Those puppy-dog eyes can be killer, especially when you’re eating something you KNOW you can’t share with your dog. Sweet treats are typically at the top of the no-no list when it comes to human foods for Fido.
But when we think of sweet treats, we often don’t think of honey, fruits, or even vegetables being on that list.
So, can dogs eat honey? Furthermore, what are some other tasty treats you can share with your dog when he starts to give you those big, begging eyes?
We’re about to tell you!
But First, Can Dogs Eat Honey?
Pure honey is safe for most dogs in small amounts.
Can dogs eat honey?
If you just shared a bit of honey with your dog, don’t worry – honey is generally safe for dogs to eat in small amounts. However, not all honey is safe for dogs, and this is something you need to take into consideration when looking into can dogs eat honey.
For a quick breakdown, honey can be a safe treat for dogs in moderation. Some people even claim that honey can be a nutritious treat for certain dogs. But is this true?
According to the American Kennel Club, the honey craze that cropped up a few years ago totes honey as magic nectar able to cure anything from allergies to skin issues.
The truth is, there is very littles scientifically backed evidence regarding the overall health benefits of honey in people, let alone dogs. In reality, honey has a high sugar content and a low amount of vitamins and minerals that could be beneficial to dogs.
Furthermore, giving your dog too much honey can actually lead to a variety of problems including obesity, digestive issues, an increased risk of diabetes, and more.
Puppies and dogs with compromised immune systems should also stay away from honey, as raw honey can contain botulism spores that can be toxic to dogs.
Of course, when trying to answer “can dogs eat honey”, the swift answer is yes, but the longer answer is much more complicated.
What you might want to ask instead of can dogs eat honey, is should dogs eat honey. Keep reading to learn more.
Can Dogs Eat Honey? What Is Honey For Dogs?
In its organic form, a small amount of honey can be beneficial for certain dogs.
Many people love honey, but not everyone knows exactly what honey is. Sure, we may know that it comes from honeybees, but how exactly it comes from those bees is incredibly fascinating.
While answering the question “can dogs eat honey” we should also take a moment to cover what honey truly is.
Honey is a natural sweetener produced by honeybees and a few other select insects throughout the world. It is used primarily in the United States as a sweetener but has also been used in cosmetics and for medicinal purposes.
But what is honey, exactly?
The story of honey begins with a bee and a flower. Foraging honeybees are tasked to find flowers with the richest amount of nectar. They drink this nectar, where it is stored in their stomach and specific enzymes then go to work to digest the nectar into a particular substance.
Once back at the hive, the forager bee regurgitates the digested nectar in its stomach, passing it off to what is known as a house bee. This house bee continues to work on the substance, ensuring it becomes more concentrated and removing as much water content as possible.
The next step is storage. The bees place the honey into honeycombs and beat their wings hard enough to remove any leftover water content from the honey. Last but not least, the honeycomb is sealed with bee wax.
This incredible and time-consuming process allows bees to have plenty to eat during the winter months, but it also provides us, humans, with a super tasty treat.
Dogs can enjoy the yumminess of honey as well, so long as they do so in moderation.
Remember, instead of asking can dogs eat honey, perhaps we should be asking should dogs eat honey.
Can Dogs Eat Honey? The Benefits Of Honey For Dogs
Can dogs eat honey? Yes, but should dogs eat honey? Probably not that often, say most experts. Remember, honey is rich in sugar and has very little nutritional value for dogs. Still, there are those that feel honey can have its benefits in a dog’s diet.
According to some sources, a teaspoon of honey a day can help:
- Boost your dog’s energy
- Alleviate colds or coughs
- Help with gastrointestinal problems
- Help your dog gain weight if he is underweight
- And possibly even help reduce allergy issues
However, remember that most of this is not scientifically backed, and if your dog is struggling with any of the above ailments it is best to reach out to your veterinarian for further instructions as opposed to trying to treat your dog on your own.
It’s also important to remember that, while there may be benefits to consider when considering can dogs eat honey, there can also be some serious dangers.
The Dangers Of Honey For Fido
- Raw honey can contain botulism spores
- Honey can lead to obesity and diabetes
- Honey can lead to diarrhea or digestive issues in sensitive dogs
Which Types Of Honey Should I Look For When Looking Into Can Dogs Eat Honey?
If you do want to share honey with your dog, it’s important to choose quality brands you trust. Organic or local honey is typically best, as is raw honey or even Manuka honey.
However, remember that young puppies under the age of a year old, and older dogs or dogs with compromised immune systems should avoid honey as, once again, it may contain botulism spores.
