Sweets, in general, are “bad” for dogs the same way they’re “bad” for children; it could lead to canine/childhood obesity respectively. It’s easy to have a dog or child eat sweets “moderately”, but once they develop that sweet tooth, it’ll be hard for them to moderate their eating; you’ll have to do it for them. With that said, can dogs eat honey? The short answer is yes. Yes, they can. In fact, it’s quite a bit more healthy than feeding them, say, maple syrup or chocolate (definitely don’t feed them chocolate). One of the benefits of honey for dogs is it’s an antioxidant (which you can’t say for peanut butter or glazed donuts, for example). To be more specific, honey contains the antioxidant “flavonoid”.
What Are Flavonoids and Other Facts about Consuming Honey
Flavonoids are antioxidants that can help mitigate heart disease and cancer risk. Some might think this is opposite what we’ve been told about excessive consumption of sugar, but in honey’s case, moderate consumption of it can actually prevent rather than cause disease. It can also treat ulcers and bacterial gastroenteritis, in case you or your dog has them.
Honey is an antibacterial substance, because semi-digested nectar and bee spit (what honey essentially is) has an enzyme that creates hydrogen peroxide, a well-known antibacterial substance. Ergo, if you or your pup has a cough and is sick, honey can help them out in ways sweetened children’s vitamin syrups cannot. Honey isn’t a panacea, though, so you should feed your dog no more than one teaspoon of honey every day.
When feeding honey to your dog, you should moderate consumption. Just like any kind of sweets, actually. Honey may be antibacterial, but at the end of the day, it’s still a sweet treat and too many sweet treats can turn you fat. That’s why bears eat a lot of honey prior to hibernation; the sheer amount of honey can turn to fat that will tide them over till spring.