Diabetes is a chronic condition affecting over 8% of the population (diabetes.org). People with diabetes need to check their blood sugar throughout the day to avoid it skyrocketing or plummeting too low, both of which can have terrible consequences-including coma and death. Dogs4Diabetics, Inc. is a non-profit organization trying to prevent hypoglycemia, or too low blood sugar, in diabetics. These dogs are trained to detect the low blood sugar and alert either the diabetic or a family member. By alerting the diabetics to test their blood sugar, these dogs are saving lives.
These dogs can smell low blood sugar and are trained with treats to alert people. When a person has low blood sugar, their body will release chemicals to raise the person’s blood sugar to help fuel the brain. If the body can’t raise the blood sugar level, the person may become confused, pass out, have a seizure, or die. Ketones are among the chemicals released by the body to raise blood sugar and dogs can recognize the smell of them. These dogs are certified assistance dogs and wear jackets so that they are allowed in public places like restaurants.