Can Dogs Eat Honey? Effects of Honey for Dogs as a Dog Food

Can Dogs Eat Honey_ Effects of Honey for Dogs as a Dog Food

Yes, dogs can eat honey. Honey is safe for dogs to eat in limited quantities. It’s packed with nutrients crucial for healthy body functions and vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants that dogs need to stay healthy and happy.

Raw honey can help with wound healing and skin issues with its antibacterial, antimicrobial, and antifungal properties. It is excellent for boosting energy, offering relief from allergies, soothing kennel cough, and helping with gastrointestinal upsets.

However, honey is very high in sugars and has a high glycemic score. Thus you should give in moderation to avoid issues such as obesity and gastrointestinal upset.

What are the Benefits of Honey for Dogs? 

The benefits of honey for dogs are listed below:

  • Honey boosts energy: Like other carbohydrates, honey is high in sugars, giving dogs a healthy energy boost. Honey’s natural sugars break down in a more sluggish way than processed sugar, hence providing a healthy energy source for dogs. 
  • Honey relieves seasonal allergies: Honey is beneficial for dogs that suffer from seasonal allergies. This is because it has trace amounts of flower pollen, which can be gradually introduced to a dog’s immune system to help them develop antibodies that protect them from an autoimmune reaction to pollen in the air. Pollen also contains Quercetin, an antihistamine-rich polyphenol in nature that can assist with itchy, watery eyes.
  •  Honey helps with gastrointestinal issues: Honey can be used to soothe mild stomach upsets in dogs. It can also help deal with other digestive problems such as colitis, gastritis, irritable bowel syndrome, and bacterial overgrowth. The antibacterial properties in honey can help deal with minor stomach ulcers by destroying the bacteria that causes it.
  • Honey helps soothe kennel cough and throat irritation: Raw honey is abundant in antibacterial components that can relieve dogs experiencing kennel cough, sore throat, and breathing issues.
  • Honey is great for wound healing and skin problems: Honey has antifungal, antibacterial, and antiviral properties, which can help with various skin issues. It can help speed up the healing process for minor burns, scrapes, wounds, cuts, and scratches. It’s also great for eczema, insect bites, and hot spots.

What are the Harms of Honey for Dogs? 

The harms of Honey for dogs are listed below:

  • Digestive upsets: When taken in excessive amounts, honey can cause stomach upset in dogs. They should therefore take it in moderation.
  • Diabetes: Honey contains a lot of sugar. This sugar can lead to an excessive increase in blood sugar. Too much blood sugar can cause type 2 diabetes in dogs or worsen the condition.
  • Obesity:  Honey being a carbohydrate-rich food, honey can lead to an unhealthy weight gain in dogs. Excess weight puts dogs at the risk of severe health problems, including pancreatitis and motility.
  • Tooth decay: Due to its high sugar content, honey can cause dental problems in dogs. The sugar can stick and accumulate, encouraging bacteria growth which causes tooth decay. Hence, eating honey should always be followed by teeth brushing.
  • Paralysis: Raw honey may contain botulism spores which can cause paralysis in puppies, senior dogs, or those with compromised immune systems.

When Should a Dog Eat Honey? 

Dogs can consume honey at any time of the day and tap from its multiple benefits. Honey contains easily breakable natural sugars that supply a quick boost of energy to dogs.

Giving honey to a dog before bedtime can help it sleep better. This is because the natural sugars in honey slightly increase a dog’s insulin levels allowing tryptophan to reach the brain. Tryptophan is an amino acid that aids in the production of serotonin, which is consequently converted to melatonin. This component is responsible for improving sleep patterns in dogs and humans.

Dogs with skin problems can be given honey to help improve their conditions. This is because honey has moisturizing properties, which can help nourish a dog’s skin and heal infections while keeping insects away. This improves skin and coat health.

You can give honey to dogs suffering from kennel cough and sore throat to offer relief. It helps reduce inflammation and alleviate the symptoms of these conditions. Dogs with digestive upset can be given a small quantity of honey for relief. It contains both prebiotics and probiotics, which are essential for healthy digestion. Honey can also help prevent harmful bacteria in a dog’s digestive tract.

