Last Updated on January 21, 2023
Managing your diabetic dog’s health can be challenging, and what you feed your dog has a significant part to play in their illness.
But every dog owner wants to be able to reward his pooch when he’s been a good boy.
So what are some of the best treats for diabetic dogs? Let’s take a closer look at some of our favorites, unpacking their pros and cons.
Top 3 Picks for Best Treats for Diabetic Dogs
|Treats for Diabetic Dogs||Our Rating|
|Best Overall Treats for Diabetic Dogs||Canine Cravers Single Ingredient Dog Treats (Premium Beef Fillets)
|Best Budget Treats for Diabetic Dogs||Savory Prime Cod Skin Crunchy Bites Dog Treats
|Best Premium Treats for Diabetic Dogs||Darford Zero/G Roasted Duck Dog Treats
Best Treats for Dogs with Diabetes
If you have a diabetic dog, you need to ensure that your dog’s diet acts to stabilize his sugars and keep your pet healthy.
You can’t only look at your pet’s daily kibble; you also need to consider what treats you feed your diabetic pet.
Here are some specialized dog treats designed specifically with diabetic pets in mind:
1. Old Dog Cookie Co. All Natural Diabetic Dog Treats
Our rating: 4.5
Top Ingredients: Stone ground whole wheat flour, rolled oats, apples
Made from all-natural, organic, herbal-based ingredients, such as alfalfa, squash, dandelion, and kelp, these low-fat All Natural Diabetic Dog Treats are designed to help manage blood sugar levels.
- These healthy dog treats are available in a range of sizes to suit different dog breeds
- These treats contain no additives, chemicals, dyes, or other by-products
- Vet approved
- These treats come at a premium price
2. Ella’s Dog Treats
Our rating: 4.5
Top Ingredients: Organic rolled oats, organic pumpkin puree, organic chia seeds
These all organic Ella’s Diabetic Dog Treats are made from just three ingredients that are low on the glycemic index.
They are designed not to spike your dog’s blood sugar levels while also helping to control weight and provide a dose of deliciousness for picky pets.
- These treats are additive and preservative-free
- They offer 2-3 calories per treat
- This product is handmade in Denver, Colorado, in the United States
- Unfortunately, the 1-inch by 1-inch size of these treats can be a bit small for large breed dogs
3. Purebites Chicken Breast For Dogs
Our rating: 4
Top Ingredients: 100% Pure USA Sourced and Made Human-Grade Chicken Breast
These Purebites Chicken Breast Dog Treats are made from only one ingredient, that being human-grade chicken breast sourced in the USA. The chicken breast is then freeze-dried into bite-sized chunks.
The freeze-drying process locks in the flavor, aroma, nutrients, and texture, making them a delicious option for picky pets.
- Made only from meat, these treats are a great source of protein for your pet
- They are low in calories, offering just three calories per treat
- As they are made from just one ingredient, they are ideal for dogs with allergies, on a restricted diet, or suffering from gastrointestinal issues
- Some pet owners complained of the quality of these treats, saying there were large chunks of fat and that they had a funny smell
4. Canine Cravers Single Ingredient Dog Treats (Premium Beef Fillets)
Our rating: 5
Top Ingredients: Beef Lung
This Canine Cravers Single-Ingredient Dog Treat is made from high-quality protein. The protein has been air-dried to retain the maximum amount of nutrients.
They provide your pet with a healthy, nutritious snack that can be used as a treat or a tasty topper on their kibble.
- These treats are also available in other flavors with protein sources from farm-fresh chicken, crispy cod skins, and pork
- As these treats are made from just one ingredient, they are grain-free, soy-free, gluten-free, and contain no preservatives, additives, or by-products
- The beef included in this product has been harvested exclusively in the USA and Canada
- For dogs that don’t like beef or are allergic to it, these treats won’t be suitable
5. Darford Zero/G Roasted Duck Dog Treats
Our rating: 5
Top Ingredients: Duck, Dried Sweet Potatoes, Yellow Peas
These delicious Darford – Zero/G Roasted Dog Treats are made from roast duck and a range of low glycemic superfoods such as sweet potatoes, chia seeds, blueberries, quinoa, cranberries, and dry kelp.
