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Best diabetic dog treats: Seven snacks to help manage diabetes

Best diabetic dog treats
(Image credit: Getty)

Buying the best diabetic dog treats means pooches don't have to miss out if they're diagnosed with diabetes. You'll still be able to reward and indulge your furbaby as you did before, but you won't have to worry that you're giving them food containing high levels of sugar – which, as you can imagine, is a definitely doggy no-no for canines with this condition.

One thing's for sure, you can't feed diabetic pooches with the best dog treats (nor come to that, can you give them the best dog food or the best dog chews). By opting for treats created with diabetes in mind, you simply know they're going to low in sugar and contain complex carbohydrates and this means they will be easily absorbed into the bloodstream while helping to suppress sugar spikes.

But how do you know which ones are best? Well, first of all, you need to take heed of what's written on the packet. If the treats are flagged up as being diabetes-friendly, then you're already on solid ground. To be totally sure, however, you should also look for treats that are free from unnatural ingredients, additives and preservatives and look for indications they are low glycemic.

Of course, we have done just that so let's take a look at treats we know will be great for your dog, helping to keep them fighting fit. You may also want to try our three delicious diabetic dog treat recipes and discover what to do if your dog is overweight – one of the causes of diabetes.

Expert opinion in this guide is provided by:
Dr Diana Hasler
Expert opinion in this guide is provided by:
Dr. Diana Hasler BVM&S MRCVS

Dr. Diana Hasler graduated with distinction from the University of Edinburgh Royal (Dick) School of Veterinary Studies in 2018. She has experience working as a small animal veterinarian in general practice, where she has treated many dogs, cats, rabbits, and rodents.

Our pick of the best diabetic dog treats

best diabetic dog treatsBest buy award

(Image credit: All Natural)

All Natural Diabetic Treats

Best overall diabetic dog treats

Specifications

Size: 10 ounces
Grain free: No
Flavor: generic
Age range: All life Stages

Reasons to buy

+
All-natural ingredients
+
Includes organics ingredients 
+
No additives

Reasons to avoid

-
Generic flavor
-
Not grain-free

These treats are high in fiber, which can help regulate glucose in diabetic dogs, and they do not contain any added sugars. If your dog has been diagnosed with diabetes mellitus, it is important to discuss diet (including treats) with your veterinarian so that they can determine the appropriate diet and insulin dose required to keep your dog’s condition under control.

Dr. Diana Hasler BVM&S MRCVS

To keep your diabetic dog healthy, they need to be fed the right diet, but this doesn’t mean they have to miss out on a tasty treat. Specially formulated for diabetic dogs, these all-natural diabetic cookies from the Old Dog Cookie Co are ideal for helping you manage the insulin requirement of your pet pooch. 

They contain a long list of natural ingredients that provide a healthy snack any time your fur friend deserves a little extra treat, and are known to help reduce blood sugar levels. Also, you won’t find any additives, chemicals, dyes, or any other by-products lurking in these tasty treats. 

Included in the ingredients line up are fiber and herbs, which are there to help slow your dog’s food metabolism rate, which in turn helps better manage your dog’s diabetes. There is natural pectin gleaned from the ingredients, which boost your fur friends’ immune system, and are great for their all-round health, contributing to controlling sugar in the blood. As an added bonus, it also brings vitamin C to the party. This is an important antioxidant that doesn’t affect your dog’s diabetes, but does help reduce inflammation and cognitive aging.

Elsewhere, there is squash that provides a source of vitamin A, an essential component for healthy skin, coat, muscles, and nerves. And to help with thyroid function – again helping skin and coat – is kelp. Every ingredient has been specially selected to help improve your dog’s general health and ensure you can keep their diabetes under control. 

best diabetic dog treatsBest buy award

(Image credit: Brutus & Barnaby)

Sweet Potato Dog Treats

Best budget diabetic dog treats

Specifications

Size: 8 ounces
Grain free: Yes
Flavor: Sweet potato
Age range: Senior

Reasons to buy

+
Single ingredient
+
No preservatives
+
Good source of fiber
+
Gluten-free
+
Grain-free
+
Inexpensive

Reasons to avoid

-
Meat-free

These treats are made up of only dehydrated sweet potatoes, which are high in fiber. They do not contain any fat or added sugars. It is crucial to keep your diabetic dog’s diet (including treats), exercise, and insulin consistent from day to day to keep their glucose levels under control. If your dog’s diabetes is not yet stabilized, you should strictly follow your vet’s dietary recommendations, even if this means that your dog can’t have any additional treats.

