For a person living with diabetes, monitoring blood glucose levels plays a critical role in diabetes management. In addition to glucose monitors and meters, a diabetic alert dog (DAD) is an additional measure of security to aid a diabetic. A diabetic alert dog should never be considered a replacement for existing medical devices or practices. DADs are trained to identify out of range blood glucose levels and alert their owner to take action. While their owner is sleeping, DADs can alert when they detect changes in their owner’s blood glucose level.

Due to their specialized obedience, public access, and medical alert training, a DAD is able to accompany their owner in public during their day to day activities. Under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), State and local governments, businesses, and nonprofit organizations that serve the public generally must allow service animals to accompany people with disabilities in all areas of the facility where the public is normally allowed to go. A DAD becomes a shadow that assists in watching out for their owner throughout their day. They can provide their owner with many benefits including decreased worries about hypoglycemia and hyperglycemia unawareness, improvement in quality of life, emotional support and comfort, increased participation in physical activities, and loveable companionship.  

When a dog detects a low or high blood glucose level, it is trained to paw to alert his/her owner that it is time to check their glucose level and take action to correct it if necessary.

Unlike a meter or monitor, a diabetic alert dog is a living being with a personality, preferences, and activity level. No matter how much training the dog has, we have come to know two things are certain: a dog will never behave as a robot and much of the reliability for the dogs to alert comes from the bond that develops between the dog and its owner as well as consistent, reinforced practice. Our DAD's will come trained having gone through an extensive obedience, public access, and scent training program and during their training program their owner will also go through an educational process. Training and support continues as the owner and their DAD transition to a successful team. Bark to Basics Canine Obedience Center, LLC is dedicated to supporting this team for their entire working life.