Is Raw Honey Bad for Dogs?

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By: Greg Brian


Those of you who’ve ever consumed raw honey may already know how healthy it is for human beings. This means dozens of antioxidants, vitamins, and minerals available in just one daily tablespoon.

What about giving honey to animals, particularly dogs? The answer to this is YES, it’s safe for dogs. Regardless, there are some caveats you need awareness of first.

Let’s look at what’s safe and how you can give your dog raw honey. 

How Much Raw Honey Can Dogs Have?

Some pet owners might think anything naturally sweet wouldn’t be good for dogs. The truth is, you can safely give raw honey to your dog, albeit only in small amounts.

You’ll want to give them even smaller amounts than you consume if you have a couple of tablespoons per day. 

The general rule says that small dogs should only have one 1/4 teaspoon of raw honey daily. Larger dogs might be able to have a full teaspoon, though it depends on their true size. Most medium-sized dogs might be considered large, yet they shouldn’t have any more than 1/2 of a teaspoon.

Any dog over 50 lbs can safely have two teaspoons daily. How you give it to them, though, can make their food intake all the more enjoyable.

The Best Ways to Give Your Dog Raw Honey

To make it easier to consume, most dog owners just dab honey on dog treats. Doing this gets the honey into your dog’s digestive system faster.

You can also dab some on their regular dog food, or just have them lick right off a spoon. Always remember to put that spoon in the dishwasher afterward, however.

Other dog owners frequently place raw honey in homemade dog treats. Making things like smoothies for your dog is becoming more common to keep them healthier. Adding raw honey to the mix only gives them more antioxidants, vitamins, and minerals to benefit them in the long run.

Just be sure not to overheat the raw honey. Doing so removes all the nutritional properties. It’s best to use it without heating to ensure your dog gets all the health benefits. You’ll also satisfy their own sweet tooth if they constantly beg for sweet things, yet aren’t appropriate for their diet.

When to Avoid Giving Raw Honey to Your Dog

Like infants under the age of one, it’s not safe to give the youngest puppies honey either. Botulism spores are the reason. Puppies and infants are still developing their immune systems, so it’s best to wait until they’re just slightly older.

Once over a year old, it’s usually safe to give your dog honey. Still, some things should be watched out for since dogs are sometimes sensitive to many types of foods.

Be sure to check the health of your adult dog before giving them raw honey regularly. For instance, dogs that react to bee stings could have an allergic reaction from honey consumption. The same applies to diabetic dogs since raw honey does raise blood sugar in pets and humans.

Avoid giving raw honey to overweight dogs as well since they may already have high blood sugar. Otherwise, any active and healthy dog can safely enjoy this natural food while giving them an immediate energy boost if they seem a little logy.

What About Other Pets in the Family?

We all know some wild animals love raw honey. Bears don’t have to be said, but also includes animals like skunks and raccoons.

What about other domesticated pets (like cats) in your household? It’s said cats can safely consume it without any toxicity. Even so, they can’t taste the sweetness since they’re carnivores. 

If you give your adult cat honey alongside your dog, make sure it’s a very small amount (like half a teaspoon), and that the honey is raw. 


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