Many pet owners probably aren’t aware of how honey has helped dogs with all sorts of issues including allergies, infections, kennel cough, digestion, wounds including burns, hot spots and pressure sores.

A few things that make honey so special is that it is naturally high in enzymes, high in antioxidants and flavonoids, and it kills anti-resistant bacteria including MRSA.

Here you’ll find the best type of honey to use, based upon your dog’s specific problem. It also gives clear directions on how to use it for your old friend.

THE QUALITY OF THE HONEY MATTERS: Tests show that most supermarket grade “A” processed honey is diluted with cheap products such as high fructose corn syrup, been heated and quickly cooled giving it a smoother look inside the bottle.  What this means is, it is useless as far as any benefits go.  In order for your dog to receive any benefits from honey, it MUST be either local, fresh honey or Manuka.

*PLEASE READ BEFORE ADMINISTERING: Avoid feeding diabetic dogs and dogs with cancer honey without first discussing with your holistic veterinarian because it’s a natural sweetener and sweeteners have an effect on both of these diseases. Avoid feeding honey to puppies under one  year old due to the possibility of botulism poisoning.

1. Using Honey for Your Dog’s Allergies

Like us, many dogs too suffer from environmental allergies. Spring, summer and fall can trigger these sensitivities in dogs with symptoms such as rubbing the face, licking feet and thighs and scratching.

However, it’s important to make sure that you’re not confusing what you think are environmental allergies and your dog’s real problem is a food allergy (or both).  To learn more about food allergies, click here.

Follow the guidelines below for using honey for a dog with allergies:

  • What type of honey to use: Make sure your purchase local raw, unfiltered honey, or better yet, purchase local raw wild flower honey.  The wild flower honey will give your dog the best results because it covers so many different plants and flowers. This can often be purchased from bee farms.  Avoid Manuka honey when using for allergies since you need a local, raw honey.
  • Directions: 1 Tablespoon of raw wildflower local honey twice daily for large dogs such as labs. Use this as a guide and adjust according to the size of your dog. You must do this daily or the allergy symptoms will reappear.

2. Using Honey as A Wound Dressing for Burns, Infections, Hot Spots & Pressure Sores for Dogs

  • What type of honey to use: The best honey to use for burns, infections and pressure sores is pure Manuka Honey.  Clinical trials show that applying honey as a wound dressing eliminates bacterial infections, reduces inflammation, swelling and pain, and increases the growth of new skin.  It seals and keeps the area moist (including skin grafts) while protecting from sticking to bandages.
  • Directions for burns:  If the burn is a DEEP open burn, then see a vet immediately.  You can however apply cool (NOT cold) water gently to the burn and all the vet asap.  For MINOR BURNS: Trim the hair around the burn.  You’ll want to lightly clean the burned area with DILUTED APPLE CIDER VINEGAR.  Dilute it using a 10 tablespoons of cool water to 1 teaspoon of vinegar.  Vinegar is an anticeptic which helps to cleanse the area.  Again, ONLY USE THIS VINEGAR METHOD ON MINOR/SLIGHT BURNS.  NEVER OPEN OR LARGE BURNS.  Next, apply a thick coat of honey every 10 minutes until the pain decreases. Apply a LIGHT bandage over the area. Don’t allow your dog to lick or bother the area. A Elizabethan or neck collar might be necessary for awhile.
  • Directions for pressure sores: Trim the hair around the area.  Gently blot to clean the wound. You can apply the honey directly by very gently placing a little honey over the wound with a clean spatula. Cover with a non-stick pad and wrap with gauze (not too tight).  You can also apply the honey directly to the non-stick pad and then wrap with gauze to keep in place.
  • Directions for hot spots: You MUST trim or shave the hair surrounding the hot spot until you can see healthy skin .  If not, all the bacteria, pus and infection become trapped within the hair.  It’s also critical that you clean the area before applying the honey.  You can use Povidone Iodine that most pharmacy’s or even supermarkets carry.  Dilute a little of the Povidone Iodine with water to an ice tea color.  Then use soft gauze to gently blot and clean the hot spot. Do this a minimum of twice daily. Apply a light layer of Manuka honey to your dog’s hot spot. Do the process of cleaning and applying the Manuka honey a minimum of twice daily.  If the hot spot grows instead of getting smaller, seek veterinary care immediately.

Precaution: When using honey as a wound dressing, it’s very important to use Manuka Honey  in liquid form, which means it should be soft and pour easily. Do not use crystallized honey on a burn or open wound! The crystals are sharp and can cause even more pain to your dog’s open wound.

How to soften crystallized or hard honey: Place the jar in a pot of very hot water (don’t microwave) until it can easily be poured.  Cool before placing on your pet.

