat Honey Nut Cheerios and Other Foods From The Beehive?
YES! Similarly to how there has been little formal research done on the health benefits of honey ingestion for dogs, there has also been little research done for nailing down the exact health benefits of other food products from the beehive. That being said, anecdotal evidence (there we go again) tells us that some pet owners have seen success in giving their dog other beehive products for supplemental purposes.
While we’ve already mentioned how some owners give their dogs honey to fight pollen allergies, we haven’t yet discussed what else pollen is good for: rooting out free radicals. Free radicals are damaged cells that seek out the electrons in other, healthy cells, to make themselves whole again. And, in the process, they end up damaging other healthy cells, proteins, and DNA in your dog’s body. Some owners give their dogs small amounts of bee pollen to fend off these dangerous little suckers.
Moreover, some pet parents give their dogs small amounts of propolis (a compound produced by bees made of the resin that comes from the buds of poplar trees) due to its naturally antibiotic qualities. Some owners even feed their pooches royal jelly, a secretion used to feed bee larvae and turn workers into queens. We know, it sounds wild. But some pet parents swear by its ability to help boost their pup’s stamina and help with depression and anxiety. As always, do your own research and if you experiment in these areas of nutrition or wellness, keep a vigilant eye on your pup for changes.
To learn more about how to keep your pup feeling his best and how to help him find sting-free, odor-free, fast-acting relief for ear infections, skin yeast infections, hot spots, and more, visit our dog page.
Does Honey Give Dogs Diarrhea?
Honey is well known for soothing a dog’s GI tract, but feeding him too much can result in vomiting or diarrhea.
Can You Give a Dog Honey for a Cough?
Giving your dog honey for a cough, such as kennel cough, can be beneficial as honey contains lots of antioxidants, enzymes and flavonoids. In fact, some people swear by Manuka honey for providing their dogs with relief from their cough.
Does Honey Make Dogs Vomit?
Honey is very high in sugar, which can cause your dog’s blood sugar to rise a lot, which could result in him vomiting. Best to stick with the recommended doses listed above.
Does Honey Kill Dogs?
When given in appropriate dosages, honey is not deadly to dogs.
Is Honey Good For Dogs Upset Stomach?
Honey can be helpful for dogs with an upset stomach upset, such as from eating too much grass or a treat that just didn’t agree with their belly. Keep in mind though, if your dog’s upset stomach persists, you should stop feeding him honey and seek medical treatment.
Can Dogs Eat Manuka Honey?
Yep! They sure can. Manuka honey has been proven to be beneficial to dogs with upset stomachs. Just use the recommended dosage listed above.