Dogs have long been used to help the blind, the physical and psychological disabled, the hearing impaired, and even the allergic navigate their surroundings safely. Now, we can add “diabetics” to that list.
Service dogs are being trained to detect if their owner’s blood sugar is too high or low. Amazingly, the dogs can perceive this by just smelling the person’s breath. Seniors whose blood sugar levels are erratic and have been given a service dog report that the dog has probably saved their life on at least one occasion.
This is truly an amazing life-saving service. Unfortunately, there are a limited number of dogs to go around because they require many hours of specialized training. With over 23 million Americans suffering from diabetes, there are only 150 specialized service dogs. The waiting list is long and the dog training takes time.
Even if a service dog is given to you, it does not mean that you don’t have to take care of yourself otherwise. Not enough studies have been done so that a senior can feel totally comfortable relying on what the dog tells her. Actively monitoring blood sugar levels is still the most reliable way to control diabetes.
Dogs are so helpful to us in so many ways, it will be interesting to see what dogs will be trained to do next. Freedom Home Care offers a variety of services to keep our clients happy safe and healthy in their homes, including pet care. To see what services we can offer you, visit our website!