These treats are oven-dried to lock in all the nutritional goodness these ingredients provide.
- These treats are packed full of essential minerals, protein, fiber, antioxidants, and Vitamin A and C
- They contain no grains, corn, soy, gluten, or GMOs
- They feature a line down the middle so that they can easily be broken in half to suit breeds of different sizes
- These treats are pretty expensive for a small bag
6. Royal Canin Veterinary Diet Gastrointestinal Canine Dog Treats
Our rating: 4.5
Top Ingredients: Brewers Rice, Chicken By-Product Meal, Wheat
The Royal Canin Veterinary Diet Dog Treats help you manage the fat and calorie intake of your diabetic dog.
They have also been specifically formulated to support digestive health in pets with tummy problems.
- They offer just 4.5 calories per treat
- These treats are manufactured in the USA
- You require authorization from a vet to buy this product
7. Savory Prime Cod Skin Crunchy Bites Dog Treats
Our rating: 4.5
Top Ingredients: Cod Skins
The Savory Prime Cod Skin Crunchy Bites Dog Treats are made exclusively from cod skins from fish from the Atlantic Ocean and Wild Pacific.
They provide your dog with a great source of protein and nutrients.
- Codfish is rich in omega-three, and six fatty acids, which help boost the immune system and build healthy skin and coat
- The crunchy texture of these treats help prevent tartar build-up and tooth decay
- These treats are free of preservatives, coloring, and gluten
- These treats are made in China
8. Hill’s Prescription Diet Metabolic Canine Dog Treats
Our rating: 4.5
Top Ingredients: Wheat Flour, Whole Grain Wheat, Chicken Meal
The Hill’s Prescription Diet Metabolic Crunchy Dog Treats are high in soluble and insoluble fiber to keep your furry friend feeling fuller for longer while also helping support healthy digestion.
These tasty biscuits have been designed by nutritionists and veterinarians to be perfect for dogs on a restricted diet.
- These treats have been enriched with antioxidants for improved immunity and to reduce inflammation
- Chewing these treats will help to remove plaque build-up from your dog’s teeth
- You will need veterinary authorization to buy these dog treats
How Do Diabetic Dog Treats Differ from Regular Treats?
Diabetic dog treats are specifically formulated to be low in sugar. They are generally customized to follow the low carbohydrate, high protein, and high fiber diet recommended for diabetic canines.
Diabetic treats are made from ingredients with a low glycemic index, meaning they are digested and absorbed into the body and blood slowly.
Diabetic dog treats stabilize your pet’s blood sugar levels by providing them with fiber and protein, which takes longer to break down than a big load of refined carbohydrates.
When Should You Give Your Dog a Diabetes Dog Treat?
Dog treats act as a form of motivation when training your dog or housebreaking a new puppy.
Pet owners of diabetic dogs might also like to give their dog a treat after an insulin dose as a type of reward.
If you’re unsure if your dog is diabetic, it’s a good idea to chat to your vet but common symptoms include weight loss, excessive thirst, fatigue, constant urination, cloudy eyes, a rough coat and dandruff, muscle loss, and weakness in the back legs.
Buyer’s Guide: Choosing the Best Diabetic Dog Treats
If your treats say low glycemic or low glycemic index on the label, that’s a good indication that they are safe for your diabetic dog, but there are some other vital things you should look for when choosing treats for your pets.
What are the categories of diabetic dog treats?
Let’s take a closer look at the different types of diabetic dog treats by breaking them down into three different categories:
1. Commercial Treats for Diabetic Dogs
As you can see, there are several commercial treats available for diabetic dogs. Be sure to follow our guidelines and read the ingredients carefully to ensure you pick a safe treat for your pet.
Avoid treats that contain sugars like corn syrup, molasses, fructose, dextrose, or maltose.
