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6 Health Benefits of Honey for Dogs – Based on Science

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By Nicole Cosgrove


If you are wondering if there are health benefits for your dog if it eats honey, the quick answer is yes. We have used honey in countless ways since the dawn of man, but now we’re going to talk about six different ways you can use honey to benefit your pet, both internally and externally. Here are the six benefits of honey for dogs:

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What makes honey good for dogs?

Honey is good for dogs for several reasons:

  • It’s antibacterial and antimicrobial.
  • It’s an antioxidant and a probiotic.
  • It reduces swelling and can soothe an upset stomach or throat.
  • It provides important nutrients like iron, potassium, magnesium, and calcium.
  • It’s rich in phytonutrients.

Honey also tastes great, and most dogs love it, so it’s not hard to get them to eat it like many other foods that are good for them.

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The 6 Honey For Dogs Benefits:

1. Honey can help reduce pollen allergies.

Raw honey can be a great natural way to alleviate some of the allergies caused by pollen. It works because raw honey still contains a small amount of pollen. This small amount of pollen is enough to get your pet to build up resistance without flooding their system. Local honey is best because it contains the pollens local to your area.

Experts recommend giving small dogs about a teaspoon per week while larger dogs will need to up the dosage to a tablespoon. You will also need to time your doses a few weeks before the pollen season arrives so your pet has time to build an immunity.

2. Honey can help with skin many types of skin problems.

Honey can help clear up several skin problems for your dog. Honey is antimicrobial and antifungal, which means it will create a sterile environment in which bacteria cannot grow. It will also kill any mold that comes in contact with it. Mold and bacteria are major contributors to itchy skin and skin rashes. Honey is also a humectant, which means that it will help your pet’s skin retain moisture, which can also help to alleviate itchy dry skin.

We usually apply honey to our dog’s skin by using a shampoo that has it as an ingredient.

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Image Credit: Mr_niceshoot, Pixabay

3. Honey heals minor wounds.

As we mentioned earlier, honey has antibacterial properties. Applying a small amount of honey to a small wound will help keep the area free of germs until the body has time to heal itself, or you can get your pet proper medical attention.  Honey can also help reduce swelling and inflammation in the area around the wound.

4. Honey can help a sore throat or cough.

Humans have been using honey as a remedy for a sore throat and cough since ancient times, and there’s no reason to believe it wouldn’t be just as effective for dogs. Honey works as a cough suppressant partly because of its anti-inflammatory properties, which reduce swelling in the throat area, allowing your pet to breathe easier. It will also coat the throat, reducing friction, and its humectant property will help prevent the throat from drying out.

One-half teaspoon every few hours should be an effective treatment.

5. Honey helps with digestion.

Many pet owners may not realize it, but honey is a powerful probiotic, and probiotics can help balance your dog’s sensitive digestive system. Probiotics can help alleviate diarrhea, constipation, gas, bloating, and other issues caused by too much bad bacteria and not enough good bacteria.

You only need about ¼ teaspoon of honey per twenty pounds of dog each day to help your pet balance its digestive system.

6. Honey boosts energy.

Honey is a sugar, so it may give your pet a boost of energy, at least for a short time. If your dog seems lethargic or depressed, it can be helpful to provide them with one-half teaspoon of honey as a quick pick-me-up while also providing other essential nutrients, like probiotics.

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Are there disadvantages to feeding your dog honey?

Unfortunately, despite all its healthy qualities, honey is still a simple sugar, and like any sugar, it can have negative side effects. Honey is absorbed into the bloodstream very quickly, which can give your pet an energy boost, but too much can lead to hyperactivity. This type of sugar high often leads to a sugar crash.

Dalmatian and the sun

Too much honey will add too many calories to your pet’s diet, resulting in obesity. In some cases, honey can even lead to tooth decay, so many experts recommend brushing your pet’s teeth after they eat honey.

You should not give honey to diabetic dogs, overweight dogs, or dogs that have a compromised immune me system.

How Much Honey to Give a Dog:

On occasion, it’s ok to give your dog a teaspoon of honey if they have a cough or sore throat, but if you want to feed it to them daily to reap the probiotic benefits, we recommend ¼ teaspoon for every 20 pounds.

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Final Verdict

As long as you keep portions small, honey can be extremely beneficial to your pet’s health. Internally it helps with the digestive tract and can quiet a cough and soothe a sore throat. Externally, it can help to heal minor wounds and clear up skin rashes. Local honey is best because it will contain trace amounts of local pollen, and the farmers market is often the best place to locate some.

We hope you have enjoyed reading over our look into the benefits of honey for your dog’s health. If you have found a new use for honey that you hadn’t thought of before, please share these six honey benefits for dogs on Facebook and Twitter.

Featured Image: ExplorerBob, Pixabay

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