Diabetic Dog Treats: What Can I Feed My Diabetic Dog?

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When feeding your diabetic dog, you might wonder whether or not they can have treats. Luckily, diabetic dogs can have treats, but pet parents must find the right treats for their health needs. Since diabetic dogs can’t enjoy as many or the same kinds of treats as other dogs, pet parents will have to do a little more research to ensure they’re feeding their dogs well while managing their health. 

As you already know, what you feed your dog can affect their health and make their diabetes more difficult to manage. Therefore, you must find treats that can support their overall well-being while managing their weight and other symptoms of the disease. Luckily, you can still use treats for obedience training and rewarding your dog, but you’ll need to pay closer attention to their diet and nutrition

Diabetic dog treats are formulated for dogs with diabetes to ensure they have stable blood sugar levels. They also contain ingredients to ensure your dog feels their best and can enjoy their life to the fullest. If your pet has diabetes, you might wonder what to look for when shopping for diabetic dog treats. This article will discuss treats for diabetic dogs, including ingredients to look for and those to avoid. 

What Is Diabetes?

Dog diabetes is a chronic condition that impacts animals of all kinds, including humans, cats, and dogs. This disease can’t be cured, but it can be managed. Most dogs have diabetes mellitus, also known as sugar diabetes, which comes from an unhealthy diet and is linked to obesity. Ultimately, dogs with diabetes may have insulin deficiency or insulin resistance. Dogs with insulin-deficiency diabetes can’t produce enough insulin because the pancreas isn’t working properly. This is the most common type of diabetes in dogs and requires daily shots to replace insulin. Meanwhile, insulin-resistant diabetes occurs when the pancreas doesn’t produce enough insulin or the dog’s body doesn’t use that insulin properly. This type of diabetes typically occurs in obese or senior dogs.1

Many different dogs are at risk for diabetes based on many factors, including:

  • Age
  • Sex
  • Obesity
  • Medications
  • Other health conditions
  • Genetics

Diabetes can lead to other serious health complications, including UTIs, seizures, and kidney failure.1 Once a vet diagnoses your dog with diabetes through blood sugar testing, they’ll start to come up with a treatment plan consisting of proper nutrition, exercise, and injections.1 

Can Diabetic Dogs Have Treats?

When managing your dog’s diabetes, you might wonder whether or not they can have treats. Dogs with diabetes are on strict diets, but they can still have treats since they’re important for training and can help keep your dog’s spirits up while rewarding them for good behavior. But, of course, treats for diabetic dogs should be limited because they can contribute to further weight gain. Additionally, talk to your vet before giving your diabetic dog treats to ensure they won’t cause problems or affect their diabetes management plan. 

What’s The Difference Between Regular And Diabetic Dog Treats?

Treats for diabetic dogs differ from regular dog treats because they’re made from ingredients to support diabetic health needs. These treats regulate blood sugar, limit carbohydrates, and don’t contain unnecessary added fats or sugars. Diabetic dog treats typically have lower carbs and higher fiber and protein. Since fiber is digested slowly, diabetic dog treats regulate blood sugar by preventing carbs from rushing through their system. 

Treats for dogs with diabetes are typically high in protein and fiber and low in sugar and calories to prevent unnecessary weight gain. But, of course, non-diabetic dogs can eat these same treats because they’re a healthy option for all dogs, helping you prevent obesity and potential diabetes in the future. 

Ingredients To Avoid In Treats For Diabetic Dogs

Diabetic dogs require a strict diet to manage their blood sugar levels. Therefore, you should always avoid giving them any treats that contain sugars or sweeteners that can boost blood sugar. In addition, foods with a high glycemic index, such as bread and white rice, should also be avoided. 

Ingredients to avoid in treats for diabetic dogs

Additionally, diabetic dogs should avoid treats made from fatty foods like ground beef and pork because the pancreas might be unable to break down these fats. Any treats containing animal by-products typically contain fatty meat and skin, so always read the ingredients label on dog treats to ensure they’ll be safe for your diabetic dog. Look for low-fat treats that will support the pancreas instead of high-fat foods made from fillers. 

