Can Dogs Eat Sugar? Everything you Need to Know

Dogs can eat natural sugar from fruits (fructose) in moderation. These include sugar from apples, bananas, raspberries, and blueberries (but not grapes which are poisonous for dogs). However dogs should not eat granulated sugar. Granulated sugar can come in the form of sugar cubes, candy etc. Such sugar causes obesity, diabetes, cavities, metabolic disorders in dogs.

Is Sugar Good for Dogs?

Whether sugar is good for dogs is a complicated topic because there are several types of sugar. Granulated sugars including cubed ones and varieties of sweets are not healthful treats for your dog. While a single sugar cookie made from granulated sugar probably won’t cause long term damage to your dog, it still isn’t safe for him. Serving your dog an overload of these kinds of sugars can lead to many health problems including decay and rotten teeth, obesity, diabetes, and heart difficulties.

Is Sugar Bad for Dogs?

Granulated sugar is bad for dogs but natural sugars from fruits (in moderation) is not. Excessive sugar consumption can result in diabetes for your dog. Uncontrolled diabetes has disastrous consequences on the dog’s body. If you suspect your dog has diabetes, immediately contact your vet. Early diagnosis and proper treatment are essential in treating diabetes. Diabetes in dogs can result in

  • Cataracts (leading to blindness)
  • Enlarged liver
  • Urinary tract infections
  • Seizures
  • Kidney failure
  • Ketoacidosis
  • Heart Complications
  • Arthritis

Main forms of sugars to avoid feeding your pet dog at all costs are:

  • Brown Sugar – Brown sugar is toxic for dogs. It contains sucrose and is made with molasses, both      poisonous and can be fatal for dogs. 
  • Xylitol – Xylitol is used for candies, gums, and toothpaste. It is also used to sweeten various dog foods. Consumption of Xylitol can lower the blood sugar level and cause liver failure
  • Beet Pulp – Beet pulp comes from various beet types, called sugar beet. Sugar is extricated to make candy and other desserts from beet pulp. After the sugar is extracted, the remaining pulp is used in the dog’s diet because it’s fibrous. However, manufacturers rarely remove all the sugar from sugar beets, making the dog diet hazardous.

Always remember to check the ingredients mentioned in the food packages to prevent unavoidable circumstances. 

How to Identify Sugar in Dog Food Packages

While checking the components of your dog’s diet or treats, there are specific terms you can look for that will indicate sugar content. The words which imply sugar in dog foods are:

  • Sugar
  • Caramel
  • Sorbitol
  • Corn Syrup
  • Sucrose
  • Beet Pulp
  • Molasses
  • Honey
  • Xylitol
  • Fructose (only natural fructose is allowed to consume in moderation, no additives).

If any of these are noted as a component, you shouldn’t purchase that product for your dog.

Alternatives To Sugar

Sugar is not a good option for your dog. It doesn’t mean they can’t eat anything sweet. Dogs need a particular amount of sugar in their nutrition, but it needs to be of a healthy root.

Fruit is an excellent choice for this. There are some fruits you can serve your dog:

Remove the peel and seeds of these fruits before feeding them to your dog. These fruits are essential antioxidants, high in fiber.

Some fruits should never be served to canines because they’re highly poisonous to them. Some of these are:

  • Grapes
  • Plums
  • Peaches
  • Apricots

Diagnosis and Treatment For Diabetes

Diabetes in dogs must be diagnosed and treated as soon as possible to take care of your dog’s overall health in the longer run.


Your vet can do easy tests to check for diabetes, including examining excessive glucose (sugar) in the blood and urine. Blood analyses can also show other evidence of diabetes, such as high liver enzymes and electrolyte irregularities. The sooner diabetes is diagnosed, and therapy begins, the better chance the pet has of everyday life.


  • Diet: Your vet will recommend a diet (including a food chart) for your diabetic dog. This diet needs to which needs to be followed strictly. This diet generally comprises useful proteins and complex carbohydrates to slow down the spike of sugar level. The diet might also be of low-fat content. 
  • Exercise: Exercise is essential to keep consistent good health for dogs. 
  • Injections: Daily shots of insulin are needed for diabetic dogs. 

Final Thoughts

Natural Sugar from fruits (excluding grapes, plums, apricots, and peaches) occasionally is suitable for dogs to consume.  Artificial, cubed, and granulated sugars should never be given to dogs as a treat or as part of their regular diet. It has numerous health disorders which can be fatal to dogs. 

It is always best to prepare a diet chart by consulting your vet after a regular checkup to prevent diabetes from creeping up on your precious pet. Give your dog a healthy life!

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