Your dog might have allergies, infections, kennel cough, digestive problems, arthritis and so many others. Knowing how to treat a dog’s allergies is essential for having a happy pet. And one natural product can help with all of them: honey.
I admit, honey is not a normal item of diet for carnivores. Yet, everybody knows how much bears love honey. Winnie the Pooh was not simply invented. But do you know that lions in the wild enjoy honey, too?
Health benefits of honey for dogs and cats:
• Anxiety and stress
• Anemia – honey stabilizes hemoglobin levels
• Poor blood circulation
• Osteoporosis – due to calcium absorption enhancement
• Increases energy levels without spiking insulin levels, much recommended to old dogs,
• Supports muscle recuperation, after physical exercise,
• Treats digestive conditions such as: diarrhea, stomach ulcers, gas, acid reflux, irritable bowel syndrome and helps in proliferation of good gut flora,
• Helps in healing upper respiratory infections and their related symptoms: cough, mucous, sore throat
– Bronchitis, including chronic bronchitis,
– Chronic and allergic rhinitis,
– Chronic and allergic sinusitis,
– Colds and flu.
• Honey maintains the optimal glucose metabolism during sleep and exercise, thus preventing the development of:
– Cardiovascular disease,
– Insulin resistance,
– Lower LDL cholesterol,
• Suports longevity
Treat your dog’s allergy with raw local honey
Give your dog 1 tablespoon of raw local wildflower honey twice daily, for large dogs such as labs. You must do this daily or the allergy symptoms will reappear.
It is very important to use your LOCAL and RAW honey. It is made from the nectar of the flowers your dog is allergic to, so it will act a little like a vaccine.
To treat our pet’s allergies we can give him honey daily, ¼ tsp for every 20 pounds of body weight, or if the allergies are really bad, we can try a DIY recipe with honey, nettles and/or mullein. Or cinnamon.
Natural home remedies for dogs’ allergies
Honey and mullein
Make an infusion of a handful of fresh or dried Mullein, leaves and flowers. Simmer the mullein in one quart of water. Heat for 35 minutes. Strain and add 2 tablespoons of your local honey.
Add the cooled infusion to your dog’s food once a day.
If you use Mullein tea bags, make a regular infusion and add honey.
The local raw multifloral honey will build the dog’s resistance to flower’s pollen and the mullein will reduce the symptoms.
Dosage: Small dog 1/8 cup, Medium dog 1/4 cup, Large dog 1/2 cup
Honey and nettles
You can use nettles instead of mullein, following the same recipe and the same dosage. If you pick the nettles yourself, make sure you pick the leaves in the spring before the plant flowers. Instead of nettles you can also use Rooibos Tea Bags.
Nettles are anti-inflammatory, astringent, diuretic and are high in calcium, chlorophyll, iron, and vitamin C which increase the body’s red blood cell count. They inhibit the release of histamine and mimic the action of anti-histamine allergy medications (such as Benydryl). Opposed to conventional chemical based anti-histamines, nettles provide respiratory relief without the side effects.
Also, very effective in digestion, skin conditions, such as eczema and hives and inflammation caused by arthritis.
Be careful that nettles may interfere with prescription medications for diabetes, high-blood pressure and NSAIDs.
To find out more about what to do in fighting the allergies and also for reliable holistic support, ask Karen, a dog behaviorist and holistic wellness adviser from Ottawa Valley Dog Whisperer.
Use a special shampoo to diminish allergy
From the same Michele Crouse cited above, we learn to wash the dog with a combination of honey-shampoo-essential oils. She combines her dog’s shampoo with an equal amount of honey, 25% water and 5% of added aloe vera and essential oils like: like lemon grass, 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. Let this shampoo stay for a minute or two and then rinse it very very well.
On Amazon.com we can find an USDA Certified organic pet shampoo, containing 100% natural ingredients, safe and non-toxic. It is recommended for allergies, itching, dryness and skin irritation, but also for pets with normal skin, promoting skin health: BotaniVet Certified Organic Manuka Honey Pet Shampoo 16 Oz – 100% Natural Ingredients – Veterinary Dermatologist Formulated for Allergies and Itching.
