Diabetes Alert Dogs!

Diabetes Alert Dogs!

Let’s talk service animals for diabetics! What are they? Do I have one? Am I going to get one? Watch watch watch! 🙂


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[DISCLAIMER: While I am a Registered Nurse, nothing that I post should ever be taken as medical/nursing advice. Please consult your doctor if you have questions about your individual diabetes management and overall health.]


  1. I’m thinking of getting a DAD Poodle for vacation time. I sometimes forget to pack a good set of supplies for vacation and i think sharing an alert dog with a friendly group would help with my unease around the big dogs because i work better socially when i’m near poodles & pugs.

  2. I have been interested in getting a DAD, as I do not feel my lows until they are really low…..plus for when I am driving!

  3. It doesn’t always take a trained service animal. I had a cat (before my Dexcom) who sensed when I was LOW at night. It was the only time he would paw me in the face and actively try to wake me up. Somehow he sensed that something was wrong, and he did his part to avoid being stuck with a dead guy. Me new cat is starting to do the same thing, but she’s competing with the alarms on me Dexcom and T-Slim pump, so maybe not…

  4. Fuck it. No one needs no damn dog to tell you if you’re having a low blood sugar spell. Shit, I can tell if I have a low blood sugar spell if I’m drunk at 35. Diabetes Alert Dogs are bullshit. And a waste of money.

  5. My dog cant go thru the training bc of his breed, apparently his nose is too short. The training is on the other side of town. If I wasnt getting transplant Id consider a diabetic dog after my current dog passes 🙁 I love my dog so much, and hes small, good boy and I have dexcom so really I have everything I could need and want.

  6. Breath samples, not sweat. They detect your breath. Some people like myself, take medications that block the signs of low or high blood sugar. We have a really tough time detecting low sugars until it’s too late and it becomes a medical emergency.

  7. Hey about 2 yrs ago I came across a small chuichia dog. I know I am not spelling that right my sugar is 261 right now

  8. I have one that is right now being trained by Diabetic Alert Dogs Of America. He should be arriving home to me the first week of July! He is a yellow Lab named Gibbs! I was given a scent retrieval package in the mail once a dog was found for me and whenever I had a high or low I sucked on cotton balls and placed in the the jars provided marked with what the low or high fell between.
    They give me weekly updates, photos and videos of Gibbs and his training and when he is flown home (he’s trained in Nevada and I live in Michigan) his trainer will stay with me for two days and teach me everything I need to know on how to work with Gibbs. I am extremely excited (I am 34 and have 9 children that I stay at home and homeschool alone while my husband works). I love that I will have a teammate to work with and my husband loves the extra set of eyes and (nose) to look after me!
    We will also train him privately for other tasks such as mobility and stabilization and alerting to my POTS!
    Which are other medical issues I deal with.

  9. so any dog no matter the size can be an alert dog. you could actually train the dog you own now to smell you’re blood glucose. They bare actually way faster to pick up on BG changes. Look in to owner training. just a suggestion!!

  10. I am like you where I feel bad about possibly taking a dog away from someone who might need the dog more than me. There is a local "breeder" who has experience training for DADs (do they get to celebrate Father’s day too?), and has offered t help me train a dog, but even with that I feel a bit guilty. 🙂

  11. Love your content. Keep it up! I have a CGM but I’m also a deep sleeper and don’t hear it when I’m low or high, any tips? Usually I wake up if I’m around 40-50 but it still scares me. A dog isn’t an option for my lifestyle at the moment, as much as I would love to have one.

  12. My diabetic alert do alerts to lows by pawing at me and for my highs she pokes me with her nose. Also they can smell it through your breath too! (I also owner trained her too which you are very right it’s A LOT of work lol)

  13. My dog is not a trained diabetes alert dog but she has alerted me a few times when my sugar has been low and I have not noticed it. She licks me and won’t stop until I respond when I get low. We have no idea how she knows this but she does. One time I was passed out and she was licking me and it was early morning and my husband heard her and he was able to help me or I would probably be dead. After that I got the Dexcom and I still have my Amber. Thank God for her. I haven’t passed out since but she has alerted me since and my Dexcom also helps.

  14. It is a little bit odd to me that diabetic alert dogs are all large breeds, given that all of the traits required are a good sense of smell. It’s probably because other service dogs need to be big to perform their tasks (like guide dogs and dogs for people in wheelchairs) so people just went along with it for dogs that don’t need to be big to do what they need to do. I still think they should train dauchaunds and terriers and the like for people in living conditions not conducive to a large dog.

  15. I have read through your comments. I’m sure no one intends to post inaccurate info, but there are comments here that just aren’t accurate. Please do not put your safety or life in the hands of a “self-trained” dog. There are dogs that can sense you’re not feeling well or acting differently, but a dog must be trained to recognize a scent. Therefore this phenomenon is not reliable or consistent. For everyone who is interested, do lots of research with credible organizations and people. I would not put much faith in comments you read. Research your questions WELL. Look for 4-5 sources that agree.