3. Honey for Kennel Cough

  • What type of honey to use: Manuka honey is needed for dogs with symptoms of Kennel Cough.
  • Directions: Feed 1/2 up to 1 teaspoon depending on your dog’s weight.  Administer 4 times daily.

4. Honey for Your Dog’s Digestion

  • What type of honey to use: Again, Manuka honey works best for digestive issues.
  • Directions: Large dogs 1 tablespoon a day, medium dogs 2 teaspoons a day, small dogs 1 teaspoon a day.

5. Honey May Boost Your Old Dog’s Energy Level

Honey is a natural source of carbohydrates which increases energy.

  • What type of honey to use: You can use either Manuka or a local honey when it comes to boosting energy.
  • Directions: Large dogs 1 tablespoon a day, medium dogs 2 teaspoons a day, small dogs 1 teaspoon a day.

As you can see, honey offers some amazing benefits for dogs.  If you need to search out raw local honey for your dog’s allergies, this page may help.

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Showing 133 comments
  • Brad

    Any tips on how to get a dog to actually eat the honey? I have one dog that doesn’t take to it the way the others do and she’s the one with the cough I’m trying to soothe?

  • Fay tidy

    could I use honey for my dog itching his it best to put honey in there food thankyou

  • heather

    hey my chi keeps bitting his skin is dry like he has esma he scratches sores i was asking to see if honey raw undilterd would help his dry skin

  • Ganga

    My dog pasting from 4 days and suffering from mucus in dog stool. is honey good for its health

    • janie

      Yes, honey is good for health. Read the entire article.

  • Angela

    Hi my dog has kidney failure, would it be ok to give him manuka honey?

  • Maria

    My sister’s dog has recently passed away due to nasal cancer. Is Manuka honey useful in cancer? Thank you very much for your time.

    • janie

      Hi Maria:

      I’m so sorry to hear about your sister’s dog passing away. I know all too well how hard this is. My condolences.

      From what I understand, there’s little information with regards to how well manuka honey works on cancer. I typically recommend and stay away from honey when cancer is involved since cancer loves sugar.

      Here’s one study that you might find interesting though: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3567021/

      I hope this helps.

      Janie

  • Dave

    In one of the comments above , Jody wrote: “I was searching various sites for dosage of honey for puppies with kennel cough and came across your post. It appears 1 teaspoon for small dogs 1x day is sufficient, being your dog is so small maybe 1/2 teaspoon per day.”

    Is it really ok to give honey to a puppy with kennel cough ?

    Our 4 month old Lab puppy who we got recently from a shelter has developed kennel cough (he probably caught it in the shelter , but the symptoms didn’t manifest until about 5 days after we had him home) . I read this article on YourOldDog.com and started giving him a teaspoon of honey to soothe his throat , but then a friend told me to research it more because she was told puppies’ immune systems are not mature enough to digest honey and it can give them botulism . I have since read several articles which warn that puppies should NOT be given honey for this reason. Could you please clarify in this article that there is a risk to feeding honey to puppies.

    • janie

      Hi Dave:

      Honey is VERY EASILY digested. We did not leave that response. That response that you seen wasn’t left by us or our team, but by Judy (another reader) to Coinshkee. But thank you for bringing it to our attention. We made it clear within the article.

      Botulism spores can be found in raw honey and is not safe for INFANTS! Botulism poisoning is rare in dogs, but serious and can be deadly.

      Here’s the kicker: Veterinarians start vaccinating and OVER vaccinating puppies at the age of 6-8 weeks crushing their immune systems from the very start of the dog’s life. Do they tell you this? NO! Then, they tell you “here’s a product to keep those nasty fleas and ticks off your dog.” They forget to tell you that it’s poison! Suppress the immune system even more.

      What makes me shake my head here is that there’s no problem poisoning the puppy at the very start of his life with products and services veterinarians want to sell that are causing cancer, seizures, heart disease, kidney and liver disease, but we have to be concerned about a rare occurrence of botulism in a puppy because of honey. Is there proof of this this with puppies? I haven’t read anything as of yet. We know it’s critical to give to human infants.

      Janie

  • Jill Cichanowsky

    My 17 year old Bichon Frise has been throwing up for 3 days and will only drink fluids, will honey mixed with water help her????

    • janie

      I doubt that honey mixed with water will do the trick alone. You need to find out what’s causing the nausea. Try feeding her steamed greens (fresh kale, spinach, broccoli – not all at once). This can help with nausea and loss of appetite. But, you need to find out why she’s throwing up. You might have to force feed her. You can mix it with a little organic coconut oil as well.

      What other symptoms does your old girl have?

