Despite that they sting, bees are the world’s hardest working insects. As such, they produce some of the most versatile products on the market. Starting with honey, which has been around for thousands of years, beeswax (used for candles), royal jelly, bee pollen, and propolis.
There is little question about the health benefits that, for example, manuka honey has on humans. However, latest research has demonstrated that dogs can derive the same health benefits from honey products.
Honey is mainly consumed for its high antibacterial properties. The medicinal qualities of honeys, such as manuka, have been proven time and again over the past few years. Inhibiting harmful bacteria from growing within the body is but one of honey’s many benefits.
Manuka honey is also considered one of the best natural energizers, often consumed by wild animals. Juliette de Bairacli Levy, the pioneer of holistic veterinary medicine, has showed that a simple diet of milk and honey can sustain life for months, not only in us humans, but in dogs as well.
It is essential to know the difference between honey, and artificial sweeteners. Honey is mostly made of glucose and fructose, which as monosaccharides, also known as simple sugars. What makes them simple, is the fact that they are easily and quickly assimilated from our bodies, compared to disaccharides and polysaccharides. These are compounds found in artificial sugars, milk and grains.
There are many different types of honey, and they depend on the kind of flower the bees are harvesting. My favorite is the manuka honey, that derives from the manuka bush and it is only available in New Zealand at very limited quantities. This honey is very thick and much darker in color then your regular table honey. In any case, all honey is extremely rich on vitamins A, B-complex, C, D, E, and K. In addition, there is an abundance of phosphorous, calcium, sulfur, potassium, manganese, magnesium, silicon, iodine, and copper.
Dogs and Honey
If you have tried feeding your dog some honey, you know they love it. Whether it is off the spoon, served with their dinner or on a toast with butter, dogs will not turn down some delicious honey. This makes the administration of it so much easier.
Because honey is comprised of simple sugars, it is a great source of energy for your dog. It digests quickly, and allows your dog to generate energy that is ready to be spent outside chasing a ball or a stick. However, honey is also great as a preventative medication for allergies. Especially seasonal allergies associated with fall ragweed season.
A good indication of a seasonal allergy is if your dog rubs its face, scratches its stomach or licks its paws and tights. Try giving it one spoon of honey twice a day during that season. This should be enough to abolish the allergy symptoms completely. Here is a good and well research list of the best manuka honey brands and their reviews. Check it out and make an informed decision.
If your dog is not experiencing any allergic reactions, the recommended those is a tablespoon of honey a day.
Now, if you want to boost your dog’s immune system using honey and other herbs, I have a great little recipe that you can use. The herbs you need are easily accessible and not expensive. The type of honey you choose to use is up to you. Here is what you need:
- Fresh lemon balm
- Honey – your choice, manuka is recommended
- Glass jar
Chop the above mentioned herbs and fill half of your glass jar with them, I would say no more than 6 ounces. The other half of the jar fill up with your choice of honey. If, the honey is too thick, as it would be the case with manuka, you can warm it up in order to heat the honey. Placing it in hot water should do the trick.
Once you have completed the above procedure, seal your jar of herbs and honey and place it somewhere warm. For example on your window, where the sun rays can naturally warm it up for at least two weeks to a month.
NOTE: Before using this herbal honey for your dog, make sure you filter it through cheesecloth or any type of strainer in order to remove plant material. After that you can store it at room temperature. Begin adding to your dog’s food on daily basis!