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Can I Give My Dog Honey?

Honey Dog

While traditionally used as a natural sweetener, honey also has a variety of health benefits. Honey is increasingly popular for people to either consume or apply topically for these benefits. It only makes sense that pet parents are now interested in offering this sweet syrup to their beloved animals.

Is honey safe for my dog?

As with most things, moderation is key. And for pet owners, the safety of your canine friend is of the utmost importance. Honey—raw honey, specifically—is safe for dogs to eat in small quantities. When provided to your pooch in a small amount, a little honey won’t harm them and can even serve as an alternative or additional form of health support depending on your dog’s specific needs. And it’s affordable!

Is honey good for my dog?

Honey is full of vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants that can help support optimal health for your pet. This superfood contains important nutrients like vitamins B, C, D, E, and K that play a critical role in the healthy function of systems throughout your dog’s body.

What are some benefits of giving my dog honey?

Help with seasonal sensitivities

As with humans, honey can help minimize your dog’s reactions to seasonal and environmental allergies by building up their body’s tolerance to pollen. Raw, local wildflower honey contains pollen particles collected by the bees that produce the honey. If your dog suffers from seasonal or environmental allergies, daily dosing with this honey in small amounts may help desensitize your dog’s immune system to these allergens, helping to reduce reactionary symptoms.

Promote healthy skin

When applied topically, the antibacterial and anti-inflammatory properties of honey can support skin health. If your canine companion gets a scrape or scratch, an irritating hot spot, or itchy dry skin, applying honey to the affected area can help address discomfort and support a speedy healing process.

A natural potential alternative to medications your veterinarian may prescribe for skin issues and wounds, honey can fight bacterial infection, reduce inflammation, and help regrow healthy new skin. What’s more, you don’t have to worry about your dog licking and ingesting other topical products that may be harmful to them. It’s best if the honey stays on the damaged skin—consider covering with a bandage—but it’s entirely safe if your dog does get to it.

Soothe a sore throat

Honey has long been used to soothe a sore throat and alleviate coughing. Dogs can sometimes contract kennel cough and other respiratory infections. Offering them a small amount of honey may put their burning throat and coughing at ease, reducing inflammation.

Other sources of inflammation

As we mentioned earlier, raw honey has excellent natural antibacterial and anti-inflammatory properties that can help address a variety of other health issues for both you and your pup. You may consider giving your dog a little honey to reduce any inflammation they’re experiencing, including stomach ulcers and other gastrointestinal upset that may be negatively impacting their digestive health. For dogs with mobility issues and joint discomfort, honey may help with this inflammation as well.

What do I need to know about giving my dog honey?

As you can see, honey is full of important nutrients and potential health benefits. In general, raw honey is safe for most pups to consume. But it’s not for every dog. Pet owners know that too much of even the healthiest snacks can cause digestive upset, and this is certainly true with honey.

The high sugar content in honey can also be dangerous for your furry friend. Dog parents should be mindful of raising their pup’s blood sugar to unhealthy levels. Honey can also lead to tooth decay and obesity. Raw honey should not be given to puppies, obese or diabetic dogs, or dogs with compromised immune systems. As always, consult your veterinarian if you are considering changes to your dog’s diet, including giving them honey.