How Much Honey Can a Dog Eat per Day?

Generally,  you should give honey in moderation. It’s rich in carbs and sugars to avoid causing health issues in dogs. However, the quantity of honey that a dog can take largely depends on its size, weight, and breed.

Large breed dogs can consume higher amounts of honey than small breed dogs. A large dog such as a Labrador can hence eat more honey than a Chihuahua, a small dog.

A teaspoon of honey contains about 17 grams of sugar and around 70 calories. This can be too much for smaller dogs.

The table below shows the appropriate amounts of honey that dogs of different weights can safely consume without negative repercussions on their health.

Approximate Daily Caloric Needs for Average Dogs

 

Dog’s 

Weight

Average Total Daily Calories inclusive of treats

Maximum Amount of Honey 

Up to 10 lbs 

200-300

¼ teaspoon

10 lbs- 20 lbs 

300-450

½ teaspoon

20 lbs-50 lbs 

500-900

1 teaspoon

50 lbs and above

700 + 

Up to 2 teaspoons

Which Nutrition from Honey is Beneficial for Dogs’ Health? 

The nutritional benefits of honey to dogs are listed below: 

  • Carbohydrates: Honey is high in carbohydrates and packs plenty of natural sugars. These sugars are broken down quickly to provide an excellent source of energy necessary to keep dogs active.
  • Vitamin B: Honey is abundant in B complex vitamins which are building blocks for a healthy body in dogs. Besides supporting cell growth and health, these vitamins are crucial in aiding metabolism, preventing infections, promoting brain function, and boosting energy levels in dogs.
  • Vitamin E: This vitamin acts as a potent antioxidant and helps protect dogs’ cells from harmful free radicals.
  • Vitamin D: This fat-soluble vitamin supports bone health by regulating calcium and phosphate in dogs’ bodies. Lack of vitamin D can result in bone issues in dogs. 
  • Vitamin C: Vitamin C is necessary for the immune system health, bone, cartilage, and tooth maintenance, and dogs’ body tissue repair and growth.
  • Vitamin K: This vitamin is essential for aiding wound healing and blood clotting in dogs
  • Antioxidants: Honey contains vitamins A, C, E, flavonoids, and phenolic acid. The combination of these components gives honey powerful antioxidant properties. The antioxidants help in fighting free radicals that cause cell oxidation in a dog’s body. They also help in boosting the immune system of dogs and reducing inflammation.
  • Zinc: This is an essential nutrient necessary for promoting healthy skin, clearer vision, and better cognitive function and helping in fighting diseases and wound healing. 
  • Iron: Iron is essential in the formation of red blood cells and hemoglobin in dogs. This facilitates the transportation of oxygen throughout a dog’s body.
  • Magnesium: In conjunction with calcium, this mineral helps build strong bones in dogs. It also helps in proper muscle and heart functioning.
  • Potassium:  In dogs, potassium aids muscle growth and strength, boosts metabolism, enhances neural function and bone health, and keeps organ functions in check.
  • Copper: This mineral helps the body metabolize iron, aids in nerve protection, and aids in the formation of skeletal systems in dogs.
  • Manganese: This assists in the absorption of carbohydrates and proteins in dogs’ food, promotes kidney and liver functions, and develops and maintains strong and healthy ligaments in dogs. It also helps to stimulate various enzyme functions and supports brain health as well.
  • Phosphorus:  Phosphorus is essential for dogs as it supports healthy kidney functioning, aids muscle contractions, and helps in energy transfer and storage in dogs.

The nutritional profile of honey

The nutritional content of 100 g of honey is as follows;

  • Calories: 304
  • Fat  : 0 g
  • Cholesterol 0 g
  • Sodium 4 mg
  • Potassium 52 mg
  • Total carbohydrates 82 g
  • Protein 0.3 g

Which Nutrition from Honey is Harmful to Dogs’ Health? 

