Honey is one of those foods many people consider a superfood. Basically, we view it as very healthy and beneficial for the human body. But does the same apply to dogs? Is honey healthy for dogs and can dogs eat honey at all? If so, how much honey would be advisable to give to your dog?
On our page, we talk a lot about human foods and which are safe for dogs and which are not. But we have a good reason for doing so. Many dog owners will give their pooch a bite of human food not even knowing if it’s safe. You probably even gave your dog a bit of whatever you were having without giving it a second thought.
That behavior is dangerous. And we’re not even making it up. There are so many foods that are safe for us people, but could kill your dog! Just take grapes or raisins for example. Grapes are a popular summer fruit all of us enjoy. But did you know that just one grape can severely harm your dog? Yes, that’s true! And the same goes for raisins. But what about raw honey, can dogs eat honey?
If you want to learn more about which human foods are safe and which are not, you can check out the following articles:
- What fruits can dogs eat and which are toxic?
- What Vegetables Can Dogs Eat?
- Which Food Is Good Or Bad For Dogs?
Can dogs eat honey – Here’s the truth
Dogs can eat high-quality organic honey. Generally speaking, raw honey doesn’t contain any ingredients that are toxic to dogs. But, don’t let your dog eat large amounts of it. This is because honey consists of around 80 percent sugar, and as you know sugar is very high in calories and not that healthy for dogs, so while eating honey won’t make your dog sick, it could make him fat.
So, please let your dog eat only small amounts of honey per day. The maximum amount is half a teaspoon to one tablespoon, depending on the size, weight, and age of the dog. The same rule applies to all high-calorie foods: small quantities are fine, but only on special occasions.
Now that we know that adult dogs can eat a little bit of honey here and there, you might be wondering if the same rule applies to puppies as well? Can puppies eat honey?
Can puppies eat honey?
While many believe that honey is a great energy boost for small dogs and that it can prevent Kennel cough, the answer is: No, puppies shouldn’t eat honey. Their digestive system is not yet fully developed. As a result, puppies, just like infants, are not protected from bacterial spores that may be in honey. Despite the antibacterial properties stubborn bacteria can persist in the form of spores in honey and lead to the puppy’s disease.
In addition to that, because of how much sugar raw honey contains, it could also lead to tooth decay. The small teeth of your young puppy are especially sensitive to that, so avoid giving him any sweet treats if you can.
Health benefits of feeding honey to dogs
Now, we want to ask you, why would you feed your dog honey? Because you heard it’s healthy? Some of the reasons dog owners want to give their pooches honey is because:
- It’s considered a natural remedy for colds and helps dogs get back on their feet quickly.
- Healthy active ingredients in honey support the immune system and the sugar in honey provides energy.
- Can help with digestion.
- You can apply honey on your dog’s skin if he has a wound or is suffering from eczema. Apparently, honey accelerates wound healing and has a disinfecting effect.
But, we want to be honest with you, there is not enough evidence any health benefits of honey in a dog’s diet. Sure, there are studies saying that honey might have helped in certain cases, but there is no real evidence that feeding them raw honey will help dogs in any way.
However, there are some risks that are proven to be true. As we already explained honey is high in natural sugars. That also means that it’s high in calories, and could lead to weight gain if consumed in higher amounts. So if you have an obese dog, make sure you avoid giving him any honey at all.
When it can be helpful
Even though nothing’s been proven yet, honey might be beneficial in some cases. After all, it contains many vitamins, so it’s not impossible that it has healing properties in several areas. But, before you give your dog honey, please talk to your vet and make sure it’s okay.
With that being said, let’s see what health benefits honey can have for dogs:
- Soothing allergies: Some dog owners swear that honey can relieve allergies in dogs. If your four-legged friend suffers from a pollen allergy, it can help to give him honey from the region in which the pollen is also found. So there is a chance that your dog may develop immunity and show fewer or no allergy symptoms at all. However, there is no evidence of this. Although the method of desensitization for the treatment of allergies is based on this principle.
- Reducing symptoms of Arthritis: Some studies suggest that honey can relieve arthritis pain in dogs.
- Heal wounds and fight skin diseases: Honey is said to have a dehydrating effect, meaning it can dry out wounds faster. For this to work your dog doesn’t have to eat the honey, you can just put it on your dog’s wound.
- Stimulate your dog’s metabolism: Honey contains the starch-degrading enzyme amylase, which can help your dog digest its food better. But, digestive problems such as flatulence or constipation can also indicate that your four-legged friend might have a problem with its food. So, it would be a good idea to talk to your vet.
Which kind of honey can dogs eat?
If you still want to give your dog honey for health reasons or for healing support, you should make sure that you use the right kind of honey. Not the cheap stuff you get from the store. You need an untreated natural product. This is because pure honey has not previously been filtered, heated, or contains additives.
If you want to be on the safe side, it is best to buy the honey directly from a beekeeper. One type of honey that is especially popular is Manuka honey. This honey has a special antibacterial and healing effect. But, keep in mind that it is much more expensive. You can also support your local beekeepers by buying local honey from the area you live in.
Next, you should know that just one teaspoon of honey contains around 60 calories and 17 grams of sugar. So, please take your dog’s daily caloric intake into consideration too. Also, under no circumstances should you give your dog more than a teaspoon of honey to eat per day.
But, if your dog is obese, it shouldn’t eat honey at all. Dogs with diabetes should also not eat honey. The very high sugar content could make the disease worse. Besides this, if your dog has kidney problems, high blood pressure or an allergy to bee venom please talk to your vet first. Ask them for advice and if you should even give any honey to your pooch.
Now, if your dog is malnourished or sick, honey can be useful. Honey increases calorie intake and provides a few vitamins and minerals. Honey can also cause the dog to start eating more.
But, of course, your dog still needs high-quality food and a balanced diet. Honey can only make up a small part of the food intake.
In conclusion, can dogs eat honey? Yes, they can. But, don’t give your puppy honey, and don’t rely too much on honey to solve all your dog’s health problems. Sure, it might be beneficial in some cases, but before you give your dog honey for any health problem, first talk to your vet and get his or her approval.
Also, don’t forget that honey contains a lot of sugar. Now, one tablespoon of honey a day won’t affect your dog’s health, but if you give it more, it might be bad. Because of the high sugar content, large amounts of honey could lead to diabetes, obesity and it could damage your dog’s teeth.
While you’re already here, read more about other human foods: