Our Baxter was incredibly handsome and a little drooly.
It was Christmas morning. Our four children had just unwrapped their gifts when my husband, Paul, and I came in with a basket covered in a festive cloth. Underneath was a 6-week-old Boxer pup, Baxter. The cloth was jumping, energetic, and alive with this beautiful, wriggling pup longing to escape. I’ll never forget the absolute jubilation on that merry morning and the years of joy that he brought our family.
As with all dogs, though, Baxter wound up in trouble sometimes and suffered from wounds, illnesses, and acute conditions. When this happened, we’d always use our favorite natural solution: Manuka honey.
Manuka honey isn’t just for humans — more and more dog owners are discovering the amazing ways manuka honey can help our four-legged friends; from gut health to oral hygiene and from cuts and scrapes to swimmer’s ear.
In this blog, I’ll discuss some of the main advantages of using Manuka honey with dogs and share some personal experiences, insights, and tips for getting the most out of this powerful, multi-purpose, all-natural solution.
Let’s start by looking at what makes Manuka honey so good for man’s best friend.
What makes manuka honey beneficial for dogs?
Two of the qualities that make manuka honey special are its antibacterial properties and viscosity. These attributes combine to make raw honey a powerful healing agent, and none of these properties are lost to the harsh processing that most regular honey undergoes.
It’s worth noting that not all honey is equal, and certainly not in the way it is treated after being collected. Testing has pointed out that plenty of the common store-bought varieties of honey have been denatured through processing, losing their healing properties.
Manuka honey’s superior antimicrobial activity is highly stable and maintained through minimal processing. This makes it an effective treatment for reducing inflammation and healing wounds in dogs, helping reduce reliance on antibiotics.
4 Ways To Use Manuka Honey With Your Dog
Here are four of the best ways you can use the healing power of manuka honey with your dog:
1. Care for Dog Wounds
Even when we care for them around the clock, dogs can run into trouble. Sometimes, this means picking up cuts, scratches, and even bites. Fortunately, when this happens, Manuka honey can be a great natural treatment to heal wounds.
Manuka honey has been proven to help alleviate dogs’ wounds in many ways, including:
- Clearing wound debris
- Sterilizing the wound
- Maintaining hydration
- Controlling inflammation
- Stimulating healing
My friend who owned veterinary clinics and is now retired recently told me, “We always used Manuka for healing wounds. It was our go-to for wounds that required weeks of bandaging from traumatic abrasions, and I use it at home on my dogs, too.”
As my veterinarian friend suggests, the best way to treat dogs’ wounds with Manuka is by dressing the area with honey and fresh wraps to help accelerate healing.
2. Natural Remedy for Swimmer’s Ear in Dogs
Another common problem I’ve experienced with dogs is otitis externa, also known as “swimmer’s ear.” This condition can be uncomfortable and painful for our furry friends but can be effectively treated with Manuka honey.
Research has found that Manuka honey leads to rapid clinical progress in treating swimmer's ear in dogs. The study found that when treated with Manuka honey, 70% of dogs with swimmer’s ear achieved a clinical cure between 7 and 14 days, and over 90% were better by day 21.
Our Baxter suffered from painful ears but we were always able to remedy it by simply dropping small amounts of Manuka honey into his ears and giving them a gentle rub to disperse the honey. It was very easy to do and effective and I highly recommend this treatment if your dog is facing similar struggles.
3. Treat Infections in Dogs
Infections, like wounds, can sometimes trouble our dogs despite our best efforts. The good news is that Manuka honey is also an effective way to treat tough-to-beat infections. Once again, the antibacterial activity is what makes this honey unique and especially useful in these cases.
Manuka honey has even been found to be effective against a wide range of strands of resistant bacteria, including E. coli, methicillin-resistant staph, salmonella, and more. To treat these infections, you can give Manuka to your dog orally for internal issues or dress topical infections with Manuka and bandages.
4. Natural Cough Remedies in Dogs
Manuka isn’t just a powerful remedy for external injuries — it’s also a great solution for “kennel cough” and other throat issues. The viscous nature of this honey means it coats and soothes the dog’s throat, while its antibacterial properties help tackle any infections.
Many people talk about the quick recovery they have found in feeding a spoonful of Manuka honey to their poorly pets, including one of our lovely customers who gave it to her Chihuahua after having 20 teeth out and contracting a nasty cough that the veterinarians couldn’t remedy.
This is a common story for many of our customers; turning to Manuka honey when nothing else has been able to help them.
What strength of Manuka honey is best for dogs?
There are different strengths of manuka honey, and this has an impact on how effective it is as a healing agent. We use Unique Manuka Factor (UMF) to grade the strength of manuka honey.
The higher the UMF, the stronger the beneficial properties of the honey. This rating factors into which honey we use for which situations. For example, for use on wounds, biochemist Peter Molan, who discovered the healing properties of manuka honey, recommended a minimum activity of UMF 10+ (MGO 263).
However, depending on the severity of your dog’s wound, I would recommend using a UMF 20+ (MGO 829) or above. The higher the UMF value, the higher the antibacterial activity and therefore better efficacy and quicker rate of healing.
Use Steens Manuka Honey for Dogs
Manuka honey can be incredibly useful when treating your dogs for all kinds of ailments and is at times more effective than traditional methods. It’s a powerful, proven, and all-natural treatment for both internal and external issues that our customers and veterinarians alike have touted the benefits of.
To start using Manuka honey to heal your dog today, explore Steens’ range of natural Manuka honey products that help promote health and wellbeing for both your furry friends and you. Your pooch deserves the best!