Skip to Content

Can Dogs Eat Honey? Benefits and Risks

Honey is a natural sweetener that many people enjoy adding to their tea or drizzling over their toast. But what about our furry friends? Can dogs eat honey, is it beneficial or can it be harmful to their health?

As a dog owner, it’s important to know what foods are safe for your pet to consume.

While honey is generally considered safe for dogs in small amounts, there are a few things you should keep in mind before giving it to your furry friend.

In this article, we’ll explore the benefits and risks of feeding honey to dogs. We will also provide you with some tips on how to safely incorporate this sweet treat into your pet’s diet.

Can Dogs Eat Honey? Benefits and Risks

What is Honey?

Honey is a sweet and sticky natural substance that is produced by bees using nectar from flowers.

This substance is made up of various sugars such as glucose, fructose, and sucrose.

What makes honey unique is the fact that it also contains small amounts of vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants.

The color of honey varies based on the flower nectar used by bees. It also has a unique taste described as floral, earthy, or fruity.

Honey is used as a common sweetener. Many people enjoy adding honey to their tea, coffee, or baked goods for its sweet taste and health benefits.

Honey has been used for medicinal purposes for centuries and it is believed to have antimicrobial, antiviral properties, and anti-inflammatory properties.

It has also been known to help soothe sore throats and coughs.

Overall, honey is a versatile substance that can be enjoyed in many ways.

Whether you use it for its health benefits or simply as a sweet tasty treat, honey is a delicious and natural alternative to processed sugar.

But is honey safe for our furry companions?

Let’s dig in and take a look at the benefits and a few potential risks you need to be aware of before sharing this sweet treat with your furry friend!

There are Differences in Types of Honey

Have you ever noticed that there are many different types of honey on store shelves or at the farmer’s market?

From light and delicate clover honey to dark and robust buckwheat honey, not all honey is the same.

Each type of honey is made from the nectar of particular flowers. This is what gives it a unique color, taste, and texture.

For example, acacia honey is light and clear with a mild taste. On the other hand, manuka honey from New Zealand has a dark color and a strong, earthy flavor.

It’s also worth noting that raw, unfiltered honey is a healthier choice than processed honey – see below. Raw honey retains more of its natural enzymes and antioxidants.

Pasteurized vs Unpasteurized

When it comes to feeding honey to your dog, it’s important to be aware of the differences between pasteurized and unpasteurized honey.

Pasteurized honey is heated in order to kill off any bacteria or other microorganisms that may be present. This type of honey is safe for human consumption, but not recommended for dogs.

Unpasteurized honey, on the other hand, has not been heated and contains more of the natural enzymes, vitamins, and minerals. This is the safest option for feeding honey to your pup.

It is also worth noting that some honey products may contain additional ingredients such as added sugars or preservatives that can be harmful to your dog.

Just be sure to check if the honey you’re buying is safe for dogs if you plan on sharing a teaspoon or two with your furry companion.

Not all Types of Honey Provide the Same Health Benefits

Raw and unfiltered honey as in REAL honey is the best. Honey in its raw form retains its natural enzymes and nutrients.

Honey should be consumed in moderation as it still contains natural sugars. These sugars can contribute to weight gain if consumed excessively.

As with any people food, it’s important to exercise caution when introducing honey to your furry friend’s diet.

However, as long as you follow the recommended guidelines, you and your pup can enjoy the numerous health benefits of this sweet treat.

Closeup of large black dog with amber eyes licking his lips

The general rule of thumb is that honey should make up no more than 5% of your dog’s daily caloric intake.

For example, if your pup is on a 1000-calorie-per-day diet, it should consume no more than 50 calories worth of honey per day.

It’s also important to monitor your dog’s reaction to honey. You should also start with small amounts of honey such as a teaspoon of honey per day.

Monitor them to ensure that they don’t have any allergic reactions or stomach upset.

If your dog has diabetes or other health conditions, be sure to consult with your vet before introducing honey to their diet.

Use caution giving honey to puppies!

Honey is safe for most healthy adult dogs. However, puppies should not be given honey until they are at least one year old.

