Things to Look for in a Dog Treat for a Diabetic Dog
Of course, you want to make sure any treat you give your diabetic dog is safe for them and doesn’t negatively affect their diabetes. There are a few things you should look for to ensure you pick the right type of treat.
Quality, High Fiber or Protein
Treats high in fiber or protein are good for your diabetic dog and help them maintain healthy blood sugar levels. Treats that list a form of protein as their sole or main ingredient are a positive choice.
Watching your dog’s weight and ensuring you don’t overfeed them becomes even more important when you have a diabetic dog. Choosing treats which are low in calories is beneficial.
Low or No Carbs
Research has shown that lots of carbohydrates are bad for dogs with diabetes, so it’s best to avoid them or choose treats that state they are low in carbs. Complex carbohydrates (like fruits and vegetables) are better for your pup.
If a treat states it has a low glycemic index, this means it will have less impact on your pup’s blood sugar levels. The lower the glycemic index number, the better for a diabetic dog.
How much fat your diabetic dog should have in their diet depends on their size, weight, and other health issues. It’s always best to consult your vet, but in general low-fat treats are best.
No Added Sugars
It’s best to choose treats with no added sugars, as they can affect your dog’s blood sugar levels.
It’s always important to choose treats with high-quality ingredients to ensure your dog is getting the best. Ideally, natural ingredients are best.
Correct Size for your Dog
Choosing treats that are the right size for your dog ensures they can chew them comfortably and that they are safe for your pup.
Other Tips for Managing Your Dog’s Diabetes
Having a diabetic dog can feel scary at first, but don’t panic: your dog can still live a healthy, happy life! Your vet will go through recommendations for your pup’s diet, as well as guiding you through how to care for your best friend. Be sure to follow those guidelines strictly, as that’s how you can give your dog the best life possible.
Some general tips for managing your dog’s diabetes are included below:
- Do your research
As well as talking to your vet, doing plenty of reading so you know as much as possible about doggy diabetes will be helpful.
- Learn to recognize the signs
Learning to recognize the signs of high and low blood sugar in your dog allows you to act quickly.
- Feed healthy meals
As well as feeding diabetic-friendly treats, it’s essential you feed your dog an appropriate diet. Your vet will be able to guide you on this. In general, their diet should be low fat, low carb, and high in fiber or protein.
- Watch portion size
Portion size with meals and treats becomes even more vital when you have a dog with diabetes. Ensure you follow your vet’s instructions on how much to feed your dog; they will usually give you an average amount of calories per day your dog should consume. Equally, it’s crucial to make sure your dog is eating enough, as eating too little can be just as problematic. It may take some trial and error to find a diet that works for your dog.
- Time your dog’s meals
Giving your dog their meals at the same time each day, with healthy treats in between, will help to keep your dog’s blood sugar levels stable.
- Exercise is key
Consistent daily exercise is just as important as what you’re feeding your dog in managing their diabetes.
General Treat Safety Advice
When you’re feeding your dog any treat, particularly for the first time, it’s essential you supervise them to prevent choking. Always have fresh water on offer.
Diabetic Dog Treat FAQ
Do you really need to purchase specific treats for your diabetic dog?
Yes, it’s important you pick treats that are safe for your diabetic dog and won’t affect their blood sugar levels. They don’t need to state that they are specifically for diabetic dogs, but they should follow the guidelines we’ve discussed.
Can non-diabetic dogs eat these treats?
Yes, non-diabetic dogs can eat the same treats. They’re generally healthy for any dog.
Having a diabetic dog doesn’t mean you need to miss out on the joy of rewarding and spoiling your pal with a yummy snack. Choosing treats that are healthy and safe for your diabetic dog means neither of you misses out.
Deborah E. Linder, DVM, MS, DACVN, (2020), “What’s the Best Diet for My Dog with Diabetes?” Petfoodology, Cummings Veterinary Medical Center.