Do I need special diabetic dog treats for a diabetic dog?
Any owner of a diabetic dog knows that finding the perfect diabetic dog food for their canine friend can be difficult.
If your pup has been only recently diagnosed with the disease, putting together a good feeding routine can be even more overwhelming and stressful.
Luckily, there is a range of commercial diabetic dog treats and foods on the market. These contain ingredients that will give your dog the complete nutrition they need while keeping their diabetes symptoms at bay. But it’s always good to double-check the ingredients and ask your vet before changing your diabetic pup’s food.
So, you’ve figured out your dog’s food. Another disease that a dog can have is renal failure, make sure to give him the Best Low Phosphorus Dog Food.
Now, what about treats for diabetic dog? Giving tasty treats to your pup is an important part of bonding with them. Treats are an excellent training tool, especially for food-motivated dogs. Look at these dog training books for guidance. They may even be essential to help your diabetic pooch be comfortable with their insulin shots.
We’ve examined different options for diabetic dog treats and this narrowed it down to 7 of the best options. You’ll find detailed reviews on each below, as well as the pros and cons. If you know what you need, here are the quick links to products:
- PureBites Beef Liver Freeze-Dried Treats for Dogs
- PureBites Chicken Breast for Dogs
- ALL Natural Diabetic Treats, Vet Approved
- PureBites Lamb Freeze-Dried Treats for Dogs
- Diabetic Dog Treats All Natural 2 Calorie TINY – Vet Approved
- Ella’s Diabetic Dog Treats New Triple Pack
- Nutralin – Exclusively for Supplemental Feeding of Diabetic Dogs’ (Variety, Chewable)
As humans, we think of sugar-filled sweets and ice cream when we think of treats. Of course, this wouldn’t do for your pup and so much sugar would make them ill. So, can you feed your diabetic dog treats?
The short answer is “Yes, but…”.
What Is Diabetes, Exactly?
Just like in humans, diabetes is a relatively common disease among canines. Dogs typically suffer from diabetes mellitus, also known as ‘sweet diabetes’. This name refers to the elevated blood sugar levels seen in animals with the disease. Pups that are diagnosed with diabetes mellitus cannot properly use the sugar they eat because of issues with their metabolism.
Firstly, you should understand what exactly insulin does in your dog’s body. Insulin pulls sugar from your dog’s blood and brings it to the cells that need it for energy. This includes muscles, organs, and nerves. There are two forms of diabetes, insulin deficiency and insulin resistance.
Let’s have a look at the first type. Insulin deficiency diabetes happens when your canine cannot make enough insulin because their pancreas isn’t working correctly. As a result, the sugar in their blood isn’t fully converted into energy. Insulin deficiency diabetes is usually treated with daily insulin injections.
The second form, insulin resistance, occurs when your dog produces insulin but his or her body doesn’t use it correctly. This type is especially common in older and obese dogs.
But the result is the same. Sugar molecules build up in your dog’s blood and aren’t sent to the parts of the body that need it. High blood sugar levels put pressure on the kidneys as they try to filter the sugar from the blood. This can eventually lead to kidney failure.
Symptoms and Long-Term Effects
Owners usually spot that something is wrong with their dog in the early stages of the disease. Obvious symptoms include increased thirst, excessive urination, weight loss, and increased appetite as the dog tries to make up for lost energy. Your vet can quickly and easily check for diabetes with a blood test.
When it’s left untreated, diabetes will eventually lead to long-term conditions. These range from cataracts and organ damage to seizures and recurring infections.
I know, that all sounds very scary. But if your pup has recently been diagnosed with diabetes, there’s nothing to fear! With the correct feeding schedule, diabetic dog food, and regular exercise, your diabetic dog can live a long and happy life. The best thing you can do is to have a long chat with your vet about putting together a routine that will work for both you and your best canine friend.
What Foods Should My Diabetic Dog Avoid?