Commercial diabetic dog treats should have low carbs, plenty of protein, and not too much fat.
2. Natural Treats for Diabetic Dogs
Natural treats for your diabetic dog can include fruits and vegetables as well as meat sources.
The best options will be low in sugar and high in fiber, for example, vegetables like bell peppers, brussels sprouts, carrots, cucumber, green beans, pumpkin, turnip, and zucchini.
These veggies can be given raw and uncooked. Some veggies can also be given to your pet frozen for a deliciously crunchy treat on a hot day.
Some fruits, like apples, blueberries, cranberries, and pears, can also be fed to dogs but be careful not to overdo it, like fruits, while natural, can be high in sugar.
On the other hand, unprocessed animal products like eggs, chicken, turkey, and fish can be given to your dog.
Just remove the fatty skin first and avoid beef or pork, which contains too much fat for diabetic dogs.
Meat should be cooked or dehydrated before being fed to your pet.
3. Diabetic Dog Treat Recipes
There are various recipes for making your own diabetic dog treats at home. Making your treats gives you the ability to control precisely what goes into your treats.
It can also be cheaper to make your dog treats, rather than buying commercially made products.
What ingredients should you look for in diabetic dog treats?
Not all dog treats are created equal. Here are some things to look for when trying to establish the great brans from the average ones:
1. Low Carbs and Sugar: Your diabetic dog treats should not contain simple carbohydrates, starchy ingredients, or obvious sources of sugar.
If carbohydrates are included, they should be complex grains like oats and barley, and with a low glycemic index.
Some diabetic dog treats include brewer’s yeast. Although this ingredient hasn’t been tested explicitly in pets, it has been shown to help regulate blood sugar levels in humans.
2. Low-fat Content: Dogs with diabetes are at risk for developing obesity and thus should be given treats with low-fat content.
As you don’t want an overweight dog, be sure to avoid fatty meats like lamb and pork and poultry skin which has high levels of unhealthy fats.
3. High Fiber Content: Treats made for diabetic dogs should have plenty of fiber.
4. Zero Artificial Colorings, Flavors, or Preservatives: Dog-safe treats shouldn’t contain additives, chemicals, and other unnatural ingredients.
Natural preservatives like tocopherols and ascorbic acids are great alternatives to chemical preservatives, but it would be better if you can find a treat that doesn’t contain these at all.
5. High Protein Content: an easily identifiable and safe protein should feature as the first ingredient.
Ensure that no animal by-products are included in your dog’s treats, as these could have bones, beaks, and other unidentifiable animal parts.
6. Nutrient-Dense Ingredients: Your dog’s treats shouldn’t rely on filler ingredients like corn, wheat, and soy. Instead, they should be crafted from simple, whole products.
For diabetic dogs, the fewer ingredients, the better.
7. Flavors Canines Would Love: You want your dog to enjoy taking his treats, so they act as a form of motivation when training.
Thus your doggie’s treats shouldn’t just be healthy; they also need to be super yummy. Dogs love meaty and fishy flavors.
Dry, Froze, Freeze-Dried, or Dehydrated? Which treat is best for your diabetic dog?
You can freeze-dry, freeze or dehydrate a number of vegetables, meat products, or even tofu to make an excellent natural treat for your dog.
For diabetic dogs, these types of jerky treats can be a good option as only one nutritious ingredient will be included in your dog’s treat. However, this requires time and a bit of effort.
On the other hand, commercial dry dog treats are easy to store and obtain.
You can always combine the best of both worlds and buy a freeze-dried or air-dried commercial product like a few of the ones mentioned above.
To grain or not to grain: Do diabetic dogs need grain-free treats?
Treats for diabetic dogs shouldn’t be high in grain content, particularly refined grains which will give your pet an overdose of sugar.
On the other hand, whole grains, which have not been processed to remove the germ and bran, take longer to digest and are thus considered low on the glycemic index and suitable for diabetic dogs.
