Diabetic Alert Dogs?!

Hi! I have been super interested in getting a diabetic alert dog for after I graduate and when I am on my own. I have found a trusting and legitimate organization that I can apply to and possibly be accepted for one! I would love to read about anybody’s stories/pros and cons/experiences who have worked with a DAD.

Hi there,
I saw the topic and was interested in responding, because nine years ago, my family bought my dog, a golden retriever we ended up naming Sunny because of his extremely pale color. I just wanted to let you know that if you decide to get a DAD, make sure you get one who is at least a full year in age; we got my dog as a three-month-old puppy, and dogs of that age are simply not old enough to even remember commands until they are older, like ten months to a year in age. While Sunny is capable of recognizing my low blood sugars (dogs are able to detect lows because usually, their people will do things like sweat and start getting shaky, which dogs are able to smell–“Ok,” they think, “she usually isn’t damp like that, and she smells a little funny, too”-- and if you have done things like purposely go low, just to teach them, with a cup of juice and a sandwich handy for treatment, as well as a friend or relative close by to help out in case of emergency, your dog will learn that even if there’s no one close by, they will NEED to get

attention IMMEDIATELY, so you can treat yourself. Perhaps you could teach the dog a special attention-getting signal, like barking or whining incessantly, that means "it's time to go get juice and a snack, NOW." Sunny, while not an alert dog, is such a joy in my life that I couldn't give him up, even is you told me to. Dogs have been a big part of my life since I was eight years old-- Sunny's predecessor, also a golden, was the dog we had when I was diagnosed, and the week I spent in the hospital nearly killed the poor thing-- he was always incredibly attached to me, especially. We got him when I was eight years old, and the poor baby had to be put down during my senior year of college, when I was twenty-two; he developed some weird brain disease at age fourteen that paralyzed him after a week, and he couldn't be saved. I still keep his ashes on my nighttable, and I miss him terribly, even twelve years later. He was my baby. Even if your dog ends up not being a very big help in your diabetes treatment, after awhile, you'll consider him/her such a big pert of your life, that a year from now you'll consider that dog your very best friend-- after all, who else can you tell your deepest fears and biggest frustrations to that will never tell a soul? Your dog. Sunny, unfortunately, is not the most intelligent of dogs; he learned every trick I ever taught him, but it took him about three years to master them, because he just ain't the quickest, smartest dog I ever met. Who knows-- maybe I'm not the greatest dog teacher. He could only be taught things if I were the only human in the room and all his dog toys were put in the closet, because he is so easily distracted. Sometimes I think he must have the dog equivalent of ADHD, because he's been that way since puppyhood. You haven't mentioned what breed of dog you're considering. Sunny is a golden retriever, but you might ne considering someone who doesn't consume quite as much food, or someone who is less quiet-- I find that larger dogs tend to want to hold their peace more, while smaller dogs are much more vocal. I think that if you're smaller, you feel you have to be louder, because otherwise the world won't pay attention, since you're so small. Another consideration is that small dogs tend to have longer lifespans-- they often reach their late teens, while larger dogs can die as young as eight years old. How long would you like your dog's lifespan to be? Smaller dogs tend to live longer, have louder, higher-pitched, easily audible voices, and will DEFINITELY get your attention, especially if they think you're in danger. That's not to put my dog's abilities down at all-- if Sunny thought I was ever in danger, then he would find
whose attention he could get, and since everyone I know knows that I'm diabetic, (the Medic-Alert tag also helps) they could get me help. Anyhoo, I hope that you come to the best conclusion regarding your potential dog-- good luck! Becky =) †

Hey! This past winter, I organized a fundraiser for a little girl to get a DAD. She loves it! The people who breed and train them are super knowledgeable and helpful, and it’s such a relief to everyone to know you’re safe all the time. I’d suggest looking into getting a DAD before you move out, because they don’t have all the training at first–it’s quite a process, but they need to be in tune with you personally, and why add the stress of training a dog when you’re moving?

It’s a great idea, and I hope it works out for you! There’s also organizations I’ve heard of that will help you pay for the training and everything.

Thanks! :slight_smile: