Honey is a delicious, syrupy sweetener that's loved and enjoyed by many. But is honey safe to share with your dog?
We all recognize it: the golden, liquid-filled, bear-shaped bottle sitting among other sugars and sweeteners at your local grocery store. It's hard to find someone who doesn't like it, but can dogs eat honey?
A food made by bees, honey is a sticky liquid sweetener that contains natural sugars and boasts a wide array of medicinal properties for humans. This simple substance also comes with vitamins and minerals that are packed with nutritional benefits for the human body, such as zinc, iron, manganese, calcium, potassium, and magnesium to name a few. Plus, honey contains Vitamin B complex and Vitamin C, D, E, and K.
Frequently used as a health supplement, honey -- especially raw honey -- touts superb antibacterial properties, among many other health benefits. The anti-microbial and anti-fungal properties found in both raw honey and local honey have the power to kill bacteria, and while we no doubt have all used honey to treat a sore throat, honey is said to be able to treat a number of ailments: from stomach ulcers to seasonal allergies. Honey is also rich in antioxidants and all the health benefits that come with that. Raw honey is even said to lead to better sleep!
For humans, honey is a great sweet treat with many health benefits. But is honey safe to include in your dog's diet?
Can Dogs Eat Honey?
Dog owners will be happy to know that feeding honey to their pooch is A-OK! The key is moderation: honey in small quantities is considered generally safe for dogs to consume. A little honey might even be beneficial for your doggo. Depending on the size of your dog, keeping it to just one teaspoon to one tablespoon per serving should do it!
That being said, it's important to note that raw honey should be restricted to adult dogs only. This is because raw honey may contain botulism spores and should NOT be given to puppies or dogs with weakened immune systems, as well as diabetic or obese dogs. (Botulism is a rare, but serious, condition that can cause paralysis in dogs.)
Older dogs, on the other hand, have strong immune systems that are capable of handling exposure to botulism spores.
Benefits of Feeding Honey to Dogs
Just like for humans, there are a number of health benefits of honey for dogs. These include, but not limited to:
- Helping with seasonal allergies: honey is said to help reduce allergic reactions to flower pollen -- assuming your allergens are the same type that's in the honey and not some other environmental allergies.
- Helping with those sores and cuts: things like a minor skin wound or a hot spot on Fido can benefit from a small application of honey. Containing substances like flavonoids, honey can help heal skin -- and it's also great for your dog's coat and skin.
- Helping with Kennel Cough: just like humans using honey to soothe a sore throat, honey can be used to help with inflammation and alleviate symptoms associated with respiratory infections like Kennel Cough.
- Helping with energy levels: due to the high sugar content in honey, giving a small quantity to your dog can provide a quick energy boost!
So, can dogs eat honey? As with most things, moderation is key!
Have you given your dog honey before? Let us know on the Wide Open Pets Facebook page!
This article was originally published April 18, 2021.
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