Can Dogs Eat Honey? 5 Reasons Why They Should Do It

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can dogs eat honey

The simple answer is yes, dogs can eat honey. But there is more to it. So before you let your pup dive headfirst into the honey pot, let’s go over a bit more about giving your dog honey.

For decades it has been the go-to cure-all for quite a few ailments.

So while we know honey is fantastic for us, can our dogs also benefit from a taste of the sweet life?

So, Can Dogs Eat Honey Safely?

Honey is perfectly safe for dogs to eat. However, it’s better to limit them to small quantities.

While Honey does naturally contain vitamins and minerals, it also contains large amounts of natural sugars. 

For humans, natural sugar is better for us than refined. However, dogs aren’t as lucky. High sugar levels can lead to obesity[1] in dogs.

If you are not sure what your dog’s average weight should be, read our article we wrote about How Heavy Should My Dog Be.

If you do decide to add honey to your pet’s diet, make sure that you provide adequate exercise and a balanced diet. 

You should never feed honey to puppies or dogs with compromised immune systems such as cancer treatment, liver problems, or diabetes.

It’s also not a good idea to give overweight dogs honey because of the high sugar levels and their lack of activity. 

Can Puppies Eat Honey?

Puppies under the age of one year old should never be given honey. Raw honey can sometimes contain a bacteria spore that is heat-resistant.

Puppies are still growing and developing an immune system. Ingesting these bacteria spores could cause your pup to become ill. 

How Much Honey Should My Dog Eat?

Before you start adding honey to your dog’s daily diet, you should take a quick trip to the vet.

Make sure they are not autoimmune compromised and otherwise healthy. 

Next, once your pup has the all-clear, you can start to add some honey to their diet.

As with all new food introductions, make sure you only add small amounts and slowly increase the amount over time. 

Here are some recommended guidelines:

  • Dogs that are under 10lbs should have no more than ¼ teaspoon of honey per day
  • 10-20lbs dogs can have up to ½ teaspoon daily
  • Between 20 and 50 pounds can have a full teaspoon of honey daily
  • And dogs over 50lbs can have no more than 2 teaspoons of honey per day

Can Honey Upset A Dog’s Stomach?

Because adding honey to your dog’s food could cause an upset stomach or diarrhea.

However, if you start slow and make sure that your dog has no medical conditions, you shouldn’t have too much of a problem. 

Will Honey Give A Dog Diarrhea?

Honey in large amounts can cause diarrhea even if your dog usually doesn’t have problems with new foods.

Starting off a single drop at a time can help ease your dog’s digestion system into the new treatment and will reduce the problems. 

Warning: Make sure you are using only natural honey. Anything else may have artificial sugars in it that could be harmful to your dog. 

5 Reasons Why You Should Add Honey to Your Dogs Diet

Adding honey to your dog’s diet can have some fantastic health benefits for your pup. 

1. It Can Help With Allergies

While allergies sometimes need a prescription, some dogs may find some relief with the addition of honey.

Don’t allow your dog to eat excessive amounts of honey. Still, getting local honey is even better and can help build their immunity and offer some relief for seasonal allergies.

“I recommend raw, unfiltered honey to strengthen dogs’ immune systems, so they won’t suffer reactions to seasonal and environmental allergens.” – Veterinarian Jay Brekke DVM in Castle Rock, Colorado

2. Honey For Skin Problems

Some dogs suffer from year-round skin problems such as hot spots or eczema. Raw honey naturally has antibacterial properties[1] and can help soothe skin and heal scrapes. It can easily be added to other topical treatments or used orally.

Pro Tip: Is your honey too thick or crystallized? Don’t worry, this is natural. Just place your jar of honey into a warm (not hot) water bath and let it sit for a few moments. You can then easily apply it to your dog. 

If you use honey on your dog’s skin, be sure to cover it with a cotton wrap or bandage[2] to stop them from licking it off. Bonus treats! 

3. Honey For Coughing And Throat Irritation

If your dog is a frequent barker, this one is for you. While this can easily soothe your dog’s throat, make sure that your pup always has fresh water to drink and that they are properly able to swallow before giving them honey. 

