Honey and dogs

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
  • Thyme
  • Sage
  • Oregano
  • Lavender
  • Basil
  • 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!

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Five essential dog commands

Dogs speak dog. English, or any other language for that matter, is at best their second language. So, unless you speak dog, you need to spend some time and find a way to properly communicate with your dog. This is best done at an early age (your dog’s age, not yours!).

Communicating with dogs can be complex, but if you understand the meaning of communication, it can be extremely easy. There are some principles that make this entire process easier than what people think. Establishing a common language with your dog depends on spoken words, cues, such as hand signals, body positions, and a variety of sounds (whistles, claps, snaps, etc…).

Try and remember that commands are verbal cues, and targeting is a physical cue.

The Dog’s name

Using your dog’s name as a command is the most common mistake in dog training. Saying your dog’s name should not be a command, it should simply give your dog the signal to pay attention, because a command is coming. People often expect their dog to come to them once they yell out its name. Think about it, do you go running towards people who just call your name. Or, do you expect to hear a simple “get over here”, or a more polite “could you please come over for a minute”?

Dogs should not be trained differently. In order to make your dog understand the importance of the name you have given it, that name should only be used in a positive manner. Reward your pup with a small treat every time you say its name out loud and it looks at you.

Yes and No

Essential commands, unless you like your dog peeing at home all the time.

In puppy training, “yes”, “no”, and “that’s’ it” are known as markers. The way to achieve them is through motivation and reinforcement.

In basic terms, motivation is the amount of energy necessary in order for your puppy to complete a task. This is tricky, because too much motivation will cause over-excitement and your dog will get distracted and too little motivation will cause your dog to lose interest and focus. So, the level of motivation is strongly associated with the type of task presented before your dog.



Reinforcement has to do with your own behaviour. It is represented by what you do while your dog’s behaviour is occurring. “That’s it” is used to motivate your dog to keep doing the task. While “yes” and “no” are used a positive and negative reinforcements.

“Yes” should mark your puppy’s exact moment of appropriate behaviour, while “no” should mark the exact moment of inappropriate behaviour.






One simple but essential command is to teach your dog to come to you. As mentioned above, not by yelling out its name, but rather by saying the word “come”. This is the best command to keep your dog out of trouble and it should be learned as early as possible.

Begin practicing the command while your puppy is on a leash. Go down to the level of your pup, and while gently pulling the leash towards you, say the word “come”. Leave a few feet walking distance between you and the pup. As soon as the puppy gets to you, reward him a treat. Once your dog masters the command while wearing a collar and a leash, start practicing it without the leash.



This is perhaps the easiest to teach commands from the arsenal. It is also an essential command before you can teach your dog to wait, play dead, lay down or just stay.

The most commonly used way of teaching your dog to sit is by holding a treat close to its nose while moving your hand up, so the dog’s head can follow the motion. This will naturally cause your puppy’s bottom to lower to a sitting position. Once he or she is fully sitting, say the word “sit”, give him the treat and share some affection.






This command comes once your dog has mastered the “sit” command.

Get your puppy to sit down and open your hand palm in front of him or her. Take a couple of steps back, hoping that your pup does not follow. If the puppy stays, reward him or her with a treat. You can gradually begin to increase the distance in order for the command to progress.



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