Treats for the Diabetic Dog

So, you have figured out what to feed your diabetic dog during mealtime. Now, what about treats for your diabetic dog?

Giving tasty treats to your best friend is an important part of bonding with them. Between meal treats may be used a training tool, a blood sugar stabilizer, or a reward for cooperating during blood tests and insulin injections. You may ask yourself, “Do I need special treats for a diabetic dog?”. No, you do not need a special type of treat, but you are going to have to be aware of the ingredients in the treat that you choose. Being aware will help you avoid a possible spike in blood sugar levels.

Do I need special treats for a diabetic dog?

So let us begin with some simple guidelines to follow. Look for the nutritional information on the package.  Here you will find the ingredients listed by weight, starting with the highest to the lowest.  The rule of thumb is that the first 3 ingredients on the list are the most important.  These first 3 ingredients make up the majority of the content of the product.  When evaluating these ingredients, they should have a high nutritional value and be low in the number of fillers. Be wary of ingredients such as meat & bone meal, meat by-products, and glutens.  

Avoid treats which are high in carbohydrates and sugar. You will need to watch out for words like, syrup, molasses, fructose, dextrose. maltose: these are referred to as the “hidden sugars”. Another set of ingredients that raise the blood sugar are refined grains, such as white flour, cornmeal, and white rice.

Dehydrated meats make excellent treats!  Be sure to avoid dog treats made in Chine. Chicken jerky, tenders, or strips which are manufactured in China have been linked to kidney failure in dogs. With that said, you can make your own.   You simply need to cut the meat into slices for drying in a food dehydrator or baking in a slow oven (250 to 300 degrees F) until they reach the desired state of crunchiness.

Other safe between-meal diabetic dog treats include raw or cooked green beans, crunchy snap peas, or carrot sticks; tuna or sardines; canned pumpkin (Not to be confused with pumpkin pie mix), freeze-dried liver & salmon, hard-boiled eggs, cheese (in moderation), bully sticks, chicken feet, dried beef tendons, and most low-carb dog treats.

How about trying your hand at home-made treats? You simply need to cut the meat into slices for drying in a food dehydrator or baking in a slow oven (250 to 300 degrees F) until they reach the desired state of crunchiness. You also can try raw beef liver.  Liver is an excellent source of vitamins and minerals for your diabetic dog! Simply bake in the oven as instructed above, then allow them to dry out for several hours. They can then be stored in the freezer to prevent spoilage.

Not a fan of dried meat or liver?  Try this recipe by Barb Maxell, it makes up to 80 treats for your diabetic dog.  If you want to get creative, you can use a small cookie cutter to make various shapes. 


  •       1/2 cup whole wheat flour
  •       2 eggs
  •       1 1/2 pounds beef liver, cut into pieces (baby food also works)


  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Line a 10×15-inch jellyroll pan with parchment paper.
  2. Place the liver into a food processor. Pulse until finely chopped. If you have room, add the flour and eggs, and process until smooth. Otherwise, transfer to a bowl, and stir in the flour and eggs using a wooden spoon. Spread evenly in the prepared pan.
  3. Bake for 15 minutes in the preheated oven, or until the center is firm. Cool, and cut into squares using a pizza cutter. The treats will have a consistency similar to a sponge. Store in a sealed container in the refrigerator.

So, you see there is no need to avoid treats for your diabetic dog, there are plenty of options available to you. 



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