Can dogs eat honey? Honey is delicious, but is it safe for dogs? The answer is yes; dogs can eat raw honey. It’s one of the most potent and versatile natural remedies – even for our canine companions! Honey is packed with vitamins and minerals that help support optimal health, and it’s generally safe for dogs to consume, but there are a few exceptions you should be aware of. Let’s look at all of the ways honey can help your furry companion and explain why you should be especially careful if your pup is diabetic or allergic to bee stings.
Pro tip: Honey is high on the glycemic index and can raise your dog’s blood sugar to unhealthy levels. Pet insurance covers the diagnostics and treatment for diabetes as long as it’s not deemed a pre-existing condition.
Health Benefits of Honey
Honey is very sugary and high on the glycemic index, so the nutrients it provides are in micro-dose form. Nonetheless, those nutrients are there. (And did you know honey never goes bad if stored properly?)
When we talk about the health benefits of honey, we’re talking about raw, unpasteurized honey. Heated or processed honey can contain additional ingredients like high fructose corn syrup that dilute its medicinal value.
Vitamins A, C, and E give honey its powerful antioxidant properties, along with phenolic acid and flavonoids. They combat free radicals that cause cell oxidation damage in your dog’s body. They also help reduce inflammation and boost your dog’s immune system.
These are the building blocks of a healthy body. They support your dog’s energy levels, brain function, and metabolism.
Vitamin D & Vitamin E
Both are fat-soluble vitamins supporting bone health, regulating your dog’s immune system, and providing blood clotting properties.
Minerals like copper, magnesium, manganese, and copper aid in producing red blood cells and collagen. They also promote muscle development, bone density, and the growth of ligaments and tendons.
Antimicrobial, antifungal, and antibacterial properties
The enzymes found in honey reduce inflammation and soothe stomach ulcers and sore throats. When applied in a thin layer to the skin, honey stimulates the healing of wounds, hot spots, eczema, and bug bites. It helps rid the gastrointestinal system of bad bacteria that can cause diarrhea when eaten.
Honey can help senior dogs with joint pain, as well as dogs with inflammation due to hot spots, wounds, or bug bites.
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.
Pollen also contains:
- A polyphenol-rich in antihistamines that relieve itchy.
- Environmental allergies cause watery eyes.
- It’s best to buy local honey, as it’s more likely to contain this type of pollen.
How much honey can you feed your dog?
You should see your veterinarian if your dog suffers from a medical problem such as diabetes, and you should provide a treat with less sugar, such as cucumbers. If you want to give your dog honey, be sure to discuss the appropriate dosage with your veterinarian. When it comes to dog treats, less is for the most part, particularly in the case of smaller breeds.
Honey can cause problems for these dogs.
Dogs who react to bee stings may react to honey as well. If you want to offer them, honey, start with one drop a day and build up from there, watching for signs of allergic reactions.
Puppies’ immune systems are still developing. They shouldn’t have raw honey because it may carry botulism spores. Those spores could give the puppy gastrointestinal issues.
Diabetic dogs should not have honey. The high sugar content can raise their blood sugar levels too high.
Overweight or obese dogs don’t need the extra sugar honey contains. There are plenty of other healthy snacks available. You can find some ideas for healthy snacks here.
Dogs with compromised immune systems should not eat honey, as it can harbor botulism spores. Dogs with autoimmune diseases, cancer, lupus, or diabetes fall into this category.
Honey can cause tooth decay because of its high sugar content. Brushing your dog’s teeth every week will remove this risk.
In addition to being delicious and safe, honey has a long list of documented health benefits for both people and dogs. If you’re looking for a supplement that will help keep your dog healthy, look no further.
In general, honey is safe for pups to consume. Still, pet owners should be careful when giving it to diabetic dogs, overweight dogs, dogs with compromised or immature immune systems, and those that are allergic to bee stings.
If you have any questions about feeding honey to your dog, consult your vet for your specific pet’s recommendations. The vet knows your dog’s health history and can help you decide if honey is the right choice for them.