Honey is extremely useful and nutritious for dogs. Topically it heals wounds. Internally, it provides numerous sources of nutrients, such as vitamins A, B complex, C, D, E and K, plus minerals such as calcium, magnesium, and more. It helps dogs with allergies, fights infections, and helps with digestive problems.
Most of us love the taste of honey, and understand the health benefits of honey for us.
Honey contains mainly glucose and fructose. These are simple sugars (monosaccharides) and are therefore more readily absorbed than disaccharides and polysaccharides such as those found in table sugar, starchy veggies, and so on.
Raw honey is rich in vitamins A, B-complex, C, D, E, and K. It also contains various minerals such as calcium, magnesium, potassium, manganese, copper, and more. In addition, honey contains flavonoids, which are health-enhancing antioxidants.
Depending on the flowers, honey can be light or dark in color. The darker the color, the deeper the flavor. Darker honeys, such as buckwheat, sage, and tupelo, contain the most antioxidants.
Manuka honey from New Zealand is probably the "kingpin" of all honeys. It is rich in antioxidants, vitamins, and minerals. When getting Manuka honey, remember to consider the UMF (Unique Manuka Factor) rating. UMF is a phytochemically derived antibacterial property found in certain strains of Manuka honey. If you want to benefit from the healing qualities of Manuka, you need to get one with a UMF rating of 10 or above.
With so many goodies in honey, you may wonder if you can give your dogs honey, and if so, whether honey benefits dogs as well. The answer to both questions is YES!
Honey's acidity or pH is low enough to hinder or even prevent the growth of many types of bacteria. Also, an enzyme in honey produces hydrogen peroxide which is an antibacterial agent. It has been shown that honey reduces inflammation and soothes the pain of wounds and burns.
Because of these properties, liquid or soft honey can be used topically to heal wounds and burns. (You can also use herbal honey if you have it - click on next tab to see how to make herbal honey):
Taken internally, honey benefits dogs in different ways:
Honey is safe for dogs to consume.
However, if your dog has diabetes, you should consult your holistic veterinarian first. Although tests have shown that some types of honey may cause a lower rise in blood sugar and thus may be safe for dogs with diabetes, data on the types of honey safe for diabetic dogs are not available.
Many herbs are beneficial for dogs; however, some herbs are not exactly tasty - even for dogs most of whom seem to like eating everything. One way to coax your dog to eat herbs is to put a bit of honey in the herbal tea to make it more palatable.
You may also want to try making herbal honey. Here's how (from the Whole Dog Journal):
You can also give a teaspoon to a tablespoon (depending on your dog's size) orally to your dog to prevent bacterial or viral infections and generally boost his immune system when he is not feeling well. When added to food, this herbal honey helps reduce gas and other symptoms typical of indigestion.Back to Tab
Here is a recipe that is not only yummy, but also nutrient-packed! (From The Animal Wellness Magazine):