Veterinarians have recognized the health benefits of Manuka Honey for dogs and other pets, and it's use in veterinary care is steadily increasing. 

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Health benefits of Manuka honey for dogs

The healing properties of honey in general have ancient origins. It was used for sore throats, open wound healing, burns, sores, and digestive issues. Over time, honey had been largely put aside as an agent for health and healing. But in recent years, doctors and holistic practitioners have once again turned to honey, especially Manuka honey, as a natural healing remedy. 


Veterinarians are harnessing the health benefits of Manuka honey for dogs. Manuka honey can be taken orally for various types of healing and general health benefits, or it can be applied externally for healing wounds and skin conditions.

👉 The most notable benefit of Manuka honey is it's antibiotic and antimicrobial properties. The antibiotic properties are much higher in Manuka honey than in other types of honey. It can treat a wide range of bacteria and microorganisms. 

👉 Manuka honey is high in Antioxidants, Enzymes, and Flavinoids. It contains Amino acids, B vitamins, Zinc, Calcium, Magnesium, Copper, Potassium and Manganese, which all help to boost a dog's immunity.

👉 Manuka honey soothes soreness in the throat, which is especially helpful for dogs with Kennel Cough. This soothing is important, not only to ease the pain of a raging sore through, but especially because dogs with Kennel Cough will often not eat dry dog food. It can irritate their throat and hurt too much to eat kibble! That's what happened to my foster dog Rudy, who came to me with a horrible case of Kennel Cough.

👉 Manuka honey helps soothe skin irritations due to hot spots caused by allergies. It can soothe skin infections and skin diseases in dogs as well.

👉 Manuka honey is considered a prebiotic so it's beneficial for Gut health, helping to restore the balance of good bacteria in your dog's gut.

👉 Manuka honey has Anti-inflammatory, Antiviral and Antifungal properties.

👉 Manuka honey can improve oral health by fighting oral bacteria. This can help prevent tooth decay and dental disease.

👉 Manuka honey for dog wounds in particular is gaining a ton of popularity in Veterinary care.  The honey provides a moist wound environment and serves as a protective barrier for the wound area. This helps prevent infection in dog wounds. Manuka honey can help increase tissue regeneration, or "granulation" in open dog wounds. 

I saw how Manuka honey for dog wounds can work with my dog Phoebe. She was fighting infection that caused a severe gaping wound on her neck. The giant wound it created had actually been granulating tissue and closing up at an astounding rate! The application of honey to her gaping neck wound was one of the critical treatments she received over a 6 week period. Sadly, Phoebe ultimately lost her battle with the serious infection that was ravaging her body due to other complications. 💔

How Manuka Honey Is Different From Other Honey

Manuka Honey comes from the Manuka tree, which is Native only to New Zealand and Southern Australia. The honey is produced by bees that pollinate flowers on the Manuka tree (Leptospermum scoparium, also known as the Tea Tree). 

Manuka honey is produced by bees that pollinate flowers of Manuka trees in New Zealand and Australia

The biggest difference between Manuka honey and other honey is that Manuka honey contains antibiotic and antimicrobial properties that other types of honey do not. Methylglyoxal is the active ingredient in Manuka honey that contributes to the antibacterial ability of the honey. Manuka honey has many other beneficial health properties as well.

Is Manuka Honey Safe For Dogs?

Manuka honey is safe for dogs to eat in small quantities. It is also safe to apply Manuka honey to a dog's open wound, although it should be applied to a dog's wound under the direction and guidance of a VeterinarianIn 2015 the FDA (Food and Drug Administration) approved the use of honey for wound healing. 

Methylglyoxal (MGO) is the strong antibacterial chemical that naturally occurs in Manuka honey. The standard for judging the strength and quality of Manuka honeys is based on the MGO grade.

When I purchased my first jar of Manuka honey for my dogs I didn't know about the MGO specification. Unfortunately, I ended up with a brand of Manuka honey that doesn't use the MGO designation. They have their own proprietary method of measuring the quality of their Manuka honey. My dogs loved the honey I purchased, but now I only use Manuka honey that has an MGO grade designation.

As with most honey, Manuka honey has a high sugar content so it's not healthy for diabetic dogs to consume. It's also not recommended for puppies under 12 months old.

How Much Manuka Honey Should I give My Dog?

First, have a conversation with your Vet about whether or not your particular dog can eat Manuka honey, and if so how much. The recommendation for dogs is usually a small amount per day, with the exact amount based on weight.

When Phoebe was battling severe infection I gave her 1/2 teaspoon of Manuka honey once or twice a day. I wanted to add the antibiotic properties of Manuka honey to her diet to give her a health boost as she fought that severe infection.


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How much Manuka honey should I give my dog?

Where To Buy Manuka Honey for Dogs

Because of it's unique healing properties, especially antibacterial properties, and the fact that the plant from which it is made is found only in New Zealand and Australia, Manuka honey isn't cheap! You won't find it on the shelves of every grocery store like dozens of other types of honey. 

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Manuka honey is most often found in specialty food stores, health food stores, or online. Wherever you buy it, be sure it's from a reliable merchant and that you're getting authentic Manuka honey from New Zealand or Australia.