What You Should Know About Botulism Spores In Raw Honey
When looking into can dogs eat honey, you should also look into botulism poisoning.
Clostridium Botulinum is a bacteria that leads to something known as botulism poisoning in children and infants under the age of one year. This bacteria can also lead to botulism poisoning in young puppies and senior dogs, or dogs with sensitivities or compromised immune systems.
Raw honey in particular is known for potentially containing botulism spores, which can lead to this poisoning. The poisoning can be deadly, so it’s best not to feed your puppy raw honey until he is at least one year of age.
With all of that noted, botulism poisoning is incredibly rare in adults, children, and healthy adult dogs.
Can Dogs Eat Honey? A Few Honey-Inspired Recipes For Fido
You can make homemade dog treats with honey baked in for your furry friend.
Now that we know the answer to “can dogs eat honey”, it’s a good idea to look into how you can give honey to your dog.
Most experts agree that dogs can consume about a teaspoon of honey per day without having negative side effects. One teaspoon of honey, on average, contains about 70 calories and about six grams of sugar.
So while your dog can have about a teaspoon of honey a day, it may be better for him to have it in smaller amounts and mixed in with treats.
Not sure which kinds of treats you can give your dog that contains honey? We have you covered with four of our favorite recipes for “can dogs eat honey” below.
Banana and Honey Dog Treats
These honey and banana dog treats are delightful and they only take 15 minutes to prepare and about an hour to bake. When you’re done you’ll have up to 7 dozen tasty treats you can freeze and store for later.
These honey treats are a healthy and safe treat you can consider when considering can dogs eat honey. We also like that these treats provide an extra boost of all the benefits bananas have to offer to your dog.
Here’s what you’ll need to make these treats for your dog.
- 2 Mashed Bananas
- 2 Tablespoons of Honey
- 1 teaspoon of Vanilla Extract
- 2 Cups of Water
- 1 Egg
- 4/12 Cups of Whole Wheat Flour
- And 1 Teaspoon of Baking powder
Preheat your oven to 350 degrees. Then, combine the bananas, honey, vanilla, and egg into a bowl and begin mixing, slowly mixing in the flour and the baking powder. When it is thoroughly combined, place the dough onto a floured surface and knead it for around five to eight minutes, or until it’s not sticky.
Roll the dough out and cut it into shapes. You can find adorable dog-shaped cookie cutters below.
Magigift Dog Cookie Cutter Set
Use the above cookie cutters or your favorite cookie cutters you already have to make your homemade dog treats. Now that you know the answer to can dogs eat honey, why not?
Once you are done cutting the dough into adorable shapes, bake these cookies on an ungreased cookie sheet for about 20 minutes. Turn off your oven and leave the treats in the oven for another 40 minutes or until they are brown and crispy.
Peanut Butter And Honey Dog Treats
Peanut Butter has always been a dog favorite, and when you combine it with the sweet taste of natural honey, your dog will go “nuts” for this nutty treat. Of course, just be sure to use xylitol-free peanut butter when making these dog treats for your pup.
For the Cookies:
- 1 Cup of Water
- 2 ½ Cups of Whole Wheat Flour
- 1 Cup of Peanut Butter
- 2 Tablespoons of Honey
- 1 Egg
For the Frosting:
- 2 Tablespoons of Peanut Butter
- 1 Tablespoon of Honey
- ⅓ Cup of Corn Starch
- 3 Tablespoons of Hot Water
Preheat your oven to 350 degrees F and combine your ingredients for the cookies together in a large bowl, starting with the egg and the flour first. Then combine the water, honey, and peanut butter. Stir the ingredients until the dough becomes firm and then use your hands to knead it down.
Take the mixed dough and roll it over a lightly floured surface and cut it into shapes using your favorite cookie cutter.
Then you want to bake the treats for 18 to 20 minutes, or until they are lightly golden. Set them aside and allow them to cool before giving them to your dog.
Oatmeal And Honey Dog Treats
Oatmeal is good for all kinds of goodies. From desserts to breakfasts, there is so much you can do with this nutritious food. So, when asking can dogs eat honey, you’ll be happy to know that dogs can eat honey and even oatmeal combined! In fact, one of our favorite recipes for a dog-approved honey treat is listed below.
- 1 Egg
- ⅓ Cup of Honey
- 1/4th Cup of Water
- 1 Cup of All-Purpose Flour
- 1 Cup of Oatmeal
Begin by preheating your oven to 350 degrees F and then grab a large bowl. In this bowl mix your flour, egg, honey, oatmeal, and water using an electric mixer. Mix the ingredients until they create a thick dough.
