Honey: The Honest Truth About Feeding It To Your Dog!

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Are you wondering if it’s a good idea to feed your dog some honey?

There are those who say it’s healthy to share, while others warn against giving this sweet gift from nature.

Kudos for checking first! The truth is you do need to be aware that honey can make some dogs very, very sick.

In Moderation, Your Adult Dog Can Have Some Honey!

But there are certain scenarios where this fantastic flower nectar can be harmful.

For example, puppy dogs should not have honey!

The reason?

Can I Give My Dog Honey?Botulism

While unlikely, it is a possibility that raw honey will contain botulism spores. For this reason, avoid feeding honey to young dogs and those with weakened immune systems.

As they age, dogs are more resistant to this potentially fatal bacterial infection, but you need to be aware of this risk.

Otherwise, honey is a great addition to a diet. Just be sure to limit portions!

Honey Is Good For Dogs (in small amounts)

Moderation is a Must

Honey is obviously preferable to artificial sweeteners, but (quite surprisingly) it doesn’t actually contain essential nutrients.

Think of honey as a nourishing natural sweetener. In fact, premium all-natural dog treats increasingly incorporate honey.

Restrict your dog’s portion size to a single teaspoon.

 Here’s what Dr. Seabolt had to say,

The primary concern with feeding dogs honey is that it’s got a lot of sugar in it, so too much can lead to weight gain and even tooth decay. It’s also a bad idea for diabetic dogs because honey can spike their blood sugar. And always avoid giving raw honey to puppies or adult dogs with weakened immune systems.

Honey can cause upset stomach and diarrhea in sensitive dogs, so don’t give them too much. Before feeding your dog honey, make sure to speak with your vet especially if your pet has any medical condition.

So you can feed Fido a bit of honey but go easy! Canine consumption should be limited.

FYI: Raw honey is pure and unaltered. This means it hasn’t been heated, pasteurized or transformed with other ingredients. Be aware that deceptive marketing of honey is widespread.

Precaution for Puppies

Do you have a puppy?

Play it safe. Avoid feeding them any honey. 

Just to reiterate, puppies have immature immune systems that can make them susceptible to a deadly infection from botulism spores.

Even though death from infected honey is rare, it’s better to avoid giving honey to young dogs and those with weakened immune systems. 

Health Benefits Of Honey For Dogs

Honey for dogs can be beneficial in many different ways! In addition to naturally sweetening things like dog treats, there are some potential medicinal uses of honey for dogs.

May Alleviate Allergies

A spoonful of honey may help with allergies. While this isn’t conclusively proven, real honey always has a bit of pollen. The theory is this could acclimate a dog to pollinated air as well as the environment.

Watch this very informative video.

If this turns out to be true then…

Honey can build up immunity to pollen and airborne allergies. This is an outstanding benefit for dogs!

Improved Digestive Health

Raw honey has thousands of valuable enzymes including Amylase. Plus it has natural antifungal and antiviral properties.


It may work as a sort of pet probiotic. Perhaps your buddy will better digest foods.

For a Cough or Sore Throat

Has your dog been coughing? Try a teaspoon of honey which can coat the throat and soothe soreness.

The antibacterial properties of honey can also help them get over an infection like kennel cough.

An Energy Boost and More

A bit of honey can help when a furry friend seems lazy.

It’s true!

In raw form, the natural sugars tend to provide a boost of energy. So don’t be surprised if your pet pooch perks up. Honey makes more sense for active dogs since they can burn off the carbs.

One more thing…

Honey is a natural antioxidant (much like spinach). It may reduce a dog’s arthritic inflammation.

The Bottom Line

Adult dogs can have honey, but it is strictly off limits to puppies!

When appropriate this nectar aids digestion, reduces allergies and boosts energy.

Just be sure to limit your dog’s servings. After all, honey is high in carbs and (fructose) sugar.

Pure, unheated, unpasteurized, organic and locally-grown is best. And remember to pay attention to the cheapest honey brands…they are often just colored high fructose corn syrup!

What Do You Think? Have Your Say Below…

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31 thoughts on “Honey: The Honest Truth About Feeding It To Your Dog!”

  1. I’ve read that honey should never be given to puppies or dogs and especially those with weakened immune systems. They may be more susceptible to bacteria that could be present in the honey. Further, some dogs may be allergic.

  2. My 7 year Sheltie has thyroid problems and is overweight. Will honey help her?

  3. Is there any published research about the effects of giving honey to dogs?

  4. I have two 7 week old puppies that ate a drop of honey. Are they going to be okay?

    1. I have the same question. My hand reared three week old puppy is a chunky little fellow, but he sometimes will go about 8 to 10 hours or more for a feed. If he’s not ready to feed he just will refuse the doggy milk turning his head away.

      I thought he had hyperglycemia and I gave him a pea sized amount of honey. I got this info off the internet to use honey. I’m confused. Some say ok and others not ok. Now I’m worried that he may get sick.

  5. Dell is a 12 year old Toy Poodle. I am going to try just a half of spoonful. Thank you for the information!

  6. My Staffordshire Bull Terrier had been on medication for 3 weeks and I saw some improvement. She stopped eating her feet and the scratching finally stopped. Three days thereafter, and no more pills to give, she started back up again.

    Back to the vet and more pills. This morning, early, it hit me to try honey. I am a firm believer and always have it in the house. I use it for my little aches and pains, and as a natural antibiotic.

    I thought I did good and, bingo, so I did! After looking for info online, I was so happy to have found this link. Today is the first day and faithfully I will keep up the next 4 weeks, minus 1.

    Thank you so much for sharing this. All I did was click “Honey’ good for dogs”? Well there you have it!

