Anna Olson

Anna has a passion for keeping pets healthy and happy. She grew up with a Great Pyrenees as a family dog. Currently and currently has an orange tabby. She worked at a dog grooming and bathing salon where she learnt more about canine behavior and bathing. She lives in Wisconsin, in the United States. When she is not writing, she helps her partner run their small business, knitting, and enjoying local parks.

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Can Dogs Eat Honey?

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Anna Olson
Jul 16 ·

Can dogs eat honey? You may be wondering if honey is a safer sweetener for your dog than other forms of sugar. You’re aware that some artificial sweeteners can be very toxic. Is the same true of honey? Does it have benefits for your dog?

The answer is that dogs can eat honey, but in very small amounts only. Too much honey can cause or exacerbate health issues for your dog. However, it is not toxic to dogs like artificial sweeteners, and is therefore a better option for dog-safe sweet treats. It can even save your toy dog’s life.

Let’s learn more about honey, its risks, and its potential benefits for your dog.

Can Dogs Eat Honey? The Risks

Like any sugar, large quantities of honey can cause health issues like diabetes and weight gain. It can also make existing health issues worse. You should not give any honey to dogs with weight issues or diabetes.

Honey can also cause tooth decay. If you’re offering honey to your dog, it’s a good idea to brush their teeth afterwards to prevent tooth decay and plaque buildup.

Raw honey, although popular, can also contain the bacteria that causes botulism, or other pathogens. Do not feed raw honey to puppies, whose immune systems are still developing, or immunocompromised dogs.

Reported Benefits of Honey

According to some scientific studies, honey has a lot of added benefits in comparison to other forms of sugar. It’s both antimicrobial and antifungal. These properties means it’s shelf stable and keeps for a long time.

Honey could also help with the symptoms of flower pollen allergies in both humans and dogs. These claims have not been confirmed, but even if it doesn’t have these benefits for your allergic dog, it won’t cause harm in small amounts for them.

Toy Breeds, Hypoglycemia, and Honey

Honey can provide an emergency solution for dogs with low blood sugar. Many toy breeds develop hypoglycemia, or low blood sugar. Yorkshire terriers are one example of a toy breed for whom hypoglycemia is common.

Low blood sugar most frequently affects puppies of these breeds. It takes them a while to build up the health and strength to regulate their own blood sugar. They’re also using most of their food for important growth at this time. The same goes for toy breed dogs who are pregnant. Most often, an adult dog’s blood sugar will drop in periods of high activity if you don’t feed them. This is why you need to feed your toy dog frequent, small meals and high-calorie treats.

Symptoms of hypoglycemia in dogs include:

  • Lack of appetite
  • Lethargy
  • Loss of balance and coordination
  • Trembling
  • Twitching
  • Seizures
  • Unusual behavior
  • Dilated pupils
  • Coma

These symptoms will require immediate attention. Rub honey or simple syrup on your dog’s gums and monitor them. Contact your veterinarian.

It should be noted that this is only a short-term solution. You’ll need a veterinary diagnosis for a permanent solution to hypoglycemia.

can dogs eat honey

Dog Recipes With Honey

Incorporating honey into baked goods for your dog is a great idea. There are many options available for honey treats that will make your dog jump for joy! You can also substitute honey where the recipe would call for sugar or molasses. Here are a few online recipes to inspire you and get you started:

Limit Your Dog’s Honey Intake

Now you know whether dogs can eat honey: the answer is yes, in small amounts. However, if your dog has weight issues or diabetes, the answer is no. Too much honey for any dog can cause diabetes, weight gain, or any number of health issues.

Some sources report that honey has additional health benefits, like helping dogs with allergies. While these benefits have not been confirmed, it is true that honey is a safer sweetener than artificial options, especially the toxic xylitol. If you have a toy breed dog with hypoglycemia, rubbing honey on their gums can provide a short-term solution. We still recommend getting a veterinary diagnosis for a permanent solution for your dog’s low blood sugar.

You can also use honey as a sugar in baking for your dog, and many dog biscuit recipes include it!

Some additional reading on foods for dogs…

Pork

Ham

Crab

Fish

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WRITTEN BY
Anna Olson

Anna has a passion for keeping pets healthy and happy. She grew up with a Great Pyrenees as a family dog. Currently and currently has an orange tabby. She worked at a dog grooming and bathing salon where she learnt more about canine behavior and bathing. She lives in Wisconsin, in the United States. When she is not writing, she helps her partner run their small business, knitting, and enjoying local parks.

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