The following nutritions in honey can be harmful to dogs:

  • Too much sugar: Honey is very high in sugar which can cause obesity in dogs. The high sugar content can also lead to tooth decay as well as cause problems for diabetic dogs. As such, it’s advisable to give dogs honey in moderation, brush your dog’s teeth after honey consumption, or keep honey away from diabetic dogs.
  • Bacterial spores: Honey harbors a bacteria called botulism spores, which can benefit healthy dogs but can negatively impact dogs with compromised immune systems. These include puppies, elderly, and diabetic dogs.
  • Too much honey: Too much honey can cause digestive upset in dogs. Therefore they should eat in small quantities.

Can Honey Upset a Dog’s Stomach? 

Yes. Although you can use honey to soothe mild gastrointestinal upset in dogs, feeding it in large quantities can upset a dog’s stomach. To avoid this,  you should give honey to your dog in moderation. 

Will Honey Give Dogs Diarrhea?  

Yes, honey is very high in sugar, and you should only give in small amounts. Giving too much to dogs can lead to a spike in blood sugar which can cause diarrhea. 

Can Honey Affect a Dog’s Mood?

Yes, honey has positive effects on a dog’s mood. This is because honey contains tryptophan which aids the production of serotonin. This hormone can help ease tension and relieve anxiety hence improving a dog’s mood. Serotonin is responsible for promoting happy feelings in dogs and humans as well.

Can Baby Dogs (Puppies) Eat Honey?  

No. puppies can not eat honey safely. You should not give honey to puppies under one year of age. This is because it contains Clostridium botulinum spores which can cause health problems to puppies due to their underdeveloped immune systems. The spores can cause gastrointestinal upsets in dogs or make them very sick.

Can Old Dogs Eat Honey? 

Yes, healthy, old dogs can eat honey but in small quantities. Feeding too much honey to old dogs can cause stomach upsets. However, senior dogs with compromised immune systems resulting from diabetes and cancer should not eat honey as it contains botulism spores that make them sick.

Honey can be beneficial to old dogs suffering from arthritis. This is because of its anti-inflammatory properties to help reduce pain and soothe arthritic joints to improve mobility. Besides being an excellent source of energy, honey is also packed with other essential vitamins and minerals that are crucial for the optimal health of old dogs.

Can Different Dog Breeds Eat Honey with Different Amounts? 

Yes, different dog Breeds can eat different amounts of honey per day depending on their weight. Different dog breeds have different calorie requirements according to their weight and size.

Generally, large breed dogs have higher calorie needs than smaller dogs. As such, they can eat more honey than smaller dogs. A large breed dog such as a Bernese Mountain dog weighing about 70-120 pounds can eat more honey than a Chihuahua that weighs only 3-7 pounds on average. Thus, different dog breeds have different daily calorie and vitamin, mineral needs. 

The dog breeds below can eat one or more teaspoons of honey daily.

  • Akita: These dogs weigh between 70-130 pounds on average and have a daily calorie requirement of 2200. Hence they can take up to 2 teaspoons of honey per day. This can give them about 140 calories.
  • Labradors: An average adult Labrador dog weighs between 60-80 pounds with a daily calorie requirement of 1000-1200. Labradors should take a maximum of 2 teaspoons of honey as well.
  • Australian Shepherd: These weigh between 40-75 pounds on average and need about 1500 calories daily. They can eat between 1.5-2 teaspoons of honey.

The dog breed below can eat less honey than other dog breeds daily.

  • Pomeranians: These dogs have an average weight of up to 10 pounds and need 300-400 calories daily. These dogs should take up to ¼ teaspoon of honey daily.
  • Pugs: Pugs weigh between 14-18 pounds with a daily caloric need of 450-600 calories. The appropriate amount of honey for their size is ½ teaspoon.

Which Dog Breeds are Honey More Beneficial for? 

Honey is beneficial to all dogs, regardless of their breed. It is super-rich in sugars which form an excellent source of energy. It also contains other vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants that are crucial for optimal health.

Which Dog Breeds are Honey Less Beneficial for? 

Honey is not less beneficial to any dog breed. However, it can become less valuable if moderation is not observed. Dogs should be given honey in very minimal amounts to avoid health issues.

What kind of Honey is Good for Dogs? 

