5 Diabetes Alert Dog Breeds that Are Saving Lives Every Day
Nearly 10 percent of the U.S. population — 30.3 million people — suffer from diabetes. Are you part of this group?
Whether you’ve recently been diagnosed with diabetes or have dealt with it for years, it’s important to know that there are lots of tools out there that can help improve your health and quality of life. One of the most effective, but often under-utilized, tools is a service dog.
Read on to learn more about the benefits of a diabetic service dog and which diabetic service dog breeds you ought to consider.
Benefits of a Diabetic Service Dog
Diabetic service dogs do a lot for their owners. Their main responsibility is to detect high or low blood sugar levels and alert their owner so they can take steps to control those levels.
When blood sugar levels are off, the body emits specific smells that humans cannot detect. Diabetic service dogs are trained to pick up on these smells, as well as other common symptoms of high or low blood sugar.
When a diabetic service dog detects a change in their owner’s blood sugar levels, they may perform the following actions to help their owner:
- Jumping on or pawing at their lap
- Touching their owner with their nose
- Holding a specific toy that acts as a signal
- Alerting another family member
- Bringing medication to their owner
- Retrieving a phone so the owner can call 911
- Calling 911 or pressing an alert button to get necessary medical attention
Diabetic service dogs also provide comfort and companionship. They can be invaluable to diabetics, especially those who live alone.
Top 5 Diabetic Service Dog Breeds
As you can see, there are lots of reasons to consider investing in a diabetic service dog. You need to make sure you’re buying the right kind of dog, though.
Here are five dog breeds that do a great job at assisting those with diabetes:
1. Labrador Retriever
Labrador Retrievers are trained as service dogs for all kinds of individuals, and they can be just as beneficial to people with diabetes.
Labrador Retrievers are highly versatile dogs that tend to be easier to train than many other breeds. They work hard and are highly intelligent and loyal, too, while still being sociable and friendly.
They’re perfect for diabetics who need help managing their illness and also want a loving companion animal.
A Poodle is another great dog breed for diabetics.
While they may have a reputation for being high-maintenance, hoity-toity dogs, Poodles were actually bred for hunting.
They have incredibly sharp noses, making them an ideal dog breed for diabetics who need help managing their blood sugar levels.
Poodles are highly intelligent. They appreciate the challenge that comes with learning to detect changes in blood sugar and help them owner go about their daily life.
Poodles are also obedient, well-behaved, and easy-to-train. This combination of traits makes them perfect candidates for service dogs.
3. Golden Retriever
Golden Retrievers are also great service breeds.
Golden Retrievers are similar to labradors and poodles in many ways. They’re very intelligent, obedient, and eager-to-please. They’re also highly loyal and devoted to their owners. If they detect an issue, they will do whatever they can to make sure their owner is well and care for.
Golden Retrievers also make good companion animals because of their friendliness and affection. They’re not overly energetic, though.
Goldens are very tolerant of young children and other pets, too. This makes them the perfect service dog for diabetics who have families or have lots of people who come to visit on a regular basis.
4. Australian Shepherd
If you want a no-nonsense dog who loves to work, you ought to consider an Australian Shepherd.
These dogs are highly intelligent and love a good challenge. They’re smart enough to detect problems and figure out solutions to ensure their owner gets the care they need.
Australian Shepherds are highly active, too, and require a lot of mental and physical exercise. This makes them an ideal option for active diabetics who enjoy exercising themselves.
Those who are very old or who lack mobility may want to choose a different type of diabetic service dog.
A combination of a Lab and Poodle, the Labradoodle is a wonderful service dog.
They’re very intelligent and were originally bred as guide dogs for the blind. Now, they work as service dogs for all kinds of people, including diabetics.
In addition to being smart, friendly, and easy-to-train, Labradoodles are also perfect for folks with allergies or asthma.
They have low-shedding coats, so you don’t have to worry about your loved ones sneezing or wheezing while they’re around.
Is a Diabetes Service Dog Right for You?
A diabetic service dog can be great for diabetics who need help managing their illness and maintaining their health. But, not everyone is meant to have a service dog.
There’s a lot of responsibility involved, and certain people are better candidates than others.
The following people seem to benefit most from a diabetic service dog:
- Those who deal with hypoglycemia unawareness
- Those who are able to control blood sugar with injections or an insulin pump
- Those who often experience low blood sugar
- Children who need frequent testing
- Those who are living on their own and managing their diabetes independently for the first time
It’s also important to consider whether you have the time and resources for a dog.
Can you afford to cover the costs of food, grooming, and keeping them up-to-date on all their vaccinations and health screenings? Are you able to make sure they get the exercise and training they need?
Take all these factors into account before you decide a service dog is right for you.
Learn More About Managing Diabetes Today
Are you interested in purchasing one of these diabetic service dog breeds? They all make great companions and do a wonderful job of keeping their diabetic owners safe and healthy.
In addition to diabetic service dogs, there are lots of other tools you can utilize to manage your diabetes and improve your quality of life, even if you’re on a fixed income.
We have tons of articles on our blog that are perfect for diabetics looking to save money while managing their illness effectively.
Start by checking out this post for tips on reducing the cost of insulin test strips.