On Amazon.co.uk there is another shampoo using manuka honey: Johnson s Vet – Manuka Honey 2In1 Shampoo 400ml.
How to give honey to your pet
Most dogs love the taste of honey. Some dogs eat it right off the spoon and some get it in their meal. Same with a cat. You can give it as a treat or you can add honey to your dog’s or cat’s food once a day at meal time.
For a non-therapeutic dosage:
¼ tsp for every 20 pounds (9 kg) of body weight daily.
Kittens and puppies under 6 months of age, should not be fed honey. It’s just like in humans, please see When can kids have honey? On the other hand you can give sterilized honey like Medihoney or Revamil.
Good also for fasting animals.
Let your animal fast. He is smart enough to know when to do this. Give him water, and in addition Juliette de Bairacli Levy recommends giving honey. It will sustain energy levels, fight off ailment and help heal the gastrointestinal tract.
I believe I could not successfully rear domestic dogs without this remarkable antiseptic food,” said Juliette de Bairacli Levy in “The Complete Herbal Handbook for the Dog and Cat.”
Can dogs with diabetes eat honey?
As in human cases, experts have not agreed with this. Some say honey has a slower blood sugar absorption rate, putting it lower on the glycemic index and consider it less likely to disrupt the patient’s blood sugar levels. A tablespoon of honey consists of nearly the same carbohydrate (glucose – fructose) content as a medium-sized apple. Consuming honey will produce a significantly lower blood sugar response than an equivalent amount of sugar or glucose rich starches.
Other experts say that honey’s 1:1 ratio of glucose and fructose, makes them immediately converted into glycogen by the liver, thus not letting anything to raise the blood sugar.
Also read: Can diabetics eat honey?
Honey seamed to be well tolerated even by type 1 diabetics. In some studies, scientists noticed that it caused a higher c-peptide increase than with comparable amounts of sucrose or glucose. C-Peptide represent the mass of insulin increase in blood.
Be sure you don’t give your dog too much honey in a single serving. If your dog takes insulin, reduce the standard dosage of honey to 1/4 of the full dosage.
The safest way to try it
Use only raw honey. You need to give your dog a tablespoon once or twice a day (large dog) and for this start with smaller amounts and always feed it in combination with fats, which by itself lowers a food’s glycemic index.
Coconut oil and butter are excellent honey partners. Observe your dog’s reaction before increasing the amount and discontinue use if he displays any adverse symptoms.
Herbs infused honey
Coarsely chop fresh lemon balm, thyme, sage, oregano, lavender, basil, or other herbs, enough to loosely fill a glass jar. If you don’t have fresh ones, used dried ones.
(Most of our herbs are safe for our dogs, yet please make sure you are not giving him: Cocoa, Comfrey, Paprika, Pennyroyal (ingested use), Salt, Tea Tree Oil, Nutmeg, Mace, Ma Huang (Ephedra), Wormwood. For a complete list of safe food for dogs and cats, visit this page.)
Seal the jar of herbs and honey and leave it in a warm location, such as a sunny window, for at least two weeks.
(For a double-strength herbal honey, wait a month or more, then fill another glass jar with herbs and pour the contents of the first jar into the second jar, and let the honey stand another month.)
Strain and filter using a cheesecloth and store it at room temperature. Add the medicated honey to your dog’s food. Inform your vet about the change in your dog’s diet and treatment.
What is herbs infused honey good for?
You can use use this honey externally, as an effective dressing for cuts, surgical wounds, burns, lick granulomas, abrasions, hot spots, and infected wounds. And you can also use it internally to prevent infections from viruses or bacteria. It also soothes a sore throat, helps an anxious dog relax, improves sleep, reduces gas, and speeds recovery from illness.
If it’s easier for you to give the honey in a thicker consistency, then keep it in the fridge. It will crystallize, but this won’t alter its therapeutic value.
You can even try to make a ball that may be easier for your dog to swallow. But you know best how to do this, think of the techniques you use when giving him a pill.