Dr. Diana Hasler BVM&S MRCVS

If you are looking for a meat-free, low-odor treat that will keep pet pooch occupied for a little longer than the average treat, these dehydrated thick-cut sweet potato slices could be just what you are looking for. Their size alone will mean that your happy hound won’t be able to wolf them done with one quick chew. They deliver a more rounded treat experience, and at the same time provide a great source of natural fiber, vitamins, and minerals. Plus they are packed with nutrients. This means your dog can get all their nutritional needs without having to resort to supplements to boost its diet.

You can go guilt-free every time you give your dog the treat. They have zero fat, no added sugar, and the fiber in them helps balance blood sugar levels, making them ideal for diabetic dogs. And they are gluten and grain-free, making them easier to digest, and ideal for dogs with sensitive stomachs. 

Any dog can get their paws on these tasty treats, but they are meant for small to large dogs. Extra small and toy breeds might struggle to get to grips with them due to their size. But you can simply break or tear them up before you give them to your little fur friend. Alternatively, you can try Sweet Potato Sticks or Sweet Potato Fries from the same manufacturer. These provide the same nutritional qualities, but are cut into easier-to-digest strips for smaller mouths.  

The Sweet Potato Sticks offer two hard-to-resist flavors – Apple & Cinnamon and Pumpkin & Cinnamon – while the fries are great for older dogs with dental issues or as a tasty topper for regular kibble.

best diabetic dog treatsPets Radar Approved Award

(Image credit: Ella's)

Ella's Diabetic Dog Treats

Best organic diabetic dog treats

Specifications

Size: 8 ounces
Grain free: No
Flavor: Chicken
Age range: All

Reasons to buy

+
Organic
+
All-natural ingredients
+
Free from additives and preservatives

Reasons to avoid

-
Not grain-free

These treats come in three different flavors—sweet potato, pumpkin, and chicken. The brand claims that they are sugar free and that they will not cause spikes in blood glucose, however, they do not openly advertise their ingredients list. If you wish to feed these treats to your diabetic dog, I recommend discussing the ingredients listed on the packet with your vet to determine if these will be safe for them.

Dr. Diana Hasler BVM&S MRCVS

Dogs might not seem like fussy creatures when it comes to treats – they are happy to take them when the opportunity comes. But sometimes they say no, so it’s important that you choose the best one for your dog. If your dog is diabetic, it’s even more important that you make the right choice. 

Specifically developed for dogs with canine diabetes, these chicken-flavored treats are a great choice for your pet pooch. They are made from all organic, all-natural, low-glycemic index ingredients. The glycemic index is a scale – that goes from 1-100 – that helps determine which foods are less likely to impact blood sugar levels significantly, so dog treats with low-glycemic ingredients are much more likely to stop your dog from falling ill. 

To help promote your happy hounds general health, these tasty treats are free from additives and preservatives, as well as being sugar-free, potato-free, corn-free, flour-free, dairy-free, and gluten-free, so they are also ideal for dogs that have other conditions or issues such as allergies and sensitive stomachs. 

Chicken not your dog’s favorite flavor? Then you are in luck, as Ella's Diabetic Dog Treats do come in a couple of different flavors. Completing the current collection is Sweet Potato and Pumpkin. If you find that your dog loves any of these flavors, you can invest in combo packs, or sign up for a 6 or 12-month subscription to save yourself a few dollars and get them delivered to your door.

best diabetic dog treatsPets Radar Approved Award

(Image credit: Old Dog Cookie Co)

Diabetic TINY Dog Treats All Natural

Best small diabetic dog treats

Specifications

Size: 10 ounces
Grain free: No
Flavor: generic
Age range: All life Stages

Reasons to buy

+
Small size 
+
All-natural ingredients
+
No additives

Reasons to avoid

-
 Not ideal for larger breeds

These treats have the same ingredients as the first treats on this list, they are just made in a smaller size for smaller pups. No dogs really need treats, regardless of whether they have diabetes. However, if you wish to give your diabetic dog treats to spoil them or help with training, treats should be given in moderation and in the same amount each day to minimize abnormal fluctuations in blood glucose levels.