Ingredients To Look For In Diabetic Dog Treats

You can look for dog treats that are labeled as diabetic friendly or those specifically developed for dogs with diabetes. These products typically contain no added sugars and a wide selection of ingredients that can help your dog manage their diabetes while still allowing you to give them treats. 

Treats for dogs with diabetes should have tons of protein and fiber and low or no carbs and starches. You can determine how much of each ingredient is in the treats by looking at where they’re listed on the label. Ingredients at the top of the list are the most prevalent in treats. Therefore, you’ll want to see treats with protein ingredients like chicken, fish, or other lean proteins. Fibers should also be towards the top of the list. These treats should also have no added sugars.

Ingredients to look for in diabetic dog treats

If you’re unsure what’s best for your dog, always look for foods labeled as “low glycemic” or “for diabetic dogs” on the packaging. You can also ask your vet what types of treats are best for your dog based on their specific management plan. Then, depending on your dog’s needs, your vet may prescribe treats with a specialized formula to help them manage their diabetes. 

What Are The Best Diabetic Dog Treats?

The best diabetic dog treats contain high protein and fiber, healthy fats, and low carbs. If you’re worried about what to feed your diabetic dog as a treat, you can make your own treats or use safe vegetables around the house to treat your dog to a healthy snack or use them as rewards for training. 

Healthy vegetables you can feed your diabetic dog include:

  • Carrots
  • Green beans
  • Cucumbers

Of course, if your dog is on a calorie-restricted diet, you’ll need to count their calories to ensure they’re not overeating. Ultimately, the more treats you give them, the less dog food they should have. Before you give your diabetic dog any new treats, consult your vet, who can tell you whether or not those treats are safe for your dog and how much they can have on a daily basis. 

Depending on the types of treats and what you’re using them for, your vet may have to adjust your dog’s diabetes management program. For example, if you’re working on obedience training, you’ll have to repeatedly give your dog small treats to reward them, and your vet will have to take that into account to help you understand just how much you can feed your dog. 

If you’re working on training your dog, you can also opt for non-food rewards like dog toys, praise, and affection. However, most dogs are food motivated, so you may have to use treats every now and then when teaching your dog a difficult new behavior. 

Diabetic Dog Treats: Frequently Asked Questions

What treats can I give my diabetic dog?

Many treats are safe for diabetic dogs, but you should always look for those labeled as such to ensure they’re healthy for your dog and won’t cause secondary problems. Additionally, you should talk to your vet about prescription dog treats to ensure your dog is getting a special formula that can help manage their diabetes. Finally, avoid any treats with sugars and starches that can cause a spike in your dog’s blood sugar. Instead, try giving your dog healthy treats like non-fatty meats, carrots, canned pumpkin, and green beans. 

Is peanut butter good for diabetic dogs?

High-quality peanut butter without added sugar is safe for diabetic dogs in moderation. However, peanut butter is relatively high in calories, so your vet may advise against it, depending on your dog’s specific needs. If you plan to give your diabetic dog peanut butter in moderation, look for brands formulated for dogs that only contain a single ingredient of peanuts. 

What should diabetic dogs avoid?

Diabetic dogs should avoid table scraps because they can contain sugar and fats that affect their blood sugar levels. They should also not eat corn or white rice. Instead, feed your dog their diabetic diet and nothing else to ensure they’re getting the nutrition they need to manage their illness. 

Owner feeding dog a cucumber

Final Notes

Diabetic dogs require special diets to provide them with the proper nutrition to manage their blood sugar levels. Feeding your dog anything other than their regular vet-approved diet could be dangerous to their health and wellness. When looking for treats for diabetic dogs, always look for high protein, low carbs, and no added sugar, or give your dog healthy vegetables at home. 

Taking care of your diabetic dog comes with responsibilities to manage their blood sugar levels. Dutch can help you understand nutrition to ensure your dog is getting the quality food they need to live a long, happy life. Talk to a vet online today for advice on how to treat your diabetic dog. 

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References

  1. Staff, AKC. “Diabetes in Dogs: Symptoms, Causes, Diagnosis, & Treatment.” American Kennel Club, American Kennel Club, 11 Apr. 2022, https://www.akc.org/expert-advice/health/diabetes-in-dogs/.

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