Really, who doesn’t love honey? One of the best medicinal miracle foods on earth .. If only it wasn’t so fattening though, I’d jug down a whole jar in one sitting! Oh well, one can only wish.
If you’re anything like me, you immediately get frightened by the sight of a bee nearby, fearing an imminent sting that you’re praying won’t take place. After all, there’s nothing much you can do to evade a bee sting if there’s a bee looming around you and it’s already made up its mind!
However, bees aren’t all about that sting. If it weren’t for bees, this miraculous and heavenly-tasting food (honey) wouldn’t be here for us to eat!
But, can dogs eat honey? Is honey good and safe for dogs to eat? All viable questions any dog owner should look into before giving their four-legged friend any of this heaven-on-earth-i-dont-know-what-to-call-thing, okay you get what I mean!
Can Dogs Have Honey? The Short Answer
The short answer is, IT DEPENDS.
Assuming you’re feeding your dog a specific kind of honey that is known to be dog-friendly, then it’s fine to give your dog honey (raw, not processed) on occasions.
BUT, it is NOT fine to feed your puppy just any kind of honey out there. Some kinds of honey available for you to purchase can be very harmful to your dog’s health, so awareness is a must.
Why? This is what we’ll be talking all about in just a few.
The majority of dogs love the smell and taste of honey, so it’s really easy to feed it to them in any way. It’s not like it’s going to be a hassle for you to convince them to eat it, they’ll come begging you to feed them some.
Why Should I Give My Dog Honey?
Honey is known to be a miraculous food as far as human consumption is concerned, with it being credited to solving so many problems and healing so many illnesses, but how much of that is really true for your dog?
After all, we’re not here to see the health benefits of honey for you and I, we’re here to see how honey can be beneficial for our dogs.
Well, research has found that many (not all, though) of the benefits you and I can reap from honey consumption/use, our dogs can reap as well!
Actually, giving dogs honey to eat has been a fairly popular practices for many years now, and for really good reasons. Here’s why you’re going to want to consider to start feeding your dog honey from time to time if you aren’t already:
Vitamins & Minerals
Raw honey is a rich source of vitamin A, vitamin B-complex, vitamin C, vitamin D, vitamin E, vitamin K, calcium, phosphorus, magnesium, silicon, sulfur, potassium, manganese, copper, and iodine, all of which will ensure your dog leads a healthy life.
Moreover, raw honey contains certain enzymes that may help improve your dog’s overall digestion system.
Other than the fact that honey is one of the easiest and fastest foods that your dog can ever digest, honey is renowned for preventing bad bacteria from forming in your dog’s digestive tract.
Improved Calcium Absorption
Ever been suggested to consume a combination of milk and honey? Well, welcome to the club! Do you know why it’s often suggested that you do so?
Research shows that honey is able to significantly improve the process of your dog’s calcium absorption from milk (or any other form of calcium for that matter) when the two are consumed together.
Instant Energy Boost
Honey is also an excellent energy booster for instances such as when you’re playing in the park or you’re training your dog and they start to become tired, where you can give them a treat that will energize them and get them back on track, thanks to the fast acting sugars contained in honey that are digested very fast by the body.
While other foods your dog consumes usually take a significant amount of time before the sugar in them acts in your dog’s bloodstream, honey consumption has an immediate effect on your dog’s bloodstream – which is exactly what we want to happen in these circumstances so that we remain time-efficient.
Last but not least, it’ s been well documented that 1-2 teaspoons of honey per day (always check with your veterinarian before making such changes to your dog’s diet) fed to your dog can drastically help them keep seasonal allergies (spring, summer and fall) away.
Without boring you too much with the scientific details and to put it simply, this happens because when your dog eats raw honey, they ingest small amounts of pollen.
And when they ingest these small amounts of pollen, their bodies learn to adjust to them bit by bit, to the extent that they become somewhat immune and no longer react negatively when subjected to larger amounts.
The key here though is to feed your dog acceptable amounts of honey on a frequent basis and not to do this inconsistently, because if you slack off and don’t give your dog honey on a consistent basis during these times, then the allergies are bound to come back quickly.
What Type Of Honey Should I Give My Dog?
The only type of honey you should ever be feeding your dog is raw honey.
Stay far away from processed honey, as any type of processed honey isn’t natural (which goes against the fact that dogs are best off eating only natural foods) and won’t give your dog nearly the amount of benefits they will get out of raw honey.