4. Honey For Digestion

Because too much honey can cause digestion problems, it might seem odd that honey can also help. However, this is true. Honey offers both prebiotics and probiotics. Both are essential for optimal gut health for your dog. 

Due to the high pH levels of your dog’s digestion system, this is important because it helps to maintain the pre-existing bacteria. Therefore this sweet addition offers a boost to your pup’s natural gut health. 

5. Honey For Managing Weight

Studies have shown[3] that natural sources of honey might not break down differently than other sources of sugar. However, they have noticed that the additional nutrients that occur within the foods offer additional benefits. 

The extra nutrients within honey help slow down the conversion of sugar into glucose and help your pup feel full for a longer amount of time. Just remember, too much of a good thing can easily go wrong. If you notice your dog gaining weight from the addition of honey reduce or remove it. 

Why You Shouldn’t Give Your Dog Honey

While honey is beneficial for many pets, not every pet can reap the benefits of the natural power of honey. Here are a few cases when you shouldn’t give your dog this sweet treat.

  • Diabetic dogs. At the end of the day, Honey is still a sugar and can affect your dog’s blood sugar levels.
  • Puppies under a year. These guys will have to wait until their immune system fully develops before enjoying this sweet treat. 
  • Allergies to bees. It’s not worth risking an allergic reaction. 
  • Obese dogs. Honey will not make your dog thin, nor will the sugar give them the boost of energy they need. Talk to your vet about a weight management plan. We recommend you read our article on How To Help A Dog Lose Weight for more tips .

How To Add Honey To Your Dog’s Diet. 

To begin adding honey into your dog’s diet, you should start one drop at a time to get them used to the smell and taste. This slow introduction also helps their digestion system adapt as well. 

Another easy way to add honey into your dog’s diet is to make them a yummy treat. 

Pumpkin Honey Dog Treats

Pumpkin is excellent for supporting a healthy digestive tract, and this recipe adds in a touch of honey. Because of the antioxidants, these treats are a perfect boost to help reduce inflammation and boost your dog’s immune system. It’s also a great way to give your dog honey.

You’ll need:

  • 2 1/2 cups whole wheat flour
  • 1 cup pumpkin purée (make sure it doesn’t have added sugar)
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1 egg
  • 2 heaping tablespoons Raw Organic Honey
  • Baking Sheet Pan
  • Parchment Paper
  • Cookie Cutters 
  • Rolling pin
  • Storage container for finished treats

Directions

First, preheat your oven to 350°F. Once that’s heating up, line your baking pan with parchment paper. 

Next, if you have a stand mixer, you’ll want to use it now with the paddle attachment. If you don’t have one, just get out a mixing bowl. 

Then, add all of your ingredients together—no need to sift the dry or separate the wet. Just dump them all in. And mix until everything is well combined. 

Once that’s done, you’ll want to lightly flour your countertop and roll out the dough until it’s about ½ inch thick. 

Pro Tip: The distance between the tip of your thumb to the first joint is about 1 inch, so about half of your thumb’s first joint can be used to measure your dough. 

Next comes the fun part. Dip your cookie cutters into some flour to prevent sticking and cut out the treats. 

Once all your treats are cut out, place them onto the baking sheet in a single layer.

Finally, bake your pumpkin honey dog treats for about 25-30 minutes. Because of the color, you might not see too much browning, but there will be some color differences. 

After your treats fully cool, you can transfer them to a container. We recommend that you let them cool on the pan for crunchier treats. 

Store these tasty bites at room temperature for up to two weeks. If they last longer, you can put them in the refrigerator for up to a month. 

The Bottom Line

Your dog can totally enjoy the sweet benefits of honey. But like all good things, just be mindful and moderate how much your dog gets. 

We’ve heard that honey is safe for dogs, but only up to a certain point. Feeding your dog too much honey can lead to digestion problems and vomiting.

Read our article about How Long Does It Take For A Dog To Digest Food to avoid digestion problems.

It’s important to know the right amount of honey per day so you don’t overdo it with sugar!

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Author
Lori Marsh
A writer who's lived in the pet world for more than 25 years. I currently reside just outside of Chicago with my collection of cats while I await the day that I can get my next dog.

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