Can Dogs Eat Honey? Is Honey Safe For Dogs?

Commonly known as the ‘nectar of the gods’, honey is a natural substance given to us by bees (though not willingly).

Besides being used as a natural sweetener, honey has many health benefits to people due to its rich vitamins and other nutrients.

It is used for medical purposes as well and has been used to treat eye diseases, asthma, fatigue, and even ulcers.

Due to its numerous benefits, can dogs eat honey? Is honey safe for dogs?

Canines suffer from the numerous illnesses honey is used to treat. Can honey be medication to dogs?

Your dog might have also licked some honey out of animal curiosity or you may have gotten a pot of honey and wonder if it’s safe to share with your paddy.

In truth, honey is not a toxic substance to dogs, just as it isn’t to humans.

It has a lot of nutrients your dog needs, and it isn’t a problem feeding your pet pooch some sweetness.

However, there are some challenges you should know when integrating honey into a dog’s diet.

If you ignore these downsides, the valuable nectar of the gods can become a devil’s juice for Bobby.

Let’s look into the benefits and possible downsides of honey.

Can Dogs Eat Honey?

According to the AKC, honey is known to have many healing properties, making it an elixir both for humans and dogs. [1]

While there is no strong scientific backing yet, many sites promote honey as a tool to “reduce inflammation, soothe stomach ulcers, and sore throats, and cure allergies.”

This alone is enough to make you want to scoop some honey and put it in your pooch’s bowl.

There are other benefits of honey as well. Honey helps dogs with pollen allergies by making the dog create antibodies. 

Furthermore, dogs with skin problems need honey to help with treatment. It soothes possible pain and irritation.

Other ailments honey help with are:

  • Digestive complications
  • Coughing
  • Diarrhea

Thus, dogs can eat honey. However, caution should be applied. 

Is Honey Safe for Dogs?

A Jar of Honey with Honey Dipper

While honey is edible to dogs and healthy, it should not be made a regular part of their diet.

Here’s the nutritional value of a 100g of honey for further understanding:

  • Calories: 304
  • Total fat: 0g
  • Cholesterol: 0g
  • Sodium: 4g
  • Potassium: 52 mg
  • Carbohydrates: 82g
  • Sugar: 82g
  • Protein: 0.3g

On one hand, honey has no cholesterol and fat, which is an advantage. On the other hand, it is a poor source of protein, a dog’s essential nutrient.

It also contains a lot of sugar. Though the sugar is natural, too much honey can lead to weight gain and dental issues.

You should regulate the amount of honey you feed a dog and brush your dog’s teeth after feeding him honey. 

Honey may also cause harm to dogs with diabetes. The sugar level of honey may inflate the blood sugar level of an affected dog.

If you have good reasons to give diabetic dog honey, consult a veterinarian first. 

Obese dogs should not be fed honey as they don’t need the extra sugar content. It would only cause more problems. 

Dogs with weak immune systems caused by illnesses like cancer will be worse off if you feed them honey, because of botulism spores.

You should not give honey to puppies too, especially the raw ones. Puppies are still growing and have a delicate immune system.

The botulism spores in honey may affect the dog negatively. 

Finally, if your dog is allergic to a bee sting, he may react to honey too. With these dogs, observe after feeding them a little honey.

If the honey triggers an allergic reaction, discontinue immediately.

Related: Can Dogs Eat Honey Nut Cheerios?

How Much Honey Can I Give My Dog

We now have an idea of the pros and cons of honey to dogs.

With those in mind, what quantity of honey will be okay for dogs, and what should be considered too much?

Generally, your dog’s size determines the amount of honey that will be enough for him.

A veterinarian will be in the best position to put you through, but here’s a guideline to keep you on the right path. 

  • A 10-pound dog can be fed ¼ teaspoon of honey a day. 
  • A dog weighing between 10 to 20 pounds can be fed ½ teaspoon a day. 
  • Between 20 to 50 pounds, a teaspoon is appropriate.
  • A dog over 50 pounds can take 2 teaspoons of honey. 

Anything more than 2 teaspoons of honey a day may be too much.

Do not let your dog free-feed on honey as the sugar content may make his stomach upset. 

How Do I Feed My Dog Honey

When introducing honey to your pooch, take it slow. This would enable your canine to get used to the substance and the taste.

You can start with a drop, then slowly increase as the days go by till you get to the safest amount for your dog’s size.

