The diabetes dog. He can monitor the blood glucose level of mistress and master and sound the alarm in an emergency. To develop this gift, the four-legged friends have to undergo some training. But they can become a lifesaver as a result. We have summarized all the important information about the diabetes dog for you.
What does the diabetes dog do?
As soon as hypoglycemia or hyperglycemia is present, chemical processes take place in the diabetic’s body. The dog can detect these in the breath and sweat and sounds the alarm. For patients with type 1 diabetes, the disease can become life-threatening in many cases. Within just 15 minutes, they can become hypoglycemic without realizing it. The consequences can be permanent brain damage, coma or even death. Diabetic alert dogs often notice the threatening situation earlier than the sufferers themselves and also sound the alarm at night – so they can save lives!
For diabetics and their families, this is a significant relief and relaxation in everyday life, although the diabetes dog is not a substitute for the regular blood test.
How are diabetes dogs trained?
Of course, they are especially trained to smell hypoglycemia and hyperglycemia. Some four-legged friends even bring this gift with them from birth. Scientists suspect that hypoglycemia changes the chemical composition of sweat, and also the breath of the mistress and master becomes different. It is also possible that the dog reacts to the fact that its owner unconsciously behaves differently. In the special training, the four-legged friends learn different warning signals, such as barking, scratching, nudging or licking. They can also open the front door to get help in an emergency. In addition, they are trained to bring glucose or juice when blood sugar levels are dangerously low. However, if the diabetic does not respond, the dog must also be able to operate emergency buttons. Mind you, this is still an animal!
Which dogs are suitable for such training?
In any case, a suitable dog must be socially acceptable, because in the future he will be taken everywhere and at any time in public. In addition, he should be playful, because that is very important for the training. First, the four-legged friends will get to know the special smell of hypoglycemia or hyperglycemia. This is usually done with compresses that take on the body odor of the future owner. If the dog recognizes the smell of hypoglycemia and hyperglycemia after six weeks at the latest, it is qualified for further training.