Can Dogs Eat Honey?
Can Dogs Eat Honey?
You might be wondering if you can give honey to your dog-- either your dog is suffering for seasonal allergies or just licked a healthy glob up off the floor! Not to worry, the answer is yes, it is safe to feed small amounts of honey to your canine companion. Most dogs will even enjoy it as a treat!
Is Honey Good for Dogs?
In small quantities, honey can be good for dogs. If your dog has seasonal allergies, feeding them a small amount of local raw honey every day can help them. Local honey contains small amounts of pollen, which can desensitize dogs (and people) to pollen allergens.
Honey can also be helpful for dogs suffering from sore throats, although this should not be done instead of veterinary care, but as an adjunct. Check with your vet, but small amounts of honey can also help a dog recover from kennel cough. In small amounts, it can help with a dog's upset stomach as well.
Overall, honey contains nutrients and vitamins that are beneficial for dogs. Some owners also claim that honey gives older dogs more energy, without making them overly hyper.
When Should Dogs Not Get Honey?
Honey is safe for most adult dogs; however, raw honey should not be given to puppies or to dogs with compromised immune systems. Raw honey can contain the bacteria that causes botulism and should not be given to puppies. This is also the reason you shouldn't give honey to human babies under the age of one year old.
Honey should also not be given to dogs who are already obese/overweight and on a diet or to dogs with diabetes. Although honey can have a moderating effect on Type 2 Diabetes, the majority of cases of canine diabetes are Type 1, and honey will only cause a blood sugar spike and other problems. Finally, there's some indication that if your pet is highly allergic to bee stings, they may also be allergic to honey.
If your dog has a medical condition or is overweight, check with your vet before feeding honey.
How Should I Give My Dog Honey?
There are a few ways to give dogs honey. The first is simply to encourage them to lick it off a spoon (Your dog should probably have their own spoon for this). Most dogs will go for honey, at least after the first time. Alternatively, you can add honey to your dog's kibble or other food, mixing it in well. This can be a good tactic for a picky eater and may even make them more inclined to empty their bowl.
Finally, you can use it to make sweet cookies for your dog. For any kind of sweet treat honey is a better choice than sugar. Unlike sugar, honey contains antioxidants and other nutrients, and it won't spike your dog's blood sugar.
However, always limit the quantity of honey and sweet treats. Many pet dogs are overweight or obese, and you definitely don't want yours to be one of them. Honey is, though, better for dogs than artificial sweeteners. Many artificial sweeteners can cause diarrhea if your dog consumes them in any quantity. Xylitol, which is often found in sugar free peanut butter, is particularly dangerous for dogs and can even kill them. Honey is, for most dogs, a better choice.
Again, you should give your dog small amounts of honey. Too much can make your dog fat and can also cause issues with their teeth. Just like people, dogs can get cavities from too much sugar. The general recommendation is no more than a teaspoon of honey (or the equivalent in cookies) a day for small breeds, large dogs may be able to handle as much as a tablespoon. If your dog starts to gain weight, cut back the honey.
Overall, honey is safe for dogs and can be beneficial in small amounts, and makes a good alternative to sugar for sweet treats. Consider giving your dog raw, local honey to help reduce seasonal allergies and relieve symptoms of kennel cough, or just to give them that bit of extra energy.