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Best Diabetic Dog Treats in 2021

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Weight: Pounds

So, your dog has recently been diagnosed with diabetes and your vet has recommended that they need to go onto a special diabetic dog food diet. But the thought of keeping your poor pooch on the same food for the rest of their life sounds terribly boring.

Not to fear, just because their new diet needs to be diabetes-friendly doesn’t mean it can’t be tasty, nutritious and appealing to your golden oldie!

There are many different types of dog treats which are suitable for dogs with diabetes.

But there are also a whole host of commercial dog treats which are NOT safe for diabetic dogs, and that it’s vital to read labels carefully.

About diabetic dog treats

Many manufacturers now produce dog food and dog treats specifically formulated for dogs with health problems, including diabetes.

However, not all of them will be suitable for your dog, so it’s still important to study the ingredients of any treat that you choose for your older dog if he has diabetes.

Every dog loves a yummy treat or two, so keep reading to find out how to help your diabetic golden oldie enjoy safe, tasty treats!

Diabetic Dog Treats – What to Look For

So, makes a good treat for a dog with diabetes?

For use on a daily basis, diabetic dog treats should contain:

  • No obvious sources of sugar
  • Complex grains/carbohydrates
  • Meat/meat products
  • High fiber content
  • Low fat content

Dogs with diabetes are deficient in insulin, a key hormone involved in regulating blood sugar levels. High sugar foods are an absolute no-no for diabetic dogs; sugar in the food is absorbed into the blood stream but there isn’t enough insulin to deal with it. This can lead to serious health consequences.

Treats therefore need to be low in sugar and only contain complex carbohydrates that are slowly absorbed into the blood stream, preventing a sugar spike. These carbs have a ‘low glycemic index’.

Treats that are hard/crunchy are also eaten and digested more slowly, therefore they don’t raise blood glucose as quickly as soft/moist treats may do.

All of this can be found in commercial dog treats if you know where to look. Always check the ingredients on the label.

Choose treats that are high in protein, low in starchy carbs and have no added sugars. Ideally protein content should be higher than carbohydrates. Plenty of fiber is also a bonus.

All of this can be found in commercial dog treats.

Natural, unprocessed foods such as vegetables or tofu make excellent treats for diabetic dogs as do freeze-dried meat-based treats.

You can also bake homemade diabetic dog treats using easy to find ingredients and simple recipes.


WATCH: 3 Important Tips To Care For an Old Dog [VET VIDEO]


Here are some of the diabetic dog treats that we recommend from Amazon (Keep scrolling for more information on how to pick the right treats for your old Fiddo, and for more recommendations).

Recommended Diabetic Dog Treats on Amazon:

Best Diabetic Dog Treats

Dog licking its lips

Let’s take a look at the best dog treats for dogs with diabetes, breaking them up into three categories:

  • Commercial Diabetic Dog Treats
  • Natural Diabetic Dog Treats
  • Homemade Diabetic Dog Treats

Natural Treats for Diabetic Dogs

This category of diabetic dog treats includes vegetables, some fruits, meat products and more.

The best vegetables for diabetic dogs are low-sugar and high-fiber veggies such as:

  • Alfalfa sprouts
  • Bell peppers (green or red)
  • Broccoli
  • Brussel Sprouts
  • Carrots
  • Cauliflower
  • Cucumber
  • Green beans
  • Lettuce
  • Parsley
  • Peas in the pod
  • Pumpkin
  • Acorn or Butternut Squash (needs to be cooked before feeding)
  • Turnip
  • Zucchini

Some fruits are acceptable as treats in small portions. These include:

  • Apples
  • Blueberries
  • Pears

Be careful to not overdo it on fruits as although they are natural, they can be very high in sugars. These make a good once-in-a-while special treat.

Animal products that can be used as treats need to be low fat and unprocessed.

Poultry should be skinned first before feeding as the skin contains unhealthy fats.

Avoid beef or pork as these contain too much fat for a diabetic dog.

  • Chicken
  • Turkey
  • Fish
  • Hard boiled eggs

Preparation of Natural Diabetic Dog Treats

Most  veggies can be given raw or cooked (with the exception of squash  which needs to be cooked first).

Pumpkin and turnip may be more enjoyable if lightly cooked but feeding them raw is also fine.

Some vegetables such as the peas in the pod, green beans and bell peppers (cut into strips) are especially enjoyed when frozen and crunchy.

Carrots and cauliflower as diabetic dog treats

Although dogs can eat raw meat, for the purpose of treats it’s better cooked or dehydrated. You can use a special food dehydrator, or an oven set at around 250 – 300F to dry meat/veggies.

Commercial Treats for Diabetic Dogs

There are a LOT of different diabetic dog treats on the market today which can make choosing very confusing.

Some are excellent, others not so much.

It pays to take the time to read labels and examine ingredients, that way you can be sure that the treats you’re spending your hard-earned money on are suitable, and safe, for your dog.

The last thing you want to do is accidently feed your dog a sugary treat and have to rush them to the vet when they become unwell.

Avoid treats which contain any obvious sugar including corn syrup, molasses, fructose, dextrose or maltose.

Treats which contain whole grains such as oats, barley, bran or brown rice are good choices as these carbs have a low glycemic index, meaning they are digested and absorbed slowly.

