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This blog post was originally published in April 2018, it has been updated with current information.
Do you have a dog that gets mildly itchy during the spring and fall or after a walk or play session in the grass? It may be due to environmental allergies. If the allergies are mild, then you may be able to treat them naturally by boosting your dog's gut health and adding local raw honey or bee pollen to the diet.
I’ve had terrible hay fever most of my life. Three things helped me.
- We chopped down the dead and dying trees on our property (Alder and Cottonwood are my kryptonite), replacing them with various fir trees.
- I started putting local raw honey into my tea each day, which allowed me to decrease the amount of medication I took.
I never thought of dogs having allergies until I became a pet blogger and learned about environmental and food allergies in dogs: proteins, grains, soy, dairy, and grass – to name a few.
When someone recommended bee pollen for my allergies, I immediately thought of Rodrigo’s itchy paws. Would bee pollen help?
What are Allergies in Dogs?
When I was new to pet parenting, I often confused allergies with a sensitivity or an intolerance, using the words interchangeably when they actually do have different meanings. I’ve since learned that with allergies, the immune system reacts. With a sensitivity or an intolerance, the digestive system reacts.
Rodrigo has both environmental allergies and food sensitivities. During the spring and fall months, he licks his paws more and I notice that he scratches his skin more (and it’s not due to fleas). And when he eats chicken, beef, or turkey, he gets gas, loose stool, and diarrhea.
See the difference?
In this post, I’m going to be sharing my experience with treating environmental allergies and my dogs.
Boosting the Immune System
Since it’s the immune system reacting to environmental allergies, I have found it beneficial to add foods to my dogs diet that support a healthy immune system. For Rodrigo, it started with transitioning him from dry dog food to a diet of fresh food; in his case, a raw food diet. And I also add the following whole foods to his diet which add vital nutrients and support a healthy immune system.
Benefits of Bee Pollen for Dogs
When I did my Google search, I was blown away by the list of benefits of bee pollen. It’s not just for allergy relief.
- Boosts healing.
- Boosts the digestive system.
- Corrects the deficiencies in a dog’s diet.
- Helps a dog maintain a healthy weight.
- Helps to heal skin conditions.
- Increases energy and vitality.
- It’s said to aid in the prevention of cancer.
- Relieves aches and pain.
Where to Buy Organic Bee Pollen
Finding local bee pollen isn't easy, at first. The industry is growing and I've noticed that a lot of people are raising bees in my community, including a few friends, and I purchase honey from them (that has bee pollen in it).
You can order bee pollen online, but I'm always nervous because I don't know if the quality is high and I've always been told that we have to eat local bee pollen and raw honey, so is the bee pollen sold online going to work?
There are pet brands, like Wholistic Pet Organics, that sell bee pollen on Amazon, but I prefer to buy it locally to make sure that we're getting all of the benefits.
How Much Bee Pollen to Give to Dogs
When it comes to bee pollen, I took the below dosages from a package of Bee Power that I purchased from Wholistic Pet Organics, which comes with a 1 teaspoon scoop. When I used Bee Power, each of my dogs got 2 teaspoons 5 days a week split between two meals.
The Bee Power package suggests the following dosage for dogs:
- Dogs 2-30 lbs…………………1 teaspoon
- Dogs 31-60 lbs……….1 1/2 teaspoons
- Dogs 61 lbs and over……2 teaspoons
Benefits of Raw Honey for Dogs
- Honey is a natural energy booster
- Honey aids in digestion
- Honey offers allergy relief
- Honey reduces symptoms of kennel cough
- Prevents infections from viruses
- Prevents ear infections
- Offers beneficial antioxidants
Raw honey is NOT recommended for puppies because it’s raw and unfiltered and a puppy’s immune system isn’t fully developed, there could be a conflict. To be on the safe side, DO NOT feed raw honey to puppies.
Shout out to my friend, dog mom to D'Art and Teddy, who gave me a jar of raw honey that she harvested for my birthday back in 2015. I loved it and added it to my tea as well and saw a drastic decrease in hay fever symptoms.
Don't Have Local Raw Honey? Look for K9 Honey
K9 Honey is the first raw and unfiltered honey that is made for dogs, supporting their overall wellness. I was skeptical about this product because I've always been told that we need LOCAL raw honey, however, K9 Honey blends bee pollen from nine regions across the country, covering seasonal allergies for dogs no matter where they live.
I tasted K9 Honey and it was delicious – like, really really good – so I ordered a container and used it as a treat topper on my dogs' meals, sneaking a taste here and there.
You can order K9 Honey for your dog on Amazon.com.
How Much Honey Do You Give Dogs
My dogs weigh between 50-75 pounds and I don't exceed 1-tablespoon of honey several days a week during their peak allergy months (March-May, September-November).
Smaller dogs do well on 1 teaspoon per day.
Learn More About Bee Pollen and Honey
- Bee Pollen Benefits and Side Effects
- How Nutritious Is Bee Pollen Exactly?
- Top 11 Health Benefits of Bee Pollen
- 10 Surprising Health Benefits of Honey
- The Top 6 Raw Honey Benefits
- The proven health benefits of honey by CNN