Table of Contents
- 1 What Kind of Honey Works
- 2 Is Honey Good For Dogs?
- 3 Precautions!
- 4 Conclusion
Sweet honey is one of the best products that the nature created. Having almost an eternal shelf life and containing dozens of nutrients, vitamins and mineral, honey can be viewed as a universal supplement, treat, sweetener and even a remedy. However, the origin of this product and content make anyone worry. Albeit containing simple sugars that are known for causing obesity and diabetes, honey is widely prescribed as universal product helpful in nutrition and treatment – both of humans and their pets.
Can dogs have honey? Actually, they can have anything that is healthy for them (read more Best puppy food). That’s the answer. However, the science of nutrition behind it is a bit complex and comprehensive. This is why we are going to take a journey into the dog honey world to learn more about the benefits of this legendary product.
What Kind of Honey Works
Quality of honey is the most important thing. Companies specializing in honey and other bee products can fake almost any product and you will believe the honey you are eating is real. However, there are such trademarks, better say types of honey that are really good by default. It’s not a big secret that, the “A” grade honey that is sold in supermarkets is a processed honey diluted with fructose, syrups and God knows what other additives and preservatives. The honey is heated, and then quickly cooled to give it a better look. No honey can survive such onslaught: heat destroys all nutrients and vitamins while cooling “finishes” the remaining nutrients and vitamins. Eventually, you get just a jar of honey-like sugar. In order to receive the best that the honey can give you and your dog, you should look for local honey, delivered by beekeepers/apiaries or New Zealand Manuka honey.
Local honey is likely to have a cloudy appearance which is caused by the pollens. This appearance decreases the marketability of honey, that’s why it is heated and cooled for “proper look” on the shelf. Such processing decomposes pollens that are helpful as an allergy treatment. Local honey from hilltop/mountain/flower valleys hives can be found at farmers’ markets, local health food stores and in the health food sections of big grocery stores. Another way is to search for “raw honey (your city)” via the search engine.
Manuka is a type of honey that originated in New Zealand. This dogs honey is used by both veterinarians and human doctors for many purposes; as a nutritional supplement and a treatment at the same time. Bees take nectar of Manuka bush flowers and make one of the most salubrious, healthy types of honey existing. Clinical research showed that Manuka honey kills more than 250 strains of bacteria including methicillin resistant/sensitive Staphylococcus aureus, vancomycin-resistant enterococci and Helicobacteri pylori. Certain types of Manuka honey contain more antibacterial agents than other types. These honey types are graded according to the Unique Manuks Factor; a rating system. The higher the UMF rating, the better the honey is in terms of medical application and potency (see also Sciencedaily.com).
Is Honey Good For Dogs?
Many pet owners don’t know the array of benefits that one teaspoon of honey can bring their dogs when given daily. Honey helps with allergies, infections, digestion problems, kennel cough and all kinds of wounds. Being high in enzymes, flavonoids and antioxidants, it is a natural antibiotic with proven anti-germ action. Here, you will find the best type of honey that should be used, namely for medical reasons and clear directions of application.
Raw honey may be used in moderate amounts only – one-two teaspoons per day and not more.
If your dogs is diabetic, overweight or is seriously ill, you should absolutely consult your veterinarian before feeding honey. Puppies less than one year old should not be fed the raw honey as it may be contaminated with botulism toxin that their immune systems cannot defend against. This toxin does not pose any threat to adult dogs and people.
Using Honey for Dog’s Allergy
Just like people, dogs can suffer from allergy too. Face rubbing, feet licking, scratching is likely to happen in spring, summer and fall. It is important to establish the true reason for allergy as food allergy is not uncommon. If your dog is experiencing allergy of origin other than food, you may use local raw unfiltered honey derived from wild flowers. Dog experts suggest avoiding Manuka honey. Why? The reason behind is in the following: your dog lives in this environment, living a sedentary lifestyle which means that, it is used to the majority of local allergens. If you introduce something possibly containing an allergen from other regions/countries, it may provoke a serious allergy response. Other explanation is that, local raw honey contains the agents that help with the allergy originated from the same area. This is why only local honey should be used. Honey is helpful for treating allergies both for pets and humans. Raw honey contains a certain amount of natural pollen that the human/pet organism can ingest and adjust to. Thus, the body gets used to seasonal allergens and pollen that no longer irritates and does not provoke any allergic response in humans and dogs.
Directions: give 1 tablespoon of raw wildflower local honey 2 times a day if you have a big dog; give 1 tablespoon of honey once a day divided into two portions to a small dog. Adjust the portion according to the size of your dog.
Using Honey as the Wound Dressing
Honey is known to reduce swelling, prevent inflammations and pyogenesis (production of pus due to decomposition of tissues in torn wounds). The pure Manuka honey is the best type of honey used namely for burns, infections and sores. Honey not only battles the pain, swelling, inflammation and necrotic processes, but also promotes quick regeneration and growth of new skin. Sealing and keeping the area moist means the sore has better chances to clean itself and resume recuperation. Another helpful benefit is that the bandages do not stick to wounds once the honey is used.
