Friday, March 11, 2016

The benefits of raw honey for your dog

Many pet owners probably aren’t aware of how honey can help dogs with all sorts of issues including allergies, infections, kennel cough, digestion, wounds including burns, hot spots and pressure sores.



Raw honey has been recognized as a remarkable alternative medicine by many cultures for hundreds of years. The use of raw honey for dogs is quickly becoming popular amongst not only the holistic pet care owners but also by the every-day pet owner for its benefits and healing effects.

Considered an excellent source of flavonoids, honey is also believed to contain anti-cancer properties (especially the darker types of honey, such as wildflower and buckwheat blossom). In addition, it contains small amounts of vitamin B6, vitamin B12, folic acid, vitamins C, D and E, calcium, copper, iron, magnesium, and manganese! Honey is a good source of antioxidants, and the live enzymes found in honey make it antibacterial, antimicrobial, antiseptic and anti-fungal.

Honey's antibacterial properties can benefit dogs with gastrointestinal problems - gastritis, IBD (inflammatory bowel disease), colitis and other GI issues resulting from an overgrowth of bacteria.


Raw honey contains pollen, and
local raw honey contains pollen from the area.


Dogs suffering from environmental allergies can 
benefit greatly from eating a small amount of raw honey on a daily basis. It actually helps build the immune system and reduce the symptoms often experienced - i.e. runny eyes, sneezing. The best time to get started is a few weeks before allergy season sets in. Initially, try a small amount to monitor any allergic reaction.


How much honey to give? Begin with a low dose on a daily basis and increase the amount slightly over several days as long as it isn't causing allergy symptoms. For large dogs, try 1 tablespoon of honey per day. Medium-size dogs, 2 teaspoons, and small dogs, 1 teaspoon. You know your pet, so use these measures as a starting point, and adjust based on their response.


For those concerned about the sugar content of honey, know that honey is easily and slowly digested, unlike processed sugar. As a result, raw honey on a daily basis can help increase healthy levels of energy in your dog and can even energize older dogs.

Hopefully now you understand the amazing benefits honey has to offer your dog, and you can bring this information into conversation with your veterinarian if you have questions or concerns about your pet.

NOTE:  As always, keep honey away from infants under one year of age. Their immune systems are not fully developed, and their bodies cannot handle the microbes naturally found in honey.

Friday, March 4, 2016

Coming soon....spring allergies (honey can help!)

If you or someone you know suffers from spring allergies, consider eating raw, local honey to reduce the symptoms. How does it work? Raw honey has many natural health benefits that can help boost immunity and alleviate allergy symptoms. Here are three things to know and what you can do to feel better this spring….




  1. Why honey makes a difference.
When it comes to food, bees are smart. They go for plants that support overall hive health; especially flowers that produce pollens high in phytochemical content. Honey and pollen make up the bees’ diet. Beekeepers know what kinds of flowers bees like and which are good for them too, so beekeepers place their hives accordingly.


Pollens and certain types of honey are high in phytochemical content, meaning they have protective and disease preventive properties. While phytochemicals are not considered essential nutrients in the human diet, they are believed to have healthy benefits, including antioxidant and antibacterial capacity.


Given the composition of nutrients found in raw honey, which includes bits of pollen, raw honey can boost overall overall immune health. This means that not only spring allergies can be reduced but overall health can be affected.


At this point, we should mention that no FDA claims are being made to the efficacy of honey or pollen, but there is sufficient anecdotal evidence to lend credence to their use.





  1. Pollen: culprit or remedy?
Pollen is widely known to have some very healthful properties, yet many people are allergic to a greater or lesser degree. So, how can pollen possibly be effective against pollen allergies?


The process is similar to a vaccine. When a specific pathogen is introduced into the body, the immune system is stimulated, causing it to boost the production of antibodies. So with pollen, if a small amount is eaten on a regular basis leading up to and during allergy season, the body can build immunities to help reduce the symptoms.


Caution must be exercised if one is extremely allergic to pollen. The next section will offer some helpful hints to determine what’s right for you.



  1. How to get started with honey.*
Assuming you are not extremely allergic to pollen, start with a small test to evaluate your tolerance. Eat a small amount of pollen to see if any particular symptoms appear (i.e. itchy eyes, runny nose). A ‘small amount’ could be a teaspoon of raw honey or a grain of pollen. If all goes well, begin a daily regimen of one or more of the following options:


  • Raw ‘unfiltered, unheated’ honey contains larger bits of pollen, so it’s a great choice for everyday use. It has a thicker texture because once it’s extracted from the hive, it’s left to crystallize. If you’ve eaten this type of honey before with no apparent allergic reaction, use it on a daily basis.
  • Pollen-fortified honey is another option for those who prefer to ‘dose’ out their pollen intake. Start with a small amount (i.e. quarter teaspoon) once or twice per day. After several days, consider increasing the amount to a level that doesn’t trigger an allergic response.
  • Pollen can be sprinkled into foods like smoothies, yogurt and cereal. The only recommendation here is to not add it to baked or hot foods. Start with a few granules or a quarter teaspoon.



The goal here is to not trigger allergy symptoms, but rather to stimulate the immune system and build up antibodies to lessen the effects. If no reactions are experienced with eating a smaller amount, move to a slightly larger amount. Each person will have a different tolerance and preference, so apply these recommendations accordingly.


Start a few weeks before the pollen flies and allergy symptoms kick in. Hopefully you will find relief and a new outlook on going outdoors this spring!

* As always, check with your medical provider before adding pollen to your diet.

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