Diabetic Service DogWhat is a Diabetic Service Dog?

Diabetic Service Dogs are trained using positive reinforcement to detect the chemical change a person’s body goes through when experiencing a high or a low blood sugar level.

It is not known for certain what the dogs are smelling, but the process for training works, nonetheless. By using lots of treats and lots of fun, the dogs find training for scent work more of a game than a job. The dogs learn to associate the scent of a high or low blood sugar level with treats and affection.

Once trained, a diabetic service dog is able to detect both a high and a low blood sugar level. The dog will perform behavior to alert their owner such as pawing their owner, barking or licking to indicate the change in blood sugar levels.

The dogs are also trained to retrieve certain objects which signal the handler to check blood sugar levels.

For more information on obtaining a service dog, contact trainer Bill Pereira today.

What is a Service Dog?

The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) defines a service animal as any guide dog, signal dog, or other animal individually trained to provide assistance to an individual with a disability. If they meet this definition, animals are considered service animals under the ADA regardless of whether they have been licensed or certified by a state or local government.

Service animals perform some of the functions and tasks that the individual with a disability cannot perform for him or herself. Guide dogs are one type of service animal, used by some individuals who are blind. This is a type of service animal with which most people are familiar. But there are service animals that assist persons with other kinds of disabilities in their day-to-day activities. Some activities include:

  • Alerting persons with hearing impairments to sounds.
  • Pulling wheelchairs or carrying and picking up things for persons with mobility impairments.
  • Assisting persons with mobility impairments with balance.
  • Alerting diabetics with hypoglycemia.

A service animal is not a pet.

If you have further questions about service animals or other requirements of the ADA, you may call The U.S. Department of Justice’s toll-free ADA Information Line at (800) 514-0301 (voice) or (800) 514-0383 (TDD).

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