Can my dog eat honey like a human being? Most pet owners ask themselves this question more often than not. It comprises about 65 calories, 17g of carbs per tablespoon serving. It also comprises various vitamins, such as vitamin C, D, and K. Furthermore, honey contains antioxidants and minerals, including zinc, magnesium, iron, and potassium.
Well, yes, your grown-up dog can have raw honey, but in small quantities. Honey is naturally made by bees using the sugary secretions from plants. Therefore, it comprises glucose and fructose, too much of which can lead to obesity and tooth decay.
Due to its anti-fungal, anti-viral, and anti-microbial properties, honey helps minimize inflammation, reduce allergies, and fight bacteria. However, you should give your dog honey in its raw form, free from heating, processing, or pasteurization.
6 Health Benefits of Giving Your Dog Honey
Relieves Seasonal Allergies
If your dog suffers from seasonal allergies, giving them small quantities of raw honey can be helpful. Natural bee honey comprises traces of plant pollen that can be introduced to your pet’s immune system. Once in the immune system, it will help your dog develop antibodies to counter autoimmune responses to wind-blown pollen.
Additionally, pollen comprises Quercetin, a polyphenol that occurs naturally and contains anti-histamines that assist with itchiness and watery eyes. However, to help your dog reap these benefits, you must use raw and unfiltered bee honey. Also, remember to use local honey as it comprises the local pollen that is likely to cause allergies to your dog.
Raw Honey Helps Your Dog’s Wound to Heal Fast
Since time immemorial, honey has been applied when dressing injured skin parts. Honey contains anti-microbial or inhibins, such as phenolic acid and flavonoids, that give it its healing properties.
It also contains hydrogen peroxide, an antiseptic that suppresses bacteria, whereas phenolic acid and flavonoids reduce inflammation and quicken wound healing.
Whenever your dog gets a skin wound, you apply a small amount of raw honey using a soft cloth. Then, you can dress the area with a bandage. Within a short time, your dog’s wound will start healing.
Furthermore, honey can help your dog if it’s suffering from eczema, insect bites, and hot spots. However, if your dog has deeper wounds, it’s recommended you take your pet to the vet immediately for a check-up.
Honey Treats Gastrointestinal Upset
If your dog consumes things like grass, and as a result, suffers stomach upset or diarrhoea, some honey will help. Besides, honey helps fight several other gastrointestinal (GI) illnesses, including gastritis, irritable bowel illness, colitis, and bacterial overgrowth.
Additionally, honey is recommended as a remedy to aid minor stomach ulcers in home-reared pets like dogs. Honey contains antibacterial properties that aid in combating bacteria that can lead to ulcers. However, be sure to consult with your vet to ensure you administer the right amount of honey to help your dog.
Honey Enhances Your Dog’s Mobility
Because honey contains anti-inflammatory properties, it can assist dogs, especially older ones, to move easily. Inflexible, arthritic joints can become more flexible and less hurting if you give your dog small quantities of Manuka honey.
Relieves Kennel Cough
Both local and Manuka honey are rich in antibacterial properties. These properties are useful in reducing infections caused by cough-inducing pathogens, most of which are bacterial. Ultimately, the antibacterial compounds help to fight and soothe your dog’s throat.
Boosts Your Dog’s Energy
Honey is sugar, and sugar can produce instant energy for your dog. Often, processed sugars break down fast than natural sugars found in honey. Because sugars in honey break down slowly, they can provide a steady supply of energy healthily.
Often, honey is given to athlete dogs and older dogs to enhance vitality and endurance in pets that require more energy. Additionally, honey’s anti-inflammatory properties can aid older dogs in moving around through relaxing arthritic joints.
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When it is Inappropriate to Give Your Dogs Honey
Honey may not be appropriate for all dogs. Besides, it can lead to problems if administered to your dogs in large amounts. There are several factors to consider before you decide to feed honey to your dog, as highlighted below.
By now, you know that honey comprises high levels of sugar, thus high calories. Therefore, giving your dog too much honey can lead to tooth decay and gain of weight. As a result, your dog should get small amounts of honey.
Studies indicate that honey is ranks high on the glycemic index and can increase your dog’s blood sugar levels. Therefore, if your dog suffers from diabetes, consult with your vet to establish if it’s safe to give them honey. Otherwise, it may not be appropriate to give your dog honey if they have diabetes.
Dogs that are Allergic to Bees
Some dogs can develop an allergy when they get stung by bees. Also, those that are hypersensitive can develop an allergic reaction once they have honey.
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What Quantity of Honey Should You Give to Your Dog?
Before you give honey to your dog, ensure you consult your vet to determine the right amount to give it. As highlighted earlier, some dogs are allergic, others can gain excess weight, and still, others can have tooth decay.
Generally, when giving your dog honey, ensure it is in small quantities as a single tablespoon comprises 17g of sugar (70 calories). Consequently, always ensure you limit the amount of honey you give your dog to a single tablespoon per day. Still, even a single tablespoon can be too much for some dogs, especially small breeds.
The following guidelines can help you give your dog the right amount of honey. For instance, dogs weighing below 10 lbs should have 0.25 tablespoons daily, 10 – 20 lbs should have 0.50 tablespoons daily. If your dog weighs 20-50 lbs, give them a tablespoon while those over 50 lbs two tablespoons per day.
Additionally, whenever you want to introduce your dog to honey, it’s recommended you start by adding a drop of honey. Slowly, your pet will familiarize itself with its taste and smell. Also, you should introduce your dog to honey by smearing small quantities on a slice of banana.
So, can dogs have honey? Well, honey is generally safe for dogs to eat. Honey contains important minerals, antioxidants, and vitamins that boost the growth and health of your dog. However, you should be cautious not to give overweight dogs, diabetic dogs, and ones with allergic reactions to bees’ honey.