- Burns: Trim the hair around the burn, wash the area with vinegar and apply a thick layer of honey every 10 minutes until the pain decreases. After that, apply a bandage over the area and use the Elizabethan collar, which prevents your dog from licking the wounded area.
- Pressure sores: Trim the hair around the area, clean the wound. Apply the honey by placing small amount on the area and covering with a non-stick pad. Wrap the area with gauze, but should not be too tight.
- Hot spots: Trim or shave the hair around the hot spot so that you can see healthy skin. It is very critical to clean the area before using the honey, as bacteria are trapped within the hair. Dilute a little of the Povidone Iodine with water, soak gauze with it and blot the hot spot. After every blotting, apply a thin layer of Manuka honey to the hot spot. Do so at least twice a day. If the hot spot continues to grow instead of diminishing, consult your vet immediately.
Precaution! When using honey for treating any sorts of wounds, never use crystalized honey! It contains sharp crystals that can cause even more pain to your dog. Use liquid honey instead and Manuka only! If you have crystalized honey only, put the jar in a pot with hot water until it gets liquid. Do not heat or microwave the honey! Before placing on pet, cool the honey.
Using Against Kennel Cough
Dogs experiencing the kennel cough should be fed Manuka honey.
Directions: feed half or one teaspoon 4 times daily. Adjust the amount depending on dog’s size.
Manuka honey works very well for digestive issues.
Actually, any raw honey contains a bunch of enzymes that promote proper digestion of all macronutrients and reduce belching, and belly inflation.
Directions: big dogs are fed 1 tablespoon a day, medium-size dogs are given 2 teaspoons a day and small dogs – 1 teaspoon a day.
Warts cause serious troubles. However, the honey can successfully treat warts and wart-like growths. Apply the honey daily and the growths will soften and disappear in few days. When applying honey, always use the Elizabethan collar to prevent the dog from licking the tasty cure.
Boosting Energy Level
Being a natural source of carbohydrates, any honey works great. Large dogs can be given 1 tablespoon a day, medium-size dogs are fed 2 teaspoons a day while smaller dogs receive 1 teaspoon daily. Though, honey contains much of carbohydrates and fruit sugars, most dog fanciers as well as nutritionists consider honey just a supplement that cannot boost the energy level dramatically. Why? Though honey is almost 90% pure carbs, they are simple and dissolve very fast. Another reason is that, one tablespoon of honey gives roughly the amount of carbs worth its weight. As dogs can burn tremendous amounts of calories throughout a day, a couple of spoon looks more like an accidental treat rather than an energy enhancer. Instead of using honey, try revising the dog’s diet and incorporating fresh food rich in complex carbs, animal proteins and unsaturated fats. However, small dog owners claim that honey improves their performance, so this topic is rather debatable.
Other Health Benefits
Improved mobility in arthritic dogs, high energy level, reduced stress, and promotion of digestion are among the health benefits of honey. Being rich in minerals (iron, calcium, copper, manganese and phosphorus) and vitamins (A, B, C, D, E, and K), honey makes a great universal supplement that is both tasty and healthy. Honey is so helpful that, naming all health conditions that it may ease and treat will take much time. Visit this link and scroll down to paragraph 4.1 to learn them all.
Some dog owners use honey for washing their dogs. We are not going to discuss the economical aspect of this thriftless approach, but rather focus on the benefit. Washing dog with honey only will cost you much. This is why you should begin with your usual dog shampoo to rinse away the dirt and shedding hair. After that, apply some mix made of honey, aloe vera and an essential oil (lavender, tea tree, lemon grass, etc.). The oil should comprise only 5-10% of the whole mix. This shampoo recipe gives a solution that does not lather much, but cleans and soothes skin very well. Apply this mix topically, let the dog stay put for a minute and then rinse if off.
Though honey is one of the best products, it has its “side effects” that can be easily avoided:
- Moderation is the key: Start with the smallest amount possible and increase the portion until your dog receives daily its destined amount of honey.
- Honey is a debatable product: endocrinologists think that, it can raise the sugar level due to high content of simple sugars; other thinks that it decreases the level of sugar and thus can be prescribed even to patients with diabetes. Before feeding honey to an obese dog or the one experiencing diabetic condition, please, consult with your veterinarian.
- Cancer is disease unpredictable in its dynamics. This is why honey must be fed with extreme caution and only after your vet prescribes to do so.
- Manuka is the best honey that should be used for medical purposes. The higher its grade, the better it works. If you do not have Manuka in local stores, you can search for local raw honey from beekeepers in your area/city/state. It works no less worse.
- Raw honey can be potentially contaminated with botulism toxins. This is why it should never be given to puppies as their immune system is not yet developed. Adult dogs are never affected.
Can dogs eat honey? Sure they can and even should do. Being an ultimate supplement, honey delivers so much benefit that it is hard to underestimate its value. Before feeding honey and using it as a remedy, please consult your veterinarian in order to learn more about your particular situation. Giving honey on daily basis serves not just the medical purposes, butrepresents a proven preventative measure against many diseases.