Despite the stinger on these insects, bees are amazing and benefit the lives of dogs and humans alike. Bees produce honey, bee pollen, royal jelly, beeswax, propolis, and some practitioners believe that the venom from bee stings have human health benefits.
How do dogs benefit from honey?
Supplementing honey in the diet of dogs is not a new concept and Juliette de Bairacli Levy, A History of Holistic Dog Care (2006) recommends honey in all her animal care books. According to Levy, “I believe I could not successfully rear domestic dogs without this remarkable antiseptic food…Honey is the greatest of the natural energizers. A nerve tonic and a supreme heart tonic . . . Predigested by its makers, the bees, it is absorbed immediately into the bloodstream of the consumer. A diet of only milk and honey can sustain life for months in humans and animals. It has been well and longtime proved that honey is also highly medicinal and will inhibit growth of harmful bacteria in the entire digestive tract and destroy those of a toxic nature.”
Health Benefits of Honey
Depending on the flowers harvested by the bees, honey will vary in color from light to dark and its flavor can also vary greatly. Raw honey contains:
- Vitamins A, B-complex, C*, D, E, and K
- Vitamin C levels vary
In ancient medicine, honey is known to treat:
- Illness and injuries
- Prevent anemia
- Reduce arthritis pain
- Gentle laxative
- Antibacterial properties treat and protect open wounds, burns, cuts, abrasions, and skin infections.
- Used in beautifying and anti-aging products.
- Used to treat and protect severe burns and aid in skin grafting.
Popular honey uses in dogs:
Allergy help: Honey is used as a supplement to help treat and manage allergies in dogs. The key to using honey is to only purchase raw, local honey which contains minute qualities of the pollens your dog is sensitive to thus the dog naturally builds up immunity, similar to an allergy shot. Since dogs love the taste of honey, it is easy to feed and can be put in food, licked off the spoon, or mixed into raw treats. Dog owners whose pets have benefited from honey are dedicated to using raw honey and many claim they have been able to stop giving allergy medications and steroids to their dog.
Healing for skin: Since honey also contains antibacterial and skin soothing properties, it can be mixed into natural organic soap free shampoos to help relieve itchy skin and cleanse any scratches or other skin irritations. Raw honey can also be placed directly on cleaned scratches and wounds to aid and speed up healing. It is also a natural anti-fungal, anti-microbial, and antiseptic.
Digestive aid: Honey can aid in digestion and contains the digestive enzyme amylase, which assist in the digestion of carbohydrates and can benefit dogs suffering from gastritis, IBD, colitis and other GI issues resulting from an overgrowth of bacteria.
Increases energy: Honey can naturally increase energy and endurance and help give a safe energy boost to aging and elderly dogs. One thing is certain when it comes to honey, honey is not harmful, is affordable, and for most of us, readily available so it is certainly worth a try, especially for dogs that suffer from seasonal allergies.
For the best results, dosage should be:
- 1 Tablespoon per day for large dogs
- 1 Teaspoon per day for small dogs