Raw Honey For Dogs
Honey has been used medicinally since ancient times, mostly because it has potent antibacterial and antimicrobial properties. Food really is medicine, and the best bit is honey is great for your dog too!
Bees make honey as a food source to last them all year round. It takes 1200 bees to make 1kg of honey, so it truly is a precious resource. To make honey, bees extract nectar from flowers and deposit it in the hive. Different bees then add an enzyme called invertase which breaks down sucrose in the nectar into glucose and fructose. Honey’s low water content means that microbes can’t grow in it, giving it wonderful medicinal properties.
4 Reasons To Feed Your Dog Raw Honey
Raw VS Commercial
The honey you buy from the supermarket is - no surprises here - a highly processed version of the raw product. Commercial honey is heated in a process called pasteurisation to reduce crystallisation and keep it liquid. It is also filtered to remove any imperfections and make a clear end product. What remains is the simple sugary syrup we find commonly available at the supermarket.
However, these processes remove so much of what makes honey an amazing functional ingredient! There are many medicinal properties to pure, untreated honey which make it a valuable addition to your dogs diet.
Health Benefits for Dogs
There is also evidence suggesting that locally grown honey can help manage seasonal allergies. A 2011 study showed that the dietary addition of birch pollen honey resulted in the better control of allergy symptoms. Locally grown honey contains local pollen spores, which are collected by the bees with the nectar. These spores are thought to help with the prevention of seasonal allergies caused by pollen in the air. There isn’t much research done on this yet but this result is encouraging for people and dogs who suffer from environmental allergies.
Not Suitable for Puppies!
Raw honey is not suitable for puppies as it can contain a toxin which causes botulism. A puppy’s immune system is not sufficiently developed enough to defend against it, so it is not worth the risk. Adult dogs are not at risk from this.
How Much to Feed
Raw honey only needs to be fed in small amounts, a teaspoon per day for small dogs or a tablespoon each day for large dogs. Honey can increase insulin levels, so consult your vet if your are worried or your dog is diabetic.
We love feeding Nelly a spoon or honey with yogurt and blueberries for a very tasty snack. The best bit is you can have some too!