Raw, pure, unprocessed, and unfiltered locally sourced honey is the best for dogs. This kind of honey has the greatest medicinal and health benefits. Processed and pasteurized honey may contain added ingredients or may be produced using methods that rid it of its health benefits for dogs.

Which Honey Recipes and Parts can be eaten safely by Dogs? 

Although honey is safe for dogs to consume, some honey forms may be unsafe. The following is a list of some of the safe honey recipes for dogs:

1. Honey Roasted Peanuts

Plain and unsalted peanuts are safe for dogs to consume. Peanuts are rich in various nutrients such as vitamins B1, B3, and E, manganese, protein, and folate.

Dogs can safely eat honey-roasted peanuts. However, they should be given in moderation as they are high in fats and can cause pancreatitis or gastrointestinal issues if given in large amounts.

2. Honey Buns

Honeybuns are yeast pastries that contain honey and some cinnamon. These treats are rich in sugars.

Dogs can safely eat honey buns in moderation, as honey buns are not toxic and can not harm dogs. However, they are rich in carbohydrates, calories, and sugars, which can be harmful to dogs if given in excess or regularly.

3. Honey Ham

Ham consists of cooked meat from the hind legs of pigs. Dogs can eat honey ham occasionally as a treat.

It is rich in proteins that dogs need. However, ham is high in fat and may contain high salt amounts that are harmful to dogs. Hence,  you should give in moderation. 

4. Raw Honey

Raw honey means unprocessed and unpasteurized honey. It’s rich in natural sugars and has many health benefits for dogs. Dogs can eat raw honey but in minimal quantities. It is rich in sugar and can lead to health problems like diabetes is given in large amounts to dogs.

5. Honey Mustard

This is a mustard-based condiment that’s popularly used for dressing salads. Its made from mustard seeds with herbs and spices then glazed with honey. Dogs cannot eat honey mustard safely since the seeds used to make honey mustards contain compounds that can cause gastrointestinal upsets in dogs.

6. Honey Peanut Butter

Plain peanut butter that does not contain artificial sweeteners such as xylitol is a good source of protein for dogs. Dogs can safely eat honey and plain peanut butter in moderation. However, ensure it does not contain xylitol which is harmful to dogs.

Which Dog Food Brands Do Use Honey within Dog Foods? 

The following brands incorporate honey in their recipes:

  • Bocce’s Bakery Dailies. This dog food brand produces high-quality dog foods and treats, some of which incorporate honey. This Sweet Dreams Bananas + Honey Recipe Dog treat is among their recipes with honey. It helps boost energy with honey and other quality carbohydrates. It also has no wheat hence suitable for gluten-sensitive dogs. 
  • American Journey. This is a popular dog food brand renowned for its premium dog foods. It incorporates honey in some of its recipes. One such recipe is Turkey Recipe Grain-Free Soft-Baked Dog Treats. Its made with whole food, all-natural ingredients for optimal health. It also has no wheat, corn, soy, or artificial preservatives hence good for sensitive stomachs.

Which Dog Diseases Can Affect Dogs’ Honey Eating?  

Although honey is generally safe for dogs to consume, it can cause problems for dogs with the following diseases and should thus be avoided.

Diabetes: Honey is rich in carbohydrates and sugars. This high sugar content can lead to a sudden increase in the blood sugar of dogs. A high blood sugar content can lead to type 2 diabetes or worsen the condition in dogs. As such, you should give diabetic dogs honey. 

Symptoms of diabetes in dogs include:

  • Excessive thirst 
  • Frequent urination
  • Recurring skin and urinary tract infections
  • Loss of appetite
  • Weight loss

Obesity: Overweight dogs should not be given honey. Honey is packed with starch, carbohydrates, and sugars. This can give extra calories that overweight dogs don’t need. Excessive weight gain in dogs can cause serious problems, including pancreatitis and joint problems. Symptoms of pancreatitis include:

  • Loss of appetite
  • Dehydration fever
  • Weakness
  • Lethargy
  • Vomiting
  • Fever
  • Stomach upset.

Allergies: Dogs that are allergic to bee stings can also be allergic to honey. As such, it’s best to avoid feeding honey to such dogs as it can cause health problems. When introducing honey to your dog, exercise caution and feed a minimal amount while observing the reaction.

