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The amazing healing benefits of honey have been known to us for centuries and the use of honey as both a medicinal treatment and as a sweet treat or ingredient in various culinary dishes dates back to roughly 8000 years ago in ancient Spain. This tasty, healthy and versatile natural product has formed a part of most of man’s history and has even helped to shape certain traditions and cultural practices into the modern day and age.
Honey has been noted as having tremendous health benefits, including antimicrobial and antifungal qualities. It’s been used to help treat inflammation, stomach ulcers, sore throats and even help to reduce the effects of allergies related to pollen. While it's true that there's no real scientific evidence to prove these benefits (as is such with almost all forms of alternative medicines, but that’s a different article!), the effects can be noted and felt by simply including raw honey in your diet in small amounts.
However, in recent times, many have considered using natural products for treating and maintaining the health of their pets too. It may sound strange, but honey has fantastic health benefits for your dog when used in the right amounts. However, you have to be sure to use the right amount if you plan on using it on a regular basis. I’ll get into that a bit later in the article.
In today’s age, people have started waking up to the reality that the conventional, modern approach to medicine, while being quite effective at treating the symptoms of disease, is not necessarily the best option for maintaining overall health. As we've started resorting to the use of various alternative, holistic medicines to treat our own illness, disease and even disorders, more and more people have started looking into alternative methods to treat their pets, too. When used properly, honey can have fantastic health benefits for you and your dog. It’s a safe, natural alternative to the common option of simply prescribing antibiotics for nearly any health issue. If you’re interested in finding out more about how you can use this wonderful natural product to help treat your pet – and even learn a little about how it can help you, I’d recommend that you keep reading.
Is Honey Safe for Dogs? How Much Honey Can Dogs Eat?
Dogs will enjoy honey just as much as we do. It’s a delicious sweet treat that has the added health benefits of a potent natural medicine. That being said, it’s important to remember the golden rule I was referring to earlier. In general, giving your dog no more than a spoonful of honey a day is good for their health. Giving them more than a spoonful can lead to diabetes and obesity – the same applies to us as humans. While it is true that raw honey is a natural/organic form of energy (sugar), too much of it can have the same effects as processed sweeteners or sugar on your body.
Diabetes in humans occurs in much the same way as it does in dogs. There are two types of diabetes that form in dogs (and us), namely insulin-deficiency diabetes and insulin-resistant diabetes. The first (insulin-deficiency), affects the body's insulin production which ultimately means that you/your dog cannot breakdown the glucose in your body and can lead to obesity and a shorter lifespan. This is the most common form of diabetes and will require insulin shots to help regulate the body’s functions.
The second (insulin-resistant) means that while the body is still producing insulin properly, the body has stopped responding to the insulin’s ‘messages’ to break down the glucose cells leading to higher sugar-levels in the bloodstream and ultimately causing general organ damage. Be sure to stick to a regulated dosage when it comes to the honey and always ensure that your pet is getting a healthy, balanced diet and lots of exercise to ensure that they remain fit and healthy – just like treating your own health. It’s as simple as that.
Potential Health Benefits Of Honey For Dogs
The health benefits of honey for dogs are much the same as the health benefits for humans. As I mentioned earlier in the article, honey has been noted for its strong antimicrobial and antifungal properties which makes it ideal for fighting off infections, stomach ulcers and sore throats. Anyone who’s ever used honey in tea as a means of treating a sore throat will know what I’m referring too.
However, the same applies to dogs and honey can be administered in small amounts to help fight off internal infections, treat stomach ulcers and even reduce your pets sensitivity towards pollen-based allergies. By giving your dog a teaspoons worth of honey everyday, it can become an effective natural remedy and even be used as a medicine in certain cases. However, it’s important that you don’t give them anymore than that or you it could lead to the development of diabetes, obesity and even tooth decay.
How to Work Honey Into Your Dog’s Diet
The easiest way to introduce honey into your dog’s diet is to simply give them a spoonful of the stuff once a day. Most dog’s will happily lick the spoon clean, as it’s a sweet treat that they enjoy. However, much like humans, each dog is different and some may not enjoy the overtly sweet taste of raw honey in it’s pure form.
Thankfully there are other ways of working the stuff into their diet. You can mix it in with their food, put some on a treat – or better yet, make your own honey-based treats for them to eat. This way, the direct sweetness of the honey is reduced, you can control the amount that they receive more accurately and therefore reduce the risks of causing obesity or diabetes.
This route may take a little longer to prepare, but it’s the safer and healthier option. Not to mention the fact that you can save yourself a lot of money by making your own homemade treats, rather than buying ready-made ones in the store. If you’re interested in finding out a little more about how to do this, I’ve included an easy DIY dog treat recipe with honey included below. Take the time to experiment with it – you’ll be pleasantly surprised by how easy it is to make. Your pets will love them, too!
DIY Natural Dog Treats With Honey Recipe & Guide
This is a pretty simple recipe that I found online and tried for myself. It’s so easy and simple, not to mention cost-effective, that anyone could do it. The treats smell so good when they come out of the oven – that I was even tempted to try one myself! But I think it’s best to save them for the dog, rather than defeating the purpose altogether. What you need:
- 1 Large Apple.
- ¼ Cup Honey.
- ½ Cup Water.
- ½ Teaspoon Cinnamon.
- 1 Cup Oatmeal.
- 1-½ Cups Brown Rice Flour.
- Peanut Butter for added flavor.
Preheat your oven to 350 degrees. While this is happening, chop the apple up into fine pieces and combine all the ingredients in a mixing bowl except the flour. Once you’ve mixed the ingredients, gradually add the flour whilst stirring the mixture until the dough becomes stiff and ready to roll.
Now roll the dough out until it’s flattened and cut them into whichever shapes you desire. Now bake them for 30 minutes and be sure that your baking tray is well coated with a non-stick spray, lest they burn.
Once the time has elapsed, remove the treats from the oven and spread some peanut butter on top of them. Then put them back in the oven and bake for another 30 minutes. I’d advise that you monitor them closely when baking for the second time to ensure that they don’t burn or stick. And that’s that – couldn’t be easier. And yes, before you ask – you can eat them yourself too. So have a taste and see how happy you and your dog are with this delicious, healthy and nutritious snack!
To conclude, your pet’s health should matter to you as neglecting them can lead to serious health issues in the future. While owning a pet is a lot of fun, it’s also a huge responsibility and failing to uphold that responsibility can hurt the quality of your dog’s health and even cost you more money than you ever expected.
With the rising cost of general living (for you and your pets) you and your pet can lead a healthy life and treat illnesses in a healthy and affordable way. The natural route is really the easiest and cheapest way to avoid a catastrophe or major health issue, so be sure to do your research and save yourself the time, trouble and money of visiting a vet. If your pet’s health means anything to you, the natural option really is the best one available to you.