It’s readily apparent that our canine companions don’t just eat meat, although traditionally people think of them as predators. In fact, dogs eat all sorts of odd stuff as anyone who’s had one for any length of time can go. Sometimes we have to ask ourselves odd questions, like “can dogs eat honey?” out of pure curiosity. Read on and we’ll answer your question below.
Is It Safe?
Yes, honey is absolutely SAFE for your canine. In an odd turn of events it turns out that bears aren’t the only large animal which enjoys honey, even lions have been observed chowing down on beehives in the wild. This sugary substance is touted for its health benefits in people quite frequently, and some of those will apply to our furred friends as well.
As a bonus, it’s quite beneficial for your dog to receive some daily. You obviously don’t want to go overboard here, as honey is basically nutrients and sugar combined into a delicious, gooey mess, but a teaspoon or so daily has some surprising and diverse benefits for our pets so you might want to consider it.
Trust us, getting them to eat their “medicine” isn’t going to be an issue in this case.
Using Honey for Allergies
If your dog is constantly itching and scratching, they may have a form of dermatitis related to allergies. Thankfully, there’s an easy way to fix it in most dogs that doesn’t involve hiding capsules of prednisone or diphenhydramine in your dog’s food and hoping they don’t notice. Honey has been shown to help contain these allergic outbreaks and help your dog quit scratching until they hurt their skin.
For allergies, you need to find some local honey, as it will contain the pollens from local plants that will get your dog’s system building up an immunity. Most people recommend feeding it twice a day, but make sure you don’t feed too much. It can lead to both obesity and diarrhea, neither of which are desirable. About a half teaspoon for an average sized dog, twice a day is probably an ideal dose.
Keep in mind that you need to use local honey for this application, while some of the more exotic honey types will contain more nutrients what you’re actually after here is the pollen. Commercial honey are often adulterated with high-fructose corn syrup, but you should be able to find some at a farmer’s market. If there isn’t a farmer’s market in your area, try calling a few apiaries.
Your dog will thank you for this, they love honey anyways and the lack of allergies will allow them to enjoy the warm sun in the spring without having to itch and scratch all the time.
For Gastrointestinal Problems
Honey can also work wonders for gastrointestinal problems in your canine companion. Honey is antimicrobial, and it can help with problems that are generally associated with the overgrowth of harmful bacteria in their GI tract. These problems include colitis, irritable bowel syndrome, and gastritis.
If your dog is suffering from these, a small amount of honey fed regularly can work wonders and help them to feel better. Remember not to use supermarket honey brands if you can avoid it, but if you have no other option you should check the label and make sure it’s pure honey and not adulterated with harmful sugars like high-fructose corn syrup which are likely to do more harm than good in the long run.
As a Nutritional Supplement
Even if your dog doesn’t suffer from any of the above ailments the feeding of raw, organic honey can be a good idea. Honey is jam-packed with micronutrients, including many essential vitamins and minerals which your dog needs to maintain energy and health long into their twilight years.
For any purpose other than allergies, you’ll want to look into getting Manuka honey. This specialized type of honey from New Zealand has the most proven benefits and even has a handy rating system which will allow you to determine how effective it will be at handling microbes. This index is called UMF, or Unique Manuka Factor and determines the level of qualities unique to this honey.
It can be a bit pricey, but anything with a UMF of 10+ is generally quite fine for our purposes here.
One thing to keep in mind about using honey, though, while it’s generally safe with dogs you’ll want to consult with your vet if your dog is diabetic. This isn’t a case of suggestion, it can be quite harmful to dogs who suffer from that ailment.
If you’ve been asking yourself “can dogs eat honey?” you’ve been asking the wrong question. The correct question is “why isn’t my dog eating honey?” It can help with a wide variety of ailments in your canine’s health and it’s just plain healthy for them as long as you don’t overdo it.
Did you like our article? Know some more about honey and its uses for dogs? Leave a comment below and let us know!