How to Give My Dog Honey for a Cough

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It's a heartbreaking sound: the persistent, honking cough coming from the dog you love. A dose of honey for coughing can soothe his throat and reduce his coughing, but it's important to chat with a veterinarian before introducing your dog to a new food. Some dogs, including diabetic and overweight dogs and puppies under a year old, should not be fed honey.

Soothe your dog's irritating cough with a dose of honey.

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Using honey for coughing

Though there's a lack of scientific research regarding the effectiveness of honey in treating canine problems, there's no shortage of anecdotal evidence arguing its value. For people, however, studies have shown that honey reduces the frequency of coughing. Just like how people use honey to soothe a sore throat, dogs can have honey to soothe a sore throat caused by coughing. Giving dogs honey for kennel cough or other coughing is a natural way to alleviate their throat pain.

If the cough is persistent or if it is paired with blood or an inability or refusal to eat, see your veterinarian immediately. Coughing can be a symptom of many medical conditions, so it's always best to get your canine checked out as soon as possible.

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Honey for collapsed trachea in dogs

A deep, dry, honking cough could be a sign of a collapsed trachea
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That deep, dry, honking cough that you keep hearing from your canine companion could be a sign of a collapsed trachea. Dogs with a collapsed trachea, or windpipe, have weakened cartilage along the trachea walls that starts to sag, causing them to have difficulty breathing air into their lungs. Middle-aged and senior dogs are most commonly affected as well as toy breeds, like Chihuahuas, Pomeranians, Shih Tzus, Yorkshire terriers, and toy poodles

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A collapsed trachea will need to be treated by a veterinarian with either medical treatment or surgery, but honey is a helpful home remedy to relieve some of your dog's honking cough. Use 1 teaspoon for every 20 pounds of a dog's weight. Honey can also be mixed with lemon juice.

How much honey to feed dogs

As with any food, ask your veterinarian about how much you should feed your dog. Every dog has different specific needs, and your veterinarian will have the best advice for your situation. If your dog has preexisting health conditions, like diabetes, definitely speak with your veterinarian before feeding her a sweet treat. Do not feed obese dogs honey. Never feed honey to puppies under 1 year of age, as their underdeveloped immune system may not be able to handle the spores found naturally in raw honey.

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How to give dogs honey

Never feed honey to puppies under 1 year of age.
Image Credit: Fly_dragonfly/iStock/GettyImages

If you and your veterinarian agree that honey is the smart choice for your canine companion, you're in luck. Honey is a really easy sweet to give to your dog — just always do it in moderation. Never give your dog hot honey; it should be room temperature. If it's too thick or hard to use, place the jar of honey in hot water to make it soften.

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If your beloved dog isn't a fan of being hand fed new foods or liquids, drizzling a teaspoon of honey directly onto his kibble at mealtime will make him eat it. Alternatively, you can mix 1 teaspoon of honey with a teaspoon of water or lemon juice. Give the mixture to your dog on a spoon for him to lick. You can also give the honey mixture to your dog using a medicine dropper until he has consumed it all or use your finger to apply it directly to the inside of his mouth.

Encourage your dog to lick the honey with words of encouragement, praise, and pets. Most of the time, you won't have problems getting dogs to eat (they love a good treat), but the soothing sound of your voice will ease reluctant eaters.

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