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Most dogs are happy to snack on just about anything whether it’s sweet, sour, or just plain yucky to us.
But what about honey? Is honey safe for dogs?
Yes, honey is safe for dogs to eat in small amounts. The exact amount will depend on the individual dog but it’s a good idea to talk to your veterinarian before you start feeding your pup honey. Since it’s a high-calorie sweet treat, honey should be avoided in dogs that are overweight or diabetic.
That’s the quick answer, but let’s take a closer look at what’s going on with honey and canines.
What Else Should You Consider Before Giving Your Dog Honey?
It should also be avoided in dogs with compromised immune systems like those that are very young or very old. That’s because honey can contain botulism spores that won’t cause a problem for healthy immune systems but young puppies, elderly dogs, and immune-compromised pups may have problems.
Of course, dogs that have had an allergic reaction to bees in the past should also avoid honey.
What Benefits Does Honey Have For Dogs?
Honey has both anti-inflammatory and antimicrobial traits that may make it helpful in managing mild digestive issues or improving the mobility of dogs with stiff joints. However, honey alone should not be considered a treatment for these conditions and isn’t a substitute for a veterinary exam.
Honey isn’t just for eating though it really shines when it comes to wound care. There’s a large amount of scientific evidence that supports the healing power of Manuka honey in particular.
Manuka honey does a lot!
It can lower the pH of the wound which can help kill bacteria and it slowly releases hydrogen peroxide when it reacts with water. This is what helps give Manuka honey its antibacterial properties.
It also helps keep the wound moist and reduces inflammation which helps reduce pain, increase comfort, and speeds up healing.
These same properties can make Manuka honey a good choice for managing hot spots, atopic dermatitis, and other skin conditions as well despite a dog’s extremely sensitive skin.
Can Honey Help Dogs With Seasonal Allergies?
It’s possible that honey can act as a type of immunotherapy for seasonal allergies that are caused by pollen.
Bees are constantly collecting nectar from flowers in order to make their honey. During this process, they’re also collecting pollen which finds its way into the honey.
When you give your pup a small amount of local honey, you’re exposing your dog to a variety of different pollens from all around the area. This gives your dog’s immune system a chance to develop immunity without being overwhelmed which is the same idea behind allergy shots.
This works best when it’s done before allergy season so a dog’s immune system has time to react. It’s also important to use local wildflower honey since the pollen it contains will match the pollen in your area that’s causing seasonal allergies.
You should consult your veterinarian before taking this approach and they can help you decide how much honey to give your dog based on their size and medical history.
Honey is powerful stuff!
Not only does it taste delicious for both humans and dogs, it also has a wide range of powerful properties from wound care to allergies. While honey shouldn’t be your dog’s only defense against allergies and you shouldn’t start it without making a plan with your own veterinarian, it can be a useful tool!