Diabetic Alert Dogs are Undeniably Effective 3

            Science and studies have shown that dogs that have been through Diabetic Alert Dog training have proven to be highly effective. Recent scientific research completed, provided information on a study where 17 Diabetic Alert Dog owners were monitored and paired with Diabetic Alert Dogs that were trained to alert owners of low blood sugars. Trained alerting behaviors included; licking, pawing, jumping, staring, vocalizing, and even fetching a blood testing kit. The researchers relied on the Diabetic Alert Dog’s owners to share information about how effective the dogs were at keeping the owners within healthy blood sugar ranges. According to the study, all 17 of the Diabetic Alert Dog’s owners said they would not change their decision to get a Diabetic Alert Dog based on the perceived health benefits they experienced, which included:

  • Fewer paramedic calls
  • Fewer unconscious episodes
  • Greater independence

             At the conclusion of the study researchers pointed to the value of the Diabetic Alert Dogs, for increasing glycemic control, client independence, and consequently quality of life and even reducing the costs of long-term health care.



Why should you consider a Diabetic Alert Dog?

            Medical science has made amazing advances in diabetic detection and treatment in the last fifty years, in many instances drastically raising and even eliminating lowered life expectancy projections for people with insulin-dependent diabetes (also known as type 1 diabetes, juvenile diabetes mellitus, sugar diabetes and insulin-dependent type 2 diabetes). Tools like diabetic ID bracelets, diabetes insulin pumps, finger-prick blood glucose testing kits, and real-time continuous glucose monitoring have drastically reduced instances of long-term diabetic complications in the insulin-dependent community.

             However, most of the available hypoglycemic alert equipment relies on accurate and continuous input from the diabetic, which is only effective when the diabetic is awake, alert, and thinking about it. In addition to human and mechanical errors, there are many factors which can mitigate the efficacy of these tools. These range from temporary inattentiveness (such as when the diabetic is sleeping or concentrating on something else for a period of time) to medical complications such as insulin resistance or hypoglycemic unawareness. In cases with diabetic children, a child’s potential inability to unerringly recognize and effectively communicate blood sugar changes can be a major stumbling block for caretakers trying to manage their disease.

             The danger here is that blood sugar can drop rapidly in anyone using insulin therapy, resulting in disorientation, confusion, temporary mobility impairment and a whole host of other compromising symptoms. If left untreated, hypoglycemia can even result in unconsciousness, coma or death in as few as twenty minutes. High blood sugar levels, or hyperglycemia, is not as immediately dangerous as hypoglycemia, but can take a terrible toll on a diabetic’s health over a period of time.

             A Diabetic Alert Service dog will alert a diabetic to an impending shift in their blood glucose levels, giving them plenty of time to ascertain the gravity of the problem and take the necessary precautions or treatment. Diabetic Alert Dogs will alert in any location, under nearly any circumstances, and even wake their diabetic partners up in the middle of the night if necessary. This early alert to shifts in blood sugar is a huge relief to diabetics and parents of diabetics struggling to identify such changes before they result in uncomfortable symptoms and eventual debilitation, an invaluable tool in a diabetic’s efforts to achieve and obtain optimal blood sugar levels and in many cases a life-saving warning.


Why Companion Training®?

            The advanced training your Diabetic Alert Dog receives through Companion Training® is tailored specifically to your unique needs: 

  • You have the option to have your dog trained for public access if you prefer having your dog with you 24hrs a day.
  • Your handler training is done through private one-on-one sessions. This private approach allows you to master your   handler skills in a very comfortable setting, providing you the confidence to handle & maintain your dog’s training for the years to come.
  • Companion Training® utilizes the official Public Access Test® to prepare your dog for public work and Service Dog Certification if you would like your dog to work in public with you.



3 thoughts on “Diabetic Alert Dogs are Undeniably Effective

  • Nathan

    I have a 3 month old Labrador that we have started doing scent training with for my 10 year old t1d boy. We want to start her with a trainer asap for training to be his service companion. We have hit a dead end with local trainers and need some guidance to find a trainer asap

  • Donna

    Very interesting article. I have been an insulin dependent diabetic for the past 31 years, my body has ajusted so well to medication and my condition that I will not be aware that my blood sugar has dropped until it is dangerously low, sometimes in the 30s. A service dog may be a great option.

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