      Janie

  • Tammy

    OMG I have to jump up and down and say DON’T follow the suggestion for burns and applying VINEGAR!!! I darn the person who suggested this to apply vinegar to even the smallest cut and you tell me how that feels…

    This site gives some good advice, BUT when I read that, all that went through my head is all the poor dogs who’s owners read this and poured or sprayed vinegar to any wound..

    Please take that out so other owners won’t HURT their animal… If anything make a paste with Aloe Vera Gel (1 cup) Apple Cider Vinegar (1 Table Spoon) and Honey (1/2 a cup)… Goodness we don’t want to hurt the babies any more then they are already hurting.. 🙂

    • janie

      Hi Tammy:

      Thanks for bringing to our attention the vinegar/burn text. Diluted vinegar 10 tablespoons cool water to 1 teaspoon of vinegar can be used on MINOR burns. Any burns that are open or deep need to be seen by a veterinarian.

      Thanks again for catching that for us.

      Janie

  • Lori Ryan

    We have a 5 mo old puppy of mix breed that was a street dog. Initially, we could not get rid of his terrible sour smell, bath after bath, but we have that issue under control. He now scratches and bites himself constantly. We give him coconut oil and colostrum and have just started him on wildflower raw honey. Vet just wants to give him cortisone shots and steroid pills. Have also given him children’s Benadryl with no success. He drags himself in the grass and carpet, rubs his face on anything he can. We just want to help the poor little guy

    • janie

      Hi Lori:

      I’m sorry to hear about your puppy. The fact that he’s only 5 months old, leads me to believe that he was recently vaccinated and may of had a lot of vaccines at once most likely causing the immune system to weaken tremendously.

      Besides the coconut oil and colostrum, what are you feeding him for his diet? How long has he been like this?

      Janie

  • sarah

    hi,
    can you tell me if manuka honey could help with my 18 month old english sheepdog’s bowel problem. For the last six months i’ve been trying to stop her bouts of diarrhea. She’s been on antibiotics loads of times each time for a longer period but when she stops them her stomach goes bad again. She’s taking antacids before meals but still she picks at grass. She’s on a vet id low fat kibble(softened with water) plus mash and boiled carrot with a teaspoon or two of live youghurt to try and boost her gut flora. We have been giving her eggs but have been told to stop as they are very high in protein and could be making matters worse. Is honey an option to add to a bland diet of kibble, mash and carrot or not?
    Please help, im getting desperate and she’s such a beautiful dog.

    • janie

      Hi Sarah:

      Sending you a private message.

      Janie

  • Katie Calkins

    I have a 12 yr old Australian Cattle Dog that has Aspergillosis in his nasal passages, I want to try spraying a mixture of honey and water in his nose 2x’s a day. Would the honey help with the fungus or is this a waste of energy?

    • janie

      Hi Katie:

      What are your dog’s symptoms and quite honestly I’ve never heard of spraying honey directly inside the nose.

      Janie

  • Betty Bradford

    Yes. I’ve been doing purée baby food(chicken,turkey)also k/d food from the Vet and giving with a syringe just to get something in his stomach. It’s a struggle but worth it. What do you suggest ?

    • janie

      Hi Betty:

      I’m tied up at the moment, but I’ll respond to you later via email okay.

      Janie

  • Betty Bradford

    My little Kinsler has recently been diagnosed with stage 3 kidney failure and will not eat. Would putting honey on his food help him to eat?

    • janie

      Hi Betty:

      He needs more than honey. Are you willing to cook for him and add a few supplements to his diet?

      Janie

  • Roxy Moore

    Hi Janie,

    He is currently on a grain FREE dog food, usually salmom. He is not on any supplements at the moment. He does get his vaccinations , usually about 3 years apart. I have tried flea drops, as well as oral flea medications, he is currently on Bravecto every 3 months. There have been times when he has gone without any type of flea medications.

    Roxy

  • R. Moore

    I have a Standard Poodle that has had cronic severe ear infections for 10 years. He had the problem before I got him. I have had him to the vet numerous times and have tried several different vets. None of the vets have been able to heal him. The vet that has worked with him the longest says that it is most likely an allergic reaction to something, to what she doesn’t know. I have tried several different kinds of grain free foods, but no improvement. At times his ears smell really bad, there is a dark brown discahrge and his ears will bleed sometimes when I am cleaning them. He scratches and shakes his head often.

    Do you think that local honey would help him? If so, what kind of honey and how should I administer the honey? Should it be oral or topical? I would REALLY appreciate any helpful ideas that I can try on this poor guy. Thank you
    Roxy

    • janie

      Hi Roxy:

      Are you willing to change his diet and include a few supplements for him? What do you currently feed him and does he receive any supplements?

      Do you vaccinate and use chemical flea and tick products on him? If so, when was the last time?

      Janie

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