First and foremost, you should carefully choose the carbohydrate sources your diabetic pup is fed. Carbs fit into three categories based on their glycemic index (GI); high, mid, and low. Simply put, a carbohydrate’s GI rating indicates how it affects blood sugar levels. So, dog treats for diabetic dogs have to be a bit different.
High GI carbs cause a large spike in blood sugar levels and should be avoided for diabetic dogs. On the other hand, low GI carbs will raise your pup’s blood sugar by a healthy amount. As an added bonus, low GI foods release energy slowly so your canine won’t get very hyper after eating or run out of steam too quickly.
Sugars and Refined Carbs Are Out!
Sugars are the most notorious high GI carbs and should be avoided at all costs. If you’re the owner of a diabetic dog, it is recommended to double-check all of your pup’s food and treats for sources of sugar. Watch out for ingredients like syrup, molasses, fructose, dextrose, and maltose.
Another source of high GI carbs are refined grains, such as white flour, de-germed cornmeal, and white rice. These grains are often included in food for healthy dogs. White rice is even highly recommended for pups with sensitive digestive systems. However, refined grains could cause a dangerous spike in blood sugar levels for your diabetic dog and should be cut out of their diet.
Diabetes-Safe Doggy Treats
So, what do best treats for diabetic dogs look like? To make a long story short, low-carb, high-fiber, and pure protein ingredients are the way to go.
As we’ve seen, avoid sugars and certain carbs. Instead, your dog should get their carbohydrate needs from low GI, whole grain sources. These include brown rice, oatmeal, and barley. Whole grains are also an excellent source of fiber, fulfilling the recommended criteria for the perfect diabetic dog diet.
You could even already have the ingredients needed for a simple diabetic dog treat in your cupboard! Certain vegetables including carrots, snap peas, and canned pumpkin make a tasty, diabetes-safe treat on their own. Leaving the skin on any vegetables you feed will also give your dog an extra fiber boost. Although, not every pup will be so keen to eat their vegetables and might need to be tempted by a little meat!
7 Commercial Diabetic Dog Treats
If making your own diabetic doggie treats sounds too overwhelming, we’ve got you covered! There are plenty of tasty, diabetes-friendly treats you can buy. Check out the list below of the top 7 diabetic dog treats on Amazon:
Rating: 4.7/5 from 1682 customer reviews.
First up, we have the PureBites beef liver freeze-dried treats for diabetic dog. Just like the first homemade recipe for diabetic dog treats on our list, these treats have one simple ingredient; beef liver. The beef liver is freeze-dried raw to lock in the taste, smell, and the many nutrients contained within.
This yummy treat is suitable for all dogs, including your diabetic pup! They can also be safely fed to dogs with other health problems such as digestive issues and obesity.
Buyers love these treats! Reviews praise PureBites for leaving out any extra, ‘filler’ ingredients. This puts the owners of diabetic dogs at ease, knowing they won’t accidentally make their pup sick. These treats can also be easily broken up into smaller pieces for smaller dogs and they will last a long time on the shelf!
Some reviewers were disappointed with how the treats crumble and break apart in the box. This left only a fine powder at the bottom of the bag. Other buyers recommend sprinkling the crumbled treats over your dog’s food for an extra tasty meal.
A couple of buyers warned that the treat bags contain small humidity packs. These packs are there to keep the treats dry and to stop them from rotting. However, you should be careful not to accidentally feed one to your pup, as they could make him or her ill. You can still safely buy these treats as long as you keep an eye out when giving your dog a piece.
Rating: 4.6/5 from 322 customer reviews.
Next up, we have another product from PureBites. This time, let’s look at the lamb liver jerky. Just like the last product, these are made from one, simple ingredient; freeze-dried lamb liver from New Zealand. This makes them appropriate for dogs of all shapes and sizes, including diabetic pups.
