Can Dogs Have Honey? Is The Golden Stuff Good for Them?

can dogs have honey?

Dogs are classified as omnivorous, which means they can eat both plant-based and animal-based foods. Just like humans, dogs love sweet treats and would want nothing more than the praise of their owner coupled with a tasty snack. Honey is no exception. But can dogs have honey? Are there any health benefits to feeding your pup this yummy golden syrup?

Is Honey Good For Dogs?

Dogs can safely consume small amounts of honey, but is it okay for your pooch to eat raw honey? Are you giving too much honey to your furry friend? And would too much honey compromise your dog’s health? The thought of adding raw honey to your list of dog treats might make you skeptical. But don’t worry, we’ve done our homework on honey for dogs. Here are a few things you need to keep in mind if you’re thinking about letting your dog eat honey.

Can All Dogs Eat Honey?

Honey may not be safe for all dogs. Adult dogs or puppies generally don’t have a problem ingesting small amounts of honey. So what’s the concern here, you ask? Well, honey may be an all-natural delicacy, but the sweetness comes at a cost. The high sugar content may not be safe for your pooch, especially if they have an underlying medical condition. According to the American Kennel Club, obese dogs or diabetic dogs should not be given honey. 

Are There Any Healthy Dog Food Alternatives To Raw Honey?

You can consider healthy alternatives if you want to give your dogs honey. Low-glycemic fruit is a great option for overweight dogs or those with an underlying health concern. Since honey is also an ingredient used in some of the pet foods available on the market, you may need to check the labels on any dog food you buy. Before giving your dogs honey, it’s a good idea to check for sugars or harmful additives that might affect your dog’s immune system. 

If Dogs Eat Honey, Can They Have An Allergic Reaction?

Dogs with compromised immune systems may suffer adverse side effects from consuming honey, as raw honey might contain traces of botulism spores, which can cause paralysis and gastrointestinal issues. If your dog has seasonal allergies, like those from bee stings or pollen, honey may cause an allergic reaction. So it’s vital to factor in health if you decide to give your dog honey. Pet parents must know which type of honey they’re feeding their dog, be it manuka honey or local honey, and be aware of their health patterns. Raw manuka honey is known to help strengthen the immune system, but it’s still classified as a sweet treat.

dog licking

How Much Honey Should You Include In Your Dog’s Diet?

Since honey has high amounts of sugar, it naturally comes with a hefty count of calories. Your dog’s recommended daily intake depends on their weight and the amount of daily physical activity they get. Only a tiny portion of the recommended calories should come from honey. According to the U.S. Department of Agriculture, one tablespoon (20 grams) of honey contains about 61 calories and 16.5 grams of sugar. That’s quite a lot of sugar!

Here’s a brief breakdown of how much honey is safe for dogs depending on their weight.

Small Dogs 

Small dogs weighing under 10 pounds should not consume more than a quarter teaspoon or 1.75 grams of honey daily (and that’s not to say they should have it every day)! 

Medium Dogs

Most dogs in this weight range can safely consume about half a teaspoon or 3.5 grams of honey.

Large Dogs

Large dogs in this weight class should ingest no more than one teaspoon or 7 grams of honey per day.

Extra Large Dogs

Dogs over 50lbs have a higher recommended daily caloric intake. For this size, it’s safe to feed honey to your dog with up to two teaspoons of honey daily.

While the benefits of honey are vast, overconsumption of honey can raise your dog’s blood sugar and may induce symptoms like diarrhea and vomiting. In case of an emergency, always consult your vet immediately.

Are There Any Health Benefits When Dogs Eat Honey?

If healthy and active dogs eat honey in small amounts only, it can offer several health benefits. By incorporating only a micro-dose of good nutrients in your dog’s diet, you can ensure they receive optimum nutrition. 

Honey is a great source of antioxidants, vitamins, and trace minerals

Honey is rich in antioxidants like vitamins A, C, and E, along with phenolic acid. These nutrients have anti-inflammation and immune-boosting properties. 

Local honey or manuka honey is high in B-complex vitamins and trace minerals. This sweet nectar also contains B-complex vitamins and trace amounts of minerals like copper, magnesium, zinc, and iron. 

How Can You Give Dogs Honey?

Honey is really versatile and there are a lot of ways you can give it to your pup. You could try whisking it up with other healthy snacks such as watermelon or avocado and serving it as a doggy smoothy. If you’ve got a dog that likes to chew, try smearing a little bot on an indestructible dog toy – they’ll love licking up every last bit!

Honey Can Be a Great Remedy for Sore Throats and Kennel Cough in Dogs

Combining honey with warm water is one of the most effective ways to soothe and minimize coughing. Just like humans, seasonal cough and flu can affect your dog’s health. Check with your vet if you’re unsure or if your pup’s cough persists. 

raw honey

Things To Keep In Mind If You Give Your Dog Honey

While honey has several health benefits, the high sugar content can cause poor dental health. It can also cause a spike in blood sugar. Make sure you brush your dog’s teeth at least once a week to avoid damage from tooth decay or cavities. 

Honey can be a small part of a healthy diet for adult dogs and puppies. Choose foods such as broccoli, kale, sweet potatoes, fish, and other sources of nutrition to make for a complete meal. Check with your veterinarian to cater to any specific nutritional requirements for your dog’s breed and how you can provide the most health benefits.

The higher caloric intake is another issue with this tasty treat. Most dogs that have an active routine and ample playtime will not be at risk of consuming honey. 

Ensure regular check-ups with your vet to be on top of any developing or underlying medical issues for your pet. Routine consultations will help you make better and more informed decisions about your pup’s nutritional needs.

Conclusion: Can Dogs Have Honey?

While honey is generally safe for dogs, it should be given in moderation and only to dogs that are healthy. Eating honey isn’t necessarily attributed to weight gain in dogs, but if your pooch is not active, there are other healthier alternatives you can use to satisfy your pup’s sweet tooth. 

Many forms of honey contain medicinal properties that offer several health benefits for your dog’s immune system. Honey can soothe symptoms of kennel cough in dogs. But it’s always best to be aware of allergic reactions from unpasteurized honey or other natural sugars such as high fructose corn syrup. Eating honey in small amounts coupled with a nutritious diet designed by an expert is a much safer and sustainable diet. 

If your dog doesn’t have an allergy or a condition like diabetes, honey might actually be a healthy treat. Remember that raw honey isn’t always a safe option, so you can try specially formulated dog food that includes honey or organic manuka honey. Manuka honey is known to have wound healing and anti-inflammatory properties. However, it’s a good idea to refrain from unfiltered honey as it could contain allergens such as flower pollen.

Thinking of feeding something else sweet to your pooch? Check out whether dogs can have marshmallows!