A dog’s ability to smell and detect odors far exceeds that of a human. This skill helps them to find food, detect danger and, with special training, identify when its owner is suffering from low blood sugar levels.
The right dogs, given appropriate training, can be taught to not only sense this condition, but to also take action to alert their owner. In some cases these service animals are even trained to identify specific snacks and bring them to the person suffering from low blood sugar.
A diabetic alert dog is a type of service dog that many people aren’t even aware exists. They look like normal dogs and act like normal dogs. If it wasn’t for the service dog vests alerting you that they were a service animal, you might never know.
That’s because the duties of this particular type of service animal differ from what you typically associate with the term “service dog”.
With a seeing-eye dog or hearing dog, there are a number of behaviors that indicate that this is a well-trained working dog. They are near their owners side at all times in public. They are constantly alert and working hard to ensure the safety of their owner.
With diabetic alert dogs, it’s different.
Diabetic alert dogs do not necessarily need to be in constant or near-constant contact with their owner. They can run around, play and interact with other people and dogs without affecting their ability to accomplish their task.
They simply need to periodically be in close enough proximity to their owner to detect the blood sugar level of their owner.
The mechanism by which these impressive pooches perform their task is pretty interesting. It isn’t that the dog is necessarily able to smell the blood. The diabetic alert animal is actually sensing the composition of the sweat of its owner.
Because our body’s sweat has a slightly different odor depending on our blood sugar level, trained dogs can recognize the shift and ensure that a potential crisis is averted.
One thing is for sure, with these special animals, diabetics now have another reason to call dogs “man’s best friend”.
- “He is completely my lifeline,” Family desperately searching for service dog(kfor.com)
- Coffee And Diabetes Risk(massenmedical.com)