1. Local Raw Honey Relieves Dogs’ Skin Allergies
Medical research supports the use of local honey for dogs to combat their environmental allergies. Note that we said local honey. A local product contains tiny amounts of the pollen in your area, so that when your dog ingests the honey, his body can adjust to the potential allergens gradually, which should help prevent a full-blown attack. Hint: Be sure you’re dealing with an environmental allergic reaction. Itching, scratching, and hot spots can also indicate a food allergy. See “Suspect Your Itchy Dog Has a Food Allergy?” for more info.
2. Raw Honey Helps Dogs with Kennel Cough
Honey is a time-honored solution for soothing irritated throats and coughs. For kennel cough, you can use local honey, but Manuka honey for dogs with kennel cough may be your best choice. Made by bees pollinating the Manuka trees in New Zealand and parts of Australia, Manuka honey has the highest antibacterial properties of any honey in the world. It’s also the highest-priced honey in the world, and may cost three or four times what you might pay for local honey.
3. Raw Honey Heals Minor Topical Wounds
Manuka honey is also a top choice for a natural wound dressing. In fact, Manuka honey is FDA-approved for use on human burn patients. But any raw honey will help keep the wound area clean and moist, which promotes healing. Honey’s natural antibacterial properties reduce the chance of infection and protect the injured area.
After cleaning the wound, spread on a thick coat of honey and then apply a light bandage, if necessary. Of course, you may have to also use an Elizabethan collar or similar device to stop your dog from licking the area!
Note: Deep, wide or puncture wounds should always be examined by a veterinarian before applying any medicine. See “How to Treat Dog Wounds” for more on this.
4. Raw Honey Reduces Gastrointestinal Upset in Dogs
For minor bouts of an upset stomach or diarrhea that might come from something simple, such as your dog feasting on fresh grass, a couple of doses of honey may help quiet and soothe his GI tract.
Some veterinarians suggest honey for dogs to help control minor stomach ulcers, since honey’s natural antibacterial properties can help destroy bacteria that may be causing the ulcer.
Again, you need to be certain about what you’re dealing with, so seeking veterinary advice in these situations is wise.
5. Honey Can Give Dogs More Energy
Honey is a sugar, and sugar boosts energy. Anecdotal evidence shows that honey helps many older dogs regain some of their former spunk and drive. Many owners of canine athletes use honey to promote energy, endurance and vitality.