The following symptoms could indicate that your dog is allergic to honey:

  • Vomiting
  • Diarrhea
  • Paw licking
  • Skin infections
  • Itchy skin
  • Hives and swelling
  • Loss of hair

Can Dogs Eat Honey When Sick? 

Yes, honey is safe for sick dogs to consume. With its multiple nutrients plus strong antibacterial, antifungal, and antiviral properties, honey can help improve the condition of sick dogs and make them feel better.

Can An Anemic Dog Eat Honey? 

Yes, anemic dogs can benefit from the iron present in honey. Iron is essential in aiding the production of red blood cells, which help to transport oxygen throughout a dog’s body.

Can Dogs With Kidney Disease Eat Honey?  

Yes, honey can be beneficial to dogs with kidney disease. Honey has minerals such as potassium, magnesium, manganese, and phosphates which are great for kidney health.

Can Dogs Eat Honey to Help With Diarrhea? 

Yes, dogs can eat honey to help with diarrhea. Honey is excellent for soothing minor bouts of diarrhea and stomach upsets, offering relief to dogs with diarrhea.

Can a Nursing Dog Eat Honey? 

Yes, nursing dogs can safely eat honey. It contains several nutrients such as potassium, calcium, and magnesium beneficial to the mummy and the puppy.

What Else Can Dogs Eat Together with Honey? 

These foods below can go well with honey:

  1. Oats
  2. Cinnamon
  3. Butter
  4. Soy

1. Oats

Oats are low in gluten and make excellent choices for dogs with wheat sensitivity. They are an excellent source of protein and soluble fiber, great for senior dogs with digestive issues. Oats are also rich in vitamin B6 and iron and various minerals such as magnesium and zinc, essential for healthy skin in dogs.

2. Cinnamon

This is a non-toxic spice that can have health benefits to dogs if taken in moderation. Cinnamon has rich anti-inflammatory properties that can significantly help with arthritis and sore muscles. It also helps improve cognitive functions as well as regulate blood sugar in overweight dogs.

3. Butter

Butter is not toxic, and dogs can eat it in minimal amounts occasionally as a treat. However, it’s made from milk, and most dogs are lactose-intolerant. It’s high in saturated fats and can lead to unhealthy weight gain in dogs. As such, it’s advisable to feed it in moderation or skip it altogether to avoid health problems.

4. Soy

Soy is a good source of protein that dogs are capable of digesting. In small quantities, soy is beneficial to dogs. However, soy can cause allergic reactions to dogs that are sensitive to it. Some forms of soy, such as tofu, are not recommended for dogs as they may cause bloating. Soybean and edamame are safe for dogs.

What are the Honey Dog Food Recipes? 

These are some of the honey dog food recipes:

  • Dog honey birthday cake: This delicious cake is easy to make and requires flour, vanilla, baking soda, honey, peanut butter, oil, and shredded carrots. To make it, mix all the ingredients and mix well to form a dough. Spoon batter in your cake pan and bake it for 40 minutes. Allow it to cool in the cake pan for about 10 minutes, then transfer to a wire rack to dry completely.
  • Dog treat: This dog treat is made with human-grade ingredients. It will need oatmeal, honey, all-purpose flour, egg, and water. To make it, combine all ingredients and mix them into a dough. Then, roll out the dough on a flat surface and cut out shapes using a cookie cutter. Place the cookies in a baking tray and bake for 15-20 minutes.
  • Peanut Butter and honey dog treat: This irresistible treat takes less than 30 minutes to make. You’ll need wheat flour, baking powder, egg, honey, peanut butter, and vegetable oil. To make it, preheat the oven to 350 degrees, mix all the ingredients into a dough. Cut out the shapes on a flat surface and place them on a baking sheet. Finally, bake for 10 minutes and allow the cookies to cool for about 50 minutes.
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Michael Brady

Michael is an animal-lover who specializes in marketing. He started running Dog Food Care with his mother, Sarah, after leaving his office job. Michael gained enough flexibility in his schedule to be able to adopt a dog of his own and welcomed Emmie the dachshund into his home in 2020.