Many times, dog owners try feeding their dogs processed honey in attempts to stop their dogs from reacting to seasonal allergens, only to fail from stopping these allergies from taking place. Why does this happen? Because they’re almost always feeding their dogs processed honey and not raw honey.
How Much Honey Should I Give My Dog?
Just like all foods that are high in sugar, and since honey is surely no different, you should first feed your dog honey in moderation and very small amounts. Give your dog too much honey all at once, and they are most likely to get gastrointestinal problems and/or diarrhea. You also don’t want to overfeed them on all that sugary honey and calories because, well, no one wants a fat dog!
The golden mean that is often recommended when first starting out is giving your dog a small teaspoon of honey per day. You can then see how your dog reacts to it (either positively or negatively) and elicit any necessary changes from there.
How Can Dogs Eat Honey?
If you’re set on feeding your dog some honey within the allowed portions, then here are several ways you can go about doing this.
– You can feed your dog a moderate portion of honey directly from the spoon
– You can wrap a certain medication your dog usually gives you a little bit of a hard time to swallow around with some honey in a spoon (this is best done if the honey you wrap the medication around with has a thick texture to it, so it can hold in place by the time your dog swallows it all)
– If it makes sense to add it in with a certain meal your dog is having, then mixing it up with that food can be a good idea, especially if you know that the food they’re eating will taste better as a result. Be careful not to mix honey with food they’re eating that already contains a significant amount of sugar, though, as the last thing you want happening is a sudden spike in blood sugar levels followed by a crash later on.
When Should I Not Give My Dog Honey?
One of the most important aspects dog owners should absolutely take note of when feeding their dog honey is their dog’s age. If your dog is still a puppy, feeding them honey is a gigantic NO-NO.
Honey (in both its raw and processed forms) contains botulism spores that, while they can be tolerated by older, more mature dog’s immunity systems, cannot be tolerated by immunity systems of young puppies. Why? Their immunity systems have simply not developed enough to handle them. So, it’s best to keep your puppies away from any form of honey, whether processed or raw.
Also, and due to the high sugar content in honey (both raw and processed), you’re best off consulting with your veterinarian before feeding your dog any honey if they are diabetic.
Different Uses With Honey For Dogs
Who said the only use of honey for dogs has to be strictly about eating honey? There are a whole lot of benefits that honey is just waiting to be able to give to your pooch, without them actually having to eat it.
Honey For Dogs As A Shampoo
First off, many dog owners around the world have been using honey as part of the shampoo they give their dogs bathes with for many years now.
Along with several different ingredients that are mixed with specific types of shampoos in order to form a powerhouse of a shampoo, honey has many benefits to your dog’s skin when it comes to healing infections and keeping insects/fleas away.
Honey For Dogs To Treat Cuts, Wounds & Infections
Moreover, when dogs get wounds from physical activity or whatever else they may have gotten themselves into, the first thing everyone most commonly thinks about to heal these wounds is applying something like Neosporin to them.
However, did you know that honey also has wound-healing properties and is also able to help out with cuts, wounds and infections your dog has when applied to them?
Much of these capabilities are due to the high levels of sugar that’s found in honey, whatever form of honey we may be talking about.
However, know that raw honey is best at treating your dog’s cuts, wounds and infections, processed honey has much of these abilities stripped away from it.
One reason why you don’t want to preserve honey in your fridge (we’ll be talking about this in the next section right below this one) is because any honey you want to apply to your dog’s cuts, wounds or infections should ideally be in liquid form that’s easy to apply and not in stiff/thick form that’s very difficult to apply.
How To Preserve Honey For Dogs
When it comes to preserving honey for dogs and how exactly to store it for future use/consumption, many people make this a much more complicated process than it actually needs to be.
Some people choose to have the honey stored in their refrigerator because they think that will prolong its shelf life, but that isn’t exactly the case. Storing honey in the refrigerator won’t improve its shelf life and will only give the honey a much more thicker texture than it needs to have.
Instead of storing honey in the refrigerator to later on give some of it to your dog (which they are bound to have some trouble with due to its thickness), put the honey in a jar/container, seal it very carefully and tightly and keep it somewhere cool and dry.
The same way you don’t want to store the honey in a very cold place like the refrigerator, you also don’t want to store the honey somewhere fairly hot where it’s subject to light and high temperatures.