Dr. Diana Hasler BVM&S MRCVS

Dogs come in all sizes from the very small to the very large, which means that different dogs have different needs. Toy and small breed dogs will struggle to chew and digest treats that have been made for larger breeds. Their small mouths simply won’t be able to cope. Imagine a Chihuahua chewing on a treat made for a Great Dane. They might like the challenge but they will struggle to enjoy the treat. 

These all-natural snacks are specifically designed for smaller breeds with diabetes and are the ideal choice to help keep your little fur friend healthy and happy.
From the same manufacturer as the All Natural Diabetic Treats - the best overall diabetic dog treats in this guide - these bite-size versions contain all the same diabetes-friendly ingredients. Like the big bite option, there are no additives, chemicals, dyes, or any other by-products that can affect your dog’s wellbeing. Just all the healthy ingredients such as fiber and herbs, natural pectin, Vitamin C, Vitamin A, squash, and kelp, which all contribute to controlling blood sugar levels and keeping your pet pooch healthy in general. 

The treats are much smaller than their larger counterparts, measuring an easy-to-pick-up-and-chew one inch by half an inch. This means that your fur friend may want a few more of them to keep them happy, but at only two calories for each treat, you don’t need to worry about your dog putting on weight. And with over 225 treats per bag, they should last for a while. 

best diabetic dog treatsPets Radar Approved Award

(Image credit: Pet Peeve Gear)

All Natural Dog Jerky Treats

Best two flavor diabetic dog treats

Specifications

Size: 8 ounces
Grain free: Yes
Flavor: Chicken, Beef
Age range: All

Reasons to buy

+
Two flavors
+
Grain-free
+
All-natural ingredients

Reasons to avoid

-
Expensive

These treats come in two flavors—chicken and beef—and they contain limited ingredients, with only sweet potato and carrot added to them. They are high in fiber and low in fat with no added sugars to minimize any spikes in blood glucose. As stated previously, all treats you feed your diabetic dog should be discussed with your veterinarian first.

Dr. Diana Hasler BVM&S MRCVS

Giving your dog a treat is a great way to reward them for good behavior, but giving them two types of treats will make them feel even more special, and it gives you the option to choose which treat you think they will want on any given day. Mix it up and keep them guessing. But there’s no doubt whichever flavor you give them, they will love it.

This pack of diabetes-friendly snacks brings together the ever-popular everyday flavor choice of natural roasted chicken and the more exotic hickory-smoked chicken and beef sirloin. Made from 100% all-natural ingredients, these treats are packed with wholesome nutrition, proteins, and vitamins that are not only tasty, but free of fillers, sugars, preservatives, hormones, and gluten. It's an ideal combination for keeping your dogs diabetes under control and giving their general health a welcome boost. 

Alongside the top sirloin beef strips and chicken breast strips, the ingredients list includes a couple of veterinary recommended vegetables in carrots and sweets potatoes. These make up 50% of the jerky treats. The carrots provide beta carotene, which improves the health of your dog’s eyes, and will go some way to giving your pet pooch a healthier and shinier coat that other owners can admire. The inclusion of sweet potatoes provides much needed fiber and a wealth of antioxidants that help to keep muscles healthy and manage your dog’s diabetes in old age. 

best diabetic dog treatsPets Radar Approved Award

(Image credit: PureBites)

PureBites RAW Freeze Chicken Breast Dog Treats

Best chicken diabetic dog treats

Specifications

Size: from 1.4 ounces
Grain free: Yes
Flavor: Chicken
Age range: All

Reasons to buy

+
Just chicken
+
Freeze-dried to keep freshness
+
High-quality ingredient

Reasons to avoid

-
Not cheap

These treats contain only 1 ingredient, freeze-dried raw chicken breast. It should be noted that raw meat can cause bacterial infections, such as Salmonella, E. coli, and Campylobacter, in the gastrointestinal tract in both your dog and anyone who interacts with them or handles their food or feces. Gastrointestinal infections can influence diabetic dogs’ blood glucose levels and how much insulin is needed, thus exacerbating their diabetes and potentially leading to hypoglycemia, which can be life-threatening—for this reason, these treats should be fed with caution in diabetic dogs.

