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Can I put honey in my dog treats?

Quick Answer

Yes, you can add honey to homemade dog treats in moderation. Honey has natural antibacterial and anti-inflammatory properties that can benefit dogs when consumed in small amounts. However, it is high in sugar, so no more than 1-2 teaspoons of honey should be added per recipe batch. Too much can cause gastrointestinal upset.

Can Dogs Have Honey?

Honey is safe for dogs to eat in small quantities. Many commercial dog treats contain honey as an ingredient. However, honey sticks contain a very concentrated, sugary form of honey that is too rich for dogs.

Here are some key things to know about feeding honey to dogs:


– Natural antibacterial and anti-inflammatory effects – can soothe sore throats and coughs

– High in beneficial antioxidants

– Provides a natural energy boost


– High in sugar – too much can cause obesity, diabetes, and dental disease

– May contain toxins from certain flowers – buy honey made for human consumption

– Infants under 1 year old should not have honey due to risk of infant botulism


The general guideline is:

– 1/2 teaspoon for small dogs

– 1 teaspoon for medium dogs

– 2 teaspoons for large dogs

This should be an occasional treat, not a daily routine.

Is Honey Good for Dogs?

When fed in moderation, honey can provide health benefits for dogs. It contains compounds like polyphenols and carotenoids that have antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, and antibacterial effects.

Some specific ways honey may help dogs include:

– Soothes sore throats – the antibacterial properties can help fight throat infections and the viscosity coats the throat

– Calms coughs – honey is a natural cough suppressant

– Aids digestion – some research shows honey may help with gastrointestinal issues like diarrhea

– Heals wounds and burns – honey has been used for wound healing for centuries

– Allergy relief – small amounts of local honey may build tolerance to environmental allergens like pollen

– Source of easily digestible carbohydrates – quick energy boost

So honey can be a nutritious supplement for dogs. However, too much will cause more harm than good due to the high sugar content. Moderation is key.

Are There Any Risks of Giving My Dog Honey?

While honey has health benefits for dogs, there are some risks to be aware of.

1. High in Sugar

Honey is about 80% sugar. This is usually in the form of fructose and glucose.

Too much sugar can lead to:

– Obesity

– Diabetes

– Dental disease

– Gastrointestinal upset

So honey should be an occasional treat, not a daily food. Otherwise, the high calorie and sugar content can cause long-term health issues.

2. Infant Botulism Risk

Honey should never be fed to dogs under 12 months old. Honey can contain spores of Clostridium botulinum bacteria. Dogs’ gastrointestinal systems are not developed enough to handle these spores.

This can lead to infant botulism poisoning, which can be life-threatening. Symptoms include muscle weakness, difficulty breathing, vomiting, and paralysis. Immediate vet care is required.

While rare, this risk means puppies should never have honey.

3. Allergic Reactions

Like humans, some dogs may be allergic to pollen in honey. This can trigger an allergic reaction with symptoms like itching, hives, swelling, and potentially anaphylaxis in severe cases.

If your dog has pollen allergies, honey is best avoided altogether.

4. Toxic Honey

Certain types of flowers can produce toxic honey. For example, wild rhododendrons contain grayanotoxins that can cause vomiting, weakness, low blood pressure, and even seizures.

Be sure to only give dogs honey produced for human consumption, not honey directly harvested from unknown plants.

Can I Give My Dog Honey for Allergies?

Some dog owners use small amounts of local honey to help build tolerance to environmental allergens like pollen. This concept follows the same theory as allergy shots. By gradually exposing the immune system to allergens through honey, the body can potentially become less reactive over time.

However, there are some important considerations:

– Only very small amounts should be used to avoid high sugar intake

– Make sure your dog is not reactive to honey itself first

– Use local honey produced nearby your location for relevant pollen exposures

– Monitor for any reactions and discontinue use if they occur

– This is not a substitute for veterinary advice on treating allergies

While more research is still needed, some vets and owners report success using local honey for dog allergy relief when used carefully under medical guidance. It may offer a natural way to build tolerance over time through low-dose allergen exposures.

