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It's National Diabetes Month: 4 Sugar-Free Snack Ideas For Your Dog

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Overview

November is National Pet Diabetes Month, so there's no better time to address your doggo's sugar intake. Many common dog breeds, from Golden Retrievers to German Shepherds, are prone to developing diabetes mellitus. Diabetes is a reasonably common condition in the dog world, affecting "ruffly" 1 in 300 pups. 

Reducing your dog's sugar intake not only reduces their chances of developing diabetes, but it also reduces the chances of developing other potentially serious conditions, including obesity and heart disease

So, how do you lower the sugar levels in your dog's diet without taking away their favorite snacks? We've sniffed out 4 sugar-free snack ideas for your dog that are sure to get their tail-wagging, even without any sugary sweetness!


Health and safety

Before you start baking, ensure the ingredients you're working with are 100% safe for dogs. Peanut butter is a common ingredient in sugar-free dog snacks but could be dangerous for doggos. 

Many processed peanut butters contain xylitol, an artificial sweetener that's highly toxic to dogs. Opt for all-natural peanut butter, and read the label carefully before cooking. Many other sweeteners, such as stevia, aspartame, and saccharin, are considered safe for dogs in small quantities. 

Some of the ingredients in these recipes may contain nominal levels of sugar. If your dog has diabetes, consult your vet first to ensure it's okay for your dog to have a product with small amounts of sugar. While there's little to no sugar in these snacks, they're still high in calories and may make your pup put on a few pounds. Feed your dog these treats in moderation.


No-bake coconut balls

In a rush? These coconut peanut butter balls require no baking and can be fixed up for your fur-baby in just a few minutes. They just need 30 minutes to cool in the refrigerator to harden before your pup can chow down. Coconut is also great to use in sugar-free treat recipes for dogs — it's sweet yet low in carbs, which means it has little effect on your dog's blood glucose levels. 

Ingredients

  • 1/3 cup coconut oil
  • 1/3 cup shredded coconut
  • 2–3 tablespoons peanut butter
  • 2 1/2 cups rolled oats

Directions

  1. Put the rolled oats, coconut oil, and peanut butter into a food processor and blend well.

  2. Scoop out equal spoonfuls of the mixture and roll them into balls.

  3. Roll each ball in shredded coconut until coated. 

  4. Place in the fridge for 30 minutes to cool and harden.


Veggie dog treats

These dog treats contain pumpkin, a "pawpular" addition to many dogs' diets, as it contains high levels of fiber and nutrients. It's also proven to help regulate digestion and lower blood sugar levels, making it great for diabetic doggos. Broccoli is also low in sugar and high in fiber, and vets consider it to be one of the best vegetables for diabetic dogs.

For the nut butter in this recipe, you can use peanut, cashew, or almond butter. Bear in mind, large quantities of almond butter can upset some dogs' stomachs. Speak to a vet if you're unsure which is right for your dog. 

Ingredients

  • 2/3 cup pumpkin puree
  • 1/4 cup all-natural nut butter
  • 3 cups almond flour
  • 1–2 carrots, peeled and shredded
  • 1 cup finely chopped broccoli
  • 2 eggs

Directions

  1. Preheat your oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit and place a sheet of parchment paper on a baking tray. 

  2. With an electric mixer, blend the butter, pumpkin puree, and egg. 

  3. Add in the flour gradually, half a cup at a time, until well-combined. 

  4. Mix in the broccoli and carrots.

  5. Knead your dough into a ball and let it chill for an hour in the refrigerator so it's easier to roll out and cut.

  6. Roll out your dough and use a cookie cutter or a knife to make cookies. Dip your cookie cutter in flour first so the cookies don't stick.

  7. Place on a baking tray lined with parchment paper and bake for 25 minutes or until golden brown. Place on a wire rack to cool before feeding your pup.


dog eating a biscuit

Frozen peanut butter bites

Another super simple recipe you can whip up in no time is a batch of frozen peanut butter bites. These treats are ideal for keeping your pup cool on a scorching summer day. When buying the yogurt for this recipe, pick an all-natural option and check for harmful ingredients like xylitol.

Peanut butter is arguably the best sugar-free ingredient for dogs, and mixing it with chicken broth is sure to get Charlie's attention. Interested in more peanut butter recipes for dogs? Check out these yummy peanut butter snacks!

Ingredients

  • 1/2 cup peanut butter
  • 2 tablespoons of vegetable or chicken broth 
  • 1 cup plain yogurt

Directions

  1. Mix all the ingredients in a medium mixing bowl.

  2. Spoon out the mixture evenly into ice cube trays.

  3. Place the ice trays in the freezer for around 12 hours or until frozen solid.


Beefy dog biscuits

Any meat-based dog treat is sure to be a home run with your hound, and gives them plenty of protein to boot. These beefy dog biscuits use beef baby food rather than fresh meat — doggos seem to love it, and it's easy to cook with. 

You can also mix up the recipe and use chicken or turkey baby food instead. Just ensure your chosen baby food doesn't contain onion powder, which is toxic to dogs. Consult your vet if you're unsure. 

Ingredients

  • 2 1/2 cups sifted whole wheat flour
  • 1/2 cup dry milk powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cube beef bouillon, crumbled
  • 1 2.5 oz jar of beef baby food
  • 1 cup grated carrot
  • 6 tablespoons shortening
  • 1 egg
  • 1/2 cup cold water

Directions

  1. Preheat your oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit and lightly grease two cookie sheets. 

  2. Stir together the milk powder, whole wheat flour, beef bouillon, and salt in a bowl. 

  3. Add the shortening, baby food, carrot, and egg gradually to the flour mixture while adding the cold water. The result should be a stiff dough.

  4. Roll out your dough onto a lightly floured surface until about a 1/4 inch thick. Use your chosen cookie cutter or a knife to cut out the cookies. Reroll scraps of dough to form more cookies.

  5. Place the cookies on your cookie trays. Don't worry too much about spacing out the cookies, as they won't expand very much.

  6. Bake for roughly 25 minutes or until brown on the bottom. Leave the cool on a wire rack before feeding your pup.


And there you have it — 4 low-sugar dog treat recipes that are sure to have your doggo drooling!

Diabetes can be expensive to treat. If you suspect your dog is at risk of developing diabetes, start searching for pet insurance today. Wag! 's pet insurance comparison tool lets you compare plans from leading companies like PetPlan and Embrace. Find the "pawfect" plan for your pet in just a few clicks!



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