Dr. Diana Hasler BVM&S MRCVS

These treats are made from one simple ingredient: chicken. No added grain, no added sugars, no added preservatives; just chicken. This makes them a perfect snack for any fur friend that has diabetes, and an ideal treat for any dog. If you have more than one dog, you can still happily feed these treats to your diabetic dog and their fur friend.

Pure Bites uses raw human-grade chicken breast, which ensures that your dog is getting a high-quality treat. Just in case you are not sure, turn over the packet and check the ingredients list. It’s short, concise, and simple, as it only has one ingredient on the list. Yes, you have guessed it - chicken.

To keep the chicken breast fresh-tasting, it is cut into bite-size chunks and put into a freeze-drying chamber. Here, any water is gently drawn out of the chicken. This leaves delicious pieces of pure freeze-dried meat that still contain all the natural nutrients and vitamins, along with the texture and aroma that dogs love. 

The one-ingredient simplicity of these chicken treats means that they are good for more than just diabetes. If your pet pooch has other health conditions, such as a gastrointestinal disorder or allergies, then these chicken bites are ideal for managing these issues. 

At around three calories a treat, they help contain any weight issues your happy hound might be suffering from. If you want to make sure that you don’t feed them too many, you can invest in a small entry-size 1.4-ounce bag. But if your dog loves them, you can invest in a much bigger 18.5-ounce bag to keep them happy. 

Best diabetic dog treats

(Image credit: Chewy)

Darford Zero/G Minis Grain-Free Roasted Lamb Dog Treats

Best oven-dried treats

Specifications

Size: 6oz
Grain free: Yes
Flavor: Roasted Lamb
Age range: All dogs

Reasons to buy

+
Made from real meat
+
Free of grain too
+
Full of goodness

Reasons to avoid

-
Bit larger than "mini"

If you want a treat that packs protein and doesn't pile in unnecessary extras, then the Zero/G Minis by Darford should definitely be on your list. Crucially, for dogs who are diabetic, these treats are low glycemic so they won't pose a problem. They are also free from grain, gluten and GMO and should be very tasty indeed given that lamb is the primary ingredient.

Each treat is shaped like a heart and, as one pet parent points out, these can be easily snapped in half if you want to control the portions you give to your dog. You may actually want to do this because, in reality, the treats are not as mini as the packet makes out. But at just 16 calories per biscuit, and with no added salt or chemicals, they're not going to pack on the pounds.

One thing which caught out eye is that each one is made using real meat. The manufacturer says no meals or by-products go into the treats. The ingredients also include blueberries, chia seed, dried kept and whole quinoa and they offer vitamins A and C, calcium, iron and niacin. No wonder the company claims to be offering a “power-packed superfood”. They actually sound good enough for us to eat as well (not that we would!).

How to choose the best diabetic dog treats

If your pet pooch is diabetic then it is paramount that you feed it the right snacks. If you choose the wrong type of snack - typically those with added sugars - you can raise the sugar levels in your dog’s bloodstream and make them ill; something no owner wants to do. So the ingredients in a treat are the most important component to consider. 

Treats that market themselves as diabetes-friendly are the best snacks to look out for. These will have no added sugars, and contain a selection of ingredients that help manage your dog’s condition. 

To be on the safe side, avoid any dog treats that have added corn syrup, molasses, fructose, dextrose, or maltose. None of these are ideal for dogs with diabetes. 

A couple of secondary considerations are flavor and size. If you know your dog is not keen on a specific flavor then it is best avoided. If you’re not sure then let your fur friend try a treat. You never know; they might love sweet potatoes. Finally, consider the size. If you have a toy or small breed dog then they will have a smaller mouth than larger dogs, so will need a smaller treat to truly be able to enjoy it. 

Steve Jenkins is a freelance content creator and long-time journalist with more than 20 years in the industry. He has written for numerous titles covering tech to pets, with his latest faithful hound always by his side. When not walking his dog, or discussing who’s best - cats or dogs? Loud guitars, AFC Bournemouth, Photoshop, and trying to save the world take up the rest of this time.