Sprinkle a surface lightly with some extra flour and roll your dough out so it’s about ¼ of an inch thick. Then proceed to cut your cookies into your desired shapes. Once you’re finished, put your cookies on a baking sheet and bake them for between 15 and 20 minutes.
There is no wait time for these tasty treats. Your dog can eat these as soon as they cool down!
What Other Sweet Treats Can My Dog Consume?
Sugar isn’t the healthiest food for dogs, but there are some sweet treats your dog can eat in moderation.
Now that we know the answer to “can dogs eat honey”, it opens up somewhat of a Pandora’s Box. What else can dogs eat, and what other human goodies can you share with your four-legged fur kid?
Well, some of our favorite dog-safe human foods you can share with our dog in moderation are listed here:
- Organic Peanut Butter
- Cooked Sweet Potato
- Pumpkin Puree
- Blueberries, Strawberries and Blackberries
- Baked Sweets Specifically Made For Dogs
Organic Peanut butter
First, we’ll start with organic or natural peanut butter. Does it have to be organic? No, but the fewer additives to the peanut butter the better for your dog. Just as you’re asking yourself can dog eat honey and what kind of honey can they eat, remember to also ask yourselves about the best types of peanut butter for your dog.
Stay away from peanut butter with additives, extra sugars, other types of nuts added, or peanut butter that contain artificial sweeteners like Xylitol.
We should also note that, while many natural peanut butter brands are safe for dogs to eat, peanut butter is still high in sugar and can lead to obesity in your dog.
With that being said, peanut butter does have its benefits! It is rich in protein and contains a number of fatty acids, vitamins, and minerals that can help your dog thrive.
Cooked Sweet Potato
Cooked sweet potatoes are a chewy, tasty treat your dog will love, especially if you mix a bit of it with honey or peanut butter, or even your dog’s favorite dog food.
You may have heard that raw white potatoes can be toxic to dogs as they are related to the nightshade family. However, sweet potatoes are not related to white potatoes, and they are perfectly safe for your pet in moderation and when cooked.
Just like we noted when answering “can dog eat honey” we should also note that dogs should only eat sweet potatoes in small amounts.
Too much sweet potato can lead to digestive upset, gas, diarrhea, and other problems.
Bananas are an easy go-to when looking for tasty treats your dog can eat. They are low in calories and high in fiber, biotin, copper, potassium, and sodium. However, bananas are also high in sugar and can lead to obesity and other health risks in Fido.
Make sure that, just as you asked “can dogs eat honey”, you’re also asking how much banana your dog can consume and feed him accordingly.
Unseasoned Pumpkin Puree
The holidays are approaching, so it’s a great time to pull out the pumpkin puree! Pumpkin puree is more than just a seasonal treat for your dog. It can help ease stomach upset and digestive issues.
Furthermore, dogs love it!
We recommend investing in the pumpkin puree designed by companies just for dogs. Avoid pumpkin purees that contain additives, sweeteners, or seasonings, and certainly, avoid giving your dog pumpkin pie filler.
Instead, choose pure pumpkin puree that is either organic or, as we mentioned, made specifically for canine consumption.
Dogs love crunching on carrots! Though they do have high sugar content, carrots also contain fiber and beta-carotene. Dogs can eat cooked or raw carrots, but raw carrots are extra crunchy and can also be good for your dog’s teeth.
Blueberries, Strawberries, and Blackberries
When looking into can dogs eat honey, you may have found that many people consider honey to be a superfood. Did you also know that berries like blueberries especially are considered a superfood?
Berries like blueberries, strawberries, and blackberries are packed full of vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, and more. They’re also tasty, sweet, and refreshing!
Of course, too many berries and your dog could have an upset stomach, so be sure to share these treats with him only in moderation.
Apples are another tasty treat you may have discovered when looking up “can dogs eat honey”. Apples are rich in vitamins A and C, as well as fiber, potassium, and antioxidants. Apples are also juicy and tasty, and dogs love the crunch!
However, the core of the apple can be toxic to dogs, as can the seeds. Be sure to only offer your dogs the flesh of the apple and never give your dog a whole apple to munch on. It’s also best to give your dog small amounts at a time, as apples are high in sugar.
Watermelon is another superfood on our list that you may have already stumbled upon when looking into can dogs eat honey. In fact, many experts consider watermelon to be one of the best fruit options you can provide your dog with.
It’s lower in sugar than many other tasty treats on this list, high in water content, rich in fiber, nutrients, vitamins, and minerals. This is a low-calorie snack that your dog will love!