  16. Hey Danica… I have been following you a long time. I am RN and diabetic x30 years and train diabetic alert dogs x20 years. Your favorite episodes for me are 1) showing how to prime the tubing and change your pump 2) the one where you showed all the used test strips at the bottom of your purse (I can so relate!!). Anyway, I wanted you to know that there is an AMAZING place online you should see. It is called MDdogs.org It is a FREE site for medical alert dogs… you sign on and then have access to a workbook you can download (104+ pages) and over 30 videos that will take you step by step how to train your own diabetic alert dog…Starts with how to pick the right one out of the litter that will be the best prospect…not all dogs do well as service dogs… and up to how to train for scent alerts…how to prepare the scents from saliva on cotton when you are high or low. It is a wonderful great place to learn about medical detection dog training AND you can change the scent if you want to train for peanut allergies instead of hypoglycemia…the basics are the same ..the scent changes for your service dog you want to train. The biggest problem with PAYING for a diabetic alert dog is that you will most likely get scammed. There are hundreds out there being closed down for fraud as fast as others opening up. I personally train for free one dog at a time for childen under age 12. Service Dogs of Virginia gives fully trained service dogs to people over age 12 for little or no cost. They are an amazing charity too. So that is it… check out mddogs.org Libby Rockaway is the best diabetic alert dog trainer I have seen in a long time.

  17. I don’t really like dogs, are there diabetes alert koalas too?
    Like they could cuddle you when you’re low, cuddle you when you’re high and cuddle you when you’re in range….

  18. Hey girl I love your stuff it’s helped me so much I wanted to give up in the start almost 3yrs ago after almost losing my life a few times and now I have my pump and sensor 🙂 going on 2 months now and I haven’t had one hospital trip 🙂 now my girl who passed away almost 2yrs ago learnt very fast with no training and wouldn’t leave me alone or go get someone to help me she did this by smelling my breath to see how I was doing it was amazing as she was in her old age when doing this

    Thanks so much for all your stuff xoxo

  19. I am in the process of fundraising for my DAD. The organization I am going through is called definitely dogs, and the process is an application, a home interview, and then fundraising. The woman who run it are amazing, and I am so excited to get my dog! Once I raise the $10,000 the dog costs, it will be 18 months of training with and without me, until I get to bring the dog home. 🙂

  20. Hey, I’m interested in hearing thoughts about being pregnant with diabetes, I have no plans of it right now but I’m also scared my body at age 30 would be under too much stress and that it would be a hard pregnancy, any thoughts??

  21. Oh my gosh, your dog is the cutest! People always ask me why I don’t have a diabetes alert dog! They aren’t for everyone.

  22. I’m a brittle Type I diabetic w no symptoms of LBS anymore. I do not have a D.A.D bc of all the places I’ve looked into, the cost is just way too expensive. I’m on disability n cannot spend thousands on a dog. I do need one tho bc now I’m having LBS thru the nite n cannot wake up in time which has resulted in numerous EMT phone calls n it’s terrifying for me now.

  23. I had a diabetes alert dog. She is pretty small only about 20lbs. I trained her myself and picked out the kind I wanted. You can basically use any type of dog except for the ones that have small, squished noses apparently these don’t work as well. Anyway she was great for alerting me and often was ahead of my meter which helped me to not go low at all because I could take action early. My parents have her now because it was too stressful to me to have her in college and I got a dexcom which worked well enough. I went through a trainer who taught me how to train my dog. Honestly though if you want to train your own I would recommend diabetic alert academy. They have online videos and are fairly cheap. There are also some good books out there. I would recommend it if you have the time and dedication to train, it’s not that hard it just takes a lot of consistency and patience. If that isn’t for you you can always get a trained one but that is much more expensive. Also my dogs alert is to nudge my leg. I than ask if I need to check and hold my hands up, right in a fist left like a high five and she picks what hand it is, right=low left = high.

  24. I have a chihuahua that is a self trained diabetes alert dog! I have a total of 4 chihuahuas, 3 of which are related (a mother and 2 daughters that were born right at home). I’m a type 2 diabetic, and I’m not really good at keeping my numbers under control, and I started to notice that one of the 2 sisters would sometimes for no apparent reason would come over to me and start barking at me, and after a few months I started to realize that soon after she would do that, that my blood sugar would either go very low, or very high. At the time I didn’t know about diabetic alert dogs, and I just thought she had a sixth sense, but when I did some looking around on the web I found out about how dogs can smell all sorts of things, like blood sugar, cancer, etc. Being that she’s self taught (by herself, not by me!) I just use her ability when I’m at home with her, and I don’t try and claim that she’s a service animal (she’s lacking some of the obedience training required to be a ‘real’ service animal I think) because I wouldn’t want to abuse the service animal system as so many people do these days, which makes it harder for those that do need them. I don’t know how old your little girl is, but she might be able to be trained to be an official diabetes alert dog (my girl is already 11 years old, probably too old to try and get her certified) which might make it much less expensive for you to have your own alert dog. I love your videos, and despite your views of the Freestyle Libre, I think I’m going to try it as my first device other than sticking my fingers all the time, thanks!

  25. They actually use saliva when self-training​ (from what I’ve been told), and the application process is pretty extensive, some places have a phone call, then you can apply, then you have to interview, then wait a few more YEARS until you can raise all of the money or (if it’s free) your matched dog is trained and ready for you. Hope this helps!

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