The Power of a Wet Nose: Dogs Assist Diabetics

You know the scene. Happy dog face emerging from passing car window, ears, nose busy. Those curious noses precisely punch the air, pinpointing the smells of every surrounding restaurant and gas station and grocery store.

Oh yes, exploring the world one sniff at a time.

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The Nose Knows! Diabetic Alert Dogs love AND assist.

Dogs view the world, in large part, through the lens of their nose. But a dog’s nose can do more than smell the neighbor’s meandering cat or the lingering scent of lunch. A dog’s nose can actually save lives. Yes, save lives!

It’s no secret that dogs have often assisted their human owners. For years, properly trained dogs aided people with vision impairments, hearing impairments and seizures (just to name a few). But now diabetics are also living healthier lives thanks to man’s (and woman’s) best friend.

Diabetics have often shared antidotal evidence of being warned by their dog while experiencing a drop in blood sugar. These stories suggested dogs could potentially detect changes in blood sugar levels. But now research seems to confirm these stories and reconfirm the amazing power of the canine nose – opening the door to new generation of service dogs: Diabetic Alert Dogs!

Diabetic Alert Dogs are trained to use their powerful noses to smell certain changes in their owner’s breath or sweat which indicate a drop or rise in blood sugar levels. The training process requires an individual with Type I Diabetes to breathe into a container or tube while having a low blood sugar episode. Dogs are then exposed to the smell and trained to respond appropriately.

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Trained dogs alert owners after smelling blood sugar changes.

So, when blood sugar levels change, properly trained dogs bark, paw, jump, lick or fetch traditional blood testing kits to alert their owners. Dogs assigned to diabetic children will even seek help by alerting a child’s parents or caregivers. Amazing!

Obviously, a Diabetic Alert Dog does not replace traditional blood testing methods but they can fill potential dangerous gaps. For example, diabetics may experience  blood sugar changes while sleeping.  A blood testing kit can’t help but a Diabetic Alert Dog can! A trained dog can wake a sleeping owner or seek help (I know  there’s a Lassie reference in here somewhere).  The direct benefit of a properly training dog could be crucial in these type of situations but the indirect benefits such as greater peace of mind shouldn’t be overlooked or discounted.  I told you a dog’s nose is powerful . . .

And those powerful, protective noses need protection of their own!  Snout Soother’s  protects, calms and heals chapped, dry and cracked noses (in addition to a variety of other conditions including rashes, hyperkeratosis, and discoid lupus).  Snout Soother’s natural ingredients also act as a natural sunscreen for Fido’s all knowing nose.

Of course, every dog owner knows that a fuzzy companion enhances your life and well-being.  Dogs make you smile and laugh.  Dogs are always happy to see you. Dogs make your corner of the world a little better.   Individuals with a Diabetic Alert Dog must surely also benefit from the joy of loving and being loved by a dog.

Dogs (and their noses) continue to amaze me. Sniff on, Furry Friends!

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More than just a pretty face!

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