Monday, June 22, 2009

Raw Honey

You're probably wondering what the heck raw honey has to do with dogs, right? Well, it's actually a great supplement of sorts to add to their daily diet! A while ago I was reading a thread on a dane board that I'm on, that talked about the beneifts of raw honey. It was something that I hadn't even thought about before. For humans the benefits are numerous and it has also been shown to be quite beneficial to dogs as well. But first things first!

There absolutely is a difference between regular and even organic honey versus raw honey. For starters, processed honey (the regular and organic stuff that you can find in every store) is heated and filtered, killing off or removing all the good enzymes, vitamins, and proteins that are there in the raw form. This is also why you don't want to microwave or heat up your raw honey. If you do that, you are removing or killing off all the beneficial parts of the honey. Raw honey is also made up of "good sugars" that won't allow the bad bacteria to proliferate in the gut and give intestinal problems. Most importantly, raw honey still contains small amounts of pollen! Studies have shown that by ingesting small amounts of pollen that is local to your area, it can help alleviate seasonal allergies. So if you're going for allergy prevention, be sure to find raw honey that is local to you. Even though neither of my dogs have allergies, I do use Wessels Raw Honey for that very reason.
If you want to read more about the MANY benefits of raw honey for you and your dog, here are a few web sites that I found helpful:

I haven't tried doing anything with the honey other than eat it, but I'm thinking of possibly trying out some of the bath/shampoo ideas on myself and the dogs. Although I do have to admit that I'm a lot more likely to try it on the dogs than myself. The thought of having sticky honey in my hair isn't exactly thrilling.

When I first started giving my dogs raw honey I had two problems. The first was how much. There aren't many sources that say how much and how often. What I have been able to find is that people usually give 1 teaspoon to 1 tablespoon, depending on the size of the dog, one to two times a day. Not very exact, but I think this is one of those things where just adding it to the diet is beneficial and you don't need it in excessive quantities. I do roughly one large spoonful a day per dog mixed in with something.

The other problem that I came across is that my dogs do NOT like the taste of just the raw honey. Sometimes they'll eat things in their bowl that they won't if I just hand it to them. Rare, but it does happen! When I tried this, neither one wanted to eat it. So I tried mixing it in a 1:1 ratio (1 spoon full of honey to 1 spoon full of peanut butter) with peanut butter. That didn't work either. So I bumped it up to two spoon fulls of peanut butter. Still no dice. Since I wasn't about to give up, I tried a 3:1 ratio and it worked! Once I got them used to that I switched out the peanut butter with cottage cheese. With the cottage cheese I was able to get away with a 2:1 mixture. I'm not really sure why that is, but oh well. And finally I tried plain yogurt. I was also able to get away with a 2:1 mixture of that. I have a feeling that the dogs just needed to adjust to having the honey in their diet. Now everything is hunky dory!

I do prefer the yogurt over the others though since it's got the good gut enzymes in it. It's just a little added bonus!


Andrea said...

I heard many good things abour raw honey too. It's on my list of things to try someday soon. Where can you buy it? Oh, and does it taste similar to the regular honey??

Lindsay said...

It tastes just like the regular honey, but maybe just a bit better! I've heard that you can usually get it at farmer's markets. I get mine through New Seasons.

Shana said...

Have you tried taunting them with it by licking the spoon yourself and then letting them lick the spoon? My dogs wouldn't eat it until I'd done that a few times, now they love it. Mars and Minerva used to eat everything but whatever touched the honey. After I started eating it out of the jar on a spoon (and they already know about PB on a spoon) they wanted a taste and decided it was yummy. Now they love it, well now Mars and Pixie do, but Mini eventually did as well when she was alive.

Anonymous said...

Hi, just read your blog about raw honey and dogs, and let me tell you, it works miracles when you bathe them in it!! I have a rescue that was malnourished and was itching like crazy, I used half raw honey and half head and shoulders shampoo and she hasn't itched at all in over a week!! She also had hot spots in the webbing under her feet. I put a little on my finger and massaged it in at night before bed and after 3 days it was completely gone!!