At our house, we spend a lot of money on honey!
I'm a big fan of anything sweet, honey included. In our city we have an awesome farmers market that is frequented by a local apiarist (beekeeper) who sells local, raw honey. It costs more than supermarket honey, but, in my opinion, tastes a lot better. Normally we have to be careful to keep our sweet treats away from the dogs. But honey is a sweet snack you can feel good about sharing with Fido!
**Just a quick warning: Honey is high in sugar and calories. For these reasons, it's not advised for overweight pets or animals suffering from diabetes. Because raw honey can become contaminated with botulism spores, it should not be offered to young animals (including humans) who do not yet have fully developed immune systems.**
Do Dogs Like Honey?
Kitsune does! He will happily lick up plain honey. It's sweet, and most dogs do seem to enjoy the flavor. If you don't want to offer honey plain, try using a small amount as a food topper, or make some sweet homemade treats.
In the past, I've even used honey to convince Kit to lap up medication that he otherwise wasn't interested in.
Does the Type of Honey Matter?
The honey you can typically buy at the grocery store is pasteurized and filtered. Pasteurized honey won't hurt your dog, but many of the potential health benefits are compromised when honey is heated (pasteurized). I prefer to buy locally sourced honey because it is thought to help combat against allergies.
Have you ever heard of Manuka honey? It's honey sourced from New Zealand, created by bees who collect nectar from Manuka bushes. Manuka honey has been shown to be an effective natural antibacterial and is sometimes used as an alternative treatment for infections and wounds.
Health Benefits of Honey
One of the reasons I really like offering Kitsune honey is because he, like me, suffers from seasonal allergies. Locally sourced raw honey contains pollen from local plants. By eating these pollen spores, you are potentially exposing yourself to the same types of spores that cause you to feel so miserable during allergy season. Eating local honey works much the same way as allergy shots - exposing yourself to small amounts of allergens helps your body to make effective antibodies against the pollen that you're allergic too.
Raw honey also contains enzymes that can help improve your dog's digestion! It's also a great energy source if your dog is feeling sluggish and could use an extra boost of energy. Honey is not only high in energy boosting sugars, it also contains minerals such as potassium, iron, and magnesium, and B, C, A, E, D, and K vitamins.
Honey is a natural anti-inflammatory, making it beneficial not only for wound healing, but also for reducing inflammation in the digestive tract. In addition to helping to reduce inflammation, honey has anti-bacterial properties that can help to reduce the overgrowth of bad bacteria in the digestive tract.
Lots of Potential Benefits!
But remember not to give raw honey to puppies, and only give it to adult dogs in moderation. Kitsune's vet recommended we offer no more than a teaspoon of raw honey a day to combat his seasonal allergies. Too much honey can cause diarrhea. It's also very calorie dense, so care should be taken when feeding it to a pet who needs to loose weight. If your pet has any health issues, talk to your vet before introducing any new foods.
Before anyone gets up in arms in the comment section...the pictures I used for this post do include a bottle of pasteurized honey. We are, sadly, out of raw honey at the moment, but I still wanted to take pictures to include with this post.
This post is a part of the 2016 Blogging from A to Z challenge! You can learn more about our challenge theme hereOpens in a new window.