This is due to the fact that their digestive systems are still developing. Puppies may not be able to process the amount of sugar found in honey.

Health Benefits of Honey

Honey is a sweet treat that not only tastes delicious but also provides numerous health benefits.

For centuries, honey has been appreciated for its medicinal benefits and properties along with its antibacterial properties.

Here are some of the top health benefits of honey that pet parents AND your furry friend can reap:

1. Boosts immune system: Honey has natural antimicrobial properties, which help to fight off infections.

It contains an enzyme that produces hydrogen peroxide, which helps to kill harmful bacteria and fungi.

This makes honey an effective natural remedy for sore throat, cough, and cold.

2. Lowers blood sugar: Unlike refined sugar, the natural sugars in honey are easily put to use by the body.

This means that it can help regulate blood sugar levels.

A study found that adding honey to the diet of diabetic patients helped to lower their blood sugar levels.

3. Helps with digestion: Honey contains enzymes that aid in digestion. This makes it a natural remedy for stomach ulcers and upset stomachs.

It also helps to promote the growth of good bacteria in the gut, leading to a healthy digestive system.

4. Alleviates allergies: Honey has been found to have antifungal and antioxidant properties that help to alleviate symptoms of seasonal allergies.

This is because honey contains small amounts of flower pollen. It can help the body build up an immunity to airborne pollen.

Can Honey be Used as a Treatment for Illnesses in Dogs?

If you’ve ever had a sore throat, you probably know that honey can be a real lifesaver.

But did you know that it can also help your furry friend when they’re feeling under the weather? That’s right!

Honey isn’t just a delicious treat for us humans. Our canine companions can also benefit from its healing properties.

One of the main benefits of honey is its natural antimicrobial properties, which can help fight off infections.

When your dog is sick, their immune system is under attack. Adding a little honey to their diet can help give their immune system the boost it needs to fight off those germs.

Can Honey Help Itching in Dogs

Yes, honey can help alleviate itching in dogs.

Honey has anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties that can help reduce inflammation caused by skin irritation.

It also contains natural sugars that can help soothe itchy skin.

Additionally, honey has antibacterial and antifungal properties that can help prevent infections caused by scratching and licking.

If your pup is suffering from itchy skin, try adding a small amount of honey to their food.

You can also apply some raw honey directly to the affected area. However, be sure to check with your veterinarian before trying any new treatments for your pup’s itchy skin.

Can Honey Help with Allergies in Dogs?

Just like humans, our dogs can suffer from environmental allergies too.

Honey for dogs can be a great natural remedy for dogs suffering from seasonal allergies.

Honey contains small amounts of flower pollen, which can help the body build up an immunity to airborne pollen and alleviate allergy symptoms.

When it comes to allergies, raw and unfiltered honey can help your pup fight off those pesky environmental allergens.

Can Honey be Used for Gastrointestinal Issues in Dogs?

Research has shown that honey possesses natural anti-inflammatory and antibacterial properties, which can be beneficial in treating gastrointestinal issues in dogs such as reducing inflammation caused by ulcers or soothing an upset stomach.

It also contains enzymes that aid in digestion. This makes it a go-to natural remedy for digestive issues such as diarrhea, vomiting, and loose stools.

In addition to these benefits, honey can also help with nausea. It may even reduce bad breath caused by digestive issues.

When using honey to treat gastrointestinal issues in dogs, it’s important to use the right type of honey.

Unpasteurized and raw honey is best as they contain all the beneficial enzymes and nutrients that can help soothe your pup’s belly.

It’s also important to give your dog honey in moderation to avoid weight gain.

Honey as a Treatment for Kennel Cough

Honey can also be used to treat kennel cough, a common disease in dogs caused by airborne pathogens.

Kennel cough causes inflammation of the upper respiratory tract and is highly contagious among dogs.

Honey has natural antimicrobial properties that can help reduce the symptoms of kennel cough. It may also prevent further spread of the disease.

Additionally, honey helps to soothe inflamed airways and irritated throats, making it easier for your pup to breathe.

Adding a small amount of honey to your pup’s food can help treat the symptoms of kennel cough and provide relief from inflammation.