Some examples of whole grains include brown rice, whole oats, buckwheat, millet, bulgar, and oatmeal.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
How often should you feed a diabetic dog with treats?
Your diabetic dog needs consistency in its diet. It’s best to give your dog the same amount of diabetic dog food and treats every day.
This will make it easier to manage your pet’s blood glucose levels.
Switching dry foods or treats all the time will make it challenging to manage your pet’s insulin levels as he will react differently to various products.
You also want to time your pet’s meals to coincide with the peak action of insulin.
For dogs on once-a-day insulin injections, half of your dog’s treats and meals should be given just before the injection, and the other half eight to ten hours later.
For dogs on two insulin injections, meals and treats can be given just before each injection, with ten to twelve hours between each injection.
It’s best to discuss with your vet the exact feeding amounts and frequencies to ensure you are doing what is best for your dog.
Can non-diabetic dogs eat diabetic dog treats?
Any dog can eat treats that are high in fiber and protein. While the above treats are explicitly made with diabetic dogs in mind, they can be consumed by non-diabetic pets.
So if you have two dogs in your family, you don’t need to stress about feeding them both low-glycemic treats.
Should you make homemade diabetic dog treats?
Above, we discussed some great natural ingredients that can be fed to your diabetic dog as delicious treats. You can also try including some of these ingredients in homemade dog treats.
Here are some great recipes to try:
Baby Food Diabetic Dog Treats
There are an endless array of flavors available for these dog treats.
Some of our favorites include meat-based foods like chicken or turkey or natural vegetables like carrots or butternut squash.
- 2 cups of whole-grain oat flour
- 8oz (usually two jars) of Stage 1 baby food
- Preheat your oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit
- Mix the flour and baby food
- Add enough water to form a firm dough
- Roll out the dough on a lightly floured surface until it’s about a quarter-inch thick
- Cut the dough into shapes with a bone-shaped cookie cutter
- Bake your treats for 20 to 30 minutes on a greased cookie sheet or pan
- Serve once cool or store in a paper bag to retain crispness
Liver Treats Suitable for Diabetic Dogs
These treats smell and taste delicious to dogs and are super easy to make.
- Half a cup of whole-grain oat flour
- One and a half pounds of beef liver
- Two free-range, organic eggs
- Preheat your oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit
- Prepare a pan by lining it with parchment
- Cut the liver into small pieces and put them into a food processor
- Pulse the liver in the food processor until finely chopped
- Pour the chopped liver into a mixing bowl
- Add the flour and eggs to the bowl
- Stir well until the mixture is smooth
- Spoon the mixture into a pan and spread evenly
- Bake for 15 minutes
- Cool and cut into slices or squares. These treats need to be stored in the refrigerator.
You can also top these treats with some delicious dog-safe peanut butter.
The peanut butter will help keep your dog’s blood sugar levels under control while helping to keep your dog feeling full and satisfied.
Talk to Your Vet Before Choosing Any New Treat for Your Dog
A chronic disease like Diabetes Mellitus can be challenging to deal with as a pet owner.
For the rest of his life, your dog is going to require constant monitoring to ensure his glucose levels remain at acceptable levels.
This is done through a strict diet and lifestyle while also providing your pet medication in the form of insulin.
However, just because your dog is diabetic, that doesn’t mean he can’t also enjoy a delicious treat now and again.
Treats are a great tool to use when training your pet or simply to show you love them.
There is plenty of great-tasting low glycemic options available for diabetic dogs and the above are a few of our favorites readily available on Chewy and Amazon.
Each dog will have specific caloric limitations depending on the severity of his disease.
In order to be a healthy dog, your diabetic pup is going to need ongoing veterinary care throughout his lifetime.
So be sure to speak to your vet before making any change to your dog’s treats or pet food.
Your vet will be able to advise you on the best diet to support your dog’s current condition and health issues.
Have you tried any of the treats above? Or do you use a different brand for your diabetic dog?
We’d love to hear all about your personal experiences in the comments below.