Can Dogs Eat Honey?

Can Dogs Eat Honey Feature Image

Honey is beloved by humans because of its many uses including sweetening a cup of tea, soothing a sore throat or cough, and helping reduce the symptoms of seasonal allergies. 

With these benefits, people are often wondering in different versions, “Can dogs have honey?” The answer to this question is a little bit yes, but depending on the dog’s size and with a few exceptions to be aware of.

It contains natural sugars and vitamins that are found to have a wide variety of healing properties. Many people use it directly on the dog’s skin to cure hot spots, while some give it orally in small amounts to help soothe a kennel cough. 

Benefits of Honey for Dogs

Let’s dive deeper into how honey can help your dog:

Treat Seasonal Allergies

If your dog suffers from environmental allergies, he may benefit from honey by improving his immune system to tolerate the pollinated air outdoors–similar to how honey is used to naturally alleviate allergies in humans. 

Local honey and raw honey contains trace amounts of your area’s flower pollen. Pollen contains Quercetin–a bioflavonoid with antihistamines– that helps decrease itchiness and watery eyes. 

When you feed your dog with a small weekly dose of raw honey, it slowly introduces pollen into his body. This helps your pet create antibodies and develop immunity to local pollen triggers over time. 

Source of Nutrients

Honey is rich in natural sugars that contain a wide variety of trace micronutrients, minerals, and bioactive compounds including enzymes, pollen grains, magnesium, copper, potassium, sodium chloride, sulfur, phosphorus, and sulfur. 

It also carries a wealth of vitamins such as A, B-complex, C, D, E, and K. Plus, honey is made up of proteins and hormones. Its anti-microbial and anti-fungal properties help lessen inflammation, fight bacteria, minimize allergic reactions, and even treat stomach ulcers.

Reasons Why Can Dogs Eat Honey

Improves Digestion

For pets with digestive issues such as indigestion, constipation, or minor stomach ulcers, a small amount of honey daily can be soothing for an upset belly. Honey also contains both prebiotics and probiotics that play a significant role in healthy digestion.

Because of its natural anti-bacterial qualities, honey is helpful for minor gastrointestinal upsets like a treat that didn’t agree with your dog or feasting too much fresh grass.

However, if your pup’s upset belly still persists, seek medical treatment from a veterinarian, and do not continue to have your dog eat honey.

Weight Management

Studies reveal that consuming honey can slow down the hunger response of dogs. Honey may be a simple sugar, but it easily breaks down compared to regular table sugar.  

It is absorbed more slowly into the bloodstream and requires less insulin. This means it may delay the conversion of glucose and digestion. 

So if Fido puts on weight easily, adding a little honey may help him manage a healthier weight. 

Helps with Arthritis and Mobility Issues

Another successful study shows that daily doses of honey with cinnamon for a week allowed impacted patients with arthritis to move without feeling pain. 

The anti-inflammatory elements of honey actually help senior pets to move around more easily. Manuka honey, in particular, aids in making stiff, arthritic joints a little less sore.

Benefits of Honey for Dogs

Dangers of Honey for Dogs

Now, is honey bad for dogs? Honey may be used as a health supplement for both humans and pets. Unfortunately, some dogs may not be able to reap their health benefits [1]. 

While raw honey is safe for adult pets, it should not be offered to puppies, diabetic dogs, obese pets, and dogs with compromised immune systems because of the presence of botulism spores. 

Botulism is a rare but serious condition that can cause paralysis to the aforementioned types of pets. 

Many dogs may love the sweet flavor of honey. Still, honey contains 80% sugar content which is high enough to cause obesity and weight gain. Much like offering too many sweets to children, allowing pets to consume huge amounts of honey can also lead to tooth decay. 

Therefore, it will be wise to follow up your dog with a round of tooth brushing using canine-specific toothpaste after consuming any honey. 

Furthermore, as with any other dietary change or medical treatment, consult with your veterinarian before adding honey to your dog’s diet.

How Much Honey Can I Feed My Dog?

Many owners of canine athletes use honey to promote endurance, energy, and vitality. However, you should also know that honey is high in calories and should only be given to your dog in very limited amounts. 

Since one teaspoon contains about 70 calories and 17 grams of sugar, experts recommend that pets should only be given no more than one teaspoon of honey per day. Too much of it can have adverse side effects and can lead to other health conditions like diabetes. 

So before feeding honey to your dog, talk to your veterinarian first for a recommended serving size specific to your dog.

Why Honey is Good for Dogs

Frequently Asked Questions

Can Honey Upset a Dog’s Stomach?

Yes, honey can upset a dog’s stomach especially when you feed your dog too much of it. So before you give your dog honey, make sure to consult with your vet especially if Fido has a health condition. 

Does Honey Cause Diarrhea in Dogs?

Yes, honey can cause diarrhea in dogs. Again, too much honey for dogs can cause their blood sugar to rise due to the presence of fructose. Fructose in excess of glucose may lead to incomplete fructose absorption which could result in vomiting or diarrhea.

What Type of Honey Can I Give My Dog?

Raw honey is the type of honey you can give to your dog. It is pure and unfiltered. This means it hasn’t been pasteurized, heated, or transformed with other ingredients. To be effective, not only does the honey need to be raw, but it also needs to be sourced locally. 

This is because local honey will carry the same pollens that are found in the pet’s environment, and thus may help reduce his sensitivity over time. Just be aware that the deceitful marketing of honey is widespread.


Throughout history, honey has been used as a health tonic by many people. However, there have not been quite a few conclusive scientific studies to support these claims–and most of these are anecdotal. Hence, before giving a sweet dose of honey to Fido for any medical reasons, it’s still best to speak to your vet for consultation.