January 11, 2013

Medical Service Dogs for Diabetes


diabetes-dogsFamily dogs are typically not a live-in first responder unless it’s trained as a diabetes service dog. Welcome to the world of restful nights, 24/7 non-invasive glucose monitoring, and a new best friend. It all starts with the nose.

In choosing a dog who is best suited to become a diabetes alert dog, breeders identify a dog that can sense the change in blood glucose based on smell. The smell of high blood sugar smells of fruit, or ketones. When a person has a low sugar, the body has a distinct scent, as well. The dog is trained to detect this low smell and alert their owner. These dogs do not need batteries, do not need to be changed every few days, and are 100% accurate.

These dogs are trained from the time they are puppies. The job is full-time alongside their master, wherever he or she may go, so will “Fido”.  After all, diabetes never leaves your side – neither should your diabetes service dog. The full training and placement period can last up to 12 weeks. At 3 months old, the K9 is ready and willing to protect and serve their best friend with diabetes.  These dogs are trained to notify their owners of the dangerous blood glucose  levels and assist in obtaining juices or other for help, if needed.

Guardian Angel Service Dogs is a national organization that works with breeders to train dogs for the detection and alert of dangerous glucose changes. A lifelong dream came true when a Type 1 girl was presented her new best friend, Persius. Friends with this talent aren’t cheap. The price of a trained medical service dog is about $20,000. Money can’t buy happiness but it can buy a live-in, reliable, medical assistant that you’ll invariably love.

Visit Your Diabetes Health for more resources about health.