Many Years ago we sold a puppy to a gentleman who had Diabetes and he told us that he wanted to aquire a puppy from our lines for he knew our dogs had all the traits needed to become a perfect Service dog, and he explained what his Plans were going to be, so we realized a evaluation on our puppies and chose him a wonderful puppy who lasted over 12 years offering him service as a Diabetic Alert Dog, the stories he would share with me were incredible on how Max would identify inmediately when his sugar levels were about to drop and this dog was his constant companion to everywere, he would be with him 24/7 and saved his life repeatedly times. we alsways had wondered how they were trained, and in a working seminar in Missisippi we were explained and taught how to teach a dog detect when there is a sugar level anormality.
Dogs can detect low levels of sugar (hypoglycemia) in people due to their incredible sense of smell and their ability to pick up on changes in a person's scent and behavior. Here's how dogs can detect low blood sugar levels in individuals, particularly those with diabetes:
Sensitivity to Scent: Dogs have an extraordinarily acute sense of smell, often tens of thousands of times more sensitive than humans. They can detect even trace amounts of certain chemicals or compounds in the air, including the odor associated with low blood sugar.
Scent Changes: When a person's blood sugar level drops, their body chemistry changes. This can lead to the release of specific volatile organic compounds, such as acetone or isoprene, through their breath or skin. Dogs can detect these scent changes.
Training: Service dogs that assist individuals with diabetes undergo specialized training to recognize the specific scent changes associated with hypoglycemia. Trainers use swabs soaked with the scent of low blood sugar to familiarize the dog with the odor.
Alerting Behavior: Once trained, a diabetic alert dog (DAD) can recognize the scent of low blood sugar and will typically alert their owner to the issue. They may do this by pawing, nudging, barking, or using another trained behavior to get their owner's attention.
Response Training: In addition to alerting, some diabetic alert dogs are trained to respond to low blood sugar by fetching medication or notifying another family member or caregiver for assistance.
Safety: The ability of diabetic alert dogs to detect low blood sugar levels can be life-saving. When they alert their owners in advance, individuals with diabetes can take corrective measures such as consuming glucose or seeking medical help before their condition worsens.
It's important to note that not all dogs have the same level of sensitivity or can be trained for this purpose. Diabetic alert dogs undergo rigorous training, and their success rate can vary. Additionally, they require ongoing training and reinforcement to maintain their skills.
While dogs can be invaluable companions for individuals with diabetes, they should not be seen as a replacement for proper medical care and monitoring. People with diabetes should continue to work closely with healthcare professionals to manage their condition effectively.