The quick answer: Yes, it is safe for healthy adult dogs to eat honey in moderation.
Benefits of honey
This sweet, golden nectar is a gift from mother nature and it is believed to have a number of health benefits. It’s said that honey can help reduce inflammation, soothe sore throats, and it’s purported to have antimicrobial and antifungal properties. Honey also contains vitamins and minerals like vitamin B6, calcium, copper, iron and magnesium. Because it contains some pollen, eating a spoonful of local raw honey may also help reduce some allergies. Most dogs would love the taste of honey as an occasional treat.
Young puppies and dogs with compromised immune systems should not eat raw honey because it might contain the presence of botulism spores. However, this is not anything to worry about for healthy adult dogs.
Despite being natural, honey is very high in sugar and should not be consumed in large quantities. A small amount here and there is safe, but regular consumption can lead to obesity. Additionally, too much honey at once can cause your dog’s blood sugar to rise and could result in vomiting or diarrhea. Eating sweets promotes tooth decay, so it’s a good idea to regularly brush your dog’s teeth, especially after eating honey. Because of the high sugar content, obese dogs and those with diabetes should not eat honey.
Honey does not contain any essential nutrients for dogs, so it is purely a treat and not a necessary food for their regular diet. Eating a balanced dog food will give your pup all the nutrients he needs.
Honey is often used as a binder in natural, homemade dog treats. If you’re feeling crafty, try baking dog treats that contain honey, like the recipe below.
Banana and honey dog treats recipe from Allrecipes
Preheat your oven to 350°F.
Combine water, mashed bananas, honey, vanilla and egg in a large bowl.
Stir in flour and baking powder. Beat dough with an electric mixer on medium speed until ingredients are thoroughly combined, 1 to 2 minutes.
Turn dough out onto a floured surface and knead until no longer sticky, 5 to 8 minutes.
Roll out dough to ¼ inch thickness and use cookie cutters to cut out your favorite shapes.
Place the treats onto a baking sheet and bake until lightly browned, about 20 minutes.
Turn off the oven and leave cookies until thoroughly dry and crisp, about 30-40 more minutes.
Allow to completely cool before serving.