Table of Contents
- The Healing Properties of Honey
- The Magic of Manuka Honey
- Benefits of Manuka Honey for Dogs
- Grades of Manuka Honey
- Manuka Honey Dosing for Dogs
Manuka honey has gained significant attention for its natural healing properties, and many pet owners are interested in using it for their dogs. In this article, we will explore the various benefits of Manuka honey for dogs and how it can be used to promote their health and well-being.
The Healing Properties of Honey
Honey has been recognized for its medicinal powers for thousands of years. Recent scientific research has further revealed its healing potential, especially in the context of antibiotic-resistant superbugs. Raw, unpasteurized honey is known to possess antibacterial, antifungal, and antiviral properties. One of the reasons behind these properties is the presence of hydrogen peroxide, a potent antiseptic, in honey.
However, not all raw honey is created equal, and Manuka honey stands out for its exceptional healing abilities.
The Magic of Manuka Honey
Manuka honey, derived from the bees that pollinate the Manuka tree in New Zealand and Australia, offers unique healing benefits. The chemical components present in Manuka honey, such as methylglyoxal (MGO), dihydroxyacetone (DHA), and leptosperin, contribute to its longer-lasting antibiotic, antiviral, and antifungal effects. Unlike other types of honey that rely mainly on hydrogen peroxide for their healing properties, Manuka honey’s components are not used up as quickly during the healing process.
Lab tests have shown that Manuka honey can effectively treat approximately 60 species of bacteria, making it particularly valuable in the face of antibiotic-resistant infections. It has been successfully used to address medical challenges like MRSA (methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus), which is known for its resistance to conventional drugs.
Benefits of Manuka Honey for Dogs
Here are six benefits of using Manuka honey for dogs:
1. First Aid Wound Care
Manuka honey can be a valuable aid in treating minor wounds in dogs. After cleaning the wound, pure Manuka honey can be applied directly to the wound and covered with a clean bandage. For small cuts, a bandage may not be necessary, but it is important to prevent the dog from licking off the honey.
To enhance the healing properties of Manuka honey, it can be mixed with colostrum to create a wound paste. This combination not only reduces stickiness but also provides growth factors that stimulate wound healing.
2. Fight Skin Disease
Skin diseases, often resulting from allergies or immune-mediated issues, can be a common problem in dogs. Conventional treatments may come with negative side effects and fail to address the root cause. Manuka honey can offer relief by controlling inflammation and soothing itching. It can be applied topically as a spot treatment or given orally to support the body’s natural ability to restore healthy skin cells.
3. Prebiotic Support for Gut Health
Maintaining a healthy gut is crucial for overall health in dogs. Manuka honey acts as a natural prebiotic, supporting the growth and balance of beneficial bacteria in the gut. This, in turn, strengthens the dog’s immune system and promotes faster healing. Including Manuka honey in the dog’s meals can provide ongoing support for gut health.
4. Added Immune Support
By boosting the good bacteria in the gut, Manuka honey helps strengthen the dog’s immune system. It also possesses anti-viral properties, reducing the risk of viral or bacterial infections. This is particularly valuable in situations of stress, which can weaken the immune system. Giving Manuka honey orally before events like dog shows or traveling can provide immune support and reduce the risk of illnesses such as kennel cough.
5. Antioxidant Protection
Antioxidants play a crucial role in fighting disease and preventing cancer. Manuka honey contains flavonoids and phenolic acids that have significant antioxidant effects. These antioxidants help slow down the aging process, support the immune system, and repair the body’s cells to counter the effects of environmental toxins.
6. Support Oral Health
Maintaining good oral health is essential for dogs. Manuka honey can prevent gum disease by controlling oral bacteria. A study conducted at the University of Zurich found that Manuka honey effectively controlled several types of oral bacteria, especially when it had a grade of UMF16+ or higher. Regular use of Manuka honey can contribute to better oral health and fresher breath in dogs.
Grades of Manuka Honey
When choosing Manuka honey, it is important to consider its grade. The Unique Manuka Factor (UMF) grading system indicates the honey’s therapeutic benefits, with higher values indicating a higher content of Methylglyoxal (MGO). For healing purposes, it is recommended to use Manuka honey with a UMF of at least 10+.
Depending on the specific condition or infection being addressed, higher UMF grades may be necessary. Manuka honey is available in a range of UMF values, from 5+ to 28+. For infections like kennel cough, a UMF of 20+ or higher is recommended.
Manuka Honey Dosing for Dogs
When administering Manuka honey internally, it is important to start with a small dose and gradually increase it. The following dosing guidelines can be used as a starting point:
- Dogs under 20 lbs: 1/2 tsp twice a day
- Dogs weighing 20-60 lbs: 1 tsp twice a day
- Dogs weighing 60 lbs or more: 2 tsp twice a day
It is crucial to monitor the dog’s response to the honey and adjust the dosage accordingly. If the dog is diabetic or under a year old, it is not recommended to give them Manuka honey. Consult with a holistic vet if there are any concerns about the suitability of Manuka honey for the dog’s specific needs.
Manuka honey offers numerous benefits for dogs, ranging from wound care and skin disease treatment to immune support and oral health. Its unique chemical components make it a powerful natural healer, especially in the face of antibiotic-resistant infections. By choosing the right grade of Manuka honey and following appropriate dosing guidelines, pet owners can harness the healing powers of this golden cure for the well-being of their four-legged companions.