Pre-Baked Sweets Made For Dogs
If you don’t want to give your dog fruits, veggies, peanut butter, or honey when he gives you those puppy dog eyes, you always have the option of looking for pre-baked dog treats available in stores or online.
These treats are often designated for doggy birthdays and celebrations, but it’s never a bad idea to spoil your dog just for fun once in a while.
Let’s take a look at a few of our favorite dog-approved sweet treats you can order online below.
Five Dog-Approved Sweet Treats You Can Buy For Your Dog
If you don’t want to make your dog a tasty treat, you can always buy sweet treats for him instead.
Can dogs eat honey? YES! And dogs can also eat a surprisingly good amount of other sweet treats as well!
While we did cover a few of our favorite recipes for dogs after we discussed can dogs eat honey, we understand that not everyone has the time or desire to bake their dogs homemade treats.
Luckily, there are plenty of sweet treats available that you can purchase in-store or order online when it comes to looking into “can dogs eat honey” and other safe treats for your dog.
Here are a few of our favorites!
With a name like Wufers Pupcakes, you know these treats have to be delicious! (Well, for your dog, anyway). These hand-made baked dog treats are designed to spoil your dog rotten and are made with all locally sourced, dog-safe ingredients like apples, cinnamon, peanuts, and oatmeal.
You can even order these Pupcakes with different decorative styles depending on the occasion. We love this idea!
Birthday Bites Peanut Butter Dog Treats
If you’re looking for something you can have on hand for those special occasions, we recommend looking into the peanut butter-flavored birthday bites by the Lucas B Natural Dog Toys Store.
This product is made with natural ingredients including whole rolled oats, oat flour, rye flour, vegetable oil, and crushed peanuts.
The treats are free of any additives and are totally dog-approved.
So, now you know the answer to “can dogs eat honey”, and since the answer is yes, you may be on the hunt for some dog-safe honey options. One of the options we like is K9 Honey by the K9 Honey Store.
This raw honey is an all-natural honey specifically blended for dogs. It can also be used as a treat or meal topper as needed. It can even be used to help underweight dogs gain weight, decrease kennel cough symptoms, improve your dog’s immune system and more.
Of course, remember not to give honey to dogs younger than one year, and avoid giving this product to dogs with a compromised immune system.
Honey I’m Home Honey-Coated Bully Sticks
If your dog is wild about honey, we suggest trying the Honey I’m Home honey-coated bully sticks listed above. These sticks come in different sizes depending on your dog and are made with natural, grain-free ingredients.
The sticks come from free-range water buffalo and are coated in sustainably harvested honey, making them a low-calorie and healthy snack for your dog.
Jungle Calling Healthy Banana Treats
Last, we have these creative dog treats made by the Jungle Calling Store. These treats are actually slices of dried banana wrapped in chicken. They are rich in vitamins, fiber, minerals, and potassium, (all the things bananas are known to be filled with), and include an extra dash of protein from the chicken.
The treats are completely grain-free and natural, and they are even a bit chewy to help keep your dog busy. Not only do these make wonderful training treats, but they make excellent reward treats or treats to scatter around your home before you head out the door.
Human Foods And Fido – What To Watch Out For
Greasy foods like french fries are not ideal for your dog.
While there are plenty of tasty treats that dogs can eat, it’s important to remember that dogs have very different digestive systems than humans do. They are also more sensitive to certain foods than many of us realize, especially when those foods contain sugars or seasonings.
Now that we’ve answered “can dogs eat honey”, it’s time to look at a few things your dog can’t eat.
The ASPCA recommends you watch out for the following foods:
- Macadamia Nuts
- Tea Leaves
- Raw Yeast Dough
- Fatty Foods
- Greasy Foods
- And Alcohol
While this list can seem daunting, our list of dog-safe goodies should provide you with endless possibilities when it comes to the treats you can make, purchase and share with your dog.
So, tell us what you think about the sweet treats on our list and how you feel about our answers to “can dogs eat honey” below.
Thanks for reading!
Jen Jones is a professional dog trainer and behavior specialist with more than 25 years of experience. As the founder of ‘Your Dog Advisor’ and the ‘Canine Connection’ rehabilitation center, she applies a holistic, empathetic approach, aiming to address root causes rather than merely treating symptoms.
Well known for her intuitive and compassionate approach, Jen adopts scientifically-proven, reward-based methods, encouraging positive reinforcement over punishment. Jen specializes in obedience training, behavior modification, and puppy socialization. Her innovative methods, particularly in addressing anxiety and aggression issues, have been widely recognized. Jen has worked with many of the world’s leading dog behaviorists and in her free time volunteers with local animal shelters and rescue groups.