Can Dogs Eat Honey? Is Honey Good For Dogs?
Honey is still the most common type of sweetener that people use. It is easy to forget about the beneficial effects it has for people. It is rich in a wide variety of nutrients, including vitamins A, B, C, D, E, and K, as well as zinc, iron, calcium, potassium, magnesium, manganese, and copper. In its natural state, it possesses antibacterial, antifungal, and antimicrobial properties, in addition to a potent antioxidant profile. You may be wondering if your dog can reap the same health benefits that you do. So, can dogs eat honey?
Honey, when consumed in moderation by dogs, is not harmful to their health. It also has trace amounts of various vitamins, minerals, and naturally occurring sugars. Additionally, it serves as a sweetener in a wide variety of foods and drinks. However, there is a cost associated with that sweetness.
If owners feed their dogs an excessive amount of honey and do not provide them with adequate exercise and a balanced diet, this can lead to obesity in their dogs due to honey's high sugar content. Since tooth decay can also be caused by sugars, you should consider brushing your dog's teeth before feeding them honey if you plan to give it to them.
What Exactly Is Honey?
Many of us know very little about honey other than the fact that it is produced by bees. Although it is common knowledge that bees take the sugary nectar that flowers produce and use it to make honey in their hives, the production of honey includes a number of other fascinating processes. When there are insufficient amounts of flowering plants, bees will produce honey as a source of nutrition for themselves. Because of this, it is essential that honey be suitable for long-term storage.
Bees have wings and move around in search of flowers that produce nectar. They do this by sucking the sugary liquid from the flowering plants with their tongues, and then depositing it in their second stomachs. The nectar gets stirred up in their fields, where it combines with enzymes and becomes more stable for long-term storage as a result. After that, the bees take the nectar back to their hives where they store it.
Once the bees have reached their hives, they pass the nectar that they have collected by mouth to the worker bees, who then store it in the honeycomb. Honey is produced when worker bees fan the nectar, which causes any water or moisture present to evaporate. The resulting substance is thick and syrupy. After that, they use a wax-like substance to encase the comb cells so that they can be stored.
Health Benefits Of Honey For Dogs
Honey is very sugary and high on the glycemic index, so the nutrients it provides are in micro-dose form. Nonetheless, those nutrients are there. When we talk about the health benefits of honey for dogs, we’re talking about raw, unpasteurized honey. Heated or processed honey can contain additional ingredients like high fructose corn syrup that dilute its medicinal value. Benefits include:
Vitamins A, C, and E – along with phenolic acid and flavonoids – give honey its powerful antioxidant properties. They combat free radicals that cause cell oxidation damage in your dog’s body. They also help reduce inflammation and boost your dog’s immune system.
Vitamin & Minerals
B-complex vitamins are the building blocks of a healthy body. They support your dog’s energy levels, brain function, and metabolism. Both vitamin D and E are fat-soluble vitamins that support bone health, regulate your dog’s immune system, and provide blood clotting properties. Minerals like copper, magnesium, and copper aid in the production of red blood cells and collagen. They also promote muscle development, bone density, and growth of ligaments and tendons.
Antimicrobial & Antibacterial
The enzymes found in honey reduce inflammation and soothe stomach ulcers and sore throats. When applied in a thin layer to skin, honey stimulates the healing of wounds, hot spots, eczema, and bug bites. When eaten, it helps rid the gastrointestinal system of bad bacteria that can cause diarrhea.
Honey contains trace amounts of flower pollen. This pollen stimulates your dog’s immune system, helping it build antibodies that can prevent autoimmune responses to the pollen. Pollen also contains quercetin, a polyphenol rich in antihistamines that relieve itchy, watery eyes caused by environmental allergies. It’s best to buy local honey, as it’s more likely to contain this type of pollen.
Potential Health Concerns
As long as your dog is healthy and an adult, it shouldn’t make them sick. But it is packed full of sugar, and just like with humans, too much sugar can lead to poor oral hygiene. If you’re feeding your dog honey, you should also brush their teeth regularly to protect them against cavities and prevent bad breath.
Not all dogs can safely eat honey though. Honey can make puppies and dogs with weakened immune systems ill because it can contain spores which cause botulism. These spores can cause serious illness for any human or dog with a developing or compromised immune system.
If your dog is diabetic, you should avoid giving them honey as the high sugar content can cause a large spike in their blood sugar and make them ill. Although honey won’t necessarily make an obese dog sick, you still shouldn’t feed it to them. The tasty treat is packed with sugar and calories they don’t need, and it won’t help your efforts to get your dog to lose the pounds. Obesity seriously impacts a dog’s health and quality of life, leaving them at greater risk of illness such as cancer and diabetes and shortening their lives by 2.5 years on average.
How Much Honey Can My Dog Eat?
Honey is safe for dogs to consume and even contains some nutrients and vitamins that are necessary for their health; however, owners shouldn't give their dogs more than one teaspoonful of honey per day. Honey is already predigested by bees, so it shouldn't be too difficult for your dog's stomach to handle it.
On the other hand, many foods that are considered "people food" can be challenging for dogs to digest. Because honey is a healthy and appetizing way to sweeten treats that are made specifically for your canine companion, it is a component that is frequently found in homemade dog treats.
Honey, like any other food, should not be given to your dog without first consulting with your veterinarian. Your vet will be able to provide you with more specific feeding guidelines based on the breed of your dog and his or her medical history. In the event that your dog unintentionally consumes an excessive amount of honey, you should be on the lookout for signs of stomach distress, such as vomiting and diarrhea, and you should contact your veterinarian as soon as possible.
Review: Can Dogs Eat Honey?
Honey is safe for dogs to consume, but there are a few precautions that should be taken first. Because honey contains sugar, it is essential to avoid giving your dog an excessive amount of this treat. Honey is a delicious sweetener, but consuming excessive amounts of it can lead to weight gain as well as other health complications.
It is also possible that canines that are hypersensitive to pollen are also hypersensitive to honey. If you are unsure as to whether or not your dog has an allergy to honey, it is in your best interest to get your dog checked out by a veterinarian before feeding them any. Last but not least, it's possible that some varieties of honey have toxins in them that are harmful to dogs.
Raw honey, for instance, could contain bacteria that lead to food poisoning if consumed in sufficient quantities. Therefore, while it is true that honey can be consumed by dogs, it is imperative that this be done in moderation and that safe, non-toxic varieties be selected.