Home Animals Dog Sweet Tooth – How To Control Your Pet’s Sugar Cravings

Dog Sweet Tooth – How To Control Your Pet’s Sugar Cravings


Updated May 22, 2024

Vet Nutrition –  Interestingly, cats do not have sweet taste receptors. So, while some cats may seem to enjoy food items with a sugary taste, it’s more likely due to other ingredients or the texture or smell of a food item that they enjoy. Dogs on the other hand *do* have the ability to taste sweet and this can come in handy in certain situations or get them in trouble because it puts them at risk to eat some sweet foods that are toxic for them (chocolate, for example!).


(March 3, 2021) Unlike cats, dogs love sweet treats. These pups can go crazy over sweet food. However, sugary sweets with xylitol can be dangerous to your dog’s teeth and liver. Instead, give your pet a good serving of naturally sweet fruits and veggies to curb their sweet tooth.

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Due to their long integration into the human diet, the dogs also developed a taste for sweet food. Dogs have evolved into flexible eaters and grew to love the giddy and jittery feeling of eating sugar. According to WebMD, their cat counterparts haven’t developed this same obsession due to gene mutation.

Can Dogs Eat Sweet Food?

Natural sweeteners or sweetness from fruits and veggies are safe for dogs to eat. Dogs also need sugar from carbohydrates. And carbohydrates help in creating energy. It is essential for them and helps them do their zoomies, play with other dogs, and do other activities. But not all sugar is good for your dog’s health. There are certain risks associated with sweets.

Why Is Sugar Dangerous To Dogs?

The first inherent risk of sugary food in dogs is obesity. Sugar can make dogs overweight, which can lead to other problems. Weight problems can lead to heart failure and damages to the dog’s joints. Teeth problems can also appear when the owner gives their dog companions sweet food regularly.

Perhaps, the most dangerous thing that could happen to your dog is liver failure. This is caused by the artificial sweetener called Xylitol, which makes blood sugar drop. When a dog consumed too much food sweetened with Xylitol, the following symptoms can appear:

  • Lethargy
  • Movement and coordination problems
  • Vomiting
  • Seizures

A small number of sweets are not lethal for your dogs, but the risk of addiction and other health problems are relatively high. Instead of feeding human-made sweets like Twizzlers or other candies, the best way to curb your pet’s sweet tooth is to feed natural sweets.

Sweet Alternative To Curb Your Dog’s Sweet Tooth

You can still satisfy your pet’s cravings for sweet treats by using healthy alternatives. Fruits are great alternatives because you can serve them in frozen varieties (for summers). Not to mention that these foods can give other nutritious content like fiber and vitamin C. Here are some of the sweet treat alternatives that you and your dog can enjoy.

Sweet Fruits – numerous fruits like apples, bananas, cantaloupe, cranberries, mango, peaches, and oranges are just a few of the fruits that dogs can safely consume. You can cut these fruits and serve them frozen for delightful relief during the summer day. There are fruits like raspberries which contain fiber, manganese, and Vitamin C.

Just make sure to observe moderation when needed. Certain fruits like grapes, avocado, and cherry are not safe for dog consumption.

Yogurt – dogs can eat yogurt because it doesn’t have xylitol. Also, this sweet treat is rich in protein and probiotics. To make the experience more enjoyable, you can add yogurt with a slice of fruits into ice cube trays. When served cool, it is a great and tasty treat for your pup.

Carrots – these orange sticks are sweet and crunchy, something that your dog will love to munch on. It is another low-calorie, high-fiber snack that has additional vitamin A and beta-carotene.

Sweet Root Veggies – root veggies like beets and sweet potatoes can also serve as a sweet treat for your dog. In addition to its delightful sweetness, your dog can also benefit from the added magnesium, potassium, fiber, and more. Feed your dogs with moderation, as too much might cause stomach upset. Boil your root veggies and remove the skin for better digestion.

Dog treats should make up to 10% of the total diet. These are only meant to be consumed on smaller pieces. The exact amount varies and is usually based on the size of your dog. You might want to consider only giving these treats as a reward to your dog, particularly as a training reward.