Two key terms you should know when buying Manuka honey:

UMF - Unique Manuka Factor is a grading system developed by the New Zealand UMF Honey Association. Manuka Honey produced in New Zealand is eligible for UMF Certification. Reputable manufacturers of authentic New Zealand Manuka honey will have a certified UMF label on their products. UMF gradings of Manuka honey products go from 5+ to 22+.

MGO - Methylglyoxal is the chemical that naturally occurs in Manuka honey. It's what determines the honey's antibacterial effects. The MGO number refers to the number of milligrams of Methylglyoxal the honey contains. The MGO indicates the grade of honey and will appear on the product's label as well. MGO gradings go from 83+ to 1000+.

As you can probably guess, the MGO and UMF numbers impact the price of the honey. The higher the MGO or UMF numbers, the higher the price. 

When first introducing Manuka Honey into your dog's diet, start conservatively. You probably don't want to run out and buy the highest grade of honey you can afford, especially if your goal is to give your dog the health benefits of Manuka Honey vs. treating an infection or wound. Ask your Vet or a holistic health professional for guidance if you're not sure what grade of honey to buy.  For my own dog I look for an MGO somewhere from 263 to 514 for general wellness benefits. Manuka honey is expensive so be ready for some sticker shock!

I would be remiss not to mention that there is debate over true Manuka Honey being exclusive to New Zealand, and that true Manuka Honey isn't produced in Australia. However, Australian Manuka honey advocates argue that Leptospermum scoparium, the trees from which Manuka honey is made, grow native in Southern Australia as well. 

Personally, I buy New Zealand Manuka honey because I like the official UMF certification and the MGO ratings put forth by New Zealand's UMF Honey Association. Both Manuka honey products are made from the Manuka tree, but you can decide for yourself which Manuka honey to buy, New Zealand's or Australia's. Learn more about Australian Manuka honey on the Australian Manuka Honey Association web site.

I have made Manuka honey a part of my dog's overall health routine. I 
give my dog Icy some on a teaspoon, or I just add it to her food. She loves the taste, and I love the added health benefits! 

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My dog loves the taste of Manuka honey, and I love the health boost it gives her!

As always, whenever you add a new food or supplement to your dog's diet, check with your Veterinarian first. Your dog could have a health condition that would make honey inappropriate for her. Dogs with diabetes should not consume honey due to the high sugar content. Puppies under 12 months shouldn't consume it because their immune systems are still developing

Your Vet knows your dog, so be sure s/he is in agreement with Manuka honey benefits for dogs and with adding Manuka honey to your dog's diet. 

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Have you considered using Manuka honey for your pet? Leave us a comment and share your thoughts!


Robin said...

How interesting! I would have never guessed that Manuka honey could be so helpful. Now I wonder if it works with cats as well.

Dogs Luv Us and We Luv Them said...

Yes Robin, I have heard it is working on cats as well.

FiveSibesMom said...

Such great info, thank you Cathy. I used to give my Epi-dog Gibson a bit of honey after coming out of a seizure to help raise blood sugar levels. I had not heard of Manuka specifically. Honey is so amazing and this sounds like the gold card of honeys! I'm also going to share over on FiveSibes Facebook page and Pin to help inform others.

Dogs Luv Us and We Luv Them said...

Thanks Dorothy! I'm so glad you found it useful. Yes, Manuka is definitely the gold card standard of honeys! I'll check out the Facebook page, thanks so much for sharing ( - :

Michelle & The Paw Pack! said...

I wrote about honey for dogs recently too, and briefly touched upon Manuka honey. Manuka honey is great! I wish it wasn't so expensive, though. Honey in general is pretty awesome. I give my Kitsune raw, local honey to help with his seasonal allergies.

Impurrfectlife said...

Oh my! I had no idea all the benefits of Manuka honey for dogs. I 'm definitely a fan of alternative healing and medicine as it's more in tune with nature and minimal side effects for both dogs and humans. I'm so sorry about Phoebe's complications. I was happy to learn the wound started to heal nicely with regards to the honey treatment. RIP Sweet Phoebe. Thanks for sharing your experience as I'm sure other dog moms and dads with benefit.

Tail Wag Wisdom said...

Very interesting! I haven't given Henry any Manuka Honey, but it's on my list of things to discuss with his vet at his check up in May. I did hear about Manuka Honey a while about. I think that was the first time I'd heard about it. However, honey gauze wraps were the only thing that healed my mom's wounds after months. I was shocked at how well it worked. I'm wondering if the honey was actually Manuka Honey? Really interesting read.

Beth said...

I'll have to look into Manuka honey for my dogs. I'm very glad that you included the recommended dosage for dogs of different sizes.

DawgBlogger said...

I haven't tried feeding Manuka honey to my dogs yet but I had great results with topical use for wound healing. I always keep some in my dog first aid kit.

LaylasWoof said...

Honey is so good for dogs especially Manuka Honey, I used to an American Dog Honey years a ago till they stopped producing it. I need to look into Manuka for Madam again

Anonymous said...

Manuka honey is made here in New Zealand. It is valuable and, at its best, expensive but its healing properties for animals and hmans is well known.

Anonymous said...

Can manuka honey be applied to warts on your dog

Dogs Luv Us and We Luv Them said...

Thanks for your question about using Manuka honey on dog warts. It is beneficial for cuts and other things, but I'm not sure it would help warts. Warts break out for several different reasons. I suggest you contact your dog's Veterinarian for guidance. Thanks for taking reading the article and for taking the time to post your question!

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