quick summary

Manuka honey is safe for dogs to eat and can offer a range of health benefits:

  • Treating and curing kennel cough
  • Treating ear infections
  • Treating other bacterial infections
  • Wound healing
  • Keeping your dog in general good health

Most dogs can eat manuka honey without issue, however, you need to ensure the dosing is correct.

Also, some dogs, such as diabetic dogs, overweight dogs, very young dogs, or immuno-compromised or allergic dogs shouldn't be fed honey without a vet's approval.

If you're a dog owner like us (we have four!) you understand that furry friends are like members of the family. 

Just like our kids, we want them to be as healthy as possible.

Manuka honey is one of the favourite foods in our kitchen and we eat it daily.

Of course, that means our dogs eat it daily too!

In this article, we'll explore some of the benefits of manuka honey for dogs, whether it's safe for them to eat, and how to feed it to them.

What is Manuka Honey?

Manuka honey is a type of honey that comes from the nectar of manuka flowers that we write about here on our blog. 

It's produced in New Zealand and Australia by bees that pollinate the flowers of the manuka tree.

This type of honey has a unique compound known as methylglyoxal, which gives manuka honey its famous antibacterial properties, and has been used for centuries as a natural remedy to promote healing.

What are the Benefits of Manuka Honey For Dogs?

Manuka honey has many benefits for humans - it can help with colds, flus, cuts, burns, wounds, skin infections, gut health, and killing bacteria and viruses.

Manuka honey also has anti-inflammatory qualities that can help reduce swelling and pain.

The great thing is, dogs react well to methylglyoxal too, so all of these benefits translate to dogs as well.

Is Manuka Honey Safe for Dogs?

While manuka honey is safe for humans and animals to consume, it's important to talk to your vet before giving it to your dog.

Some dogs may have allergies or other health conditions that could make manuka honey unsuitable.

Additionally, it helps to use certified manuka honey to ensure you are giving them real, authentic honey and not an imitation. Since there are a lot of fake manuka honey products around the world today, ensure you use UMF graded manuka honey from New Zealand.

How Can Manuka Honey Benefit Dogs?

Can Manuka Honey Help with Kennel Cough?

Kennel cough is a respiratory illness that affects dogs.

It's caused by a variety of viruses and bacteria and can be difficult to treat, usually from unclean shelters or kennels.

Manuka honey has strong anti-bacterial properties that are effective against coughs and sore throats in humans, and the same benefit translates to canines too.

Even if manuka honey does not cure kennel cough, it can help soothe your dog's throat and reduce coughing. 

Simply add a teaspoon of manuka honey to your dog's food or mix it with warm water and give it to your dog with a syringe.

Can Manuka Honey Help with Allergies in Dogs?

Allergies are a common problem for many dogs, causing itching, redness, and irritation.

While manuka honey won't cure allergies, and is not known to have any anti-histamine effects, it contains anti-inflammatory properties that can help reduce the swelling and itching associated with allergic reactions. 

Simply add a small amount of manuka honey to your dog's food or apply it directly to the affected skin for relief.

How Much Manuka Honey Can You Give to Your Dog?

While manuka honey can be beneficial for your dog's health, it's important not to overdo it.

Give your dog no more than half a teaspoon of manuka honey per day to avoid any potential digestive upset.

Monitor your dog for a week or so, and if it doesn't seem to upsetting their pooping cycle, you can up the dosage if you think it's necessary.

Can You Apply Manuka Honey on Dog Wounds?

Manuka honey can be used topically to treat skin infections and wounds, and is used to hospitals for wound treatment in humans.

Apply a small amount of manuka honey directly to the affected area and cover with a clean bandage.

The honey will provide a moist wound environment that can help speed up the healing process.

You can also just wash the wound with warm water mixed with honey, and leave it there without washing it all off.

The honey will help close the wound, and it's also antibacterial and will help stave off infection.

Using manuka honey to treat ear infections in dogs (Otitis Externa)

Approximately 20% to 30% of dogs have ear infections.

This is not surprising, considering all the mischief they get up to.

Of course, it's always best to go to a vet and get an ear infection checked, as it could be caused by a foreign object in the ear, a cut or graze, or something else.

However, using manuka honey both internally and externally has been shown to be effective in treating dog ear infections.

Is Raw Manuka Honey Safe for Dogs?

Yes, manuka honey is best eaten raw.

Raw manuka honey contains all the natural enzymes and nutrients that are beneficial for your dog's health. 

Which dogs shouldn't take manuka honey?

While honey is safe and nutritious for dogs in general, there are some exceptions.

Avoid feeding manuka honey to your dogs if they are:

  • Diabetic, because of the high sugar content.
  • Young puppies less than a year old, because their gut and immune system is still developing.
  • Dogs that are overweight, as the high sugar content can worsen weight problems.
  • Dogs that have allergies to bees or bee stings.

Talk to your vet to determine if manuka honey is safe and appropriate for your dog's health conditions.

How Does Manuka Honey Help in Promoting Gut Health in Dogs?

Manuka honey contains good bacteria that can help promote a healthy gut environment in dogs.

Adding a small amount of manuka honey to your dog's food can help improve digestion and reduce the risk of gastrointestinal problems.

Not to mention, it's deliciously sweet and nutritious - we'll sure your dog will love it!

dog running with ball

How To Feed Manuka Honey To Your Dog

There is nothing complicated about feeding manuka honey to dogs.

We often feed our dogs beef mince (ground beef) and we always mix in some honey to give it some sweetness and added nutrients.

The other thing you can do is drizzle it on their dog treats.

If you want to feed it to them in liquid form, you can add a little to their water (make sure it's warm) or add it to a syringe and feed it directly to their mouths.

Where To Buy Manuka Honey For Dogs?

We recommend buying your manuka honey from New Zealand Honey Co.

For dogs we would recommend the UMF 20 grade.

This is not their highest grade, so it's more affordable, but will still offer many health benefits to your dogs.

You can purchase it directly from their website by clicking here!

About the author 


I'm Erin, and my family has been raising bees for over two generations. We no longer raise bees on Manuka flowers, but it remains one of our favorites, and we eat it daily, among other honeys like Kamahi and Rata. Since Manuka has grown in popularity overseas in recent years, we thought we should educate people on the true benefits of Manuka and how to find quality Manuka honey. Haere mai to our site, written by us and designed by our brilliant computer whiz of a son, Byron. We hope you find it helpful!

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  1. Thanks for the info erin i love Manuka . It helps me in so many ways & my dog is a senior & its one of the few items that i rely on to give her relief from chronic cough from fiberious lungs & gerd you mentioned 2 ither items are these also similar to manuka helping w/ well-being & to promote health naturally? im not familiar w/ kamhai & Rata do they work the same . Any info is appreciated, again thanks.kathie

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