Can You Give Sugar Water to a Puppy?

By Anne Rose

Puppies, especially small or toy breeds, are susceptible to low blood sugar, a condition that can be treated with sugar water. Dangerously low sugar levels in a puppy can result in seizure and death.


Sugar water is a life-saving treatment for puppies whose immature systems fail to regulate glucose, a condition called hypoglycemia. Puppies less than 4 months old are most likely to require sugar water as a dietary supplement.

Sweet Supplement

Sugar can save a puppy's life.

Image by, courtesy of David Goehring

Sugar water for puppies can be made with white table sugar, Karo syrup, honey or Nutri-Cal. Mix the sugar product with water and feed to the puppy with an eyedropper or rub on the tongue and gums.


Puppies that suffer from hypoglycemia and are in urgent need of sugar water will exhibit weakness, listlessness, trembling and disorientation. Without sugar water, hypoglycemia can advance very quickly to lifelessness, seizures and death.


Many breeders recommend that puppies be offered sugar water, or other sweetened water, every day until they are at least 4 months old. It is also important to feed puppies a well-balanced puppy food every four hours.

Preventative Dosage

The suggested daily dose of sugar water for puppies is 2 tablespoons of honey (or equivalent sweetener) with 1/2 cup of water. Puppies can also be fed two tablespoons of peanut butter mixed with honey or Karo syrup, in small increments over the course of a day.

Expert Insight

Small breeds, like Chihuahuas and Yorkshire Terriers, are most susceptible to hypoglycemia. Hypoglycemia can cause death very quickly in a puppy; call a veterinarian immediately if sugar water does not immediately resuscitate the puppy.