Brewer’s yeast has been shown to help regulate blood sugars in humans. Although it has not been specifically tested in dogs, Brewer’s Yeast is an ingredient which may be beneficial for dogs with diabetes.

Dog treats which are formulated to be low-carb may also work, depending on the ingredients – just ensure they have plenty of protein and aren’t overloaded with fat.

Jerky treats are a good choice but be sure to ONLY buy those which are made in the USA.

Recommended Diabetic Dog Treats on Amazon:

Here are some of the treats that I think are the best choice for dogs with diabetes:

Diabetic Dog Treat Recipes

There are many recipes available for making homemade diabetic dog treats.

Making the treats yourself allows you to control the type and quality of ingredients used, giving you full confidence in what your dog is eating. Plus, it’s generally much less expensive to make treats than it is to buy them.

The foods listed in the Natural Treats category above are suitable to be used in recipes, and it’s usually super-simple to create tasty treats that your diabetic dog will enjoy.

Here are a few recipes you might like to try:

Baby Food Diabetic Dog Treats

This recipe is about as simple as it gets with just two ingredients…. plus there’s an infinite variety of flavors you can make.

Ingredients:

* Choose from turkey or chicken for meat-based baby food, or any veggie or fruit, or combination, that is on the list under the Natural Treats category above).

Method:

  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees Farenheit
  • Mix flour and baby food together and add enough water to form a firm dough
  • Roll out dough on lightly floured surface until it’s approx. 1/4 inch thick
  • Cut into shapes with cookie cutter (a bone shaped cookie cutter is fun)
  • Bake for 20 – 30 minutes on greased cookie sheet/pan
  • To retain crispness store in paper bag

Liver Treats Suitable for Diabetic Dogs

These tasty treats take just three ingredients and 15 minutes to bake.

Ingredients:

Method:

  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees Faranheit
  • Prepare jelly roll pan by lining with parchment (10″ x 15″)
  • Cut liver into small pieces and put into food processor
  • Pulse liver in FP until finely chopped
  • Pour chopped liver into mixing bowl
  • Add flour and eggs to bowl
  • Stir well until mixture is smooth
  • Spoon mixture into pan and spread evenly
  • Bake for 15 minutes
  • Cool and cut into slices or squares

*These treats will not be crispy. They also need to be stored in the refrigerator.

Apple Cinammon Diabetic Dog Treats

This yummy dog treat recipe calls for four ingredients, a mixing bowl, and just over 20 minutes in the oven.

Ingredients:

  • I cup of Quick Cook Oatmeal
  • 1/2 cup of unsweetened apple sauce (or homemade)
  • 1 large egg (free-range and organic is best)
  • 1/4 tsp of Cinammon

Method:

  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees Faranheit
  • Lightly grease cookie tray with oil (Canola or Flaxseed oil is best)
  • In large bowl mix oatmeal and applesauce
  • Add egg and cinammon and mix well
  • Make ‘drop’ cookies by spooning mixture 1 tbsp at a time onto cookie sheet
  • Bake for approx. 20 – 25 minutes

*These treats will not be crispy.

Carrot and Oat Flour Dog Treats

Tasty, crunchy treats made with carrots, applesauce and a hint of parsley.

Ingredients:

Method:

  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees Faranheit
  • Line two cookie sheets with parchment
  • Put flax meal into cup or small bowl, dd 3 tbsp of water, stir and set aside for 5 mins
  • In mixing bowl combine oat flour, carrots, applesauce and parsley.
  • Add flax meal mixture and mix all ingredients until they form a wet dough
  • You can add a little more flour if necessary to make dough manageable
  • On floured surface roll dough out to a thickness of approx. 1/4″
  • Use cookie cutters to make fun shapes or cut dough into squares
  • Bake for approx. one hour or until cookies are hard baked/crunchy

Authors

  • Alex Crow is an RCVS accredited Veterinary surgeon with special interests in neurology and soft tissue surgery. Dr Crow is currently practicing at Buttercross Veterinary Center. He earned his degree in veterinary medicine from the Royal Veterinary College (one of the top 3 vet schools in the world). Outside of work Alex enjoys keeping fit, travelling and painting.

  • Dr. Winnie earned a Bachelor of Science in Psychology from Duke University, a Masters of Science in Biology from St Georges University, and graduated from the University of Pretoria Veterinary School in South Africa.She has been an animal lover and owner all her life, having owned a Rottweiler named Duke, a Pekingese named Athena and now a Bull Mastiff named George, also known as big G! She is a full-time Veterinarian in South Africa specializing in internal medicine for large breed dogs. Outside of work, she enjoys spending time with her husband, 2 kids and Big G.


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3 Comments

  1. You have to carefully count calories with your diabetic dog. Your vet will have recommended a total calorie intake for your dog, so you should be careful with some of these (packaged) treats, especially ones that don’t reveal the calories per treat. It’s best to stay with dry kibble and our dog loves pure pumpkin added to it. As treats he gets raw vegetables such as turnip, carrots, broccoli, cauliflower. Track the calories in these too. We also occasionally give 1/4 cup of blueberries or 1/4 of a diced apple mixed with a tablespoon of plain (no sugar added) yogurt. The total calories per day should not exceed your vet’s recommendation.

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