Spring-time can mean severe allergies for some of us humans, but did you know allergies can affect our pets? Feeding a pet honey before the onset of sneezing can significantly reduce allergy symptoms, just a teaspoon a day will keep the sniffles away!
Honey for dogs
Most dogs love the taste of honey, so it’s usually easy to feed. Some dogs eat it right off the spoon, some get it in their dinner, and quite a few enjoy their daily honey on toast with butter. In Denison, Texas, 50 miles north of Dallas, beekeeper and companion dog trainer Michele Crouse considers honey the best medicine for her dogs Bonnie, a four-year-old Staffordshire Terrier, and Cracker, a five-year-old yellow Labrador Retriever.
“Bonnie has always had a hard time with allergies,” Crouse says. “Her symptoms used to be worst in the spring and early summer, but they continued through the fall ragweed season. She rubbed her face, licked herself, especially on her feet and the inside of her thighs, and scratched on her stomach like crazy, creating dime-sized sores. She itched so much that the vet prescribed Benadryl and prednisone.”
To prevent these attacks, Crouse feeds her dogs a tablespoon of honey twice a day. “I mix it with their food or feed it directly,” she says. “Sometimes I’ll give them berries as a snack, with the honey mixed in. Both Bonnie and Cracker love the taste. Otis, our mixed-breed, isn’t interested in honey or anything sweet. Fortunately, he doesn’t have allergy symptoms.”
Crouse uses raw honey which she strains through a single filter to remove debris. “Otherwise,” she says, “it’s straight out of the hive.”
As long as Bonnie receives her daily honey, she remains free of allergy symptoms. “But if I forget for a week or so,” says Crouse, “the symptoms come right back. I know several other dogs who have had the same response. They react to seasonal allergens until their owners put them on honey, and then they’re fine.”
Crouse agrees with beekeepers and health experts who have observed that local raw honey works best on allergy symptoms. “It makes sense,” she explains. “When you eat the honey, you ingest minute amounts of local pollen, and after your body adjusts so that it doesn’t react to the pollen, you can be exposed to larger amounts, such as when plants or trees are in bloom, without being affected.”