Pet Tips, Dog Health

Can Dogs Eat Honey?

April 9, 2022

At our house, we spend a lot of money on honey!

dogs honeyI’m a big fan of anything sweet, honey included.  In our town, we have an awesome farmer’s market that is frequented by an 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.**

dogs honey

Do Dogs Like Honey?

Mine do!  Kitsune and Fenrir 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?  Its 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

dogs honeyOne 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 to desensitize your immune system to the cause of your allergies.

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, magnesium, plus 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 antibacterial properties that can help to reduce the overgrowth of bad bacteria in the digestive tract.

Lots of Potential Benefits!

dogs honeyBut remember not to give raw honey to puppies, and only give it to adult dogs in moderation.  Kitsune’s vet recommended we offer a half of a teaspoon of raw honey to Kit a day to combat his seasonal allergies.  Too much honey can cause GI upset.  It’s also very calorie dense, so care should be taken when feeding it to a pet who needs to lose weight.  If your pet has any health issues, talk to your vet before introducing any new foods.

Do you like honey?  Does your dog?  Call me crazy, but I like having at least one sweet treat that I can share with my dogs.  My normal “go to” sweet is chocolate, which, of course, I have to keep away from Kit and Fen.  But I like that I can share a bit of honey with them – and I know they like it too!

Looking for more ideas for healthy “human” foods you can share with your dog?  Check out my other blogging from A to Z challenge posts!

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  • Reply catchatcaren April 10, 2016 at 8:17 pm

    now this is one I never tried! Thank you!! DakotasDen

  • Reply greyzoned at Angels Bark Blog April 11, 2016 at 5:10 am

    Lots of great info about Honey. I too only buy local honey for the reason you stated, allergies. It has always amazed me how honey is made. Those bees keep so darn busy! Good post.

    Michele at Angels Bark

    • Reply Michelle @ Paw Print Pet Blog April 12, 2016 at 11:33 am

      I’ve never been one to be afraid of bugs, but I have a new appreciation for bees ever since I started eating more honey.
      Thank you for your comment!

  • Reply Beth April 9, 2022 at 10:00 am

    News to me! Although I tend to have cats more than dogs… I wonder what he would think…


    • Reply Michelle & The Paw Pack April 10, 2022 at 5:33 pm

      I wonder! I feel like a cat might not be interested in honey, but who knows!? I’m not a cat expert by any means, and I remember being surprised at some foods that my childhood cat liked.

  • Reply Ruth Epstein April 9, 2022 at 3:01 pm

    I used to give Layla hone from a company that bottled it for dogs but they closed down, I am a honey addict so LOL of course Layla would get it. I love Manuka but it is so expensive grrrrrrrr. My favorite is honey in tea yummmm.

    • Reply Michelle & The Paw Pack April 10, 2022 at 5:34 pm

      Honey is awesome! I really like it in tea too. I wish Manuka honey was cheaper, and it’s hard to find where I live too.

  • Reply Terri April 9, 2022 at 7:26 pm

    Oh my, I love honey! I haven’t heard of Manuka honey, which is kind of weird because one of my best friends is from that part of the world. Although, we have other things to talk about besides honey. Cornbread just can’t be eaten without honey butter. While I knew about local honey helping with allergies, I wasn’t aware that honey has GI benefits. I’ll have to talk to Henry’s vet about adding it to his daily routine. I’m certain Henry wouldn’t mind at all. He loves anything that he believes is human food.

    • Reply Michelle & The Paw Pack April 10, 2022 at 5:37 pm

      For sure! Kitsune LOVES honey. I usually give it to him in the spring and summer, when our allergies are the worst. It’s hard for me to say how much is the honey helping and how much is other stuff I try to help his allergies. But he loves the honey and like I mentioned in my post, I think it’s kind of fun to have a sweet that I can actually share with my dogs. I always feel a bit bad when they give me the sad puppy eyes over chocolate, and I can’t share any with them.

  • Reply Lisa April 10, 2022 at 2:02 pm

    I haven’t tried giving my dog (or previous dogs) honey. Too sticky! I did have a dog with seasonal allergies, but he needed medication for it.

    • Reply Michelle & The Paw Pack April 10, 2022 at 5:39 pm

      We’ve been lucky that I’ve been able to manage my boy’s allergies with natural supplements. I haven’t found the stickiness of honey to be an issue – I usually put a bit on a spoon and let the dogs lick it off. Thankfully, they don’t make a mess with it. 🙂

  • Reply Mrs Fever April 10, 2022 at 4:58 pm

    I enjoy honey. I have a delicious bottle of blackberry honey from a local farm that I use for cooking and as a sweetener for tea.

    I never tried feeding my pets honey when I had them. I had a cat once, though, whose favorite human food was French fries. And my dog (no deceased) used to have an affinity for pancakes. 🙂

    • Reply Michelle & The Paw Pack April 10, 2022 at 5:41 pm

      Blackberry honey sounds amazing! Lol picturing a cat eating French fries in my head made me laugh. I bet my dogs would love pancakes. That’s one thing I’ve never offered them before!

  • Reply Beth April 15, 2022 at 1:02 pm

    I will try giving my dog some local honey, she has terrible seasonal allergies.

  • Reply Ging July 2, 2022 at 1:03 am

    I’ve reading online that honey should never be given to puppies or dogs with weakened immune systems, as they may be more susceptible to bacteria that could be present in the honey and ome dogs may be allergic to honey. I’ve been giving my dog manuka honey for years now and she loves it!

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