However, as with any other medical condition, it’s important to consult your veterinarian before using honey to treat kennel cough in dogs.

If your vet approves the use of honey as a supplemental treatment, it’s important to use raw, unpasteurized honey.

Raw honey contains natural enzymes and antimicrobial properties that can help boost the immune system and alleviate coughing symptoms.

When using honey for kennel cough as a supplemental treatment, it’s recommended to mix a small amount (a teaspoon for adult dogs) into your dog’s food or water once or twice a day.

Raw honey in a quart jar from a local beekeeper

Honey as a Wound Treatment in Dogs

Honey can also be used for the treatment of wounds in dogs.

It possesses natural antibacterial and antifungal properties that can help reduce the risk of infection in open wounds or cuts.

Additionally, honey helps to reduce inflammation and swelling caused by wounds.

Our Pit Bull Terrier, Cooper, had a fight with his brother and had some nasty-looking wounds on his legs. Stitches were discussed but on the advice of our vet, we used hydrotherapy and honey as a treatment. We used raw honey from a local beekeeper to treat the wounds. They healed within a couple of weeks with minimal scarring! It was amazing to watch how quickly they healed!

Raw, unpasteurized honey is best for treating wounds as it contains enzymes and nutrients that help promote wound healing.

However, it’s important to consult your veterinarian before using honey for wound treatment. It may not be suitable for deep wounds or those that require stitches.

When using honey for the healing of wounds, it’s best to apply a small amount of raw honey directly onto the wound. Then, cover it lightly with a bandage.

For larger wounds, you can also mix a few teaspoons of honey with warm water and use the mixture as an antiseptic wash.

Are there any potential health risks for dogs consuming honey?

As a dog parent, it’s natural to want to share your favorite treats with your furry friend.

However, when it comes to honey, there are a few things that pet owners should keep in mind to ensure that their dogs stay healthy and happy.

First and foremost, it’s important to note that honey is NOT always safe for dogs.

While honey has many health benefits such as its antibacterial and antifungal properties, it can also cause serious health issues in dogs if ingested in large quantities.

One of the main risks of feeding honey to dogs is its high sugar content.

While natural sugars in honey are generally considered safe in small quantities.

When honey is given in excessive amounts, it may lead to weight gain, diabetes, or other health issues.

Additionally, dogs with existing health conditions such as allergies or autoimmune disorders may have a negative reaction to honey.

Another potential danger of feeding honey to dogs is the risk of botulism spores.

Raw honey may contain spores that can produce toxins in the intestines of dogs. These toxins can lead to muscle paralysis and even death.

While the risk of botulism poisoning is considered low, it’s important to exercise caution and only give your dog pasteurized honey.

Lastly, some dogs may experience stomach upset or other digestive issues when consuming honey.

This is especially true if your dog has a history of gastrointestinal problems or stomach ulcers.

If your dog experiences any adverse reactions after consuming honey, such as vomiting or diarrhea, you should seek veterinary care immediately.

Large dog licking his lips

In conclusion

It is clear that honey can have both positive and negative effects on our canine friends.

While honey does offer numerous health benefits for dogs such as its antibacterial and antifungal properties, it’s important to be aware of its potential risks and dangers.

The high sugar content in honey can lead to weight gain and other health issues, and some dogs may have a negative reaction to the pollen or other ingredients in raw honey.

Despite these potential risks, a daily taste of honey can still make an excellent occasional treat for your furry friend.

As with any human food, it’s always a good idea to consult with your veterinarian before introducing honey into your dog’s diet.

Ultimately, the key to keeping your dog healthy and happy is to maintain a balanced and nutritious diet.

Honey can offer a variety of health benefits and medicinal properties. However, it shouldn’t be relied upon as a sole source of nutrition or medical treatment for your dog.

By providing a variety of healthy foods, treats, and medical care, you can ensure that your furry friend stays healthy and strong for years to come.


Thursday 30th of November 2023

Me neither (ever thought of offering this to my dogs)


Friday 13th of October 2023

I’d never thought of giving honey to a dog…

Love these woofs?

Help spread our waggie tales. You're pawesome for doing it!