Its a heartbreaking sound: the persistent, honking cough coming from the dog you love. A dose of honey for coughing can soothe his throat and reduce his coughing, but its important to chat with a veterinarian before introducing your dog to a new food. Some dogs, including diabetic and overweight dogs and puppies under a year old, should not be fed honey.
Though theres a lack of scientific research regarding the effectiveness of honey in treating canine problems, theres no shortage of anecdotal evidence arguing its value. For people, however, studies have shown that honey reduces the frequency of coughing. Just like how people use honey to soothe a sore throat, dogs can have honey to soothe a sore throat caused by coughing. Giving dogs honey for kennel cough or other coughing is a natural way to alleviate their throat pain.
If the cough is persistent or if it is paired with blood or an inability or refusal to eat, see your veterinarian immediately. Coughing can be a symptom of many medical conditions, so its always best to get your canine checked out as soon as possible.
Honey is beneficial for dogs with kennel cough because it contains many antioxidants, enzymes and flavonoids. If you give your dog Manuka honey, it may relieve his symptoms and make him feel better.
Dogs benefit from raw honey in the following ways:
Medical research supports the use of local honey to combat 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?” (March 2015).
You can even take things a step further in your quest for allergy relief. Texas beekeeper and dog trainer Michele Crouse washes her dogs with it. “I start with a clear, natural shampoo base from an organic supplier,” she says, “and mix it with an equal amount of honey to which I’ve added aloe vera and essential oils like lemongrass, orange, lemon, lavender, tea tree, citronella, and the Asian herb May Chang (Litsea cubeba). All of these plants have disinfecting, deodorizing, or insect-repelling properties. The essential oils make up about five percent of the formula, so it’s safe for adult dogs and older puppies. To dilute the shampoo and make it easier to use, I add about 25 percent water.”
The resulting shampoo doesn’t lather much, Crouse says, but it cleans the dog well and soothes the skin. “I let it stand for a minute or so, rinse it off, reapply, and then give a final rinse. I board dogs, and if a visiting dog is scratching and itching, I’ll give him a bath in honey shampoo, and that always helps.”
Honey is a time-honored solution for soothing irritated throats and coughs. For kennel cough, you can use local honey, but Manuka honey 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.
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.
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 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.
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.
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You should also be aware that not every dog should eat honey. If your pooch is still a puppy, or they are obese, diabetic, or they have a compromised immune system, you shouldn’t feed them honey.
But why do people feed their dogs honey? Many owners feed their dogs honey in homemade treats as an alternative to sugar. Another pup-ular reason owners have fed honey to their dog’s is to try and boost their health and immune system. This is because honey has been touted as a bit of a miracle cure for everything from burns to hayfever for years. But is there any truth to the old wives tales boasting the medicinal properties of honey?
Honey has made a bit of a comeback in the medical world, so it’s natural more people would be using it as a home remedy for themselves and their pets. It’s natural, inexpensive, and its efficacy as a treatment for various health problems has long been discussed. The benefits of honey are supposedly just as good for our hounds as it is for us humans, and honey is promoted as a treatment for hayfever, burns, wound healing, and coughs in dogs.
Honey does help to protect wounds like ulcers and burns and help to improve the healing process in humans, and we’ve been using it for thousands of years. However, honeyused in this manner in modern medical settings must be “medical grade” products.
Pause the press though, you might not want to reach for the honeypot next time your pooch gets a boo-boo. Honey straight off the supermarket shelf can range in its contents and some jars may not contain 100% pure honey, or they’ve been pasteurized. Plus, there hasn’t been huge amounts of research on the use of honey with dogs, and what research there is would be with the use of medical-grade products and not store-bought.
Limitedresearch suggests that honey might have some benefits for certain dogs by helping to prevent infection and inflammation, but it doesn’t necessarily improve the healing process. Meanwhile, another study suggests moist exposed burn ointment still works far better than honey to treat burns, so medicine still trumps home remedy on this one.
Because it isn’t clear how effective honey is, it’s best not to slap it on your pup’s cut. Stick to your vet’s advice and the products they suggest you use to treat your dog’s wound.
If you want to take a more traditional approach, stick to bathing the injury with salt water to clean it and keep it protected with clean gauze once it is dry. Most vets advise you do this and it should help speed along recovery and prevent infection.
Humans and hounds alike might have been told to try eating a spoonful of honey every day to prevent hayfever. Most evidence for this is anecdotal, so the jury is still out. But, many people believe this theory, and there issome evidence that it can help people. But will honey help dogs with hayfever?
Well, no one’s sure, it hasn’t really been studied. However if it seems to help humans, there is a chance it might help your pooch. Provided your pooch is allowed to eat honey, it shouldn’t hurt to try this home remedy.
Feed your pooch half a teaspoon of honey every day if they are small, or a whole teaspoon for a medium or larger dog. They should start eating honey a few weeks before the hayfever season so their body can learn to recognise the pollen particles and develop antibodies.
There is a big BUT here though. Firstly, the honey you offer your pup should be raw honey because pasteurised honey probably won’t contain pollen particles which they need to develop antibodies. Secondly, local honey is the most useful because there is more chance it contains the different pollens that your dog will be coming into contact with when they’re out on walks.
Finally, there is no guarantee that the honey will contain the specific pollen or allergen that causes your dog’s seasonal allergies. So if you do try using honey to treat your dog’s hayfever, make sure it is local, raw honey and remember there is no guarantee it will work. If you do start to see some adverse side effects, contact a vet immediately.
Young Puppies: It’s generally recommended that young puppies skip this delicious treat until they are about 3 months old. This is due to raw honey possibly containing spores from an anaerobic bacteria and some believe that it could transmit botulism to young pets who don’t have a fully developed digestive system.
The benefits of raw honey have been known for centuries. Hippocrates, the “Father of Medicine” even prescribed honey as a medication. Petroglyphs over 7,000 years old depict people collecting honey from hives.
Allergy Relief: Raw honey is perhaps most well known for it’s ability to relieve allergy symptoms. Honey works in much the same way as getting an allergy shot – minute exposure helps make you immune to specific allergies. K9 Honey contains raw pollen from 9 geographic regions to make it effective for your pet no matter where you’re located in North America!
Wound Care: There are many studies exploring the benefits of raw honey, Manuka honey and medical honeys for their roles in healing. Thus far, honey has proven to play a significant role in wound care by decreasing the time it takes to heal while preventing infection. Some scientists are even exploring the role of raw honey in treating antibiotic-resistant infections like MRSA, VRE, MDR-TB, and CRE.
We’ve all heard of the benefits of eating raw honey, but did you know that your dogs can also benefit from this delicious treat?
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