It is claimed that honey has antimicrobial and antifungal properties, reduces inflammation, cures stomach ulcers and sore throats, and cures allergies. But can our four-legged friends reap the benefits of honey?
No conclusive scientific studies have been conducted confirming that it is suitable for dogs. Most of these claims are anecdotal, but since honey is relatively safe, it will usually suffice for dog owners looking for an additional treatment that is appropriate and safe. One of the most common claims made about honey is that it can treat seasonal allergies in humans and dogs.
Although scientific evidence is fairly scarce, there is some reason to believe that raw honey may help reduce allergic reactions to flower pollen. (Of course, assuming your dog is allergic to one of the pollens in honey and no other environmental allergen.) Regardless of exact judgments, giving your dog a small amount of honey to help allergens will not harm him, even if the possibility of helping is not guaranteed.
When choosing honey for your dog, you should choose it as raw as possible so that it is in its purest form, unpasteurized, unheated or unprocessed. Highly pasteurized honey will have less benefit. (its consistency usually appears more watery and clearer in color and is often found in plastic bottles in the shape of a bear).
If you want to feed your dog with honey, it would be better to consult your veterinarian for the appropriate amount for your dog. In general, the amount is usually less, especially when it comes to dog snacks for small breeds. If your dog has a health condition such as diabetes, you should talk to your veterinarian about whether honey is safe to feed your dog and instead consider offering a lower sugar snack like cucumber.
If your dog accidentally consumes too much honey, he should be a good watchdog as he may show signs of stomach distress, including arrhea and vomiting, and in such cases you may need to contact your veterinarian immediately.
The Dangers of Honey for Dogs
While raw honey is safe for adult dogs, it should not be given to puppies, immunocompromised, diabetic or obese dogs. Raw honey may contain botulism spores; Botulism is a rare but serious condition that can cause paralysis in dogs. Only older dogs (and humans) will have strong enough immune systems to tolerate exposure to botulism sports. Many dogs love sweets, but of course, honey’s high sugar content can lead to obesity and other weight-related issues.