Homemade Dog Treats With Honey

Here are some healthy dog treat recipes that include honey as an ingredient:

Honey Peanut Butter Dog Treats


– 1 cup peanut butter

– 1 egg

– 1/4 cup honey

– 2 cups whole wheat flour


1. Mix peanut butter, egg, and honey together in a bowl.

2. Stir in flour until a dough forms.

3. Roll out dough and cut into bone shapes using cookie cutters.

4. Bake at 350°F for 10-12 minutes until golden brown.

5. Let cool and serve. Refrigerate extras for up to 2 weeks.

Honey Carrot Dog Biscuits


– 2 cups whole wheat flour

– 1/2 cup rolled oats

– 1 large carrot, shredded

– 1 egg

– 1 tablespoon honey

– 1/4 cup water


1. Preheat oven to 350°F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.

2. In a bowl, mix together all ingredients until a dough forms.

3. On a lightly floured surface, roll out dough to 1/4 inch thickness.

4. Cut into bone or circle shapes using cookie cutters.

5. Arrange biscuits on prepared baking sheet.

6. Bake for 15-20 minutes until lightly browned.

7. Turn off oven and leave treats inside for 1 hour to harden.

8. Once fully cooled, store in an airtight container up to 2 weeks.

Frozen Honey Yogurt Dog Treats


– 1 cup plain Greek yogurt

– 1 tablespoon honey

– 1 banana, mashed


1. In a small bowl, mix together yogurt, honey, and banana.

2. Spoon mixture into silicone ice cube trays or muffin tins.

3. Freeze 2-3 hours until solid.

4. Pop frozen treats out of trays and store in freezer bags.

5. Serve frozen for a cooling summer treat!

These homemade recipes allow you to monitor the amount of honey for your dog. Plus, they use wholesome ingredients like peanut butter, whole wheat flour, oats, carrots, yogurt, and banana for added nutrition.

Can I Give My Dog Honey Sticks?

Honey sticks are not recommended for dogs. Honey sticks contain pure, concentrated honey. This is too much sugar and can lead to gastrointestinal upset.

A few licks of honey from a stick may be fine. But chewing or consuming the whole honey stick is too much honey at once.

Instead, add a small spoon of honey when making homemade healthy dog treats. Or mix a bit into their food if your dog needs an appetite boost.

How Much Honey Can I Safely Give My Dog?

The dosing guidelines for honey for dogs are:

– Small breed dogs (under 20 lbs): 1/2 teaspoon honey

– Medium breed dogs (20-50 lbs): 1 teaspoon honey

– Large breed dogs (over 50 lbs): 2 teaspoons honey

This honey should be given infrequently as an occasional treat, not daily. Too much can lead to obesity and other health issues.

If using honey for a specific purpose like a cough, talk to your vet about the appropriate dosing guidelines. They may recommend more or less honey based on the condition being treated.

And remember, puppies under 1 year old should never have honey due to infant botulism concerns.

5 Tips for Giving Your Dog Honey

If you want to share some honey with your canine companion, follow these tips:

1. Select raw, unpasteurized honey – this retains the most nutrients and enzymes. Make sure it is produced for human consumption.

2. Stick to the dosage guidelines based on your dog’s size to prevent sugar overdose.

3. Introduce slowly at first to watch for any allergic reactions. Discontinue use if you notice anything concerning.

4. Give infrequently as a special treat, not daily food. Too much honey can negatively impact your dog’s health.

5. Never feed honey to puppies under 12 months old due to infant botulism risks.

Honey for Dogs: Final Thoughts

Honey can be a healthy supplement for dogs when given in moderation. Make sure to select high-quality honey and follow the proper dosing guidelines. Use caution in puppies and dogs with existing health conditions, and monitor closely for any adverse reactions. Check with your vet if you have any concerns about using honey in homemade dog treats or adding it to your dog’s diet.

Frequently Asked Questions

Is honey good for dogs with allergies?

Small amounts of local, unpasteurized honey may help build tolerance to environmental allergens like pollen over time. However, honey is not a substitute for veterinary allergy treatment. Consult your vet before using honey for dog allergies.

Can diabetic dogs have honey?

Honey is high in sugar, so it is generally not recommended for diabetic dogs. Check with your veterinarian before feeding any high-sugar treats like honey to a diabetic dog.

Can dogs eat honeydew melon?

Yes, dogs can eat honeydew melon. It is low calorie, hydrating, and provides vitamins C, B6, and potassium. Feed in moderation and remove rind and seeds first.

Can puppies eat honey?

No, honey should never be fed to puppies under 1 year old. Young dogs’ gastrointestinal systems cannot handle botulinum spores sometimes found in honey, which can cause infant botulism poisoning.

Is Manuka honey good for dogs?

Manuka honey from New Zealand has exceptional antibacterial properties and can be fed to dogs in small amounts. Use medical-grade Manuka honey and follow dosing guidelines for your dog’s size.