Finding sweet treats for our dogs, and even our family members, that don’t do too much harm to the system can be tough.
Yet as more and more people try to eat more healthily, there’s a new wave of folks giving lots of appreciation to the humble pot of honey.
Far more natural than processed sugary treats, and definitely the source of countless home remedies, this sticky substance has a lot going for it.
But many pet owners wonder, can dogs eat honey? Yes, they can – but find out more good advice on how best to keep your pet healthy with this treat below.
Is honey good for dogs?
Dogs have appetites that always seem happy to try anything, and so it’s next to no wonder that the sweet gooey goodness of a glob of honey always hits the spot for a peckish pooch.
You’ll find him or her licking their chops in anticipation once they see that golden gloop begin dribbling from the spoon – and the sticky sweetness will have your pet lapping their tongue about their jowls all the more once they’ve gulped some down, slurping down every last drop.
Honey is a natural substance that’s been part and parcel of home remedies for generations.
It is, of course, also quite the natural sugar in its own right, so you ought to avoid handing honey over to dogs who are obese or diabetic – no matter how much their big guilt giving eyes try and persuade you to treat them.
Honey is certainly not something you ought to expect dog owners to be pouring free form into their dog’s bowl, any more than you might choose to hand a child a jar of honey and a spoon and leave them unattended.
The risk of overindulgence isn’t toxic or poisonous to dogs, but honey certainly can be sugary enough to add to dogs’ weight gain if you go too far.
A teaspoon of honey to reward good behavior, a job well done or just to show some love and affection to your pet is sure to be gratefully received.
Some dog owners also like to put a little speck of honey in their dog’s dish to disguise other foods he or she might not want to eat, or just as a little dessert.
Honey has enough naturally occurring sugar content that it can also be something to watch for your dog’s teeth too.
Cleaning your dog’s teeth can be done in a number of ways, from home remedies to specialist chewy treats or objects you can find for your pet.
Nonetheless, preventing plaque build-up, but also damage caused by honey over the long term is always wise.
While honey is safe for dogs, and you can certainly give the odd teaspoon to your pet here and there, it’s highly advised by the experts that you avoid giving honey to puppies.
It’s a bit rich for a young pup who’s only first developing, but once they’re older you can happily begin introducing honey to his or her diet.
Health benefits of honey for dogs
Although we have ably covered the dangers of overindulgence when it comes to feeding your dog honey – as well as the sugar content naturally within this tempting golden substance – honey’s value as a home remedy can’t be ignored.
There’s perhaps more in the ways of vitamins and minerals to be found in honey than you might initially think.
It’s certainly a higher amount of vitamins and minerals that might be found in other syrupy, sugary treats – but not so high in these kinds of nutrients that honey ought to be a dietary staple for your dog.
Put simply, there are somewhat more effective ways of getting your dog to eat vitamins and minerals.
However, if your dog has a sore throat or an upset tummy, a spoonful of honey can work wonders.
But more than just working as a digestive aid, honey can also soothe aches and pains, as well as helping to fight against infection.
Honey has wonderful antimicrobial properties, making it good for both unwell pooches as much as dogs you want to keep healthy and hearty.
This makes honey a good treat for older dogs, providing old age hasn’t made them supersensitive to sugary sweetness, or outright diabetic.
Many home remedy experts attest that honey can also help in the fight against hay fever. If your dog’s sensitive nose is all the more sensitive to high pollen counts, consider a spoonful of honey to dampen the effects.
How much honey can a dog eat daily?
It’s a classic question – and if your dog had his or her way, you’d likely find he or she would happily claim they’re able to eat as much as they like!
While this is technically true, it doesn’t take into consideration the long term health pros and cons of feeding a dog honey.
As such, both big and small dogs of all ages are recommended no more than a spoonful of honey per day.
As aforementioned, puppies are highly recommended against having honey altogether, simply because the sugar content and overall texture and richness of honey can prove a bit of an overwhelming experience.
Moderation is the key, as with anything in your dog’s healthy and balanced diet.
And as you likely already know, the best way to introduce new food to your dog is slowly but surely, and by allowing them to sniff out whatever new flavors you offer him or her before deciding if they want to try it.
Being impatient because the honey has begun to dribble off the spoon, for instance, can cause your dog to associate the experience of eating honey with negativity and annoyance from yourself, and so he or she might not take to it through their own decision making.
What to do if your dog eats honey
Dogs are always fond of finding new treats – and as even the most responsible dog owner can attest, dogs are also remarkably smart at getting into all the things they shouldn’t too!
As such, you might find that your doing is helping him or herself to honey, either by tricking your friends or relatives into sharing too much of it or by sneaking it themselves.
In the worst-case scenario, you might find that your dog has knocked a jar of honey over, either spilling it onto the floor to lap up or breaking the glass jar altogether.
Naturally, it’s the breakage that poses the greatest danger, and you should immediately intervene in case your dog has eaten any broken glass.
If you’re worried your dog has done so, contact your vet immediately, as the swallowed glass can do dreadful things to your dog’s insides if left to run through them.
Unless your dog is simply gobbling down honey daily without your knowledge, you have nothing to fear from him or her eating honey without your go ahead.
While we have talked at length about the risks of overindulging with honey for our pets, your dog would need to be doing so over a long period to do themselves serious harm.
Certainly nip their theft of food in the bud though.
Remember, honey isn’t toxic to dogs, and actually has many medicinal effects – your dog might even be trying to get to it to try and treat some inner discomfort you didn’t know about.
However, just eating all this honey all at once isn’t the answer either, so be sure to tell your dog that this behavior is crossing the line.
Some dog owners believe in making sure to clean their dog’s teeth if they’ve overdone it on honey or any other cloying, sticky sweet treat.
You might like to do likewise, and there are lots of options open to dog owners to help clean their pet’s teeth, depending on your preference and those of your animal.
Your dog might have a bit of a poorly tummy for overdoing it like this, so keep some fresh water and a soothing, reassuring voice ready for your pet if they begin getting droopy and achy.
Your dog isn’t in any danger, but likely feels the same as a child who gobbles down an ice cream sundae too fast – groggy, bloated and a tad cranky. It’ll soon pass.
Honey has a number of remedial effects that make it a popular home remedy, and its natural flavor and scent are appealing enough that it appears in more of our sweet treats than you might realize.
Yet unlike the processed sugars found in human treats, honey is a natural sweet treat that dogs can certainly enjoy in moderation, if not to soothe indigestion or internal aches and pains.
Just remember to keep honey as a treat, rather than a common part of your dog’s diet – overdoing it can lead to tooth decay and weight gain in your beloved pet.
Emily started this blog out of pure passion. She LOVES her 3 dogs; Chew Barka, Cooper & Nelson, and spends countless hours every day playing with them.
When she’s not nerding out on dogs, you’ll find her on a snowboard or in the kitchen baking chocolate brownies.
She’s been featured in PetAware, Dogtime, and ModernDog.