The pros and cons of these treats are almost identical to the PureBites beef liver treats. Buyers feel that they can safely feed these treats to their diabetic pups. They sometimes break up and crumble in transit and you should keep an eye out for the humidity packs when giving your dog a treat from this bag.
Although this product is very similar to the first, there are several reasons you may want to choose a lamb-based treat over beef. Lamb is unlikely to cause an allergic reaction in dogs with food sensitivities and is also gentle on the tummy for pups with digestive issues. If your dog has a lot of health issues or suffers from chronic diarrhea, the PureBites lamb liver treats could be the right choice for you!
Lamb is also extremely tasty for your dog and many reviewers claim that even super fussy eaters gobble down these treats easily. This product is freeze-dried to lock in all the tasty goodness of the meat. Some owners might find the strong smell of lamb unpleasant, but that’s one of the reasons why dogs love it so much!
Rating: 4.6/5 from 129 customer reviews.
The diabetic tiny treats by Old Dog Cookie Co. could be the answer to all your dog treat needs. With only 2 calories per treat and a whopping 225+ treats per bag, these are ideal for training. You can feed several of them in a training session without worrying about giving your dog too many. They are a great treat for overweight dogs and are suitable for pups with diabetes and other health issues.
Buyers love these treats for training purposes and their dogs seem to love them too! The extra small, bite-sized pieces are ideal for even the smallest of dogs. They also won’t hurt your pup’s teeth if they have dental issues.
These tiny treats are made from all-natural ingredients, many of which are excellent sources of vitamins and minerals. There’s no source of meat in the ingredient list, which might put certain dogs off eating them. But customers who have bought this product don’t seem to run into this issue.
The ingredient list is simple, with high-fiber whole grains and fruits featuring front and center. All of the ingredients are suitable for pups with diabetes. But, as with all treats, these should be fed in moderation as the sugar from the apple could raise your dog’s blood sugar. In addition, you should avoid these treats if your canine is allergic to wheat.
Rating: 4.5/5 from 17 customer reviews.
The next product, Ella’s diabetic dog treats, doesn’t have many ratings on Amazon. But the people who have bought this product are very impressed! Right off the bat, these treats come in three tasty flavors; sweet potato, chicken, and pumpkin. This will help you find the perfect treat for your pup.
These treats are made from all-natural ingredients and will provide your canine friend with plenty of vitamins and minerals. They are also suitable for diabetic dogs, as they don’t contain any ingredients known to raise blood sugar levels. However, the full ingredient list isn’t shown on the Amazon page, so we would recommend double-checking before feeding these treats to your diabetic pup.
Buyers recommend these treats for their natural, organic ingredients that are suitable for diabetic pups. They are also more affordable than other diabetes-friendly treat options. This will surely be a relief for any owner of a diabetic dog, as food and treats for such pups can be very expensive!
The only concern that some pet owners had was that the treats are unsuitable for smaller dogs. The pieces are big and are difficult to break up. So, if you have a small dog or one with sensitive teeth, you might want to give this product a miss.
Rating: 4.4/5 from 16 customer reviews.
Vintek Nutrition claims to actively improve your diabetic dog’s blood sugar levels with these food supplement treats. This product contains a well-researched blend of ingredients that will support healthy eyes, liver, and blood sugar in diabetic dogs.
The product is designed to be given twice daily alongside your dog’s insulin injection. The treats are appropriate for all dogs, young and old. They are packaged as soft, chewy bites that are suitable for elderly dogs and canines with sore teeth.
Customers praise these treats and back up the company’s claims. Several pup owners have said that these supplements have given their older diabetic dogs a new lease of life. From increased energy to improved skin, the benefits are overwhelming and could help your diabetic dog live a long and happy life.
Some buyers have reported that their dogs refuse to eat these treats. But this issue could be solved by dipping the treats into a meat broth before feeding.