  7. How often can raw honey be given for kennel cough?

  8. I have an 11 year old Maltese with liver and kidney disease. Can I give her a little honey? She has no appetite.

  9. Jacqueline says:

    I have a 4-month old dog and I am thinking of trying honey. He takes food and water every other day and his stools are not solid. Do you think he can get better with honey or do I need to take him to a vet? Thanks!

    1. Honey is not recommended for puppies.

    2. Honey should never be given to a child under 12 months of age. I don’t know what the equivalent age would be for a young dog. The concern is regarding botulism in raw honey. A child under one year of age can’t fight off botulism. You should consult with a veterinarian if considering the administering of raw honey to your dog.

      Also, if honey is used don’t give more than one teaspoon in a day. Consider giving 1/2 or 1/3 teaspoon twice or three times a day for the full benefit of the honey. Raw honey only, that is where the benefits will be. If using pasteurized honey then you are just giving them unneeded sugar.

  10. My dog Chester is a Leonberger and weighs 185 pounds. That is not considered overweight. He eats anything I eat including bell peppers, apples and nuts. You name it and he’ll eat it, if he sees me put it in my mouth.

    I have been making him treats with peanut butter as well as pumpkin and I added honey too. He loves them, but I want to give him different tasting treats so he doesn’t get bored. Yes he is very spoiled.

    He is a companion dog and stays in the house with us. My husband has dementia and Chester can tell when Shane is having a “dementia” moment as I call them. Anyway, how much can I increase the honey for this size of a dog?

  11. My dog has severe allergies to almost everything. It has cost me a lot of money to take him to vet to get shots and antibiotics. Can I give him pure honey daily?

  12. Our 5 year-old Bouvier des Flandres dog had an open wound on her leg and would not leave it alone. After a week of treating it with Animax, we took her to the vet.

    He gave a cortisone shot and advised us to give her 2-3 tablespoons of honey daily for 7-10 days to counter the side effects. This seems like a lot of sugar to me. I cannot find any literature to back it up as a remedy for the side effects. Any comments on this?

  13. My 13 year old Lab has pneumonia and is on antibiotics. She seems fine when lying down but the minute she gets up she coughs terribly. She’s been on medicine now for 6 days. I gave her honey to soothe her throat and put a humidifier by her bed. Is there anything else I can do?

  14. I put a little bit of honey in my dog’s food and she loves it. But I got scared for a second about sickies and death so I check here and now I am relieved.

  15. My 13 year old dog has got a cough which seems to come on mostly at night. I have been giving her a honey and lemon cough mixture once a day which has helped her. But when I rang my vet, he said not to give her anymore. She will mostly likely need antibiotics as she could have a chest infection.

    1. Sounds like it might be Kennel cough. Don’t hesitate and get to a vet.

    2. Of course your vet said you should stop. They want you to show up and spend a few hundred on tests and antibiotics. My Chihuahua suffered from kennel cough 2 years ago, despite getting the shot. I later found out that vaccine is pretty much useless, unless you leave your dog at a daycare facility. Back then I rushed to the vet and spend almost $700 on tests, x-rays and antibiotics. Now my dog has kennel cough again.

      I did some research online and it’s not life-threatening. Only pneumonia is. It’s not worse than a bad cold in humans. I avoid dry food as it can irritate the throat even more. I mix honey with my dog’s wet food and it has worked wonders. Once a day I also give him some homeopathic cough syrup for kids. The cough started last Friday, and now it’s almost 100% gone.

      When he was on antibiotics 2 years ago, it took 3 whole weeks to get rid of that cough. I would advise you to try that. And, if you see that it’s not getting any better after 5 days, go to a vet to see if maybe it has to do with the lungs. There are a lot of remedies or pharmacy products that are excellent for dogs. Just read carefully. Vets are very often a rip-off. They know how to use your love for your pet to make you spend 10 times what you should.

  16. Besides honey, what other home remedies are good for older dogs and cats?

    1. Puree pumpkin is great. When my dog’s stomach makes rumbling noises, I always give him a spoon of the puree (either straight from the spoon or mixed in his food) and he feels better within the hour. It just promotes digestion. Also, if you make their treats instead of buying the processed ones from the store, they will thank you for it.

  17. I have four adorable Maltese and they are Teddy, 16, Lacey, 13, Cameo, 9, and Pixie, 6. Cameo has a really bad cough. She was checked by our vet who feels it might be allergies. Her heart, lungs and all were found to be okay. I’m going to try the honey and see what happens.

  18. I have a dog who coughs sometimes. He’s about 2 years old. Is that old enough for me to give him some honey?

    1. Certainly! Give him half a teaspoon of honey twice a day. One when he wakes up in the morning and one before going to sleep at night.

      1. Are dogs considered puppies until they are 2? My Labrador is nearly 15 months old. The vet said she had bronchitis and recommended honey but according to this it’s bad for puppies?

        1. Dogs are usually considered puppies until they are one year old. Still, my 2.5 month old puppy who had kennel cough was given honey twice each day. The cough got cured in less than a week. Honey can be bad for very young puppies when given too much. Your dog can have honey twice a day for sure!

    2. Hello Mia. I was reading your comments about your dog coughing. Please check him for heart-worms. My dog was diagnosed with heartworms and she was coughing as a result. I didn’t know that the condition is caused by a mosquito bite. It may be only allergies in your dog’s case but it’s better to be on the safe side.

  19. I have a 13 year old dog with a skin allergies. She itches all the time. They treat her with drugs. Can I rub some honey on her neck to see if it helps? It is pure honey with no additives.

  20. I read that an Irish Terrier was diagnosed with a spleen tumor a year back. Its owner was told to bring the dog home and wait for him to die in the next week. They started giving the dog a table spoon of honey a day. One year later, they can’t find a thing wrong with him. The honey might not have cured the dog, but it helped a lot.

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