Does your dog have an injury? A cut, infection or wound? Have you considered honey?
Honey has great anti-bacterial and anti-microbial properties, but a lot of what we find on supermarket shelves is pasteurized, robbing the honey of all its nutritional qualities. So what’s a person to do?
Look no further than Manuka honey—the undisputed champion of honey.
What’s So Special About Manuka?
Manuka is native to New Zealand and parts of Australia. Bees, pollinating from the small white flowers of the Manuka tree, have created this superior honey that’s been shown to have the highest natural anti-bacterial activity of any honey.
There are even records of it being used as early as 2000 BC.
Like all honey, Manuka contains naturally occurring hydrogen peroxide. but unlike most conventional honey, Manuka also contains a high amount of methylglyoxal.
In a 2009, the Czech Journal of Food Sciences conducted a study on the anti-bacterial activity of Manuka honey. It found that the higher the methylglyoxal content – or the non-peroxide anti-bacterial activity – the more therapeutic the honey.
Here’s what it looks like being harvested:
How Can Manuka Honey Help Your Dog?
Many dog owners have long known about Manuka honey, applying it to wounds for quicker healing times. Manuka can be applied to cuts or burns, or to treat any kind of wound or infection.
Manuka honey is a natural:
Manuka can be used internally for conditions such as kennel cough, by alleviating many of your dog’s symptoms. Choose a UMF10+ or more or an MGO™100 (Bronze) or higher – I’ll talk about grades in a minute.
Manuka can also be used to treat allergies, digestive issues and stomach ulcers.
Start off slow and keep keep the amount small.
- 1/2 tsp, twice a day, for a small sized dog.
- 1 tsp, twice a day, for a medium sized dog
- 2 tsp, twice a day, for a large dog
Manuka, as with all honey, contains a high sugar content, so if your dog is diabetic or overweight, it’s best to consult your veterinarian before giving Manuka to your dog.
Manuka is not recommended for dogs under a year of age. Manuka may contain bacteria that your puppy isn’t ready to fight off. Adult dogs have no problems with it.
How Do You Know What To Buy?
This is where it gets a bit confusing for the consumer. There are two accepted ways to grade Manuka honey.
The first, and most common, is the Unique Manuka Factor or UMF. UMF ratings range from a 5+ all the way to a 28+. A UMF factor of 10+ or more is considered a therapeutic honey. UMF is calculated by non-peroxide activity level, or as the Journal of Agriculture and Food Chemistry puts it, “the ‘real’ anti-bacterial activity against Staphylococcus aureus … these authentications provide information on the anti-bacterial activity directly or indirectly at that moment of testing.”
UMF is a registered trademark that can only be licensed to suppliers meeting its strict criteria.
The less common grading system is MGO, or minimum methylglyoxal content. There are four grades of MGO Manuka honey, ranging from MGO™100 to MGO™550, that are considered therapeutic. If you happen to live in Canada, look for this system: MGO honey is rated by Bronze to Platinum. Anything Bronze or higher is considered therapeutic.