These treats seem to be the perfect food supplement for a diabetic dog. However, you must be careful to stick to the recommended dose of two treats per day. The treats contain glycerin, a carbohydrate that is okay in small doses. But it could actually raise your pup’s blood sugar if they eat too much.
Rating: 4.3/5 from 304 customer reviews.
The next product on our list is by the same company that sells the low-calorie diabetic dog treats we showed you earlier; the Old Dog Cookie Company. This time, let’s have a look at their original, all-natural diabetic treats. Once again, these treats are made from organic whole grains and fruits only, containing no meat sources.
The benefits of these treats are similar to the low-calorie version, with a good range of vitamins and minerals on offer from all-natural sources. Some dogs will appreciate the larger biscuit size of these treats. But you should be careful not to feed too many, as this could cause your pup to gain weight.
Buyers also love these original treats, claiming that their dogs gobble them down with no problems. If your pup finds the pieces too big to chew, these treats are also easy to break up.
Some customers were disappointed that their dogs didn’t like these treats. Just like the low-calorie version, this is probably because there is no meat in the ingredients list. One buyer recommends mixing the treats with chicken or beef before feeding to make them more appealing.
Rating: 4.3/5 from 1927 customer reviews.
For our next product, we are going right back to where we started with another single-ingredient recipe by PureBites. Just like their previous treats, this product is made from raw, freeze-dried chicken breast. As always, these PureBites treats are suitable for dogs with a variety of health issues, including diabetes.
Buyers love this product just as much as the other PureBites treats. They can be easily broken up into small pieces for tiny breeds and dogs with sore teeth. This also makes them a great training treat! They sometimes crumble in the bag, but this can be added to your dog’s regular food as a tasty seasoning.
The quality of the treats is consistent and they are gentle on even the most sensitive tummies. Reviewers report that their pups munch down this product with ease. These treats are even loved by cats!
A big benefit of choosing chicken over the beef and lamb liver flavors is the smell. Lamb and beef can have a very strong, unpleasant stench while chicken generally doesn’t smell as bad. So, if you’re sensitive to stinky dog foods, these treats could be the right choice for you.
Just like the other PureBites products, keep a watchful eye out for the humidity packs when you’re giving your pup a treat.
Homemade Diabetic Dog Treats
Making your own doggie treats is a fun and rewarding experience. Maybe your pup turns their nose up at the treats from the pet shop or perhaps you want to be more aware of what exactly goes into your best furry friends’ diet. If this sounds familiar, cooking up your own diabetic dog treats recipes could be for you!
At first, it may seem daunting to make the perfect homemade treat for your diabetic pup. You could be nervous that you will accidentally add an ingredient that will make them sick. Well, preparing a tasty treat for a dog with diabetes is much easier than you think! We will even give you a few recipes to get started with homemade diabetic dog treats.
Recipes for Diabetic Dog Treats
This first recipe by Joanne from The Salty Pot uses just one simple ingredient; fresh, raw beef liver. That may sound gross, but liver is actually an excellent source of vitamins and minerals for your pup. The liver is baked in the oven and then allowed to dry out for several hours. You can feed these tasty meaty treats 3-4 times per week and they can be stored in the freezer for up to a month.
If you like the idea of giving your pup a healthy serving of beef liver as a treat but would prefer to feed them as a biscuit, this next recipe is for you! You can quickly cook up 80 treats for your diabetic pup by following Barb Maxwell’s simple recipe. Again, the ingredients are simple. All you need is beef liver, wholemeal flour (high in fiber!), 2 eggs, and, of course, an oven. If you want to get creative, maybe try cutting these treats into shapes like hearts or bones.
But what about a treat for special occasions, birthdays and adoption anniversaries? Biscuits and dried meats are fine, but sometimes your pup deserves something a little more unique. If that sounds interesting, you should check out this recipe for a delicious grain-free peanut butter and apple doggy cake. Just like before, the ingredients are super easy to get your hands on and make a tasty treat for your pup’s special day.