Some dogs, besides playing with balls, are able to detect if you have high or low blood sugar. Yes, as you read. Do you want to know more?
You can’t imagine what diabetic alert dogs can do! Man’s best friend has now evolved and, in besides bringing you the newspaper, it also detects sugar highs and lows. These animals have become a perfect alternative for children with type 1 diabetes. As well as being a best friend, you will also have an alarm for glucose variations. Would you like to know a little more about them?
What are diabetic alert dogs?
Most of us are familiar with guide dogs that accompany people who are blind. But did you know that they can also help people with diabetes? Diabetic alert dogs -or DADs- are trained to alert their owners when their blood glucose levels are rising or falling. 15 to 20 minutes before a change, you’ll have your best friend barking at or signaling you, so you can deal with highs and lows faster. Especially if you have children with diabetes, a DAD will be a great help for nighttime hypoglycemia.
Besides alerting, these little animals become a fundamental pillar of their owners’ lives because of the emotional support they provide. For younger people with diabetes, they are a source of love and confidence and for their parents they bring an extra peace and security.
However, with the help of a diabetic alert dogs and assistants such as Cori, controlling your diabetes will become a very simple thing to do.
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How do diabetic alert dogs detect variations in blood glucose?
Before explaining how DADs know your blood glucose is going to change, it’s important to understand what’s going on in the body in those moments. Recently, in a study by the Welcome Trust-MRC Institute of Metabolic Science and the University of Cambridge, a big discovery was made. Before variations in blood glucose levels, humans expel isoprene.
The amount of this chemical in people changes along with their blood sugar levels. So, when sugar lows occur, the isoprene in breath increases. This is what your diabetes specialist pet sniffs out.
How much does a diabetic alert dog cost?
On average, they can cost between $8,000 to $20,000. It will depend on the amount of training it has had or what foundation you get it from. However, there are organizations or foundations that will assume this cost and only ask families to pay for the training program.
Diabetic Alert Dogs of America is an organization that trains this type of dogs. It is based in Nevada and it works individually with each dog depending on the needs of their future owners. Also, they offer payment facilities. The organization has payment plans to help you afford the cost of a diabetic alert dog.
What breeds can be used as assistance dogs?
The physical qualities of DADs are not very important. Diabetic Alert Dogs of America, for example, uses dogs of all sizes, but Golden Retrievers, Labradors and Weimaraners are especially common.
But, what really matters are the qualities. They must have the following attributes:
- Positive, cheerful and predictable character.
- Not being skittish.
- To be sociable with other humans and dogs.
- Being constantly active, but not nervous or restless.
- Have a very acute sense of smell.