Be observant while you feed, especially if your dog has a sensitive stomach or a history of allergies. If your dog reacts unusually, stop feeding him honey.

The best feeding tool to use is a teaspoon, as it helps you with measurement. It also ensures you don’t go overboard. 

If you don’t want to feed your dog directly, get creative. You could drop a little amount to his meal, water, or rub it on fruit.

Related: Can Dogs Eat Guava? Is Guava Safe For Dogs?

Another alternative is a mixture of honey and peanut butter, which would enhance the taste of your dog.

Some dog treats contain honey, and you can find those with simple research on the internet.

Do not forget, honey is an occasional meal, not a permanent diet fixture.

What Kind of Honey is Best for Dogs

Honey is not the same in the market, and not all will give your dog the necessary medicinal aid honey is purported to give.

Bear this in mind while shopping, both for you and your paw companion.

Some honey products are artificial and diluted, with little actual honey and added sweeteners. These products are unhealthy for dogs (and even for you).

The best kind of honey is pure, raw, and undiluted. It is often dark in color and forms crystals when cold.

If the honey you have doesn’t fit this description, it is processed. The latter is less efficient.

Other Healthy Bee Products

Honey Bees on a Hive

In addition to honey, bees give some other healthy substances that can be used as natural treatments and boost your dog’s overall well-being.

  • Is Bee Pollen Good for Dogs with Allergies? The pollen bees take from flowers back to their beehives is good for the health of a dog. Besides aiding with allergies, pollen also gets rid of damaged cells that may cause further harm to a dog. 
  • Is Royal Jelly Good for Dogs? Royal jelly is a core food for bee larvae and worker bees. It helps transform the latter into queen bees. In dogs, royal jelly has been known to ease depression and anxiety. 
  • Is Beeswax Good for Dogs? The beeswax used in constructing the hive can be turned into ointments for your dog’s callused paws or elbows.

What About the Bees?

By producing honey, bees have contributed immensely to the world’s ecosystem.

They also act as pollinators, and crops need pollinators to thrive.

Researches have shown that bees pollination helps the United States gain about $20 billion worth of crop production.

In the world, the work of honey bees and other pollinators helps in producing $170 billion in crops.

Unfortunately, the bee population is declining worldwide. [2]

Pesticides are one of the leading causes of bees’ extermination. Neonicotinoid is the most common and is fatal to bees.

Countries like Canada have banned the use of neonicotinoids, and the FDA in the United States has limited its use. 

What does this mean for us?

In our little ways, we can preserve the ecosystem by limiting the extermination of bees.

You can start by having a garden with flowers that bees can pollinate, and avoid the use of pesticides in your yard.

Of course, you should be wary of bee stings. However, bees only attack when they feel threatened. 

Related Questions

Can honey upset a dog’s stomach?

Although honey is good for dogs, the sugary level within can be upsetting for a dog with a sensitive stomach. That’s why you should give your dog a moderate amount of honey fit for his size.

Can I give my dog honey for a cold?

Common cold in dogs can lead to sore throat, a stuffy nose, and cough. Honey is a good remedy for these symptoms, so you can feed it to a dog suffering from a cold.

However, make sure that it is okay for you to do so as dogs with a weak immune system should not be allowed to take honey.

Can I put honey in my dog’s water?

If you feel raw honey is too thick and may not be good for your dog’s bowels, you can add the required quantity into your dog’s water.

This is a safe way to feed honey to a dog and curb the complications that may arise because of the sugar level.

Wrap Up

Honey is a helpful substance to dogs and humans in many ways, from easing sore throat to taking care of the inflammation.

It has been around for ages, and its high preservative nature will ensure it remains so.

Take the necessary precautions when feeding your dog with honey, and you should not encounter any major issues.

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Authored By

Ben Pierce

Ben Pierce is a canine behavioral and nutritional specialist, professional dog trainer, and the CEO of Puplore. A former military working dog handler, Ben founded Puplore to provide owners with breed-specific information and to act as a go-to guide to health, nutrition, care, and to help them find the confidence they need to step up to the plate and become the best pup parents they can possibly be. A firm believer in treating all animals with kindness and compassion, and that positive discipline is paramount in achieving a harmonious canine-human relationship, Ben’s former and present careers have enabled him to become a leading light in his chosen profession and business.

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